Werner Bahlsen

Family business: Werner Bahlsen and the ideas of his daughter

A successful transformation requires people who tick differently. And family entrepreneurs have an advantage in the search for impulse generators because they do not have to rely solely on recruiting: They often sit at the breakfast table anyway. That’s why family governance experts rightly recommend listening to what supposedly nosy offspring have to say. Just like biscuit entrepreneur Werner Bahlsen (69). Her father said “with every stupid idea I had, …

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Joe Kaeser

Joe Kaeser: Struggler for the European Governance Culture

You can make it easy for yourself and label Joe Kaeser as a “good person” who talks a lot but has little effect – for example, when the Siemens CEO criticizes the “pure shareholder value approach” and preaches an “inclusive capitalism”. But that would have been too short, because let’s not kid ourselves: We are in a competition of systems; Anglo-Saxon financial capitalism and Chinese state capitalism are endangering our …

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Norbert Winkeljohann

Supervisory Board members: The year begins with exciting personal details

At the beginning of the year, numerous new Supervisory Board chairmen took up their duties. And in the discussion about the personal details, we noticed Second-tier companies also rely on high-calibre chief inspectors. The Osnabrück-based building materials company Sievert AG (1700 employees, 400 million euros annual turnover) has appointed the former PwC spokesman of the board and multi-supervisory board Nobert Winkeljohann (62) to succeed Hans-Wolf Sievert. However, the family entrepreneur …

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Karl-Ludwig Kley & the Code: Clear announcement for the 2019 reform year

The days before Christmas are not an ideal time for important messages. Because many addressees are in year-end stress – be it for professional reasons or because they still have to get presents quickly. Some of you may have missed the interview with Karl-Ludwig Kley that appeared in the “Handelsblatt” shortly before Christmas. That would be a pity, because the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa and Eon had …

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Family entrepreneurs: Our five governance drivers of the year

When it comes to good corporate management, family entrepreneurs have a competitive advantage – after all, long-term thinking is in their blood. Recently, some of them have impressively proven that they can also be fast: They have responded to new challenges at short notice and in this way ensured that their companies are fit for the digital age. Our driving forces of the year therefore include Martin Viessmann and Albert …

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Siegfried Russwurm: Where digitalisation is now a matter for the boss

After the personnel turbulences a few weeks ago, we had elected Siegfried Russwurm (55) as the “hopeful” member of the Voith Supervisory Board. It has now become known that the former Siemens board member will be promoted to head of the committee, replacing Hans-Peter Keitel (71), who is retiring due to age. The traditional Heidenheim family-owned company is thus doing what is often just a buzzword elsewhere – digitisation is …

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Michael Otto: From “Amt für Versandhandel” to an agile corporation

The time of the Supervisory Board as a purely supervisory body is over, said Martin Spilker of the Bertelsmann Foundation’s Competence Center for Leadership and Corporate Culture at the German Supervisory Board Conference (DART). For topics such as ethics and culture would increasingly come to the fore. We expressly agree with this finding: more than ever, supervisory boards must become guardians of corporate values and, in many places, drivers of …

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Michael Hilti

Michael Hilti: Corporate Governance made in Liechtenstein

At the German Supervisory Board Conference last Friday (#dart14), Martin Hilti, Honorary President of the Liechtenstein-based tool manufacturer of the same name, provided exciting insights into his corporate governance system. And although the company (27,000 employees / annual sales of CHF 5.1 billion) is likely to violate the detailed German Code on several occasions, especially when it comes to transparency, in our opinion we cannot speak of “bad governance” – …

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Deutscher Aufsichtsratstag: What makes a good foundation supervisory board?

Some donors would turn in their graves: After years or decades, there have repeatedly been fierce conflicts over statutes or corporate strategy; recently, for example, Aldi Nord, ZF Friedrichshafen and ThyssenKrupp made headlines over foundation disputes. In fact, donors have to manage a difficult balancing act by setting clear targets on the one hand, but leaving their successors enough leeway on the other, so that companies can react to new …

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Friedrich Merz

Friedrich Merz: What politics can learn from supervisory boards

Donald Trump demonstrates every day anew that managers are not necessarily the better politicians – especially if they cultivate a basta mentality and therefore divide instead of unite. But what about professional supervisory boards? In an interview with ZEIT, Friedrich Merz said last week that he had learned in the business world how to “build up and introduce successors”. In fact, hardly anyone will doubt that there is a lack …

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Family business: The secret of Röchling’s success

The Röchlings belong to the large, traditional entrepreneurial families of the Republic. Its Mannheim-based company, which was founded in 1822, is today one of the leading plastics processors and generates annual sales of around 1.8 billion euros with almost 10,000 employees. But “history and tradition alone are not suitable as a business model,” family head and head of the advisory board Johannes von Salmuth recently told the Handelsblatt. The company …

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Friedrich Merz

BlackRock: Greedy locust or sustainable investor?

The former VARD executive committee Friedrich Merz is hardly traded as new CDU boss, its present employer comes into the target of the criticism: The world largest asset manager BlackRock is a grasshopper and among other things for robberish Cum ex Deals and unsocial Vonovia rent increases jointly responsible, it echoes from the social media. We don’t want to venture into the party political arena and shed light on whether …

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