Zeitreise

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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Börse

Olaf Berlien & Mathias Döpfner: Expulsion from Paradise

More and more companies are fleeing the stock market. According to the Handelsblatt, the number of regularly listed companies has fallen from 761 to 464 in the last ten years. And the trend is accelerating; Axel Springer and Osram recently announced a withdrawal – with similar arguments: The CEOs Olaf Berlien and Mathias Döpfner needed time for the digital transformation and could not use shareholders who would go on the …

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Curevac AG

Supervisory Board of the week: Timothy Wright (CureVac AG)

The shareholders of Tübingen-based CureVac AG have elected two new Supervisory Board members. This was announced by the biotech company at the beginning of the week. As a result, the Supervisory Board has expanded from six to eight members – in line with the motto the more the better. “We are very pleased to welcome Tim Wright and Craig Tooman as new board members,” said Ingmar Hoerr, chairman and co-founder …

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Rheinmetall

Rheinmetall stock after the AGM: What investors should know now

On Tuesday, Rheinmetall invited its stockholders to its annual stockholders’ meeting in Berlin. The automotive supplier and defence group impressed with a strong 2018 fiscal year, a good first quarter of 2019 and sees itself on course for the current fiscal year. What happens next for the MDAX company, what the share does, what investors need to know. Things could get worse for the Düsseldorf-based technology group Rheinmetall: order books …

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Aktionärsdemokratie

General meetings: A praise of indirect shareholder democracy

More and more often, shareholders refuse to grant discharge to those responsible: Bayer CEO Werner Baumann was met at the end of April, and next week Deutsche Bank’s management team will have to tremble. The trend is fuelling a fundamental debate about our corporate governance system: critics believe it is unacceptable for voting defeats to remain without consequences – and are therefore calling for a direct “shareholder democracy”. We consider …

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Kodex

The Corporate Governance Code as a bulwark against investors who pursue their own interests? A replica of Deutsche-Bank Supervisory Board member Stefan Simon.

The Deutsche-Bank supervisory board Stefan Simon last week took the side of the code critics: the “harsh criticism” of the government commission’s reform proposal is “justified” in many respects, he wrote in a commentary for the Handelsblatt. At the same time, he warned against efforts “now to bury the Code and the Commission”. This would “throw out the baby with the bath water”, fears Simon, who also sees the Code …

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Norma

Supervisory Board Chairman Wolf and the dismantling of the year

In this year’s AGM season the time had come. After shareholders had often barked but not bitten before, they overthrew a prominent Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Stefan Wolf, Chief Controller of the MDax-listed industrial and automotive supplier Norma, received only 49.6 percent of the votes at a spectacular Annual General Meeting. Investors and shareholder advisors were particularly disturbed by the heavy workload at Wolf, who is still CEO of …

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Rolf Buch

Vonovia CEO Rolf Buch: In the service of shareholders AND tenants?

Some investors would not like to hear that: When asked to whom he feels more committed (the tenants or the shareholders), Vonovia CEO Rolf Buch replied in an interview with Spiegel: “Both. We have to find a balance, that’s our job.” Of all people, the man that some consider to be the prime example of a profit-fixed real estate capitalist is thus an opponent of the shareholder value concept – …

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Diversity

Investors: How aggressive men drive companies before them

Shareholders who put loud pressure on board members and supervisory board members usually have testosterone in their blood: Guys like Guy Wyser-Pratte, Paul Singer (Elliott) and Daniel Loeb (Third Point), who radiate a subliminal aggression, dominate the scene of activist investors. Women of similar calibre are not yet in sight, and men also dominate among traditional investors: A recent survey by KPMG with the Fund Women Network shows that the …

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Blackrock

Blackrock & Vanguard: Get out of the back rooms!

After being praised for years as an investor-friendly alternative to expensive active funds, index funds and their providers have recently come under greater criticism. There is talk of systemic risks, but also of a lack of exercise of shareholder rights (“commitment”). We have to get to grips with this, because after all the major providers have expanded their “commitment” in recent months. In the meantime, there are 30 employees”who visit …

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US governance: turning away from the shareholder value principle?

While the reform of the Code in Germany is a long time coming, public debates on corporate governance in the USA are in full swing. President Donald Trump, for example, urges that the obligation for quarterly reports be abolished. At the same time, the influential democrat Elizabeth Warren has presented a bill that provides for nothing less than a departure from the shareholder value principle of Anglo-Saxon character – and …

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