Supervisory Board competencies transparent for the first time
The qualification matrix of the supervisory board after the new version of the German Gorporate Governance Code (DCGK)

A study by European Center for Board Effectiveness ECBE and management consultancy hkp/// group, which specializes in corporate governance and strategic HR management, is the first to analyze the qualification matrices in the 2022 annual reports of companies listed in the stock market indices DAX, MDAX and SDAX. In addition to analyzing the presentation, scope and content of the matrices, the objective of the analysis is also to analyze the individual competencies of supervisory board members in Germany.

As part of the study, the qualification matrices of all companies as well as competencies individually self-reported by supervisory board members of these companies were systematically recorded and evaluated at both corporate and individual level.

With a total of 38 (out of 40) DAX, 44 (out of 50) MDAX and 56 (out of 70) SDAX companies, around 90% of the companies comply with the requirements of the GCGC/DCGK. While companies with a foreign legal form do not fall under these requirements and therefore refrain from publication, the other companies without a qualification matrix give a variety of reasons for their deviation from the GCGC/DCGK. These range from reference to the fact that the matrix has yet to be prepared and the justification that required competencies on the supervisory board have been sufficiently taken into account, to commenting on it as a bureaucratic requirement involving unnecessary additional work, to stating that qualification matrices do not represent any added value.

We now see how supervisory boards evaluate their composition and make this transparent to investors. At the same time, we have an indication of the extent to which current topics such as sustainability and digitization are being focused on. The analysis shows that supervisory boards give themselves a positive report card here and demonstrate a high level of competence - also across the board.

Regine Siepmann, Senior Partner & Head of Corporate Governance Advisory hkp///group

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Author Regine Siepmann

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