— Corporate governance — Auditor
The statutory auditor is elected at the AGM for a one-year term of office. KPMG AG was elected at the AGM of April 12, 2022. The acting external auditor-in-charge is Simon Niklaus. Provided that KPMG remains elected, the external auditor-in-charge shall be replaced after no later than 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 Committee 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. Generally, the external auditor-in-charge and his deputy are invited to attend meetings of the Audit Committee. In 2022, the statutory auditor was present at all Audit Committee meetings. The Audit Committee or its Chairperson meets separately with the statutory auditor at least once a year to assess (among other things) the independence of the 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 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 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 30 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.