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Corporate Governance – portrayed in the individual cultural and legal framework, from the standpoint of equity capital.

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Buhlmann's Corner


Stories - that life wrote.

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience."

George Bernard Shaw

When Ruhrgas was still ruled by Burckhard Bergmann and headquartered in Essen, the energy world was still in order - the business model was cutthroat then as now, though it was in line with the political credo of those years. Blessed by a ministerial permit and showered with purchase price/money. Ruhrgas was the pride of a whole nation, ended up with the people's share VEBA in E.on and was integrated into UNIPER at its 2nd rebirth to make it prettier.

The Finnish Fortum wanted to take over UNIPER also because of the gas wholesale and was still arguing with the relevant activist shareholders of the so-called special situation: there came Putin, the gas tap and the end of an era with Russian gas wholesale. Not only ex-Chancellor Schröder sat in soft Russian manager chairs - but it was Schröder who, without cooling-off in the Chancellery, took out a billion-euro guarantee for North-Stream, only to end up in an executive position with the borrower the next day. At that time hardly anyone was bothered, today no one really wants to know. According to its own understanding and its abbreviated name, Ver.di is a "service" trade union - I have not yet found out for whom it provides services apart from the respective chairperson. A Frank Bsirske was elected in November 2000 in Hanover as an "accident" and led a strike of fire brigade workers at Frankfurt airport in winter 2002. With little use of strike funds, he paralysed the airport. As he was at the same time vice-chairman of the supervisory board of Deutsche Lufthansa - which lost many millions in shareholder assets in the strike - VIP ... called on the AGM 2003 not to discharge this supervisory board member Bsirske: he is one of the rare examples of DAX supervisory board members who have not been discharged. Christine Behle has taken this story to heart. With a 6-figure salary, she is deputy chairperson of the Lufthansa supervisory board, without having previously pursued a job to earn a living other than in the union hall. In her role as vice-boss of ver.di, she unleashes a 27-hour so-called warning strike on the peak of Lufthansa operations in Frankfurt and Munich. She ruins a large part of Lufthansa's reputation, destroys trust, 1,000 cancelled flights and 134,000 (or more - who counted them?) stranded Lufthansa customers. So far she has not resigned, she is not fulfilling her legal duty to avert damage to the company and, presumably as a child of the 1968s, she is dreaming of a re-election at the Annual General Meeting on 10 May 2023. That's the arrogance of self-serving functionaries who mistake conflicts of interest as an award.

Instead of castigating the operational executive management for mistakes of the past years, such functionaries should first present their constructive criticism in hard times. And if they cannot do the one but do the other - then they should at least have the decency to resign. One can only hope that Klaus-Michael Kühne will be man enough to reproach Christine Behle for this and give her a fair chance to mend her ways by not discharging and not re-electing her.

Hegel remarked somewhere that all great world-historical facts and persons happen twice, so to speak.[1] He forgot to add: one time as a tragedy, the other time as a farce.

= deutsche Text-Version weiter unten =


2003 AGM

Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Agenda Item 4: counter-motions


Ladies and Gentlemen,


We – VIP association of institutional shareholders e.V.,Bonn (Buschstr. 52, 53113 Bonn; www.VIP-cg.com) –hereby move, at the forthcoming annual general meeting on 18 June 2003 in Cologne, that:

- discharge to Supervisory Board members be voted on INDIVIDUALLY and

- deputy Supervisory Board chair (and simultaneously chair of ver.di trade union) Mr Frank Bsirske be refused discharge, because:

the targeted warning strike by the ver.di trade union on 17 December 2002, in the public-service collective bargaining dispute, at all Lufthansa hubs caused damage to Lufthansa shareholders. A Supervisory Board member is obligated to company interests.

In his capacity as chair of the ver.di trade union Mr Frank Bsirske had a manifest conflict of interest in the collective bargaining dispute in the public service. He resolved it, obviously at the expense of LH, by exclusively pursuing ver.di’s interests and even using the damage to Lufthansa as a lever to conspicuously promote collective-bargaining interests foreign to Lufthansa.

For a third time Lufthansa is being harmed, from within its own ranks so to speak, by striking Supervisory Board members: after Heinz Klunker in 1974 and Monika Wulf-Mathies in 1992, now Frank Bsirske 2002. With his responsibility as deputy Supervisory Board chair, he is bringing the sensitive model of parity-based codetermination in "Germany Inc." into disrepute internationally – and more and more non-German employees, not entitled to vote for "their" supervisory board, are rightly complaining. The Corporate Governance Commission's efforts at enhancing the attractiveness of the German capital market through transparency were stymied by Mr Bsirske’s behaviour. The debate on the parity-based Supervisory Board naturally took a controversial turn and came to nothing. We shareholders must accordingly act to punish Mr Bsirske’s misconduct by refusing discharge.

Not only the shareholders, but also the efforts of all the workers fighting for their jobs, and of the management acting successfully to cope with the air traffic crisis (9/11, the Iraq crisis, SARS), are harmed by such extraneous influences from SB members – not independant.

VIP (www.VIP-cg.com) represents shareholders at the general meeting, and is putting forward the necessary motion for giving discharge to Supervisory Board members individually. Only thereafter can each shareholder send a signal: against conflicts of interest, for independent boards. Institutional investors must act in accordance with their individual directives and take up their responsibility for their clients.

By § 120 AktG (the German Companies Act), discharge to Supervisory Board members has to be voted on individually if a minority of 390,625 individual Lufthansa shares so requests. Each one should turn up at the AGM or confer a proxy with both instructions, as the forthcoming Security Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations on fiduciary duties provide.

For the effort towards transparent, conflict-free Corporate Governance, for independent Supervisory Boards - vote for the VIP motions, or give us your proxy - no discharge for Frank Bsirske!  



Hauptversammlung 2003

Deutsche Lufthansa AGTOP 4, Gegenanträge  

Hiermit beantragen wir ­ VIP Vereinigung Institutionelle Privatanleger e.V., Bonn (Buschstr. 52, 53113 Bonn; www.VIP-cg.com) bei der kommenden Hauptversammlung am 18.06.2003 in Köln: 

- über die Entlastung der Aufsichtsratsmitglieder EINZELN abzustimmen und

- dem stellvertretenden Aufsichtsratsvorsitzenden (und gleichzeitig Vorsitzenden der Gewerkschaft ver.di) Herrn Frank Bsirske die Entlastung zu verweigern, weil: 

der gezielte Warnstreik der Gewerkschaft ver.di im Tarifkonfilkt des öffentlichen Dienstes am 17.12.2002 auf alle Lufthansa-Drehkreuze die LH-Aktionäre geschädigt hat. Das Mitglied des Aufsichtsrates ist den Unternehmensinteressen verpflichtet.

In seinem Amt als Vorsitzender der Gewerkschaft ver.di stand er beim Tarifstreit im Öffentlichen Dienst im eindeutigen Interessenkonflikt, und hat diesen eindeutig zu Lasten der LH gelöst, indem er ausschliesslich Ver.di Interessen verfolgte und die Schädigung der Lufthansa sogar als Hebel für die prominente Durchsetzung Lufthansa fremder Tarifinteressen nutzte.

Zum dritten Mal wird Lufthansa durch streikende Aufsichtsräte alias Gewerkschaftsvorsitzende sozusagen aus den eigenen Reihen geschädigt. Nach Heinz Klunker 1974 und Monika Wulf-Mathies 1992 nun Frank Bsirske 2002. In der Verantwortung des stellvertretenden Aufsichtsratsvorsitzenden bringt er das sensible Modell der paritätischen Mitbestimmung in der Deutschland AG international in Verruf. Zu Recht beschweren sich immer mehr ausländische Beschäftigte, die an der Wahl “ihres“ Aufsichtsrat nicht beteiligt sein dürfen. Das Bemühen der Corporate Governance Kommission zur Erhöhung der Attraktivität des deutschen Kapitalmarktes durch Transparenz wurde durch Herrn Bsirskes Verhalten konterkariert. Die Diskussion im paritätisch besetzten Aufsichtsrat verlief naturgemäß kontrovers und blieb folgenlos: Wir Aktionäre sind deshalb gefordert diesen Fehlverhalten von Herrn Bsirske durch Verweigerung der Entlastung zu sanktionieren.

Nicht nur die Aktionäre, sondern die Leistung aller um ihren Arbeitsplatz kämpfenden Mitarbeiter und des erfolgreich agierenden Vorstandes zur Bewältigung der Luftverkehrskrise (11.9.2001, Irak-Krise, SARS,) werden durch solche Fremdeinflüsse der Aufsichtsräte geschädigt – weil deren Unabhängigkeit fehlt.

VIP (www.VIP-cg.com) vertritt Aktionäre in der Hauptversammlung und stellt den notwendigen Antrag auf Einzelentlastung der Aufsichtsratsmitglieder. ­Erst danach kann jeder Aktionär ein Zeichen setzen: gegen Interessenkonflikte, für unabhängige Räte. Institutionelle Anleger müssen nach ihren individuellen Richtlinien handeln und Verantwortung für ihre Kunden wahrnehmen.

Gemäß § 120 AktG ist über die Entlastung der Aufsichtsratsmitglieder einzeln abzustimmen, wenn eine Minderheit von 390.625 Stückaktien der Lufthansa dies verlangt. Jeder sollte in der HV erscheinen oder Vollmacht mit Weisung (pro beider Anträge) erteilen -­ so wie es das kommende Regelwerk der treuhänderischen Pflichten zur Stimmabgabe der Security Exchange Commission (SEC) vorsieht.

Für das Streben zu transparenter, konfliktfreier Corporate Governance, für unabhängige Aufsichtsräte: stimmen sie für den VIP-Antrag, erteilen Sie uns Vollmacht - keine Entlastung für Frank Bsirske!  


best regards

Hans-Martin Buhlmann

Vorsitzender - Ceo


VIP (Vereinigung Institutionelle Privatanleger) eV

Association of institutional shareholders

Association des actionnaires institutionnels

t h e e u r o p e a n p r o x y a g e n t

Buschstr 52

D-53113 Bonn

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