About us

The Helsana Group is the leading health and accident insurer in Switzerland. It offers individuals and companies a complete health and prevention service in the event of sickness and accidents.

Corporate governance – good management is based on rules

The Helsana Group operates in accordance with the principles of corporate governance – for responsible and transparent management. This creates clarity for our policyholders, employees, shareholders and the public.

  1. Group structure and shareholder base
  2. Capital structure
  3. Board of Directors
  4. Executive Board
  5. Remuneration, shareholdings and loans
  6. Shareholders' rights of participation
  7. Change in control and defence measures
  8. External auditors
  9. Strong risk and control management
  10. Information policy

At the Helsana Group, corporate governance encompasses the entire organisation of the company as well as the management and control instruments with which it meets legal requirements. In terms of transparency and responsibilities, it follows the recommendations of the Swiss Code of Best Practice for Corporate Governance.

The Code of Conduct (PDF, 70KB) contains the ethical principles of business as stipulated by the Board of Directors, to which all Helsana employees are committed. The Code of Conduct contains the shared fundamental values and principles for daily work that all employees of the Helsana Group must follow to ensure the achievement of our long-term objectives. It also fosters a common understanding of what is honest and ethical business practice.


Group structure and shareholder base

The shareholders of Helsana AG are Stiftung Fondation Sana owning 79 percent and Verein Artisana owning 21 percent of the share capital of CHF 70 million. Stiftung Fondation Sana consists of a Foundation Board with currently 31 members and a committee of seven members. Verein Artisana is governed by a board of ten members.

Helsana does not have any holdings in the listed companies included in its consolidated financial statements. It also does not have any cross-shareholdings where either party owns more than five percent of the capital or votes.

Group structure

Group structure (PDF, 16KB)


Capital structure

The share capital of Helsana AG amounts to CHF 70 million, divided into 70,000 fully paid up registered shares with a nominal value of CHF 1,000 each. Each share entitles the holder to one vote at the Annual General Meeting. Registered shares may only be transferred with the approval of the Board of Directors. The share capital did not change in the past three reporting years. There are no rules restricting nominee entries.

There are no preferred or voting shares, and the company does not have any participation certificates outstanding. The company has neither conditional nor authorised capital nor has it issued any dividend-right certificates. Helsana has not issued any convertible bonds or options nor does it have any outstanding.


Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for the strategic management of the Helsana Group. The Board consists of the chair and eight members. The Board of Directors comprises only non-executive members.

  • More detailed information on the members of the Board of Directors can be found at: helsana.ch/bod

None of the members sat on the Executive Board of any Helsana Group company in the past three financial years. The Board members also do not have any business relationships with the Helsana Group and its companies that could influence their decisions and activities as members of the Board of Directors.

The members of the Board of Directors are elected individually for a new term of office by the General Meeting every two years. Board members may be re-elected for a maximum of five terms. If a member leaves the Board during their term of office, their successor will serve the remainder of that term.

Internal organisation

The organisational structure of the Board of Directors and Executive Board is governed by the organisational regulations, which set out the responsibilities of the Board of Directors, its committees, the internal auditors and management as well as their reporting tasks.

The Board of Directors is the highest management authority of the Helsana Group. Three standing Board committees support the work of the Board of Directors in coordinating its tasks, issuing policy documents and preparing resolutions. They may be supplemented by additional specialised committees for specific tasks. The Board of Directors meets as often as business requires, but at least five times a year (2016: eight sessions).

Internal audit

Internal audit provides the Board of Directors with an efficient method of obtaining information independently. Internal audit reports directly to the chair of the Audit & Risk Management Committee. The objective of a risk-based process of monitoring the management and control processes is to improve the business processes and create corporate added value.

Internal audit submits quarterly reports to the Board of Directors and coordinates and supports the work of the external auditors.


Executive Board

The Executive Board manages the operations of the Helsana Group. It consists of five members The CEO has executive operating responsibility.

  • More detailed information on the members of the Executive Board can be found at: helsana.ch/eb

Remuneration, shareholdings and loans

The Board of Directors determines the remuneration for its members at the request of the Executive and Remuneration Committee. This committee determines the remuneration for members of the Executive Board in accordance with the guidelines of the Board of Directors. The total remuneration of the Executive Board is composed of a fixed annual salary, a variable component and employer contributions to social security and the pension fund. The variable component is dependent on objective attainment.

Remuneration of serving members of Group bodies

None of the companies of the Helsana Group is listed on the stock exchange. The Helsana Group reports the highest remuneration paid to an individual member separately for each of the two bodies. In 2016, the following remuneration was paid to acting members of the Board of Directors and the Executive Board: the total remuneration of the Board of Directors amounted to CHF 836,700; this amount includes all remuneration for their work on Board committees. No variable components were paid. The Chair of the Board of Directors received remuneration of CHF 200,800. The total remuneration of the five-member Executive Board consisted of cash payments of CHF 2,110,000, pension contributions of CHF 328,600 and other compensation of CHF 135,400. The CEO of the Executive Board received the highest remuneration in the form of a cash payment of CHF 542,500, pension contributions of CHF 85,000 and other compensation of CHF 31,800. The cash payments include the basic salary and all variable components. Total compensation was less in 2016 than in 2015, as the degree of objective achievement used for calculating the variable component was lower than in the previous year.

The members of the Executive Board must pay to the company all royalties, fees and other remuneration accruing to them from mandates performed on behalf of the Helsana Group. No additional fees or remuneration requiring disclosure were paid to members of the Board of Directors or the Executive Board.


Shareholders' rights of participation

Each share entitles the holder to one vote at the Annual General Meeting. There are no preferred or voting shares. Shareholders may be represented at the Annual General Meeting by a written proxy. The proxy does not have to be a shareholder.

There are no statutory rules on the restriction of voting rights and participation in the Annual General Meeting.

Resolutions are passed by the absolute majority of votes represented, unless required otherwise by a mandatory provision of the law. There is no statutory quorum.

The Annual General Meeting is held every year within six months of the end of the financial year. It is convened by the Board of Directors, the liquidator or the auditors. The Board of Directors also convenes a General Meeting if this is requested by shareholders representing at least ten percent of the share capital and indicating the agenda items and motions in writing.

The Annual General Meeting is called at least 20 days before the date of the meeting. The invitation must contain the items on the agenda and the motions of the Board of Directors and, if applicable, of the shareholders.

Helsana keeps a share register of all registered shares in which the names and addresses of all owners and beneficiaries are recorded.


Change in control and defence measures

As Helsana is not listed on the stock exchange, the company is not obliged to make any public purchase offers.

There are no change of control clauses in any agreements and plans favouring the members of the Board of Directors and/or the Executive Board or any other managerial employees of Helsana.


External auditors

The external auditor is appointed for one year according to the articles of association. The maximum term of office of the lead auditor is seven years. The mandate covers the vast majority of companies directly or indirectly held by Helsana within the scope of consolidation.

Ernst & Young AG, Zurich, has been the external auditor of the Helsana Group since 2006. The mandate was extended at the General Meeting on 8 April 2016. Stefan Marc Schmid has been the lead auditor since 2010. The audit fees amounted to CHF 623,893 in 2016. Additional fees for consulting totalled CHF 727,474 in 2016.


Strong risk and control management

Helsana attaches great importance to risk management and has established a company-wide internal control system (ICS) and risk management in accordance with the provisions of the Swiss Code of Obligations and the Insurance Supervision Law (VAG). Risk and control management are key management tools and help in achieving corporate goals and maintaining the existence and success of the Helsana Group over the long term.

The Board of Directors regularly receives reports on material risks and their development, as well as on the measures taken to control and limit these risks. The internal control system records risks in operating business.


Information policy

The Helsana Group pursues a policy of providing its shareholders, employees and customers with open and comprehensive information on a regular basis.

Under “Helsana Group” on the website www.helsana.ch, the company publishes information on topics such as its corporate strategy, legal structure, corporate governance, events, press releases, annual reports and other information addressed to specific target groups.

The Group's business results are published once a year. The press releases and presentations can be accessed on the company's website. The annual report is available in German, French, Italian and English. It can be downloaded from the website from the date of publication of the annual results.

The Annual General Meeting is held every year within six months of the end of the financial year. Extraordinary General Meetings are convened as necessary.