Following the allegations of compliance against Wirecard, which had triggered a slide in the share price last week, the Supervisory Board has come under fire. There is no one among the committee members “who could shine with an earlier Management Board position or a Supervisory Board mandate in another large corporation,” wrote former Handelsblatt editor-in-chief Bernd Ziesemer this week in his Capital column (“The Strange Supervisors of Wirecard AG”). Even Supervisory Board Chairman Wulf Matthias (74), who once served as CEO of the German Crédit Suisse subsidiary, had “no experience whatsoever at the top of a large group”.
Women’s quota: Matthias recruited competent supervisory board members
We also criticized the composition of the Supervisory Board pretty much exactly one year ago – and pointed out that Wirecard could create trust through renowned Supervisory Board members and “remove the breeding ground from some short seller attacks”. After all, a few months later Chief Controller Matthias, Anastassia Lauterbach, an AI expert, and Susana Quintana Plaza, a venture capital specialist, engaged two renowned supervisory board members – a major step forward in terms of competence and diversity (women’s quota: 50 percent). Does Wirecard now still need a big name at the top of the supervisory board? Corporate governance expert Christian Strenger praised Wulf Matthias this week in the Handelsblatt interview as an “experienced banker” who does a decent job: If you look at the Supervisory Board and its activities, “everything looks quite reasonable,” says Strenger.