5. Remune­ration architecture

5.1 Board of Directors

The remuneration of the members of the Board of Directors is defined in a regulation adopted by the Board of Directors and consists of an annual fixed retainer and remuneration for committee work. The remuneration is paid in the form of shares subject to a four-year blocking period. In addition, the members of the Board of Directors receive a lump sum to cover their expenses, paid out in cash.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors receives an annual total fixed retainer paid 70% in cash and 30% in restricted shares subject to a four-year blocking period. The Chairman also receives the expense allowance but is not entitled to additional fees for committee attendance.

The compensation amounts have remained unchanged since the last review in 2016 as follows:

Annual fees in CHF Delivery
Chairman 885,000 Cash and restricted shares
Vice Chairman 245,000 Restricted shares
Member of the BoD 190,000 Restricted shares
Chairman of NCC / Audit Committee 45,000 Restricted shares
Member of NCC / Audit Committee 30,000 Restricted shares
Expense allowance 15,000 Cash

The remuneration is paid out at the end of the term of office and is subject to contributions to social security. The members of the Board of Directors are not covered under the company pension plan.

The shares are subject to an accelerated unblocking in case of death; they remain subject to the regular blocking period in all other instances.

Further information regarding the remuneration amounts for the period from the 2019 General Meeting to the 2020 General Meeting is provided in the invitation to the 2019 General Meeting.

5.2 Group Executive Board

The remuneration of the Group Executive Board is defined in a regulation adopted by the Board of Directors and consists of the following elements:

  • Fixed base salary
  • Variable cash remuneration (Short-Term Incentive / STI)
  • Long-term equity participation plan (Long-Term Incentive / LTI)
  • Additional employee benefits, such as pension benefits and perquisites
           
Programme Instrument Purpose Plan/
Performance period
Performance metrics in 2018
Base salary Annual base salary Monthly cash payments Pay for the function    
Short-Term Incentive Short-Term Incentive, STI Annual variable cash Drive and reward performance, attract and retain 1-year performance period Sales, EBIT, EPS, ROIC, individual objectives
  Share Participation Programme MSPP Matching share options in case of an investment of variable cash in restricted shares Align with shareholders’ interests Shares:
3-year restriction period
 
        Share options:
4-year vesting period (staged),
7-year plan period
Share options:
ROIC
Long-Term Incentive Share Option Plan MSOP Performance share options Drive and reward long-term performance, align with shareholders’ interests, retain 5-year performance period (staged),
10-year plan period
ROIC
Benefits Pension Swiss pension funds
(Gemeinschafts-
stiftung, Wohlfahrtsfonds)
Cover retirement, death and disability risks    
  Perquisites Company car, expense policy Attract and retain  

Base salary

The base salary is a fixed remuneration paid in cash on a monthly basis. It is determined on the basis of the scope and responsibilities of the position, the market value of the role and the qualifications and experience of the incumbent. The base salary is reviewed annually based on market salary information, considerations from the perspective of the company’s financial affordability and performance, and the evolving experience of the individual in the role.

Variable cash remuneration / Short-Term Incentive (STI)

The variable cash remuneration (STI) of the Group Executive Board and approximately 200 additional members of Group management rewards the achievement of annual financial business goals and of individual objectives agreed and evaluated within the annual performance management process.

The base salary and the variable cash remuneration (assuming 100% achievement of all objectives) form the so-called target income. The base salary makes up 70% of the target income and the variable remuneration 30%, out of which 25% is driven by the achievement of business goals and 5% by the achievement of individual objectives.

0%

Group financial business goals

Minimum
Target
Maximum

Individual performance component

Minimum
Target
Maximum

The financial objectives include equal weightings of sales performance, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) and earnings per share (EPS) compared with the previous year as well as the return on invested capital (ROIC). These financial objectives have been chosen because they are key value drivers for Geberit and generally reward for growing the business and gaining market share (top-line contribution), for increasing profitability over-proportionally through strong operating leverage (bottom-line contribution) and for investing the capital efficiently. Every year, on the basis of a recommendation made by the NCC, the Board of Directors determines the expected target level of performance for each financial objective for the following year. In order to strengthen the company’s position as market leader and to continuously strive for superior performance, significant improvements against the previous year’s achievements are generally required in order to meet the target level of performance, in line with the company’s ambitious financial plan. The intention of this demanding target setting is to deliver best-in-class performance and to stay ahead of the market. In addition, a threshold level of performance, below which no variable remuneration is paid out, and a maximum level of performance, above which the variable remuneration is capped, are determined as well. The payout level between the threshold, the target and the maximum is calculated by linear interpolation. The maximum payout for the financial objectives shall not exceed 60% of the target income.

The individual performance component is based on the achievement of individual objectives predefined at the beginning of the year between the CEO and individual members of the Group Executive Board, and for the CEO, between the Board of Directors and the CEO. The individual objectives are of a more qualitative and strategic nature and may include, for example, objectives related to product and service innovation, entry in new markets, management of strategic projects and leadership.

The maximum payout for the individual objectives shall not exceed 10% of the target income.

As a result, the total variable cash remuneration for members of the Group Executive Board is capped at 70% of the target income, which corresponds to the annual base salary.

Members of the Group Executive Board have the opportunity to invest part or all of their variable cash remuneration in shares of the company through the Management Stock Purchase Plan (MSPP). They may define a fixed number of shares to purchase, or a certain amount or a percentage of their variable cash remuneration to be invested in shares. The shares are blocked for a period of three years. In order to encourage executives to participate in the programme, a free share option is provided for each share purchased through the programme. The options are subject to a performance-based vesting period of four years: a quarter vest one year after the grant, a further quarter two years after the grant, a further quarter three years after the grant, and the remaining quarter four years after the grant. The other features of the options and the performance condition (return on invested capital ROIC) are the same as those applicable to the options granted under the Long-Term Incentive MSOP plan, see section at Long-Term Incentive (LTI).

In the event of termination of employment, the following provisions apply to MSPP shares and options:

Termination reason Plan rules
  Unvested options Vested options Restricted shares
Death Accelerated full vesting based on effective performance at the date of termination as determined by the BoD Regular exercise period Immediate unblocking
Retirement or disability Full vesting at regular vesting date Regular exercise period Immediate unblocking
Other reasons than death, retirement or disability Forfeiture 90-day exercise period Regular blocking period
Change of control* Accelerated full vesting based on effective performance at date of termination as determined by the BoD Regular exercise period Immediate unblocking
* This rule only applies in the situation of "double-trigger" where the employment contract of the participant is terminated as a result of a change of control or liquidation.

Long-Term Incentive (LTI)

The purpose of the Long-Term Incentive (Management Share Option Plan MSOP) is to ensure long-term value creation for the company, alignment of the interests of executives to those of shareholders and long-term retention of executives. The MSOP was revised with the introduction of a performance-based vesting condition, effective 1 January 2013, and with the extension of the vesting period to five years, effective 1 January 2016.

Every year, the Board of Directors determines the grant of share options. In 2018, the market value of options granted amounts to 60% of the target income for the CEO and to between 40 and 50% for the other members of the Group Executive Board. For some 100 additional participants of the Group management, the market value amounts to 10% of the target income.

The options granted in 2018 are subject to a vesting period staged over five years as follows: one third of the options can be exercised three years after the grant, an additional third can be exercised four years after the grant and the remaining third can be exercised five years after the grant. The options have a term of 10 years (counted from the grant date) after which they expire.

The vesting of share options is subject to the achievement of a performance criterion, the average Return on Invested Operating Capital (ROIC) over the respective vesting period. ROIC expresses how well the company is generating cash relative to the capital it has invested in its business. The Board of Directors determines a target level of performance for which the options will vest in full and a minimum level of performance (threshold), below which there is no vesting at all. Both the threshold and the target are ambitious: they are substantially above the weighted average cost of capital. The payout level between the threshold and the target is determined by linear interpolation. There is no over-achievement in the MSOP. The options can be exercised between the respective vesting date and the expiration date. The exercise price of the options corresponds to the fair market value of the underlying share at the time of grant.

Functionality long term incentive (MSOP)

Options granted
20XX
 
20XX
+1
20XX
+2
20XX
+3
20XX
+4
20XX
+5
Vesting depending on ROIC

In the event of termination of employment, the following provisions apply to MSOP options:

Termination reason Plan rules
Unvested options Vested options
Death Accelerated pro-rata vesting on the basis of the number of full months worked during the vesting period based on effective performance at date of termination as determined by the BoD Regular exercise period
Retirement or disability Pro-rata vesting (on the basis of the number of full months worked) at regular vesting date Regular exercise period
Other reasons than death, retirement or disability Forfeiture 90-day exercise period
Change of control* Accelerated full vesting based on effective performance at date of termination as determined by the BoD Regular exercise period
* This rule only applies in the situation of “double-trigger” where the employment contract of the participant is terminated as a result of a change of control or liquidation.

Disclosure of targets

Internal financial and individual targets under the STI and the LTI plans are considered commercially sensitive information. Communicating such targets would allow delicate insight into the strategy of Geberit and could as such create a competitive disadvantage for the company. Therefore, the decision was made not to disclose the specifics of those targets at the time of their setting, but to provide a general comment on the performance at the end of the cycle. As a general principle, on a comparable basis, significant improvements against the previous year’s achievements are required in order to meet the target level of performance, in line with the company’s ambitious financial plan.

Benefits

Members of the Group Executive Board participate in the regular employee pension fund applicable to all employees in Switzerland. The retirement plan consists of a basic plan covering annual earnings up to TCHF 148 per annum, with age-related contribution rates equally shared between the company and the individual, and a supplementary plan in which income in excess of TCHF 148 is insured (including actual variable cash remuneration), up to the maximum amount permitted by law. The company pays for the entire contribution in the supplementary plan.

Furthermore, each member of the Group Executive Board is entitled to a company car and a representation allowance in line with the expense regulations applicable to all members of management in Switzerland and approved by the tax authorities.

Employment terms and conditions

All members of the Group Executive Board have permanent employment contracts with notice periods of a maximum of one year. Members of the Group Executive Board are not entitled to any severance payment.

In order to ensure good corporate governance, Geberit has implemented a clawback policy on payments made under the Short-Term Incentive programme, which covers situations where the company is required to restate its accounts due to non-compliance with financial reporting requirements under the securities laws at the time of disclosure. In such cases, the Board of Directors is empowered to recalculate the STI payout, taking into account the restated results, and to seek reimbursement of any STI amount paid in excess of the newly calculated amount. The claw-back clause is applicable for three years after the payment of the respective variable remuneration.

Outlook: changes to the Remuneration system in 2019

The NCC conducted a thorough review of the LTI and concluded the following:

  • Performance options are still appropriate for Geberit. They have been in place for several years and are well accepted externally and internally, especially because of the strong linkage to shareholders’ interests;
  • ROIC has been re-confirmed as the relevant performance indicator for the long-term success of the company: ROIC reflects the ability of the company to generate long-term value through returns on investment that are higher than the cost of capital. ROIC ensures a high degree of shareholder alignment since it is the major key driver for the valuation of the company;
  • However, the current LTI programme is too complex. The vesting schedule of the MSOP options is staged over a period of five years and that of the MSPP options over four years. This means that in any given year, there are seven different tranches that are vesting, which is complex to administer and communicate. Consequently, the decision was made to harmonise the vesting schedules for MSOP and MSPP. In line with prevalent market practice of other Swiss listed companies, Geberit will introduce a three-year cliff vesting period;
  • In order to keep the economic value of the performance options similar to the previous plans, the maturity of the options has been reduced from 10 years to 9 years;
  • Finally, clawback and malus provisions will be introduced to the long-term incentive plan (they are already in place in the short-term incentive including MSPP). Those provisions foresee that in case of financial restatement due to non-compliance to accounting standards and/or fraud, and/or in case of violation of the law or internal rules by a participant, the Board of Directors may deem all or part of any unpaid short-term incentive or unvested long-term incentive to be forfeited (malus provision) and/or may seek reimbursement of all or part of any paid short-term incentive or vested long-term incentive. The clawback and malus provisions may be enacted for a period of three years following the year subject to a financial restatement and/or the year of the fraudulent behaviour.

Those changes result in a simplified remuneration system that is well-aligned to shareholders’ interests and with market practice of other Swiss listed companies. The vesting of MSOP and MSPP options will depend on the same performance period and thus will be harmonised.

For further information for both programmes, please also refer to Remuneration architecture, Group Executive Board.

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