Why the raid on the ex-Wirecard supervisory board chairman is a reminder for the federal government & stock exchange

Dear readers of GermanBoardNews, a house search at a former head of the supervisory board – that doesn’t happen every day. Last week, Wulf Matthias, the long-time chief controller of the scandal company Wirecard, was caught. And what Der Spiegel has to report about it sounds frightening indeed: according to the report, emails suggest that CEO Markus Braun, board member Jan Marsalek and Matthias jointly approved a dubious 100-million loan. …

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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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Top vs. flop: Heinz-Hermann Thiele – lateral thinker or lateral driver?

The exchange of blows between Lufthansa’s major shareholder Thiele, management, and the German government shows We need more entrepreneurial spirit in the corporations.   Heinz-Hermann Thiele is a wanderer between two worlds: On the one hand, the owner of Knorr-Bremse is a genuine medium-sized entrepreneur with a patriarchal habitus. On the other hand, the 79-year-old skilfully moves in the habitat of top managers, investment bankers and M&A lawyers, as he …

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Stock exchange & quarterly reports: Oliver Bäte on Wiedeking’s tracks

We could write a lot of critical things about Wendelin Wiedeking, but he was right on one thing: The long-standing Porsche boss has persistently resisted the idea that companies on the stock exchange must publish quarterly reports. “We don’t even want to get into the short-winded view, which is based on quarterly targets,” Wiedeking once told Der Spiegel. Almost 20 years later, Allianz CEO Oliver Bäte is following in Wiedeking’s …

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GBN200: What was – and how to go on

Dear GBN readers, i am pleased to present the 200th edition of our GermanBoardNews to you today. When we launched in 2015, our aim was to promote and give new impetus to the debate on corporate governance and in particular the role of supervisory boards. We wanted to open our mouths when something disturbs us – but always remain fair. All this still applies – for example with a view …

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Norbert Reithofer

Norbert Reithofer & Dieter Zetsche: Too hot to cool down?

The move of CEOs to the top of the Supervisory Board is once again right at the top of the corporate governance agenda. There are two triggers for this. Firstly: the surprising withdrawal of BMW boss Harald Krüger, who according to critics was never able to step out of the shadow of his predecessor and chairman of the supervisory board Norbert Reithofer. Second: Daimler’s profit warning, as a result of …

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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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St. Pauli

FC St. Pauli: The Governance Champion in Professional Football

Almost a year ago, we described Andreas Rettig as a “governance mastermind” in professional football. The managing director of FC St. Pauli had warned against opening up the Bundesliga to investors at the time – and had put forward weighty business arguments instead of nostalgic ones. We are in line with him and are convinced that good corporate management is the key to improving the international competitiveness of German football. …

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Saori Dubourg

Saori Dubourg: Initiative against shareholder value excesses

The pressure from investors who are looking for fast money can prevent good corporate governance. A classic example is share buybacks at the expense of future investments. That’s why we’ve been asking ourselves this question for some time: How can the influence of activists and speculators be limited without limiting shareholder rights? To put it bluntly: How do we turn the stock exchange from a playground for gamblers into a …

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While we wait for the new code, we should take a look over the fence – to Belgium. What we can learn there and what the third wave of corporate governance has to offer

The new Corporate Governance Code of our Belgian neighbours shows how it works: short, concise, to the point – ten principles and a manual point the way. There you go. So I ask myself: Why can’t we do something like this in Germany? There are several other contemporary examples from more recent times. There’s a lot going on internationally. And the German (“dual”) system of corporate governance is a model …

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Andy Gu: Chinese Kuka Chairman of the Supervisory Board: “Our investors were definitely not satisfied”

Midea representative Andy Gu mediates between the worlds on the supervisory board. At the Kuka Annual General Meeting, he backs up CEO Mohnen. Munich. Andy Gu put on a tie in Kuka orange for the shareholders’ meeting. The chairman of the supervisory board and representative of the Chinese owner Midea wants to show his colours at the general meeting of the robot manufacturer after turbulent months. At the end of …

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Katarina Barley

Code reform: The Federal Ministry of Justice keeps its distance and recommends trusting the government commission. Why it’s too much to ask.

Katarina Barley’s head of department replied to our letter to the Federal Ministry of Justice. Just to summarize: Ulrich Seibert writes with very nice words – nothing, at least nothing substantial. The motto seems to be “What do we care about the sensitivities of the German economy when European elections are held”. A succinct but nevertheless remarkable passage in the answer is: “I would be quite relaxed if the Commission, …

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