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

VIPsight is a dynamic photo archive, sorted by nations and dates, by and for those interested in CG from all over the world.

VIPsight offers, every month:
transparent and independent current information / comments / facts and figures on corporate governance locally and internationally,

  • written by local CG experts,
  • selected and structured by the Club of Florence,
  • financed by its initiator VIP and other sponsors with a background of “Equity and Advisory” interests.

VIPsight International

Article Index




Frankfurt Regional Court has annulled the decisions giving discharge to senior managers Klaus-Peter Müller and Martin Blessing for the business year 2008. The judges objected that according to the charter the takeover of Dresdner Bank ought to have been decided by the AGM. Commerzbank has appealed against the decision.

Hanover Regional Court has ruled Rolf Koerfer’s election to the Continental supervisory board null and void. Continental and its major shareholder want to appeal. The court based its ruling on grounds for concern over conflicts of interest in the case of Koerfer, a lawyer. Additionally, Continental had not adequately informed its shareholders before the AGM in April 2009. Among others, corporate-governance expert and former head of DWS Christian Strenger had sued against the election of the Schaeffler advisor.

Following exhaustive investigations by US stock-exchange regulators, the US Justice Ministry has charged Daimler. On 1 April the bribery case over possible systematic impermissible payments of at least 56 million dollars to foreign government employees in 22 countries by the German carmaker between 1998 and 2008 will be heard before a US court. They are alleged to have let the Stuttgart firm secure lucrative orders and earn turnover totalling 1.9 billion dollars. While Daimler wants to pay some 185 million dollars to settle the case, it is nonetheless being placed under supervision. Former FBI head Louis Freeh is to monitor the group for the next three years to ensure its business is clean.

Stuttgart Higher Regional Court has condemned Deutsche Bank to pay €1.5 million damages to Teamtechnik, which it had offered interest-swap contracts. The judges agreed with the midsized plant installer from Freiburg am Neckar that this was “a sort of gamble” in which the plaintiff had been disadvantaged “vis-à-vis the bank with its highly developed simulation models”. The Ninth Civil Division further criticized the fact that the bankers had developed the contracts with their risk models in such a way that losses were likely. Such transactions ought not, however, to be offered by banks. Milan prosecutors too have after months of investigations in connection with derivatives transactions brought charges against four foreign banks, including Deutsche Bank. The first trial of this nature in Europe starts on 6 May. The institutions are alleged to have deliberately deceived the city of Milan in 2005 by selling it complex interest swaps, by which the municipality hoped to reduce its interest burden. The issues had brought the banks €100 million at the city’s expense, said Milan investigator Alfredo Robledo.

Stefan Ortseifen is blaming the near bankruptcy of IKB on Deutsche Bank. It had caused the collapse by capping its business relations with the small-business bank and closing its long-time credit lines on 27 July 2007, said the former IKB board spokesman. The resulting enormous damage to its reputation had ultimately sparked off the existential crisis. Deutsche Bank immediately rejected the accusations. Ortseifen has since 16 March been defending himself at Düsseldorf Regional Court on accusations of rate manipulation and breach of trust in connection with building operations on his service villa.


Investigation proceedings against Kai-Uwe Ricke and Klaus Zumwinkel in the Telekom spying scandal will probably be completed by Easter, according to public prosecutors. The magazine Focus had previously reported that senior prosecutor Fred Apostel had confirmed that there were indications that Telekom bosses had had trade unionist and journalists spied on in order to trace leaks. Focus further reported that Bonn prosecutors nonetheless wanted to stay the proceedings since ultimately the investigators were unable to refute the statements of the former Telekom CEO and Supervisory Board chair.

Heinrich von Pierer has been given an unappealable administrative fine in the bribery case. The former Siemens CEO and Supervisory Board chair has to pay a six-figure fine for the administrative offence. This is confirmed by public prosecutors and Pierer’s lawyers. No indications were given of the precise figure of the fine. Decisions of this nature can range up to half a million Euros. Investigators accused the 69-year-old of negligent breach of his supervisory duties for not having checks done when he received the relevant information.

In connection with the case of concealed funding of the dummy trade union AUB, accusations have now also been brought against Günter Wilhelm. The former Siemens board member, in Siemens central management between 1992 and 2000, is accused of incitement to breach of trust and tax evasion. Wilhelm is said to have incited his successor Johannes Feldmayer at the start of the decade to pay amounts in the millions to former AUB head Wilhelm Schelsky. The industrial conglomerate had promoted the organization of works councillors as an employer-friendly counterweight to IG Metall.