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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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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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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Kodex

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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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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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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Wolfgang Reitzle

Wolfgang Reitzle: Pioneer of an excessive shareholder value culture?

At Linde, another wind is blowing after the merger with the US company Praxair. This is the clear message of a double interview with CEO Steve Angel and Chairman Wolfgang Reitzle in the Handelsblatt: From his point of view, “continuous improvements and shareholder value” are central, said Angel, who last collected 22 million dollars a year. Wolfgang Reitzle also spoke in detail about the shareholders and referred several times to …

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Joe Kaeser

Joe Kaeser: Struggler for the European Governance Culture

You can make it easy for yourself and label Joe Kaeser as a “good person” who talks a lot but has little effect – for example, when the Siemens CEO criticizes the “pure shareholder value approach” and preaches an “inclusive capitalism”. But that would have been too short, because let’s not kid ourselves: We are in a competition of systems; Anglo-Saxon financial capitalism and Chinese state capitalism are endangering our …

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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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