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 footsteps, albeit in a more conciliatory manner in terms of his style and demeanour: We are talking to Deutsche Börse “about waiving the quarterly reports or announcements required by the stock exchange regulations for all Dax companies”, the insurance group announced last week.
Being driven by short-sighted investors?
The formulations suggest that Bäte und Co. is primarily concerned with reducing bureaucracy and not with promoting long-term thinking. But be that as it may: a success of the initiative would automatically bring this with it, as a “windfall profit” so to speak. We therefore expressly welcome Allianz’s move and are pleased that the stock exchange is ready to talk, according to media reports: It now wants to “sound out the mood among other DAX companies”, it says. We are excited and hope that the waiver of quarterly reports will be the start of a comprehensive corporate governance initiative: The stock market must become a better place – and make it clear that companies no longer have to be driven by short-term investors.