Swiss Life cultivates an active dialogue with politicians and contributes its viewpoints, as political and regulatory conditions have a major impact on its operating environment and its customers’ pension planning. They affect product design and processes as well as the way in which information is reported to shareholders, supervisory authorities and the public.
Swiss Life is committed to promoting a competitive business location and appropriate regulation in all markets of relevance for it. In doing so, it focuses on the most significant issues for its business areas, such as pensions and insurance, investment and asset management, real estate management and customer advice, as well as requirements regarding insurance solvency and consumer protection.
Swiss Life’s “Political Communication” steering committee defines the strategic orientation of its political work. The members of this committee are the Group CEO and Group CFO, the CEOs of the divisions headquartered in Switzerland, the General Counsel, the Chief Risk Officer, the Head of Group Communications and Strategic Marketing, and the Head of Group Human Resources. The steering committee meets four times a year and defines its political priorities. The Swiss Life Group’s Public Affairs team is responsible for implementing the measures at the operational level.
Stakeholder management and work in industry associations
Swiss Life fosters contacts with representatives of the political, administrative and business communities as well as with supervisory authorities. In its direct exchanges with political groups, Swiss Life aims to better understand their opinions, expectations and perspectives, while at the same time gauging how the enactment or amendment of legal principles could affect its business. In Switzerland, parties of the political centre-right and individual politicians receive financial support, mainly for their election campaigns. The total amount of support provided during the year under review was again around CHF 500 000. No significant support was provided to political parties in the markets outside Switzerland. In this area, Swiss Life is guided by the rules in its Code of Conduct, as specified in the internal directive Code of Conduct. These rules stipulate that donations to political parties must be free of any obligation. The divisions confirm every year to the Public Affairs team of the Swiss Life Group that they comply with all relevant laws and regulations pertaining to national association memberships and financial contributions.
Political advocacy work and communication are closely coordinated with industry associations in all the divisions. Moreover, a number of company executives are members of various national industry associations in particular. The Chairman of Swiss Life’s Board of Directors, Rolf Dörig, is Chairman of the Swiss Insurance Association (SIA). In addition, members of the Corporate Executive Board and Swiss Life employees work on various SIA committees.
In Switzerland, Swiss Life Asset Managers is represented on the Board of the Swiss Real Estate Association (VIS) and is a member of the Asset Management Association Switzerland. It is also represented at the Conference of Investment Foundation Managers (KGAST) through the Swiss Life Investment Foundation. A member of the Board of Directors of subsidiary Livit Ltd chairs the Swiss Real Estate Association (SVIT Schweiz).
Swiss Life France is a member of the French Insurance Federation (Fédération française de l’assurance, FFA), France’s largest trade association in the insurance sector. The company is represented through a number of employees who actively participate in the committees for different insurance-related themes.
With its Public Affairs unit, Swiss Life Germany adopts positions on the most relevant current regulatory issues. These are projected to decision-makers in politics and society as well as through the committees of key industry associations. Swiss Life Germany is a member of the German Insurance Association (GDV) and of various associations representing intermediaries, such as the “Verband unabhängiger Finanzdienstleistungs-Unternehmen in Europa e.V.” (VOTUM).
Swiss Life International is a member of country-specific industry associations in its Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, UK, Austria, Singapore, Slovakia and Czech Republic markets. It is also a member of the Association of International Life Offices (AILO).
Committed to the militia system
In Switzerland, Swiss Life is committed to the militia system (part-time public service) in the firm belief that it promotes a better understanding between politics, society and business and facilitates a valuable knowledge transfer. Swiss Life therefore supports employees who take on a political or public office. Full-time employees can use up to 20% of their working hours for performing such a mandate. In addition, Swiss Life organises regular events in Switzerland for employees who hold political or public mandates.