Shareholders of Vontobel Holding approve all proposals at General Meeting
At today's General Meeting, the shareholders of Vontobel Holding AG approved all the proposals put forward by the Board of Directors. They voted in favour of the distribution of a dividend of CHF 1.10 per share and elected Marcel Zoller to the Board of Directors in his capacity as a representative of the Raiffeisen Group.
At today's General Meeting, the shareholders of Vontobel Holding AG approved the Annual Report, Annual Financial Statements and Group Financial Statements for 2011 and granted discharge to the members of the Board of Directors and the Management. The shareholders voted in favour of the proposed dividend of CHF 1.10 per share for the financial year 2011 (prior year: CHF 1.40 per share), of which CHF 0.73 will take the form of a withholding tax-free repayment of share premiums and CHF 0.37 will comprise an ordinary dividend. The dividend will be paid out on 2 May 2012.
Pierin Vincenz did not stand for re-election to the Board of Directors following the end of his term of office. Marco Zoller, who has been a member of the Executive Board and CFO of Raiffeisen Switzerland since 2008, was newly elected to the Board of Directors of Vontobel Holding AG.
The existing members of the Board of Directors Herbert J. Scheidt (Chairman), Prof. Dr. Ann-Kristin Achleitner, Bruno Basler, Dr. Philippe Cottier, Peter Quadri, Dr. Frank Schnewlin and Clara C. Streit were re-elected for a further term of one year. Ernst & Young AG, Berne, was also reappointed as statutory auditors for a period of one year.
In his speech, Chairman Herbert J. Scheidt discussed the business performance and corporate development of the Vontobel Group, placing this against the backdrop of the current situation for the financial industry. He highlighted the need to discuss the standing of banks and their role in society. In this regard, he called on financial institutions and society alike to ensure that mistakes such as those often made in the recent past are not repeated in the future. He added that it was important to avoid automatically placing the blame for implications of undesirable developments on the financial sector, and that only way to counter the current loss of reputation among banks was to sustainably strengthen trust in the banking world. In this context, he referred to the significance and benefits of the financial sector, facets that must be convincingly reaffirmed for people in our society.
Dr. Zeno Staub, CEO of the Vontobel Group, presented the 2011 financial results before speaking about the challenges that will shape the cross-border wealth management business in the future: "Investors will, in the coming years, be confronted with a generally difficult environment that is largely characterized by low interest rates, high levels of correlation and strong volatility." He added that following a very difficult start to the year, a degree of normalization is now visible in the business, although positive market developments have not yet really led to any increase in client activity. According to Zeno Staub, the volume of client assets is higher than in the previous year, including on a performance-driven basis, while the net inflow of new money has slowed compared to the fourth quarter of 2011. He indicated that Vontobel's profitability and efficiency remain below the level of the previous year and that the financial result for the first half of 2012 may be below that of the same period of 2011.
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Ex-dividend date: 26 April 2012
Record date: 30 April 2012
Dividend payment date: 2 May 2012