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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Elmar Degenhart

Greensill scandal: where is the debate on the independence and attitude of supervisory boards?

Dear readers of GermanBoardNews, “Greensill” – greed meets stupidity? Yet the city treasurers wanted to be so clever. It takes an effort not to be outraged again. Because the pattern is always the same. First everyone is naïve, then everyone knows better and has quickly identified the culprits. Of course, the state financial supervisory authority must not be left out, and the denunciation of its failures is often supplemented by …

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Bayer Kreuz

Fei-Fei Li (Bayer)

Following the appointment of Ertharin Cousin a year and a half ago, the Bayer Group intends to further internationalize the Supervisory Board: At the Annual Stockholders’ Meeting on April 27, U.S. AI expert Fei-Fei Li and Brazilian agricultural manager Alberto Weisser will stand for election. Li, 44, is a professor of computer science at Stanford University and sits on Twitter’s board as a “non-executive director”. From 2017 to 2018, Fei-Fei …

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Climate protection: The Corporate Governance Code is supposed to fix it – a dangerous aberration.

Dear readers of GermanBoardNews, after the Federal Ministry of Justice, the German Corporate Governance Code (GCGC) is now also on the minds of the environment, finance and economics ministries. The German government’s Sustainable Finance Advisory Board, which was set up by the three ministries, has high hopes for the Code: in its latest report, the board recommends that “minimum standards for the sustainability competencies” of management and supervisory boards be …

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What Christian Sewing and Kasper Rorsted must ask themselves – and how companies lure loyal small shareholders.

Dear readers of GermanBoardNews, the AGM season has not yet really taken off – and yet we are already seeing some headlines that invite us to reflect. Deutsche Bank and Daimler – despite Corona – are reporting surprisingly high profits for 2020. And Deutsche Bank has another headline to its credit: The ECB is putting a damper on the bank’s bonus plans, the FAZ reported a few days ago. Other …

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Ulrich Lehner

ThyssenKrupp: Erst Brandbrief an Gather, dann Rücktritt von Lehner

Seit dem Rücktritt von Heinrich Hiesinger überschlagen sich bei ThyssenKrupp die Ereignisse. Vorläufiger Höhepunkt: Am Montag erklärte Aufsichtsratschef Ulrich Lehner seinen Rücktritt zum 31. Juli. “Ich gehe diesen Schritt bewusst, um eine grundsätzliche Diskussion bei unseren Aktionären über die Zukunft von Thyssen-Krupp zu ermöglichen“, sagte Lehner. Sein Schritt werde hoffentlich das Bewusstsein bei allen Beteiligten dafür schärfen, „dass eine Zerschlagung des Unternehmens und der damit verbundene Verlust von vielen Arbeitsplätzen …

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Deutsche Börse & ISS – Is the influence of institutional investors on corporate governance standards and management growing?

Dear readers of the GermanBoardNews, in the past few days, there has been even more activity in Corporate Governance Germany than we had expected. Without wanting to define priorities, we will only be able to deal with some topics in greater depth in the coming issues. I am thinking here of the new quota regulation for members of the Management Board and the Wirecard Committee of Inquiry (as well as …

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Hasso Plattner vs. Manfred Bischoff: Our Supervisory Board of the Year 2020

Age does not protect you from performance: Why the head of the SAP supervisory board did many things right this year – and what his counterpart at Daimler missed out on. Admittedly, at first glance there is little to speak for Hasso Plattner as “Supervisory Board of the Year 2020”: First, co-chair Jennifer Morgan had to take her hat off after only six months. Then the Group revised its forecast …

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Karl Marx, Michael Otto and the “ownership of responsibility

The initiative for a new legal form meets with resistance – because of an unfortunate choice of name and biting reflexes. At its core, it is about optimal conditions for good corporate governance. If Karl Marx had still experienced this: Capital is struggling to be allowed to expropriate itself. Because the “GmbH in Verantwortungseigentum”, which wants to establish an entrepreneurial and expert initiative as a new legal form, is supposed …

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A new VARD team for turbulent times

Dear readers of the GermanBoardNews, today I would like to express my sincere thanks to four long-standing comrades-in-arms: Dietmar Kuhnt, Stephan Kufferath, Wilhelm Haarmann and Carl-Dieter Wuppermann have shaped the Association of Supervisory Boards in Germany (VARD) with their commitment, expertise and humanity. Their commitment to the professionalisation of our profession and responsible corporate governance deserves the highest recognition! At the same time, I am pleased that we have been …

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Recommended for reading: The current press review of the GBN editorial office

‘Manfred Knof to become new Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors of Commerzbank’ An exciting personnel question has been clarified. Here you can read the article Siemens boss announces phase-out of coal-fired power Supervisory board chairman Joe Kaeser expects a withdrawal from coal. Here you can read the article ‘Zetsche does not want any more’ The former head of Daimler will not become head supervisor after all. Is a …

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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 …

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