Lessons from the Wirecard scandal: The red-hot VARD agenda for a better corporate governance system (#FutureGoodGovernance)


Dear readers of the GermanBoardNews,

we are returning from a summer break that was anything but uneventful. After all, the Wirecard scandal has continued to spread. It has become clear to numerous observers: It’s not enough to highlight the failure of auditors and Bafin. We must also identify and remedy the weaknesses of our corporate governance system.

After I advocated a “master plan” in the last GermanBoardNews before the holidays, I was allowed to concretize my suggestions in an interview with the SPIEGEL. Since then, there has been a great deal of support – especially for the call for Deutsche Börse to take responsibility and make high governance standards a condition for a listing.

Green Party finance politician Danyal Bayaz, for example, said that Deutsche Börse must “give more weight to guidelines for good corporate governance” and “examine the quality of the executive and supervisory boards”. After all, “solid corporate governance is needed for the rise of the Dax”. The Handelsblatt also recently pleaded for “stricter admission rules”

“Good governance only works with decision-makers

Fortunately, stock market chief Theodor Weimer, whom I hold in high esteem, signalled his willingness to reform this week and announced new criteria. But what criteria should they be? As part of the VARD initiative #FutureGoodGovernance we have been working on an agenda with concrete theses and proposals in the last few days (click here to download).

In it, we call on Deutsche Börse to convene a reform commission as soon as possible, which will also include members of the Supervisory Board and Executive Board. Because one thing is clear to me: good governance only works WITH and not AGAINST decision-makers. After all, we need clear, transparent and practicable rules that are not laughed at or complained about, but lived out of conviction.

Dear readers of GermanBoardNews, I am very interested in what you have to say about our theses and proposals. Criticism, more specifics and further ideas are most welcome, and I would be happy to receive your comments in the form of a guest article. Simply write to dehnen@vard.de.

Best regards

Yours Peter H. Dehnen (Editor)