Declaration on Corporate Governance December 2016
Declaration on corporate governance as per § 289a (2) of the German Commercial Code (HGB)
Our guiding principle is “You are the customer”. A clear customer focus has taken us to the top. We recognise ourselves in our customers. Our employees are committed to this philosophy. We focus on consumer interests and not on maximum profit. We continuously strive to be better and offer lower prices than the competition.
For this reason, corporate governance at Fielmann stands for responsible corporate management and control geared to long-term value creation. Transparent leadership strengthens the trust of customers, employees and investors in the work of the company and its committees. In this context, efficient cooperation between the Management Board and the Supervisory Board, respect for shareholder interests and openness in corporate communications are the principles that guide our actions.
The Management Board and Supervisory Board have pledged to ensure the continued viability of the company and sustainable value creation through responsible corporate governance over the long term.
The cooperation between the Management Board and the Supervisory Board is governed by mutual respect and appreciation. A constant exchange of opinions forms the basis for this successful and trusting cooperation. With regard to the contents, we refer to the Supervisory Board report in the Annual Report 2015.
When appointing Management Board members, Fielmann Aktiengesellschaft always makes its decisions based on the best qualifications and suitability for the benefit of the company. We are well positioned with our current Management Board members. For this reason, we set our target figure for the share of women on the Management Board for the first target attainment date – 30 June 2017 – at zero percent. If a position on the Management Board has to be filled at any point in the future, Fielmann will be happy to consider increasing the share of women but will not make this point the single most important criterion in the selection.
Fielmann is a modern company. Women account for more than 70% of our workforce in Germany. The proportion of women in the top two management levels below the Management Board now stands at 21%, while this figure rises to over 30% for the top three levels.
We also aim to achieve these percentages in future at Fielmann. We aim to keep our competent and committed female managers over the long term and, where possible, develop and recruit even more high-performing and convincing female managers. We shall always do so in consideration of their abilities and in compliance with applicable legal stipulations. For this reason, we set our target figure for the share of women in the top two management levels below the Management Board for the first target attainment date – 30 June 2017 – at no less than 21%.
Fielmann assumes responsibility for its products, its employees, its customers and for the society we live in. Investing in society means investing in the future. Fielmann plants a tree for every employee every year and has so far planted more than 1.5 million trees. We also finance long-term monitoring programs in organic farming, environmental protection, and medicine. Fielmann is committed to the preservation of historical monuments, and funds teaching and research.
Accordingly, the Management Board and Supervisory Board of Fielmann Aktiengesellschaft declare in line with § 161 of the Stock Corporation Act:
Declaration of compliance with the German Corporate Governance Code
In the previous financial year, Fielmann Aktiengesellschaft complied with the recommendation from the German Corporate Governance Code Government Commission and shall continue to comply with it in future with the following exceptions:
There is no fundamental age limit for members of the Management and Supervisory Boards. We believe that competence and performance should not be determined by rigid age limits. The decision on the selection of suitable candidates for the Management and Supervisory Boards is made solely on merit and not based on gender or ethnic and other affiliations, and is therefore in compliance with the general principle of equality. In the composition of the Supervisory Board, Fielmann AG gave full consideration to the criterion of diversity with regard to legal regulations as well as corporate governance requirements. The Supervisory Board is composed of six women and ten men. Many members of the Supervisory Board are experienced in international business, not least due to one of them being a foreign national or being a resident in a European city. The professional activities of the Supervisory Board members add to the international aspect of decision making. There are no further stipulations, in particular with regard to a fixed term of office for Supervisory Board membership. The succession planning for members of the Supervisory Board shall be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
(Code number 4.1.5, in conjunction with Code number 5.1.2, in conjunction with Code number 5.4.1)
The Supervisory Board is not currently planning to set up an Audit Committee. Questions relating to the accounting, the risk management system and determining the key points of the audit shall remain the reserve of the overall governing body. In order to meet their responsibilities for these material tasks, the members of the Supervisory Board intend to directly participate in this too in the future. In addition to the annual balance sheet meeting of the Management and Supervisory Boards in the presence of the auditors, where the financial statements of the Group and the Aktiengesellschaft are discussed in detail, all members of the Supervisory Board have the opportunity before the meeting to obtain a detailed briefing on the content and results of the audit in a discussion forum, as well as to ask questions and make suggestions.
(Code number 5.3.2)
In order not to cause any delays during the Annual General Meeting, Fielmann AG shall forgo individual elections in future for Supervisory Board elections, provided urgent statutory provisions do not dictate another procedure or the matter is settled of its own accord.
(Code number 5.4.3)
In line with legal stipulations, the full amount of the Supervisory Board remuneration is reported in the Notes to the Consolidated Accounts and in Fielmann Aktiengesellschaft’s annual accounts.
(Code number 5.4.6)
In addition to his position as CEO of Fielmann AG, Günther Fielmann is also the sole Management Board member of the Fielmann Familienstiftung and the family’s holding company KORVA SE. In total, 71.31% of Fielmann AG is held by him or is attributed to him as per § 22 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG). Details on share ownership are published in the Notes to the annual accounts of Fielmann AG. The total ownership of all the other Management Board members and all Supervisory Board members amounts to less than 1% of the shares issued by the company.
(Code number 6.2)
As part of its reporting obligations, the Management Board regularly informs the members of the Supervisory Board about the current situation as well as about the company publications. In addition, the Management Board is at the disposal of the Supervisory Board members at all times for an open discussion about the economic situation. The audited consolidated accounts, the annual accounts of Fielmann AG, the interim statements and the interim report will be published within the deadlines set by the stock exchange.
(Code number 7.1.2)
Hamburg, December 2016
For the Management Board
Chairman of the Management Board
For the Supervisory Board
Prof. Dr. Mark K. Binz
Chairman of the Supervisory Board