Robert Bosch

Medium-sized companies: On the trail of Robert Bosch

We had to point this out again last week for a sad reason: The Krupp Foundation suffers from severe design defects – and so does the company. The counterexample is Robert Bosch GmbH, which thanks to intelligent governance structures can play off the advantages of a foundation company and has been a success for generations. We are convinced that more Bosch would be good for Germany as a business location, …

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Cewe chairman of the board Korte: When Labour & Capital Merge

Good for business, good for society: Employee share ownership encourages entrepreneurial thinking just as much as a more even distribution of wealth. This seems particularly important to us at present, because digitisation dividends strengthen the capital factor and increase inequality. This development is water on the mills of populists; there is a threat of redistribution excesses that restrict entrepreneurial freedom. Unfortunately, however, only one third of listed companies offer employee …

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Herbert Hainer

Herbert Hainer: A governance reformer for FC Bayern?

FC Bayern Munich in the “Tops” of the GermanBoardNews? Some will rub their eyes in amazement after we have often criticized the club. Because of Uli Hoeneß, who returned to the top of the supervisory board after his prison sentence. Because of the Alphatier Supervisory Board. Because of the term of office of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. But now the cards are being reshuffled: since last week it has been clear that …

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Marion Helmes

Marion Helmes & Martina Merz: They just have to say “no” to learn

In addition to the usual suspects such as Ann-Kristin Achleitner, other women join the ranks of the most powerful supervisory boards: ThyssenKrupp Supervisory Board Chairman Martina Merz, ProSiebenSat1 inspector Marion Helmes and former BASF manager Margret Suckale have made it into the top 25 in a current ranking. This is gratifying, especially as the rise shows: More and more women occupy central positions within the committees. The quota of women …

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St. Pauli

FC St. Pauli: The Governance Champion in Professional Football

Almost a year ago, we described Andreas Rettig as a “governance mastermind” in professional football. The managing director of FC St. Pauli had warned against opening up the Bundesliga to investors at the time – and had put forward weighty business arguments instead of nostalgic ones. We are in line with him and are convinced that good corporate management is the key to improving the international competitiveness of German football. …

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Robert Louis Schweizer

Robert Louis Schweizer: Charme offensive in the Oetker Advisory Board

Following August Oetker’s withdrawal in March, the Oetker Advisory Board is now more peaceful. The Handelsblatt reported at the beginning of the week that “a better mood” had recently prevailed there. This would have been confirmed by “several persons familiar with the situation”. The new head of the advisory board, Robert Louis Schweizer, is obviously trying to reconcile the family tribes and find a long-term solution. One option, according to …

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Saori Dubourg

Saori Dubourg: Initiative against shareholder value excesses

The pressure from investors who are looking for fast money can prevent good corporate governance. A classic example is share buybacks at the expense of future investments. That’s why we’ve been asking ourselves this question for some time: How can the influence of activists and speculators be limited without limiting shareholder rights? To put it bluntly: How do we turn the stock exchange from a playground for gamblers into a …

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ThyssenKrupp: Women’s duo determine the fate of the industrial icon

A few days ago, a study hit the headlines according to which men occupy key positions on Germany’s supervisory boards. At least at ThyssenKrupp things are different: there the new committee chairman Martina Merz and Ursula Gather from the major shareholder Krupp Foundation are now in charge. After the turbulences of recent months and in particular the sudden change of strategy, it is now up to two women to decide …

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General meetings: A praise of indirect shareholder democracy

More and more often, shareholders refuse to grant discharge to those responsible: Bayer CEO Werner Baumann was met at the end of April, and next week Deutsche Bank’s management team will have to tremble. The trend is fuelling a fundamental debate about our corporate governance system: critics believe it is unacceptable for voting defeats to remain without consequences – and are therefore calling for a direct “shareholder democracy”. We consider …

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Wulf Matthias

Wirecard Supervisory Board Chairman Wulf Matthias: What’s missing now

We have been monitoring the Wirecard Supervisory Board headed by Chairman Wulf Matthias for quite some time and called for reforms more than a year ago – also as a confidence-building measure to thwart speculators. Following the recent turbulence, investors have also criticised the Supervisory Board: Ingo Speich (Deka) sees shortcomings in terms of diversity; Vanda Heinen (Union Investment) urges a renowned balance sheet expert and Christian Strenger more tech …

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Werner Wenning

Bayer Strategy: Werner Wenning puts everything in the balance

To be honest, we know too little about glyphosate and Monsanto to assess Bayer’s strategy. But we are still convinced: Supervisory Board Chairman Werner Wenning did the right thing when he stood behind CEO Werner Baumann at the end of last week. The Supervisory Board “remains unchanged and unanimously behind the strategic logic of the transaction,” Wenning said in an interview. In doing so, he left no back door open …

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Bernie Sanders & Elisabeth Warren: The US Governance Rebels

This number must be melted on the tongue: Between 2008 and 2017, the 500 largest US corporations spent four trillion dollars on share buybacks – more than half of their profits. This makes it clear that one-sided shareholder value thinking still dominates overseas – the motto is “shareholders are fuelling instead of investing in the future”. In our opinion, the volume of share buybacks in Germany is also too high, …

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