– Corporate governance – Auditors
The statutory auditor is elected at the AGM for a one-year term of office. KPMG AG has been acting as the statutory auditor since 2013. As of the financial year 2020, the acting external auditor-in-charge is Rolf Hauenstein. The external auditor-in-charge is replaced every seven years. The Audit Committee is in charge of supervising and monitoring the statutory auditor, and it reports to the Board of Directors (see section “Audit Committeeˮ in the chapter “Board of Directors” of this corporate governance report). The members of the Audit Committee receive summaries of audit findings and improvement proposals at least once a year. The external auditor-in-charge and his deputy were invited to attend meetings of the Audit Committee. In 2021, the statutory auditor was present at all six Audit Committee meetings. The Audit Committee or its Chairperson meets separately with the Head of Group Internal Audit and the statutory auditor at least once a year to assess (among other things) the independence of the internal and statutory auditors. The Audit Committee evaluates the work done by the statutory auditor based on the documents, reports and presentations provided by the statutory auditor, as well as on the materiality and objectivity of their statements. To do so, the Audit Committee gathers the opinion of the CFO. The Audit Committee reviews the fee paid to the auditor regularly and compares it with the auditing fees paid by other internationally active Swiss industrial companies. Said fee is negotiated by the CFO and approved by the Board of Directors. Further information on the auditor, in particular the auditor’s fees and any additional fees received by the auditor for advisory services outside its statutory audit mandate, is listed under note 33 to the “consolidated financial statements”. All advisory services provided outside the statutory audit mandate (essentially, consulting services related to audit and accounting as well as legal and tax advisory services) are compliant with the applicable independence rules.