Corporate Governance aktuell – Code: The consultation period ends – and something new begins


The consultation period for the new draft of the German Corporate Governance Code (GCGC) will end on 31 January, i.e. on Thursday of next week. The Association of Supervisory Boards in Germany (VARD) will also take a position – not only on changes, but also on fundamental issues.

Because as I have already pointed out at this point: We are convinced that our companies and Germany as a business location need a paradigm shift in corporate governance. A code must be a help to self-help – and not a gimmickry based on a completely misguided “one-size-fits-all” philosophy that does not do justice to the diversity of our economy and promotes a formalistic habitus.

And who knows – perhaps Professor Nonnenmacher’s government commission will still show real readiness for discussion after our statement?

Suddenly everything was supposed to go really fast

However, the reform process to date gives little cause for hope: after months of work by the Commission, most of which took place in a quiet chamber, everything should suddenly go very quickly after the publication of the draft: Less than a month later, a “dialogue event” took place and much of the consultation period took place during the (pre)Christmas period and the New Year.

Anyone who is pushing the pace in this way is obviously not particularly interested in interested people having time for reflection, discussion and opinion-forming. The artificial haste therefore left a stale aftertaste not only with me, but also with many of my conversation partners.

Let’s not kid ourselves about it: There is much to suggest that at most there will be well-dosed changes to the draft – for example on the subject of board remuneration, to which everything has already been said (but not yet by the government commission).

VARD has therefore decided to launch an initiative for an innovative code, as the business community would like it to be for orientation – promptly, but without artificial haste, and in close dialogue with the chairmen of the supervisory and management boards. We can’t stop the government commission, but we can do something about it.

Any additions, comments, objections? I look forward to your feedback:

Editorial by Peter H. Dehnen -> About the Person.