There is a lot of talk about the competencies of supervisory boards – and lately, it seems to me, especially often. Numerous experts (especially those who have never worked in a supervisory board themselves) give good advice. Matrix tables are propagated and companies should make ‘transparent’ (= public) what the ‘mix’ of the supervisory board looks like.
Is this perhaps the next playing field for the Government Commission on the German Corporate Governance Code? Here, too, we need uniform specifications (“one-size-fits-all”). No.
In any case, the debate on the current reform of the Code has shown that we have made ourselves comfortable in the old corporate world and think too briefly. Beyond the pond and far away from the white house, however, quite different corporate governance models are already being discussed. Leading experts have long since recognized that digitization and artificial intelligence are forcing us to rethink.
Monitoring by external service providers?
At a recent symposium of the American Bar Association, the thesis developed by two professors was discussed as to whether specialized, technically highly equipped external service providers (“Board Service Providers”) could assume the function of “monitoring” on the board. Thesis and antithesis were powerfully opposed to each other (the headings of the individual contributions to the symposium speak for themselves).
The synthesis has not yet been conclusively discussed, but it is still too early for that. But one thing became more than clear at the event…