Bundestag & Börse: Drivers of a system and cultural change?


Dear readers of the GermanBoardNews,

the call was answered! With a little pride and fresh confidence I write this sentence. Because after the Wirecard scandal, which was made possible by a complete system failure (also at Supervisory Board level), something is finally happening in Corporate Germany – on two levels.

Firstly, the Bundestag’s committee of inquiry into Wirecard will take up the governance system issue, as can be seen from the following: Section III, item 47, states that it should be investigated:

“whether and, if so, which weaknesses exist in the Corporate Governance System that may have enabled or facilitated events relating to the insolvencies of companies of the Wirecard Group as well as possible criminal offences/violations of rules by acting persons of the Wirecard Group and possible violations of accounting and auditing standards by the Wirecard Group”.

With a bit of luck and persistent questioning by committee members, we will therefore experience an exciting discussion here, in which politicians will have to deal not least with the fundamental question “What actually constitutes good governance today?

Secondly: The next big player is Deutsche Börse – in my view, as you know, the born standard setter and guardian of corporate governance in Germany. CEO Theodor Weimer has delivered what he had already announced during a hearing in BT’s Finance Committee: Deutsche Börse is reviewing its index rules and will set new corporate governance standards for inclusion in the DAX. This is to take place promptly, i.e. by the end of this year. We are very pleased about this initiative.

However, I wonder whether we are limiting standards to the Dax 30. Finally, the current accusations against the MDax group Grenke also raise corporate governance issues(see our “Supervisory Board of the Week” section).

Another decisive factor for me is that it does not stop at obvious necessities such as an audit committee and a compliance management system. We need a real change in culture and system. I therefore hope that we will recognise that good corporate governance is dependent on reliable personnel governance. This means that a supervisory board must measure itself and its work against professional principles. Because a supervisory board without professional principles is like a car without brakes, isn’t it? In this context, I would remind you of our current #FutureGoodGovernance Agenda, which, among other things, provides for a kind of Hippocratic oath.

Because let’s not fool ourselves: Criminal energy has always existed and will always exist, so even the best controls have a residual risk. It is therefore particularly important for people with a strong professional ethic to take their job seriously and not rely solely on compliance management systems.

With best regards
Peter H. Dehnen


Additions, remarks, opposition? I look forward to your feedback herausgeber@germanboardnews.com