According to the Swedish Companies Act the Board of Directors shall each year propose to the annual general meeting guidelines for remuneration to senior executives upon which the annual general meeting shall decide.
Principles of remuneration to management
The Annual General Meeting on May 4, 2017 adopted the following principles for remuneration and other terms of employment for the President and other members of the Group management. The members of the Group management are referred to below as the “Group Management Team” or “GMT”.
The objective of these principles is to ensure that the Company is able to recruit and retain employees with appropriate skills and qualifications for their respective duties. The remuneration structures shall encourage employees to do their utmost to safeguard shareholders’ interests. Swedish Match takes into account both global remuneration practice and the practice of the country of residence of each member of the GMT. The principles apply in relation to members of the GMT appointed after the adoption of the principles, and, in other cases, to the extent permitted under existing agreements.
The total remuneration paid to GMT consists of fixed salary, variable components in the form of annual short term variable remuneration and long term variable remuneration, pension, other benefits and terms related to termination of employment.
- Fixed salary: The fixed salary for the GMT shall correspond to market rates and shall be based on each member’s competence, country of residence, responsibility and performance.
- Variable salary: The members of the GMT may be entitled to a variable salary in addition to the fixed salary. The variable salary may include both an annual short term program to be paid out in the beginning of the subsequent year depending on the outcome of the program, and a long term program with a performance period which shall not be shorter than three years. The variable salary shall primarily be based on specific, clear, predetermined and measurable financial or operational criteria set by the Board of Directors in relation to the President and by the Compensation Committee in relation to the GMT. The variable salary shall be capped in relation to the fixed salary and reflect the market practice in the country of residence. The Company shall have the right to reclaim variable components of remuneration that were awarded on the basis of data which subsequently proved to be manifestly misstated.
- Profit Sharing System: All employees in Sweden are participating in Swedish Match profit sharing system (“PSS“).
- Insurable benefits: Old age pension, disability and sickness benefits, medical benefits and life insurance benefits shall be designed to reflect the practices in the country where a member of the GMT is resident. New members of the GMT shall preferably be covered by defined contribution plans.
- Severance pay, etc: A mutual period of notice of six months shall apply. Fixed salary during notice of termination and severance payment (if any) shall not exceed an amount corresponding to 24 months fixed salary. Members of the GMT residing outside Sweden may however be offered notice periods for termination and severance payment that are competitive in the country where the members are resident.
- Other benefits: Other benefits shall be payable in accordance with local custom. The combined value of these benefits shall constitute a limited value in relation to the total remuneration package and shall correspond to market practice.
- The Board’s right to deviate from the principles: The Board of Directors shall be entitled to deviate from the principles approved by the Annual General Meeting if specific reasons for doing so exist in any individual case.
- Committee work and decisions: Swedish Match Board of Directors shall have a Compensation Committee. The Committee has the authority to approve salary and other remuneration and employment terms for members of the GMT, except those regarding the President. The Committee shall prepare and present proposals for the Board’s decisions on issues relating to salary and other remuneration and employment terms for the President. The Committee is authorized to decide and in relation to the President to propose to the Board of Directors the further details regarding the criteria and targets on which the variable salary is based for the GMT. In addition hereto the Committee is authorized to decide to what extent such criteria and targets have been met both for the GMT and the President.
Application of principles on variable salary for 2017
In order to ensure alignment with long term shareholder interests, to strengthen the retention element of the variable salary and to promote company shareholding among the Group Management Team (“GMT”) the variable salary includes a short term cash incentive and a long term cash incentive program where the short term program includes an incentive for the GMT members to purchase and retain shares in the Company while the long term program includes an obligation to purchase and an undertaking to retain such shares. The performance period for the short term and the long term programs will be one year and three years respectively.
Short term variable salary: The maximum short term variable salary for the President and other members of the GMT residing in Sweden shall be 70 and 60 percent respectively of their 2017 base salary. To comply with local market standards the maximum short term incentive for one member residing outside of Sweden shall be 70 percent of the 2017 base salary. Subject to justified exemptions, a 20 percentage point reduction in maximum variable salary shall apply to any GMT member who does not commit to purchase Company shares for at least 50 percent of the received cash award net of income tax and to retain such shares for a period of not less than three years. The minimum level of performance that must be reached to earn any allocation and the maximum level of performance at which payout is capped shall be defined in the beginning of each year by the Compensation Committee in relation to the GMT members other than the President and by the Board of Directors in relation to the President.
Long term variable salary: The maximum long term variable salary of the President and other members of the GMT (except as set forth below) shall be either 45 percent of the 2017 base salary or 750,000 SEK depending on the remit of the GMT member. Subject to justified exemptions, all members of the GMT will be obliged to purchase company shares for the full cash award net of income tax and shall retain such shares for a period of not less than two years. One member of GMT residing outside Sweden may participate in an additional long term variable salary program capped at 100 percent of the base salary every second year.
The outcome in the long term variable salary program is dependent on two criteria determined at the beginning of 2017, but measured over the full performance period 2017-2019. The majority of the outcome is based on Group operating profit from product areas 2017-2019 and the remaining part is based on net sales excluding SMD Logistics AB for 2017-2019. For both measures an improvement compared to the 2016 outcomes is required for the measure to yield an outcome in the program.