Committees

The Committees support the Board of Directors in assessing risks, setting remuneration, and monitoring the integrity of the financial statements.

Chairman's and Governance Committee

The Chairman's and Governance Committee acts as an advisor to the Chairman and discusses a broad variety of topics in preparation for Board meetings.

The Chairman’s and Governance Committee consists of the Chairman of the Board, the chairmen of the committees of the Board and other members appointed by the Board. A majority of the committee’s members must be independent. The members are:

The Chairman’s and Governance Committee has its own charter (PDF), which has been approved by the Board. It generally meets eight to ten times per year. The meetings are usually attended by the Chief Executive Officer and the General Counsel. It is at the Chairman’s discretion to ask other members of management to attend all or part of a meeting.

The Chairman’s and Governance Committee acts as an advisor to the Chairman of the Board and discusses a broad variety of topics in preparation for Board meetings. In addition, the Chairman’s and Governance Committee is responsible for the development and occasional review of a set of Corporate Governance Regulations, which are then recommended to the full Board for approval. It periodically reviews our other governance documents to ensure that they are up-to-date and complete. At least once annually, the Chairman’s and Governance Committee evaluates the independence of the Board members and reports its findings to the Board for final determination. The Chairman’s and Governance Committee is also responsible for identifying, evaluating, recruiting and nominating new Board members in accordance with the criteria established by the Committee, subject to applicable laws and regulations.

In addition, the Chairman’s and Governance Committee guides and supervises the Board’s annual performance assessment of the Chairman of the Board, the Chief Executive Officer and the members of the Executive Board. The Chairman of the Board does not participate in the discussion of his own performance. The Chairman’s and Governance Committee proposes to the Board the appointment, promotion, dismissal or replacement of members of the Executive Board. The Chairman’s and Governance Committee also reviews succession plans for senior executive positions in the Group with the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer.

Audit Committee

The primary function of the Audit Committee is to assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight role by monitoring and assessing the integrity of the financial statements of the Group.

The Audit Committee consists of not fewer than three members, all of whom must be independent. The current members are: 

The Audit Committee has its own charter (PDF), which has been approved by the Board. The members of the Audit Committee are subject to additional independence requirements, exceeding those that apply to other members of the Board. None of the Audit Committee members may be an affiliated person of the Group or may, directly or indirectly, accept any consulting, advisory or other compensatory fees from us other than their regular compensation as members of the Board and its committees. The Audit Committee charter stipulates that all Audit Committee members must be financially literate. In addition, they may not serve on the Audit Committee of more than two other companies, unless the Board deems that such membership would not impair their ability to serve on our Audit Committee.

In addition, the SEC requires disclosure about whether a member of the Audit Committee is an audit committee financial expert within the meaning of the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The Board has determined that John Tiner is an audit committee financial expert.

Pursuant to its charter, the Audit Committee holds full-day or half-day meetings at least once each quarter, prior to the publication of our consolidated financial statements. Typically, the Audit Committee convenes for a number of additional meetings and conference calls throughout the year in order to adequately discharge its responsibilities. The regular meetings are attended by management representatives, as appropriate, the Head of Internal Audit and senior representatives of the external auditor. At most Audit Committee meetings, a private session with Internal Audit and the external auditors is scheduled to provide them with an opportunity to discuss issues with the Audit Committee without management being present. At some meetings, a joint session with the Risk Committee members is arranged at which topics of relevance to both committees are discussed.

The primary function of the Audit Committee is to assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight role by:

  • monitoring and assessing the integrity of the consolidated financial statements as well as disclosures of the financial condition, results of operations and cash flows;
  • monitoring processes designed to ensure our compliance with legal and regulatory requirements;
  • monitoring the qualifications, independence and performance of the external auditors and of Internal Audit; and
  • monitoring the adequacy of financial reporting processes and systems of internal accounting and financial controls.

The Audit Committee is regularly informed about significant projects aimed at further improving such processes and receives regular updates on major litigation matters as well as significant regulatory and compliance matters. The Audit Committee also oversees the work of our external auditor and pre-approves the retention of, and fees paid to, the external auditor for all audit and non-audit services. For this purpose, it has developed and approved a policy that is designed to help ensure that the independence of the external auditor is maintained at all times. The policy limits the scope of services that the external auditor may provide to us or any of our subsidiaries to audit and certain permissible types of non-audit services, including audit-related services, tax services and other services that have been pre-approved by the Audit Committee. The Audit Committee pre-approves all other services on a case-by-case basis. The external auditor is required to report periodically to the Audit Committee about the scope of the services it has provided and the fees for the services it has performed to date. Furthermore, the Audit Committee has established procedures for the receipt, retention and treatment of complaints regarding the accounting, internal controls or auditing matters, including a whistleblower hotline to provide the option to report complaints on an anonymous basis. The Audit Committee performs a self-assessment once a year where it reviews its own performance against the responsibilities listed in the charter and the committee’s objectives and determines any special focus objectives for the coming year.

Compensation Committee

The Compensation Committee determines and/or recommends to the Board for approval the overall compensation pools and the compensation payable to the members of the Board, the Executive Board, the head of Internal Audit and certain other members of senior management.

The Compensation Committee consists of not fewer than three members, all of whom must be independent. The current members are:

The Compensation Committee has its own charter (PDF), which has been approved by the Board. Pursuant to its charter, the Compensation Committee holds at least four meetings per year. Additional meetings may be scheduled if required to discuss urgent matters. The length of the meetings varies and depends on the agenda. The main meeting is held in January with the primary purpose of reviewing the performance of the businesses and the respective management teams, and determining and/or recommending to the Board for approval the overall compensation pools and the compensation payable to the members of the Board, the Executive Board, the head of Internal Audit and certain other members of senior management. Other duties and responsibilities of the Compensation Committee include reviewing newly established compensation plans or amendments to existing plans and recommending them to the Board for approval. The Chairman of the Compensation Committee decides on the attendance of management or others at the committee meetings.

The Compensation Committee is assisted in its work by external legal counsel and an independent global compensation consulting firm (McLagan). For information on our compensation approach, principles and objectives, refer to Compensation. The Compensation Committee performs a self-assessment once a year where it reviews its own performance against the responsibilities listed in the charter and the committee's objectives and determines any special focus objectives for the coming year.

Risk Committee

The Risk Committee's main duties are to assist the Board in assessing the different types of risk to which the Group is exposed, as well as its risk management structure, organization and processes.

The Risk Committee consists of not fewer than three members. Pursuant to its charter (PDF), which has been approved by the Board, it may include non-independent members. The current members are:

The Risk Committee holds at least four meetings a year, each generally at least a half day. In addition, the Risk Committee usually convenes for additional meetings throughout the year in order to appropriately discharge its responsibilities.

The Chairman of the Risk Committee invites members of management or others to attend the committee meetings, as appropriate.

The Risk Committee's main duties are to assist the Board in assessing the different types of risk to which we are exposed, as well as our risk management structure, organization and processes. The Risk Committee approves selected risk limits and makes recommendations to the Board regarding all its risk-related responsibilities, including the review of major risk management and capital adequacy requirements.
The Risk Committee performs a self-assessment once a year where it reviews its own performance against the responsibilities listed in the charter and the committee's objectives and determines any special focus objectives for the coming year.