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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Lidl boss Gehrig: A Google manager for the control committee

Is this the prelude to a governance reform for the trading giant Lidl? Supervisory Board Chairman Klaus Gehrig (70) and Google Manager Sarah Fix-Bähre, ex-Edeka Board Member Reinhard Schütte and LBBW CEO Rainer Neske bring three external experts to the highest supervisory body, the Schwarz Unternehmenstreuhand (SUT). Since the trio replaces three former Lidl managers, “the balance in the twelve-member committee has changed fundamentally”, comments the “Heilbronner Stimme”. For the …

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Frauenquote Aufsichtsrat

Women’s quota: The most powerful supervisory board members in the Dax

Thanks to the statutory women’s quota of 30 percent, the Dax companies have appointed dozens of female supervisory board members. But only a few have made it into the inner circle: according to a Handelsblatt search, only 55 women sit on the powerful presidential, nominal, personnel and mediation committees. This corresponds to a share of around 19 percent. The 12-member Covestro Supervisory Board is better than average, with vice-chair Petra …

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Commerzbank: „My Boni is over the Ocean“

The Supervisory Board of Commerzbank has significantly reduced the bonuses of Martin Zielke’s Board of Managing Directors. As the Handelsblatt reports, the inspectors had raised the base salaries in return, but the bottom line was that manager salaries had fallen. The driving force was probably the “Remuneration Control Committee” of the Supervisory Board, which includes the Chairman of the Supervisory Board Stefan Schmittmann, his Vice Chairman Uwe Tschäge and another …

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Hasso Plattner

Hasso Plattner: The involuntary code rebel

Should a 75-year-old, who has been in office for 16 years, rejoin the Supervisory Board as Chairman? This contradicts the pure doctrine of governance twice, because it has exceeded the age limit and is no longer considered “independent” simply because of its long term of office. On the other hand, Hasso Plattner is a special case: his role at SAP goes beyond that of Chairman of the Supervisory Board. The …

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AGM season: Harsh criticism of supervisory boards – that’s good!

The first trends emerged at the first Annual General Meetings of the year. Following last week’s shareholder meetings at Osram and Infineon, one thing is certain: shareholders will continue to question the competence of supervisory boards and in particular the heads of committees with increasing vehemence in this AGM season. Last week, for example, the designated Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Infineon, Wolfgang Eder, was targeted: he was “not …

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Ariane Reinhart

Ariane Reinhart: The Conti Manager’s Social Program

Sometimes Ariane Reinhart sounds like a social politician: “With us nobody becomes homeless”, the Conti personnel manager is quoted in the current issue of WirtschaftsWoche. According to the report, the 49-year-old did not refer to any social benefits, but to the automotive supplier’s “Future Skill House” concept. This is a comprehensive training program that Ariane Reinhart uses to make employees fit for the future and “reach 95 percent of the …

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Bernd Pischetsrieder

Bernd Pischetsrieder: An award to say goodbye

If they take their job seriously, supervisory board members – especially the committee chairmen – act as guardians of the Grail of corporate culture and corporate governance. Munich Re Supervisory Board Chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder is therefore particularly pleased with the current Dax Governance Ranking by Union Investment and Ivox Glass Lewis: “The reinsurer has made up three places and replaced Allianz as the front runner. I don’t think anyone would …

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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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