1 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull Corpora Govrnanc in Grmany - Sysm and Rcn Dvlopmns Thodor Baums* ndn wrd n. I. Inroducion II. Th Empirical Background 1. Numbr of Firms 2. Srucur of Ownrship a) Priva housholds b) Firms c) Forign invsors d) Banks ) Insurancs; pnsion funds 3. An xampl: Disribuion of ownrship in Simns Akingsllschaf III. Th Corpora Govrnanc Srucur 1. Th Lgal Framwork 2. Th Sock Corporaion as a Lgal Eniy 3. Th Company Organs a) Th formal rgulaion b) Pracical xampl: Simns Akingsllschaf 4. Th Pracic of Inrnal Monioring a) Th rol of h banks b) Prformanc of suprvisory boards
2 IV. 5. Exrnal monioring a) Exrnal vs. inrnal monioring b) Hosil akovrs Th Prsn Dba and Ongoing Work 1. "Finanzplaz Duschland" Fhl r! Vrw isq ull ndn wrd n. 2. Th Haring of h Commi on Economic Affairs on "Powr of Financial Insiuions", of Dc. 8, Th Law of Groups of Firms I. Inroducion Th following dscripiv ovrviw of h Grman corpora govrnanc sysm and h currn dba is srucurd as follows. Par II will giv som informaion on h mpirical background. Par III will dscrib h formal lgal sing as wll as acual pracics in som ky aras. Par IV will hn dal wih som issus of h currn dba. II. Th Empirical Background 1. Numbr of firms Obaining nw rliabl daa on all firms in runifid Grmany is no y possibl. Th only daa I can offr hr ar as of 1990 and concrn only h firms in formr Ws Grmany 1. Thr wr roughly 2,100,00 firms in Grmany. Of hs mor han on and a half million wr run by a sol proprior, abou 250,00 by parnrships and a slighly largr numbr (265,00) by corporaions. As h corpora govrnanc issu is mainly, from a pracical poin of viw, an issu involving larg, publiclyhld corporaions, l us brak hs numbrs of corporaions down ino hos of privaly and of publicly-hld corporaions.
3 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull Of h 265,000 corporaions abou 263,000 wr priva companis wih limid liabiliy and lss han 1,800 wr sock corporaions. Of h lar only abou 80 ar widly hld 2. Howvr, mos of hs corporaions wih widly disribud ownrship ar among h 100 largs firms in Grmany 3. ndn wrd n.
4 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull Tabl 1 ndn wrd n. Sol ownrship 1,545,264 Parnrships - Offn Handlsgsllschaf 173,294 - Kommandigsllschaf 85,219 Corporaions - Akingsllschaf (1) 1,717 - GmbH (2) 263,341 Ohr (3) 35,139 Toal 2,103,974 Numbrs as of Sourc: S foono 1. Th numbrs covr h urnovr-ax paying firms in formr Ws Grmany. Mos farmrs, docors, dniss and svral ohr profssions ar xcludd. 1) Sock corporaions (includs Kommandigsllschafn auf Akin). 2) Gsllschafn mi bschränkr Hafung (priva companis wih limid liabiliy). 3) Including Erwrbs- und Wirschafsgnossnschafn, firms in public law form, branchs of forign firms. 2. Srucur of Ownrship W can alrady gahr from hs numbrs ha h dscripion of h Grman corpora govrnanc sysm as "bank-orinad" is a misnomr if w look a all firms. Th bulk of our indusry is sill mad up of small and mdium-sizd firms (h "Milsand") which ar ownd by sol propriors, familis or parnrs. Banks play a paricular rol in corpora govrnanc
5 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull only in our comparaivly fw "sock corporaions" wih small, scard sharholdrs. I will g back o h rol of banks in corpora govrnanc in hs companis lar. Firs, l us hav a mor daild look ino h srucur and disribuion of ownrship in our firms. Paricipaions or shars can b hld by: ndn wrd n. - priva ownrs or familis; - ohr firms; - h public scor; - financial insiuions; - forignrs. Exac daa for all firms ar no availabl. Th following abl shows h disribuion of ownrship of forign as wll as domsic shars in public companis limid by shars (Akingsllschafn) hld by Grman invsors. This char givs us a las a rough imprssion of h disribuion of ownrship in h group of firms which is of inrs hr wih rspc o h corpora govrnanc issu.
6 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull Tabl 2 Disribuion and dvlopmn of ownrship in domsic sharholdings 1) (in %) ndn wrd n. Scor Priva housholds Firms Public scor Forign firms/invsors Banks Insuranc companis/ Pnsion Funds ) Sourc: Monasbrich dr Duschn Bundsbank, Oc. 1991, a p. 28. How ar hs daa o b inrprd? a) Priva housholds Th abl shows ha sharholdings of priva housholds dclind sadily sinc Thr ar various facors which conribud o his dvlopmn: - consrvaiv savings parns in our housholds (in 1991 shars mad up only DM 1.1 billion as compard o a oal of DM 3,098 billion in asss for all Ws Grman priva housholds 4 ); - pculiariis of our social scuriy sysm 5 ; - a sill smallr and lss-dvlopd scuriis mark han,.g., in h U.K. b) Firms
7 Ohr firms ar by far h mos dominan group of sharholdrs. A sudy rcnly simad ha as much as 90 % of all domsic sock corporaions and mor han 50 % of all Grman parnrships ar mmbrs of groups of wo or mor firms which ar lockd o ach ohr by prsonal and/or capial links 6. This faur Fhl r! Vrw isq ull ndn wrd n. lads o spcial problms in rms of corpora govrnanc, and our Grman company law dvlopd an xnsiv s of ruls, h "Konzrnrch", which spcially dals wih groups of companis 7. c) Forign invsors Our numbrs rval ha, sinc 1960, forign invsmns in Grman sock corporaions incrasd sadily. This incras again poss som nw policy qusions wih rspc o corpora govrnanc, as forign priva and insiuional invsors nd no o vo hir shars bu o rmain passiv 8. d) Banks Grman banks may hold sock in non-bank firms for hir own accoun 9. Our figurs hr show ha banks in 1990 hld abou 10 % of all domsic or forign shars hld by Grman invsors. Ths holdings rang from small saks up o conrolling blocks in singl cass. Th crdi scor as a whol hld in Novmbr ,310 paricipaions of 10 % or mor of h quiy capial of non-bank firms 10.
8 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull ) Insuranc companis; pnsion funds According o abl 2 insuranc companis and pnsion funds oghr hld 12 % of all shars in This saisic may surpris forign obsrvrs, spcially as far as pnsion funds ar concrnd. Priva pnsion ndn wrd n. funds wih hug amouns of shars lik, for insanc, in h U.S. or h U.K., do no xis in Grmany. Our pnsion paymns sysm rss on hr pillars: h public scuriy sysm, priva pnsion savings, and, hird, businss-rlad pnsion mony. Bu his pnsion mony is kp mainly by h businss firms in hir rasury and invsd wihin h company. Th companis ha hav promisd pnsion paymns o hir mploys ar lgally bound o conribu o a kind of muual rinsuranc which guarans h paymns. Ou of h oal of DM 345 billion in pnsion obligaions of Grman companis in 1990, only DM 82.5 billion wr fundd hrough xrnal pnsion funds An xampl: Simns Akingsllschaf L us nd our mpirical ovrviw by aking a closr look a on mor or lss ypical xampl of a larg sock corporaion wih scard sharholdrs, Simns Akingsllschaf. In 1990, Simns had a sock capial of DM 2,608 million and abou 583,000 sharholdrs. 52 % of h shar capial was hld by Grman invsors, 43 % by forign invsors (5 % rmaind unclar); cf. figur 1. Tha maks i clar o wha xn our capial marks spcially in Europ hav alrady grown oghr. If w brak hs numbrs down ino various groups of sharholdrs, h following picur mrgs (cf. figur 2, blow): By far h highs amoun of h shar capial (45 %) was hld by priva ownrs (sill among hm h Simns family wih a sak of abou 10 % prfrrd shars). Th nx group is mad up of insuranc companis, invsmn funds, and banks wih holdings of abou 26 %. Thy ar followd
9 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull by quiy links bwn Simns and ohr firms (abou 7 %) and ohr invsors (7 %). ndn wrd n.
12 I should mnion a his sag how h shars ar vod in h sharholdrs' mings of Simns. In 1987, abou 60 % of Simns' shars wr rprsnd a h ming. Of hs almos 90 % wr rprsnd and vod by banks, which ac mainly by viru of proxis givn o hm by sharholdrs. Among hs h biggs Fhl r! Vrw isq ull ndn wrd n. Grman bank, Dusch Bank, vod 17,8 %; Drsdnr Bank 10,7 %; Commrzbank 4,1 %; all ohr banks 32,5 % 12. Ths figurs show ha h banks oghr clarly domina h fild; and i mans, on h ohr hand, ha no singl bank alon holds - a las a h Simns' mings - a conrolling block. III. Th Corpora Govrnanc Srucur In h following I will firs ry o dscrib h formal lgal sing as far as sock corporaions ar concrnd and o h xn ncssary o undrsand h insrumns and h funcioning of corpora govrnanc in hs corporaions. 1. Th lgal framwork Sock corporaions or public companis limid by shars (Akingsllschafn) ar rgulad undr h Sock Corporaion Ac (Akingsz) of This Ac conains for h mos par binding ruls concrning h foundaion and consiuion of such corporaions, h organs and hir duis, h righs of sharholdrs, ruls concrning h (fixd) capial of h corporaion, h issuanc of shars, h dissoluion of h company and ohr mars. Furhr pars of h Ac dal wih h law of groups of companis ("Konzrnrch") as far as sock corporaions ar involvd; furhrmor wih mrgrs and ransformaions ino ohr lgal forms. Righ now h fdral auhoriis (Fdral Minisry of Jusic) ar considring an amndmn concrning h ruls for mrgrs and ransformaions 14.
13 Ohr imporan acs which supplmn h Sock Corporaion Ac ar h Codrminaion Acs (Mibsimmungsgsz) and h Commrcial Cod (Handlsgszbuch). 2. Th Sock Corporaion as a lgal niy According o Grman law, sock corporaions ar lgal niis. Thy hav o hav a las on sharholdr. As in Fhl r! Vrw isq ull ndn wrd n. principl only h corporaion and no is sharholdrs can b hld liabl for h company's dbs, h sharholdrs hav o invs a fixd (publishd) minimum amoun of mony (fixd capial; "Grundkapial", a las DM 100,000); and hr ar binding ruls which proc h company's funds from amps by h sharholdrs o disribu or dilu his procd capial sock. Th concp of h sock corporaion as a lgal niy has sill anohr aspc which is of inrs in our conx hr. Formrly, in h arly ninnh cnury, jurisprudnc and lgal scholars hld h viw ha sock corporaions wr basd on a conrac among h sharholdrs, and ha hs sharholdrs should, a las "inrnally" or "marially", b considrd o b h ru ownrs of h company's asss. Th famous lgal scholar Fridrich Carl von Savigny, profssor of law and, in 1843, as a minisr in Prussia in charg of h nw lgislaion for sock corporaions, xprssd his viw as follows: "Für dis Auffassung sprich dr Umsand, daß ursprünglich [i.., bfor incorporaion by h govrnmn, T.B.] gwiß in rin Soziä (also Miignum dr Einzlnn) vorhandn is, und daß di spär Erilung dr Korporaionsrch gwiß dazu bsimm is, das innr Rchsvrhälnis wsnlich umzuändrn" 15. This docrin had rmarkabl consquncs lik,.g., a conracual duy of fair ramn and considraion for h ohr sharholdrs. And i had also clar consquncs for hir righs as "ru co-ownrs" vis-à-vis h company's managmn 16. Whhr his docrin of h corporaion as a s or wb of conracs vr rflcd h dails of h lgal framwork, h opinion of h cours and
14 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull h acual bhaviour in pracic, sms doubful. In any vn, a las afr h firs World War, his lgal docrin was abandond. Th poliical and social rasons for his dvlopmn canno b dcribd hr 17. Pahbraking was a small ssay by h indusrialis and lar Grman forign minisr, Walr Rahnau 18. ndn wrd n. Today h paricipaion and rol of h mploys in corpora govrnanc, h "codrminaion", bars any docrin or noion of h sock corporaion as sricly a convnion of, or a wb of conracs among, is sharholdrs. Ohr sakholdrs, spcially h mploys, ar considrd o b "mmbrs" of h firm ("Unrnhmn") as wll, alhough wih diffrn righs. On consqunc of his dvlopmn for corpora govrnanc is ha managmn is hld o also ak h inrss of h ohr sakholdrs ino considraion 19, which mans in pracic ha managmn is givn mor lway o mak dcisions a is discrion. According o Grman law, managmn is no obligd o maximiz h valu of h shars. Whhr his is an conomically sound and rcommndabl srucur is, of cours, anohr qusion. As w ar among lawyrs hr I canno forgo o add ha microconomic hory apparnly lags long bhind lgal hory: Microconomics discovrd h "Firm as a Nxus of Trais" or a wb of conracs among all sakholdrs only rcnly Th company organs Sock corporaions hav hr organs: h sharholdrs' ming ("Haupvrsammlung"), h suprvisory board ("Aufsichsra"), and h managmn board ("Vorsand"). Th suprvisory board is suppord by indpndn audiors who hav o chck h annual samns of accoun. A mor daild picur would rval a complx srucur of balanc of powrs bwn hs hr organs. Som ky poins should, howvr, b mniond. a) Th formal rgulaion
15 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull Th sharholdrs' ming is no considrd o b h highs or h chif organ of h sock corporaion. Is powrs ar limid o clarly dfind basic dcisions such as changs of saus, approval of h annual samns of accouns, disribuion of (half ndn wrd n. of) h annual balanc-sh profis, consn o som spcific srucural changs such as mrgrs, issuanc of nw sock and h lik 21. I lcs h mmbrs of h suprvisory board, as far as hs ar rprsnaivs of h sharholdrs and no o b appoind by h mploys' sid. Bu i is no nild o giv any insrucions ihr o h suprvisory or o h managmn board. L m add ha h posiion or lgal righs of h singl sharholdr vis-à-vis managmn and h mmbrs of h suprvisory board could sill b improvd. Thr is, for insanc, no drivaiv sui in Grman law 22. Th Grman wo-ir or dual boards sysm which disinguishs bwn a managmn board and a spara suprvisory board was alrady sablishd in Originally h suprvisory board was dsignd o rprsn h sharholdrs vis-à-vis h managmn of h firm, and conrol i in liu of h sharholdrs. Today i has a diffrn funcion. I rprsns - a las in all largr sock corporaions - h mploys as wll. Th codrminaion sysm involvs mmbrs of h suprvisory board who ar lcd by h mploys or appoind by h rad unions. In firms wih mor han 500 mploys, on hird of h mmbrs of h Aufsichsra is lcd by h mploys. In companis wih mor han mploys, his numbr gos up o on half of h mmbrs of h suprvisory board. Among h rprsnaivs of h mploys a las wo ar appoind by h labor unions 23. In groups of firms ("Konzrn"), h mploys of h dpndn firms ar, ohr han h sharholdrs of such firms, nild o co-lc h board mmbrs of h op (govrning) company.
16 Th suprvisory board appoins h mmbrs of h managing board (mosly for fiv yars) and may dismiss hm, hough only for caus. I is rsponsibl for monioring h managmn, alhough, pracically, i acs as an advisory commi rahr han as a monioring panl xcp in ims of financial disrss Fhl r! Vrw isq ull ndn wrd n. of h firm. To accomplish is duis, h board has h righ o rciv comprhnsiv informaion. Managmn mus rpor o i priodically on all imporan qusions, and h suprvisory board may always ask h managmn for rpors. Th suprvisory board rviws h annual rpors and balanc shs of h firm. Th board may rquir managmn o obain is prior approval bfor nring ino crain imporan ransacions. Th chair of h suprvisory board has a paricularly influnial posiion. H prpars h - comparaivly infrqun 24 - mings of h board, proposs h agnda, and says in sady conac wih h managmn. Managmn has o brif h chair immdialy on all imporan dcisions. If hr is a salma in a vo by h board undr a codrminaion rgim (a rar vn), h chairman who is lcd by h sharholdrs and no by h mploys, braks h i. b) Pracical xampl: Simns Akingsllschaf Figur 3 blow shows h corpora govrnanc srucur of Simns Akingsllschaf. Th srucur is no h sam on for vry sock corporaion, as h numbr of h mmbrs of h suprvisory board and h rprsnaivs of h labour unions vary wih h numbr of mploys of h rspciv company.
18 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull 4. Th Pracic of Inrnal Monioring In h following scion I will ry o dscrib brifly how corpora govrnanc works in pracic in larg widly-hld sock corporaions. Hr w should look, firs, a h rol of h banks, and, scond, a h rol and prformanc of h main inrnal monior of managmn, h suprvisory board 25. ndn wrd n. a) Th rol of h banks Banks play a rol in corpora govrnanc in Grmany spcially in big-widly-hld firms in svral rspcs: - as crdiors (h imporanc of loan financ for big firms and h rlvanc of crdi financ for corpora monioring is omid in h following 26 ); - as sharholdrs; - as proxy holdrs; - by prsonal inrlocks wih h rspciv firms. aa) Bank conrol of proxis Banks vo h sock of clins who hav dposid hir shars wih hm. In ordr o do so hy nd a spcial wrin powr of auhoriy. This proxy canno b givn for mor han fifn monhs, and i is rvocabl a any im. Bfor a sharholdrs' ming, banks hav o rcommnd o hir cusomrs how o vo and mus ask for spcial insrucions. As a pracical mar, spcial insrucions ar xrmly rar. If h sharholdr dos no giv h bank spcial insrucions, h bank is o vo according o is rcommndaions. Gnrally, banks can vo hir cusomrs' sock on any mar. In is own sharholdrs' mings, howvr, a bank may only vo sock if i rcivs xplici insrucions from is sharholdrs 27.
19 Th following abl 3 shows h voing blocks a h sharholdrs' mings of 33 widly-hld sock corporaions among h 100 largs firms in No ha his saisic adds own holdings of banks, h holdings of bank subsidiaris, and h banks' proxy holdings. Fhl r! Vrw isq ull ndn wrd n. According o Goschalk's sudy, banks rprsnd mor han fourfifhs (82.67 %) of all vos prsn in h mings. Consqunly, hy wr abl o lc h mmbrs of h suprvisory board as far as hs ar lcd by h sharholdrs. Th brakdown in our abl shows also ha h voing righs ar highly concnrad in h hr largs priva banks (Dusch Bank, Drsdnr Bank, Commrzbank).
21 bb) Banks as sharholdrs Fhl r! Vrw isq ull I hav alrady mniond ha, according o Grman banking law, crdi insiuions may acquir and hold paricipaions in non-bank firms 28. Th ral xn of such holdings, spcially in big firms, is sill ndn wrd n. unclar, as hs holdings hav only o b disclosd if hy xcd 20 % of h rspciv firm's capial 29. This hrshold will b lowrd o 5 % in h nar fuur 30. Tabl 3 abov compriss h vos which com from shars hld by banks on hir own accoun. Paricipaions in non-bank firms can b hld ihr dircly by a bank or by a subsidiary. An imporan rol for our issu is playd by so-calld "Vorschalgsllschafn". Ths ar firms in which financial as wll as ohr firms hold small saks of, say, 10 %. Th Vorschalgsllschaf islf holds a sak in a publicly-hld corporaion. This srucur srvs as an aniakovr dvic; I will g back o i lar. Anohr imporan sourc of influnc of banks by vos sms from h holdings of invsmn funds which ar subsidiaris of banks. According o Grman banking law, banks and insuranc companis may s up and run invsmn funds, which hn may acquir and hold quiy saks in firms. Alhough h law asks invsmn fund managrs o vo h shars hmslvs and no o giv proxis o hird paris 31, his provision dos no xclud an informal agrmn bwn h fund managr and h parn bank abou how o vo. cc) Prsonal inrlocks Considring h xn of influnc of banks a h sharholdrs' mings, i should no b surprising ha hr ar prsonal inrlocks bwn sas on h suprvisory boards of h rspciv firms and h rprsnaivs of banks. Influnc on managmn, is dcisions, is appoinmn and dismissal is no xrcizd dircly by h sharholdrs bu by
22 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull h suprvisory board, as has bn shown abov. Thrfor, sas on h suprvisory board ar crucial for vry sharholdr or insiuion ha wans o hav a say in corpora govrnanc, obain rlvan informaion, c. Tabl 4 shows h prsonal inrlocks among firms and banks wihin h group of h largs 100 Grman companis in ndn wrd n. Tabl 4 Prsonal dirc inrlocks bwn firms and banks (boh ou of h group of h 100 largs nrpriss) of h firms Rank Yar Bank (B) Numbr ino whos suprvisory board B sn is managrs which sn hir managrs ino h suprvisory board of B Dusch Bank Drsdnr Bank Commrzbank Bayrisch Vrinsbank Bayrisch Hypohkn- und Wchslbank Wsdusch Landsbank DG Bank Dusch Gnossnschafsbank 5 0
23 Sourc: Nuns Haupguachn dr Monopolkommission, Bundsags- Drucksach 12/3031, a p Fhl r! Vrw isq ull dd) Policy issus Th rol of h banks in corpora govrnanc has bn discussd and qusiond sinc dcads. This discussion ndn wrd n. cnrs mainly around hir own holdings and h "accumulaion of powr" smming from h various sourcs of influnc. Howvr, as far as h dposiary voing sysm is concrnd, almos no on rally wans o do away complly wih h proxis for banks and choos anohr sysm, lik,.g., proxis for managmn, as found in h U.S. 32. Th prsn dba cnrs around crain improvmns lik disclosur of conflics of inrss, disqualificaion of banks from voing in crain cass, rpors o h sharholdrs, and ohrs. On Dc. 8, 1993, a haring was hld by h Commi on Economic Affairs (Wirschafsausschuß) of h Fdral Parliamn whr hs issus wr discussd 33. b) Prformanc of suprvisory boards Alhough h suprvisory board in h Grman sysm is sparad by law from managmn, and alhough i is h sharholdrs (h dpo insiuions and ohr sharholdrs) as wll as h mploys who lc h mmbrs of h suprvisory board rahr han managmn islf or vn a CEO, hr is growing dissaisfacion wih h way suprvisory boards work and prform 34. Apar from som mor ancdoal vidnc, howvr, rliabl mpirical work on h prformanc of our suprvisory boards is scan 35. Th Commi on Economic Affairs (Wirschafsausschuß) of h Fdral Parliamn rcnly dal wih his issu. Various policy rcommndaions hav bn pu forward in h liraur, bu no lgislaiv acion has bn considrd hus far. Th whol issu is poliically snsiiv as h sysm of codrminaion could b affcd.
24 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull 5. Exrnal Monioring a) Exrnal vs. inrnal monioring Thorically, hr ar svral insrumns and dvics which can srv o align h inrss of managmn wih hos of h sockholdrs, mploys, and crdiors of a firm: ndn wrd n. monioring of h managmn by h suprvisory board; prssur from h produc marks as far as hs ar compiiv; compiion in h mark for managrs; incnivs in conracs, wih h compnsaion of managrs id o hir prformanc; monioring by crdiors; h hra of bankrupcy and h loss of prsig and rpuaion; lgal ruls undr which managrs mus ac wih loyaly and rasonabl car wih rspc o h firm and is various sakholdrs; h hra of hosil akovrs ("mark for corpora conrol"). No all hs dvics ar hough of as pursuing h sam goal. Th liabiliy ruls, for xampl, ar mor concrnd wih misbhaviour such as slf-inrsd conduc by managmn, rahr han wih monioring managrial fficincy. In h following I will no dal wih all of hs insrumns for "inrnal" and "xrnal" monioring bu will confin myslf o hosil akovrs wihin our corpora govrnanc sysm.
25 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull b) Public hosil akovr bids To da, no public hosil akovr bid has bn succssful in Grmany. Th amp of h Frnch company AGF o ak ovr h insurr AMB has rcnly bn sld by an agrmn, and h aack launchd ndn wrd n. by Ialy's Pirlli on h Grman ir makr Coninnal AG has bn wardd off succssfully by h suppor of Grman banks and h govrnmn of a Fdral Sa 36. Th rasons for hs fw amps and h impdimns o hosil akovrs hav bn dscribd in dph alrady 37. L m mnion only som fw of hm: - Thr ar comparaivly fw possibl args for public hosil akovrs on h Grman mark. - Th rol of banks in h rspciv firms as larg proxy holdrs maks hosil akovrs unlikly. - Furhr impdimns ar h wo-boards srucur and h rol ha mploys play in corpora govrnanc in Grmany. - Thr ar sauory provisions agains hosil akovrs, paricularly caps on voing righs ("Höchssimmrch"), spcially in our larg widly hld sock corporaions Many larg corporaions wih widly-disribud sock hav quiy links o ach ohr by mans of small holding companis ("Vorschalgsllschafn") for h purpos of acing as a whi knigh in cas of a hosil akovr amp (s figur 4, blow). Grman indusry as wll as our govrnmn has always, unil oday, blockd plans of h EC-Commission o inroduc lgislaion ha would as hosil akovrs. Th dba whhr and undr wha condiions hosil akovrs should b prmid is sill coninuing 39.
27 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull IV. Th Prsn Dba and Ongoing Work Wha ar h issus of h currn corpora govrnanc dba in Grmany? Wha is on h agnda and which qusions or rforms can b xpcd o com o h forfron in h nar fuur? Thr ar, o my knowldg, hr major issus which can b idnifid in his rspc. ndn wrd n. 1. "Finanzplaz Duschland" A rmarkabl ffor has bn mad o promo "Finanzplaz Duschland" by boh h govrnmn and h (financial) businss communiy for qui som im. This ffor has crainly bn givn a boos by h dcision of h EC o plac h Europan cnral bank in Frankfur. Ths circumsands hav a lo of impac on, and bring qui of lo of changs for, our larg firms, h way how hy ar financd, disclosur rquirmns, and h radiional bank-firm rlaionships in Grmany. L m jus mnion a fw poins. A draf of h "Zwis Finanzmarkfördrungsgsz" as of Augus 1993 provids ha a nw Fdral offic will b sablishd wih h ask of suprvising h scuriis marks. Th sam draf ac provids for binding insidr ruls and conains disclosur rquirmns. In formr acs h Fdral Parliamn has alrady lifd impdimns o immdia mark financing of firms by db or quiy scuriis. Th rlaionships bwn our larg firms and crdi insiuions hav bn in a sa of flux for yars bcaus of incrasing compiion from forign insiuions as wll as changing financial condiions and nw or improvd financing insrumns. All his has, of cours, influnc on corpora govrnanc wihin hs larg firms. 2. Th Haring of h Commi on Economic Affairs on h "Powr of Financial Insiuions" of Dc. 8, 1993 As I hav mniond arlir, on Dc. 8, 1993, h Commi on Economic Affairs of h Fdral Parliamn hld a public haring
28 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull on h "Powr of Banks and Insuranc Companis". Th Commi pu a lis of qusions o lgal and conomic scholars as wll as o svral Fdral auhoriis and lobbyiss. Th lis concrnd qusions lik - whhr quiy holdings by financial insiuions in non-bank firms should b limid; ndn wrd n. - whhr and how h acual dposiary voing sysm in Grmany should b changd or amndd; - wha sps should b akn in ordr o improv h prformanc of our suprvisory boards; - whhr and how prsonal and capial inrlocks bwn financial firms should b rad. As on migh xpc, viws on hs opics and on h nd for rform wr no unanimous. Whhr and in wha dircion h Fdral Parliamn will ac in his or ha rspc rmains complly unclar. Changs canno b xpcd in h nx fuur. 3. Th Law of Groups of Firms A spara s of laborad ruls for "Groups of Firms" is a favori child boh for our lgislaion and for Grman lgal scholars. Thr is an minn body of liraur on how corpora govrnanc works and is affcd wihin groups of companis. Wha ar h righs of sharholdrs if managmn dcids o s up spara unis and conduc h businss of h group in subsidiaris rahr han in h parn companis? How can h righs of h suprvisory board of h parn company in such a cas b prsrvd? How dos h influnc of a parn company on h managmn of a subsidiary influnc h righs of h subsidiary's sharholdrs and is suprvisory board? How can hs nw agncy problms b solvd? This discussion is sill in full flux boh in h acadmic liraur as wll as in h rulings of h Fdral Civil Cour 41. A rpor abou his
29 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull discussion would, howvr, rquir anohr comprhnsiv aricl. ndn wrd n.
30 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull ndn wrd n. * Dr. jur., Profssor, Univrsiä Osnabrück/Grmany; Dircor, Insiu für Handls- und Wirschafsrch, Univrsiä Osnabrück, Kaharinnsr. 15, D Osnabrück. Papr, prsnd a h Corpora Govrnanc Forum, Sockholm/Swdn, on Dc. 10, Sourc: Saisischs Jahrbuch 1993 (d. Saisischs Bundsam, Wisbadn), a Mor han 50 % widly hld: abou 80 companis; mor han 75 % of sock widly hld: 38 companis (Sourc: Saling, Akinführr, 86. d [numbrs as of Sp. 1992]; Commrzbank [d.], Wr ghör zu wm?, A guid o capial links in Grman companis, 17. d. 1991). 3 Cf. h lis of h largs 100 firms in: Bundsags- Drucksach 11/7582 p. 176 ff. and h lis of Grman firms and h srucur of hir ownrship in: Commrzbank (d.), Wr ghör zu wm (N. 2). 4 Sourc: Monasbrich dr Duschn Bundsbank, 1992, a p For a shor ovrviw s M. Hauck, Th Equiy Mark in Grmany and is Dpndncy on h Sysm of Old Ag Provisions, in: Baums/Buxbaum/Hop (ds.), Insiuional Invsors and Corpora Govrnanc, 1993, a p. 555 ff. 6 M. Thisn, Dr Konzrn, 1991, a p. 1. Mos rcnly cf. H. Görling, Di Vrbriung zwi- und mhrsufigr Unrnhmnsvrbindungn. Ergbniss inr mpirischn Unrsuchung. Di Akingsllschaf 1993, p. 538 ff. 7 For a dscripion and analysis in English cf. U. Immnga, Company Sysms and Affiliaion, in: In'l Encyclopdia of Comparaiv Law, Vol. XIII, Businss and Priva Organizaions (d. A. Conard), chapr 7 (1985). 8 S Baums, Forign Financial Invsmns in Grman Firms - Som Lgal and Policy Issus. Arbispapir Insiu für Handls- und Wirschafsrch dr Univrsiä Osnabrück 8/93 (1993). 9 For a daild dscripion s Baums, Th Grman Banking Sysm and Is Impacs on Corpora Financ and Govrnanc, in: Aoki/Parick (ds.), Japans Financ and h Main Bank Sysm, Oxford Univrsiy Prss, 1994, chapr Sourc: Haring of h Commi on Economic Affairs (Wirschafsausschuß) of h Bundsag on "Mach dr Bankn und Vrsichrungn" on Dc. 8, 1993, Wrin Samn of h Bundsaufsichsam für das Krdiwsn, a p For mor informaion s M. Hauck, supra N Sourc: A. Goschalk, Dr Simmrchsinfluß dr Bankn in dn Akionärsvrsammlungn von Großunrnhmn, WSI- Miilungn, 1988, a p Goschalk adds up h shars of banks hld by hm on own accoun, hir proxy holdings and h shars hld by invsmn companis which ar subsidiaris of h rspciv banks.
31 Fhl r! Vrw isq ull 13 Akingsz vom 6. Spmbr 1965, Bundsgszbla I, Bundsminisrium dr Jusiz, Rfrnnnwurf, 15. April 1992, Gsz zur Brinigung ds Umwandlungsrchs. ndn 15 Cf. T. Baums (d.), Gsz übr di Akingsllschafn wrd für di Königlich Prußischn Saan vom 9. Novmbr 1943, n. Scinia Vrlag, 1981, Inroducion, a p A fr ranslaion rads as follows: Bfor is incorporaion by h auhoriis a sock corporaion is a parnrship ("Soziä") wih is parnrs as co-ownrs, and h ac of incorporaion crainly dos no innd o chang his inrior srucur and rlaionship bwn h sharholdrs subsanially. 16 For h lgal docrin on h posiion of managrs as "mandaaris" of h sockholdrs s T. Baums, Dr Gschäfslirvrrag, 1987, a p. 9 f.; for an assssmn of h facual disribuion of powrs bwn sockholdrs and managmns a ha im, howvr, R. Wihölr, Inrssn und Organisaion dr Akingsllschaf im amrikanischn und duschn Rch, 1961, a p. 66 ff. 17 Cf.,.g., E.J. Msmäckr, Vrwalung, Konzrngwal und Rch dr Akionär, 1958, a p. 12 ff. 18 W. Rahnau, Vom Akinwsn. Ein gschäflich Brachung (1918). 19 Cf.,.g., H.J. Mrns, in: Kölnr Kommnar zum Akingsz, 2nd. d. 1989, a p. 21 ff. ( 76 nos 7 ff.). 20 M. Aoki/B. Gusafsson/O.E. Williamson (ds.), Th Firm as a Nxus of Trais (1990). 21 S 119 Sock Corporaion Ac. 22 Th insrumn of a "drivaiv sui" for individual sharholdrs migh b, admidly, sill mor imporan wihin a sysm whr managmn gs proxis from sharholdrs, and whr no indpndn and powrful suprvisory board xiss. 23 For furhr dails s H. Widmann, Codrminaion by workrs in Grman nrpriss, Th Amrican Journal of Comparaiv Law 28, 1980, a p. 79 ff ims pr yar; cf. K. Blichr/H. Paul, Das amrikanisch Board-Modll im Vrglich zur duschn Vorsands- /Aufsichsrasvrfassung - Sand und Enwicklungsndnzn, in: Di Bribswirschaf 46, 1986, a p. 263 ff. 25 Th following scion rlis vry much on formr publicaions of min on h issu: Baums, Corpora Govrnanc in Grmany: Th Rol of h Banks, Am.J. Comp.L. 40, 1992, a p. 503 ff.; sam, Takovrs vs. Insiuions in Corpora Govrnanc in Grmany, in: Prnic/Holland (ds.), Conmporary Issus in Corpora Govrnanc, Clarndon Prss, Oxford 1993, a p. 151 ff.; sam, Th Grman Banking Sysm and is Impacs on Corpora Financ and Govrnanc, in: Aoki/Parick (ds.), Japans Financ and h Main Bank Sysm: Is Rlvanc for Dvloping and Transforming Economis, Oxford Univrsiy Prss 1994, chapr Cf. spcifically on his issu, Baums, in: Aoki/Parick, supra N Cf. 128, 135 Sock Corporaion Ac (Akingsz).