German Corporate Governance Code

4. Management Board


Tasks and Responsibilities

4.1.1 The Management Board is responsible for independently managing the enterprise in the interest of the enterprise, thus taking into account the interests of the shareholders, its employees and other stakeholders, with the objective of sustainable creation of value.
4.1.2 The Management Board develops the enterprise's strategy, coordinates it with the Supervisory Board and ensures its implementation.
4.1.3 The Management Board ensures that all provisions of law and the enterprise’s internal policies are abided by and works to achieve their compliance by group companies (compliance).
4.1.4 The Management Board ensures appropriate risk management and risk controlling in the enterprise.
4.1.5 When filling managerial positions in the enterprise the Management Board shall take diversity into consideration and, in particular, aim for an appropriate consideration of women. The Management Board shall lay down targets for increasing the share of women on the two management levels below the Management Board.1
4.2 Composition and Compensation

4.2.1 The Management Board shall be comprised of several persons and have a Chairman or Spokesman. By-Laws shall govern the work of the Management Board, in particular the allocation of duties among individual Management Board members, matters reserved for the Management Board as a whole, and the required majority for Management Board resolutions (unanimity or resolution by majority vote).
4.2.2 The full Supervisory Board determines the respective total compensation of the individual Management Board members. If there is a body which deals with Management Board contracts, it shall submit its proposals to the full Supervisory Board. The full Supervisory Board resolves the Management Board compensation system and reviews it regularly.

The total compensation of the individual members of the Management Board is determined by the full Supervisory Board at an appropriate amount based on a performance assessment, taking into consideration any payments by group companies. Criteria for determining the appropriateness of compensation are both the tasks of the individual member of the Management Board, his/her personal performance, the economic situation, the performance and outlook of the enterprise as well as the common level of the compensation taking into account the peer companies and the compensation structure in place in other areas of the company. The Supervisory Board shall consider the relationship between the compensation of the Management Board and that of senior management and the staff overall, particularly in terms of its development over time. The Supervisory Board shall determine how senior managers and the relevant staff are to be differentiated.

If the Supervisory Board calls upon an external compensation expert to evaluate the appropriateness of the compensation, the Supervisory Board must ensu re that the said expert is independent of  the Management Board or the enterprise.

4.2.3 The total compensation of Management Board members comprises the monetary compensation elements, pension awards, other awards, especially in the event of termination of activity, fringe benefits of all kinds and benefits by third parties which were promised or granted in the financial year with regard to Management Board work.

The compensation structure must be oriented toward sustainable growth of the enterprise. The monetary compensation elements shall comprise fixed and variable elements. The Supervisory Board must make sure that the variable compensation elements are in general based on a multi-year assessment. Both positive and negative developments shall be taken into account when determining variable compensation components. All compensation components must be appropriate, both individually and in total, and in particular must not encourage to take unreasonable risks. The amount of compensation shall be capped, both overall and for individual compensation components. The variable compensation components shall be related to demanding, relevant comparison parameters. Changing such performance targets or the comparison parameters retroactively shall be excluded.
For pension schemes, the Supervisory Board shall establish the level of provision aimed for in each case - also considering the length of time for which the individual has been a Management Board member - and take into account the resulting annual and long-term expense for the company.

In concluding Management Board contracts, care shall be taken to ensure that payments made to a Management Board member on premature termination of his/her contract, including fringe benefits, do not exceed the value of two years’ compensation (severance pay cap) and compensate no more than the remaining term of the employment contract. If the employment contract is terminated for a serious cause for which the Management Board member is responsible, no payments are made to the Management Board member. The severance payment cap shall be calculated on the basis of the total compensation for the past full financial year and if appropriate also the expected total compensation for the current financial year.

Payments promised in the event of premature termination of a Management Board member’s contract due to a change of control shall not exceed 150 % of the severance payment cap.

The Chairman of the Supervisory Board shall outline once to the General Meeting the salient points of the compensation system and then any changes thereto.

4.2.4 The total compensation of each one of the members of the Management Board is to be disclosed by name, divided into fixed and variable compensation components. The same applies to promises of benefits that are granted to a Management Board member in case of premature or statutory termination of the function of a Management Board member or that have been changed during the financial year. Disclosure is dispensed if the General Meeting has passed a resolution to this effect by three-quarters majority.
4.2.5 Disclosure shall be made in the Notes or the Management Report. A compensation report as part of the Management Report outlines the compensation system for Management Board members. The outline shall be presented in a generally understandable way.

The compensation report shall also include information on the nature of the fringe benefits provided by the company.

In addition, for financial years starting after 31 December 2013, and for each Management Board member, the compensation report shall present:

  • the benefits granted for the year under review including the fringe benefits, and including the maximum and minimum achievable compensation for variable compensation components;
  • the allocation of fixed compensation, short-term variable compensation and long-term variable compensation for the year under review, broken down into the relevant reference years;
  • for pension provisions and other benefits, the service cost in/for the year under review.

The model tables provided in the appendix shall be used to present this information.

4.3 Conflicts of interest

4.3.1 Members of the Management Board are bound by the interests of the company. When making their decisions they must not pursue any personal interests, are subject to a comprehensive prohibition to compete during their work for the company and must not exploit for themselves business opportunities to which the company is entitled.
4.3.2 Members of the Management Board and employees may not, in connection with their work, demand or accept from third parties unlawful advantages for themselves or for any other person nor grant third parties unlawful advantages.
4.3.3 All members of the Management Board shall disclose conflicts of interest to the Supervisory Board without delay and inform the other members of the Management Board thereof. All transactions between the enterprise and the members of the Management Board as well as persons they are close to or companies they have a personal association with must comply with standards customary in the sector. The Supervisory Board shall represent the company in transactions with members of the Management Board. Important transactions with persons closely associated with a member of the Management Board shall only be carried out with the consent of the Supervisory Board.
4.3.4 Members of the Management Board shall take on sideline activities, especially Supervisory Board mandates outside the enterprise, only with the approval of the Supervisory Board.
  convenience translation

1 The initial specification must be made by 30 September 2015 at the latest. The initial deadlines to be determined for achievement of the target levels must not extend beyond 30 June 2017 (Law on Equal Participation of Men and Women in Private-Sector and Public-Sector Management Positions, Section 25 Subsection 1 EG-AktG (Introductory Law of the German Stock Corporation Act), German Federal Gazette I. 2015, 642, 656).