May 30, 2024

New Corporate Law: The Board of Directors (no. 18)

New Corporate Law: The Board of Directors (no. 18)

The new organization regulation, which comes into power on 1 January 2023, provides lots of modifications. In our latest blog series, we current these in detail.


The board of administrators (BoD) is not remaining out of these improvements. This write-up for that reason aims at presenting in a succinct manner specified factors of the new regulation of the company that especially problem the BoD.

Eligibility, Phrase of Place of work

The new regulation does not alter the ideas of eligibility according to which (i) only purely natural persons might become users of the BoD (Art. 120 Ordinance on Professional Sign up (OCR)) and (ii) the election and dismissal of the BoD associates is an inalienable power of the GM (artwork. 698 para. 2 no. 2 and 705 para. 1 Swiss Code of Obligations (CO)).

The new legislation confirms that, for corporations whose shares are detailed on the stock trade, administrators will have to be elected separately (and not “as a team”) and that the expression of office environment of a director finishes at the close of the subsequent everyday GM (art. 710 para. 1 revCO). These concepts, which are currently in power, are constitutional and mandatory (artwork. 95 para. 3 permit. a of the Federal Structure of the Swiss Confederation (Cst.)).

The new regulation extends the basic principle of unique election of the BoD customers to organizations whose shares are not outlined on the inventory exchange, other than if the posts of association give if not or if the chairman of the GM decides in any other case with the consent of all represented shareholders (art. 710 para. 2 phr. 2 revCO). In practice, several unlisted providers currently use this individual election procedure, which is regarded to be a most effective follow.

The term of office environment of the users of the BoD is in basic principle a few a long time but can be shortened or extended to six a long time by the content articles of association (artwork. 710 para. 2 phr.1 revCO), which is not diverse from the current law.

Lastly, in all firms confined by shares, irrespective of whether the shares are outlined on the inventory trade or not, the re-election of a BoD member is possible (art. 710 para. 3 revCO). The law does not impose any restrictions as to the highest quantity of consecutive terms of office or as to any age restrict, although the articles or blog posts of affiliation could give for these types of limits.

Organisation, Chairman

In corporations whose shares are listed on the inventory trade, the GM elects the chairman of the BoD between the BoD associates and the phrase of workplace for just about every BoD member ends at the end of the upcoming ordinary GM (art. 712 para. 1 revCO).

In the event of a vacant chairmanship, the BoD appoints a new chairman for the remaining expression of workplace, regardless of regardless of whether the firm’s shares are listed on the stock trade or not. The content articles of affiliation may well supply for other methods to get rid of this short term deficiency of firm (artwork. 712 para. 4 revCO), this kind of as the quick convening of an remarkable GM or an prolonged expression of office right until the close of the up coming GM.

Meetings, Conclusion-producing

The new legislation gives a more specific framework than the existing legislation on the BoD final decision-building course of action, while expressly allowing for greater adaptability in its steps.

The BoD may possibly keep on to just take its decisions in a physical assembly with a definite position of assembly (artwork. 713 para. 2 no. 1 revCO). It can also continue to just take its selections in producing, on paper or in electronic sort, as long as all directors have approved this conclusion-building course of action (decisions by way of circulation), which implies that no member has expressly requested a discussion of an item on the agenda (art. 713 para. 2 no. 3 revCO).

It must be noted that the new legislation expressly confirms that the BoD can consider its conclusions in electronic variety, in accordance with content articles 701c to 701e revCO (artwork. 713 para. 2 no. 2 revCO), which was currently recognized in observe.

The administrators may exercise their voting rights electronically (artwork. 701c revCO) and keep BoD conferences in a pure virtual sort (i.e. by phone convention or video convention), with no a bodily meeting position (rt. 701d revCO). In this circumstance, the BoD ought to undertake technological signifies which allow it to verify the id of the participants, and to warrant the simultaneous transmission of the interventions during the session and the trustworthiness of the outcomes of the vote (i.e. no feasible falsification) (art. 701e nCO).

Last but not least, the deliberations and conclusions of the BoD ought to constantly be recorded in minutes, which will have to be signed by the chairman and the particular person who was in cost thereof (and not essentially by the secretary) (art. 713 para. 3 revCO).

In addition, the BoD can regulate the other specifics of the conclusion-generating procedure in the organizational principles (art. 716b para. 3 revCO).

Delegation of Management

Till now, the BoD could delegate all or component of the administration to a person or far more of its users (i.e. taking care of administrators) or to other normal folks (i.e. administrators) on the basis of organizational guidelines, presented that the posts of association allow to do so (artwork. 716b para. 1 CO). The new regulation is now based on the reverse theory, according to which a delegation of management is in principle possible, until furnished otherwise by the articles or blog posts of affiliation (art. 716b para. 1 revCO).

Management should be delegated to individuals (art. 120 OCR art. 95 para. 3 enable. b Cst.), with the sole exception of asset management, which may perhaps be delegated by businesses whose shares are outlined on the inventory exchange to a lawful human being (art. 716b para. 2 phr. 2 revCO).

The minimum amount required material of the organizational regulations remains the same under the new regulation: these principles shall manage the management of the company’s business, outline the qualified bodies to have this out, record their duties and, in unique, regulate the company’s inside reporting (art. 716b para. 3 revCO).

The new regulation confirms that, in the absence of delegation, the management is constantly exercised jointly by all BoD customers (artwork. 716b para. 5 revCO).

Eventually, the BoD will have to advise in producing or by electronic usually means the shareholders and any company creditors who display an desire deserving of safety about the business of the management (artwork. 716b para. 4 revCO).

Conflicts of Fascination

The avoidance and administration of conflicts of fascination are component of the basic duty of treatment and loyalty of every single BoD member (artwork. 717 CO). Helpful company governance is that’s why a need to to steer clear of, to all feasible extent, such predicaments or, if required, to control them in an suitable method. In this respect, the new law sets a minimum amount framework, permitting the BoD to organize the avoidance and management of conflicts of interest with a certain adaptability (art. 717a revCO). BoD customers or users of the management who uncover themselves in a situation of conflict of desire ought to immediately inform the BoD in detail about the conflict (artwork. 717a para. 1 revCO). The BoD need to then just take the vital measures to safeguard the passions of the firm (art. 717a para. 2 revCO). The member worried shall not consider element in this sort of selection on measures. For illustration, the BoD could determine to solve on the conflicting issue through a two-step course of action: a very first vote with all BoD members which are existing, and then a 2nd vote without having the conflicted BoD member, with a BoD resolution getting valid only if positively verified by the next vote. This would not discharge the conflicting BoD member from their liability. The BoD could also fee a fairness impression or look for independent tips on the controversial concern, or permit the conflicting BoD member to participate in the conversations but exclude him or her from the vote. The legislation does not foresee any convey recusal of a conflicted BoD member, but in the function of a long lasting conflict of interest, it is largely admitted that the conflicting BoD member or member of the administration need to recuse himself.

The BoD may undertake the applicable rules for managing conflicts of interest in the organizational rules (artwork. 716b para. 3 revCO). For this intent, the BoD may well be guided by specific policies of governance already employed in follow, this sort of as the procedures of the Swiss Code of Very best Follow for Corporate Governance revealed by economiesuisse. These rules, which were being originally supposed for stated firms, may possibly also be carried out by corporations whose shares are not stated on the inventory trade.