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Swiss executive pay rules

Due to polls on March 3, 2013, Switzerland voted in some of the toughest executive pay rules in the entire world.

The new rules allow shareholders at Swiss-listed companies a binding vote each year on the total compensation of boards of directors and senior management, as well as a total ban on "golden parachutes" and executives being paid compensation in advance. Managers who flout the rules will face prison.

Switzerland employs a type of direct democracy in its government, which allows for votes like the referendum. The official results from Geneva show 68% in favour of the law. While Switzerland is a relatively wealthy country with strong ties to the banking industry, there has been something of an egalitarian revolt in recent years. One controversy in 2013 surrounded Daniel Vasella, a departing chairman at Swiss drug company Novartis, who was forced out of his $78 million "golden handcuff" arrangement after a huge public outcry.

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