Snabe vs. Kaeser: The end of multi-supervisory boards?

Overboarding: Busy controllers are increasingly being targeted by shareholders. Some recognize the signs of the times, others continue to collect items as if their working day had 24 hours Jim Hagemann Snabe is resigning from two posts at once: the former SAP CEO is leaving the supervisory boards of Allianz and Maersk, as was announced at the beginning of the month. This will give the 56-year-old more time to concentrate …

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Bock, Rabe, Reitzle – Why do supervisory boards approve share buybacks?

Corona crisis. Digitization. Climate protection. But instead of putting money aside or investing heavily, Dax companies are buying shares en masse. A revelation that reveals considerable problems in the supervisory boards Have you been rubbing your eyes in amazement, too? German companies plan to spend up to 17 billion euros on share buybacks, the Handelsblatt recently reported. A record figure. As if the Corona crisis had been over for a …

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Frank Lindenberg (Lucid Motors)

California-based electric car startup Lucid Motors has nominated former Mercedes CFO Frank Lindenberg to its “board of directors.” According to a report in Manager Magazine, shareholders of a SPAC called Churchill Capital IV are expected to elect the 57-year-old to the board on July 22. SPAC stands for special purpose acquisition company. These are publicly traded shell companies with no business operations that acquire a startup within two years of …

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Shareholder = Owner? Why this equation is dangerously wrong.

Dear readers of GermanBoardNews, in response to my proposal to make supervisory boards more responsible and at the same time strengthen their position vis-à-vis shareholders, I often hear the following: Whoever holds shares is an owner. And whoever is an owner must necessarily have corresponding rights. More independence for supervisory boards is therefore against the system. Does that sound logical? No. Anyone who argues in such a formal legalistic way …

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Why shorter board terms are dangerous – and how Brexit makes for good governance.

Dear readers of GermanBoardNews, this AGM season it is noticeable that numerous companies are shortening the terms of office for supervisory boards from five to four years (also for our Supervisory Board Member of the Week). As justification, the companies point with astonishing unanimity to recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code (DCGK) and “expectations” of investors. So this can’t be a bad thing. Or can it? I would like …

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Brudermüller, Busch, Ploss – Who can survive without China?

The rapid recovery in the Far East has saved the bottom line for many corporate CEOs. But the growing dependence entails considerable risks. Why this is so – and what supervisory boards need to do now. BASF had a “strong final spurt” in 2020, cheered CEO Martin Brudermüller at the beginning of March. This was due in particular to the company’s business in China, where it recorded “double-digit volume growth” …

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Kramarsch vs. Singer & Co. – On the way to becoming an “Honest Investor”?

The danger of unholy alliances at the expense of companies is growing. We therefore need new guidelines for professional investors – and stronger supervisory boards. As you know, we are sceptical about the growing influence of investors on corporate governance. Not all readers are happy about this. We were recently told that we were “lumping all investors together”. So let’s be clear: We are aware that there are a number …

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Deutsche Börse

Corporate Governance: How Theodor Weimer can make the stock exchange a better place

Dear reader of GermanBoardNews, theodor Weimer is currently one of the most sought-after decision-makers. His appointment to the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Bank has met with a positive response far beyond the financial sector. Dissenting voices were raised only because there were fears in Deutsche Börse’s environment that he could replace Paul Achleitner as Chairman of the Supervisory Board as early as 2022 – and therefore leave as CEO. That …

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Top vs. flop: Saori Dubourg, Donald Trump and the stock market

In the corona crisis, the stock markets have moved far away from reality – especially in the USA. This underlines the fact that prices and indices are poor indicators for assessing economies and companies. Can we change this?   If the future is traded on the stock exchange, the Corona pandemic will soon be over. During the week, the major indices almost returned to pre-crisis levels – even in the …

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Tim Höttges

Supervisory Board of the week: Tim Höttges (Daimler)

Daimler Supervisory Board Chairman Manfred Bischoff has found a well-known successor for the outgoing Paul Achleitner: At the Annual Meeting, shareholders are to elect Telekom CEO Tim Höttges to the supervisory body. For the 57-year-old, this would be “the first relevant position on a German supervisory board,” the Handelsblatt commented. Tim Höttges is “a proven expert for digitalization in telecommunications”, Bischoff praised according to a statement by the company. He …

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What will corporate governance look like in 2029? A scenario – and a call to decision-makers.

We look to the future. Today I would like to take you on a little time travel to the year 2029. Imagine you are reading – as usual – your GermanBoardNews on Friday morning. One article refers to the “GCGS”, the Global Corporate Governance Standard, which was introduced five years ago, in 2024, as a result of a concerted action by the OECD and UN, inspired by the concept of …

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Christoph Brand

Supervisory Board of the week: Christoph Brand (Scout24)

Pelham Capital has asserted itself: Christoph Brand has surprisingly moved into the supervisory board of the portal operator Scout24 (Autoscout24, Immobilienscout24) at the suggestion of the hedge fund. The Swiss media manager had received around 54 percent of the votes, Supervisory Board Chairman Hans Holger Albrecht announced following the Annual General Meeting last Friday. The majority of shareholders thus opposed the company’s management, which had been nominated by Mathias Hedlund, …

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