Compensation model and compensation elements

The compensation for members of Group Management includes the following elements:

  • Fixed base salary
  • Variable compensation: short-term and long-term incentives
  • Benefits & perquisites
Structure of compensation of Group Management









Performance measures


Annual base salary

Monthly cash salary

Attract and retain

Position, market practice, skills, and experience


Performance bonus

Annual bonus
in cash and restricted shares

Pay for performance

Annual performance

Group EBIT
Group net sales
Individual goals

Long-term Incentive

PSU with a 3-year performance vesting

Reward long-term performance
Align to shareholders

Business performance
over 3 years

Return on capital


Pension and insurances
Protect against risks
Attract and retain

Market practice and position


Fixed annual base salary

Annual base salaries are established on the basis of the following factors:

  • Scope, size and responsibilities of the role, skills required to perform the role;
  • External market value of the role;
  • Skills, experience and performance of the individual in the role.

To ensure market competitiveness, base salaries of the members of Group Management are reviewed every year, taking into consideration company’s affordability, benchmark information, market movement, economic environment and individual performance.

Performance bonus (Short-Term Incentive)

The performance bonus is a short-term variable incentive, designed to reward the collective performance of the company (“Group performance”) and the individual performance (“Individual performance”) of the incumbent, over a time horizon of one year. This variable compensation allows employees to participate in the company’s success, while being rewarded for their individual performance.


The performance bonus target (i.e. bonus at 100% target achievement) is expressed as a percentage of base salary and amounts to 100% for the CEO and ranges from 44% to 73% for the other members of Group Management. Group performance accounts for 60% of the total bonus, while the achievement of individual objectives accounts for 40%.



The performance measures for the Group performance are proposed by the Nomination and Compensation Committee and approved by the Board of Directors. For 2018, they were the same as in the previous years:

  • EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) improvement during the year, relative to a peer group of companies;
  • Net sales growth during the year relative to the same peer group.

EBIT improvement is weighted twice as much as net sales growth.


EBIT and net sales performance are measured based on an evaluation provided by an independent consulting firm, Obermatt. This benchmark compares and ranks Sika amongst the performance of a selected peer group of 23 companies, all industrial firms which were chosen because they have a comparable base of products, technology, customers, suppliers or investors and are thus exposed to similar market cycles.

Peer group (Obermatt-Benchmark)

3M – Industrial & Transportations

Armstrong World Industries Inc.

Ashland – Performance Materials

BASF – Construction Chemicals

Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc.

Beiersdorf – Tesa

Carlisle – Construction Materials

Cemedine Co., Ltd.


EMS Chemie Holding AG

Forbo – Flooring Systems

Fuller HB Company


GCP Applied Technologies

Henkel – Adhesive Technologies

Hilti Corporation

Huntsman – Performance Products


Owens Corning

Pidilite Industries Limited


Saint Gobain – Construction Products

SK Kaken Co., Ltd.

Sto AG

Uzin Utz AG


There was no change in the peer group in 2018.

The intention is to reward the relative performance of the company, rather than its absolute performance because absolute performance may be strongly impacted by market factors that are outside the control of management.


For both EBIT and net sales, the objective is to reach at least the median performance of the peer group, which corresponds to a 100% payout factor. There is no payout for any performance below the lowest quartile of the peer group. Performance at the lowest quartile of the peer group corresponds to a payout factor of 50%. Performance at the uppermost quartile leads to a 150% payout factor, and being the best in the peer group leads to a 200% payout factor. Any payout factor between those levels is interpolated linearly.


The individual performance includes personal objectives that are set as part of the annual performance management process. For the CEO and for the other members of Group Management, they are reviewed and approved by the Nomination and Compensation Committee. The personal objectives are mainly financial in nature, are clearly measurable and are set in three different categories:

  • bottom line contribution: profitability of the business under responsibility (EBIT target expressed as an improvement versus previous year);
  • return on invested capital: net working capital of the business under responsibility (NWC target expressed as an improvement versus previous year);
  • people and projects management: includes strategic objectives, such as for example entry into new markets, introduction of new products, improvement of processes and operational efficiency, and leadership objectives.


At the end of the financial year, the actual achievement is compared with the targets that were set at the beginning of the year. The level of achievement for each objective corresponds to a payout percentage for that target, which is always between 0% and 200%. The overall bonus payout under the short-term incentive is capped and cannot exceed 150% of the performance bonus target. The bonus is paid out in April of the following year.

Overview of performance objectives and respective weighting

Sika Share Purchase Plan

Under the Sika Share Purchase Plan (SSPP), the members of Group Management may convert part of the performance bonus into Sika shares that are subject to a blocking period of four years. The objective of this program is to encourage members of Group Management to directly participate in the long-term success of the company and to strengthen the link between their compensation and company performance, as the portion of the bonus invested in shares is exposed to the change in share value during the four-year blocking period. In return, Sika provides one matching share for every five shares purchased under the SSPP. The SSPP allows participants to defer either 0%, 20% or 40% of the bonus in shares. The shares are allocated at their fair market value, shortly after the Annual General Meeting in the month of April of the following year. Fair market value is defined as the average closing share price during the five first trading days of the month of April of the payout year. The calculation of the share grant is made as follows:

Calculation of the number of shares granted

In case of change of control or liquidation or of termination of employment due to retirement, death or disability, the blocking period of the shares lapses. The shares remain blocked in all other instances.

Long-Term Incentive

Sika’s compensation policy is to also align a significant portion of compensation of Group Management to the company’s long-term performance and to strengthen Group Management’s alignment with shareholders’ interests. Members of Group Management are eligible for a long- term equity incentive. The long-term incentive target amounts to 104% of annual base salary for the CEO, and ranges from 42% to 74% for the other members of Group Management.


The long-term incentive plan is a performance share unit plan. At the beginning of the vesting period, a number of Performance Share Units (PSU) is granted to each member of Group Management. The PSU vest after a period of three years, conditionally upon fulfilling a performance condition, the return on capital employed (ROCE). The ROCE target is determined at the beginning of the vesting period by the Board of Directors and is measured at the end of the vesting period as the average ROCE of the first year, the second year, and the third year of the vesting period. Acquisitions are excluded from the ROCE calculation in the year of acquisition and for two additional calendar years.


The final share allocation is determined after the three-year performance period, based on the following vesting rules:

  • ROCE at or above target: 100% of the PSU vest into shares
  • ROCE at threshold level: 50% of the PSU vest into shares and 50% of the PSU forfeit
  • ROCE between threshold and target levels: linear interpolation
  • ROCE below the threshold level: 0% of PSU vest into shares (100% forfeiture).


There is no overachievement in the long-term incentive, meaning the maximum payout is 100%.


For the grant made in 2018 (performance period 2018–2020), the ROCE target was set at 30%, excluding acquisitions, and the threshold was set at 25%. The shares are allocated at their market value (closing price at grant date on the SIX Swiss Exchange), shortly after the Annual General Meeting in the month of April following the three-year vesting period. In some countries where the allocation of shares may be illegal or impractical, the award may be settled in cash after the performance period.

Long-term incentive plan period

In case of termination of employment due to retirement, death, disability, or in case of liquidation or a change of control, the unvested PSU are subject to an early vesting, prorated for the number of months that have expired from the grant date until the termination date and based on an achievement payout of 75%. In case of termination for any other cause, such as resignation or involuntary termination, the unvested PSU forfeit.

Shareholding ownership guideline

The members of Group Management are required to own at least a minimum multiple of their annual base salary in Sika shares within four years of their appointment to Group Management, as set out in the table below.

CEO 300% of annual base salary
Members of Group Management 200% of annual base salary

In the event of a substantial rise or drop in the share price, the Board of Directors may, at its discretion, amend that time period accordingly.


To calculate whether the minimum holding requirement is met, all vested shares are considered, regardless of whether they are blocked or not. However, unvested PSU are excluded. The Compensation Committee reviews compliance with the share ownership guideline on an annual basis.

Benefits: Pensions

As Group Management is international in its nature, the members participate in the benefits plans available in the country of their employment contract. Benefits consist mainly of retirement, insurance and healthcare plans that are designed to provide a reasonable level of protection for the employees and their dependents in respect to the risk of retirement, disability, death, and illness. The members of Group Management with a Swiss employment contract participate in Sika’s pension plans offered to all employees in Switzerland. These consist of the pension fund of Sika Schweiz AG, in which base salaries up to an amount of CHF 133,950 per annum are insured, as well as a supplementary plan in which base salaries in excess of this limit are insured up to the maximum amount permitted by law. Sika’s pension funds exceed the legal requirements of the Swiss Federal Law on occupational Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Pension Plans (BVG). Members of Group Management under foreign employment contracts are insured commensurately with market conditions and with their position. Each plan varies in line with the local competitive and legal environment and is, as a minimum, in accordance with the legal requirements of the respective country.


Moreover, an early retirement plan is in place for members of the top management of Sika. The plan, entirely financed by the employer, is administered by a Swiss foundation. Beneficiaries may opt for early retirement from the age of 60, provided that they have been in a top management position for at least five years. Benefits under the plan are twofold:

  •  Fixed pension payment until the age of legal retirement. The amount of pension depends on the last fixed salary and the actual age at early retirement.
  • Partial financing of the reduction in the regular pension due to early retirement. The amount, which may be received as life-long pension payment or as a capital contribution, depends on the actual age at early retirement and benefits already accrued in existing pension plans. This portion of the plan is only applicable to beneficiaries insured under a Swiss pension plan.

Benefits: perquisites

Members of Group Management are also provided with certain executive perquisites, such as a company car allowance and other benefits in kind, according to competitive market practice in their country of contract. The monetary value of these other elements of compensation is evaluated at fair value and is included in the compensation tables below.

Employment contracts

The members of Group Management are employed under employment contracts of unlimited duration and are all subject to a notice period of one year. Members of Group Management are not contractually entitled to termination payments, or any change of control provisions, other than the early vesting and early unblocking of share awards mentioned above. Their contract may foresee noncompetition provisions that are limited in time to a maximum of two years and which allow compensation up to a maximum of six months.