Responsibilities of the Supervisory Board, Shareholders’ Committee and other committees
It is the responsibility of the Supervisory Board to advise and supervise the Management Board in the performance of its business management duties. It reviews the annual financial statements of Henkel AG & Co. KGaAKGaA
Abbreviation for “Kommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien.” A KGaA is a company with a legal identity (legal entity) in which at least one partner has unlimited liability with respect to the company’s creditors (personally liable partner), while the liability for such debts of the other partners participating in the share-based capital stock is limited to their share capital (limited shareholders).
as well as the consolidated financial statements, taking into account the audit reports submitted by the auditor. It also submits to the Annual General Meeting a proposal indicating its recommendation for the appointment of the external auditor.
As a general rule, the Supervisory Board meets four times per year. It passes resolutions by a simple majority of votes cast. In the event of a tie, the Chairperson has the casting vote. The Supervisory Board has established an Audit Committee and a Nominations Committee.
The Audit Committee is made up of three shareholder and three employee representative members of the Supervisory Board. Each member is elected by the Supervisory Board based on nominations of their fellow shareholder or fellow employee representatives on the Supervisory Board. The Chairperson of the Audit Committee is elected based on a proposal of the shareholder representative members on the Supervisory Board. It is a statutory requirement that the Audit Committee includes an independent member of the Supervisory Board with expertise in the fields of accounting or auditing. The Chairperson of the Audit Committee in 2013, Prof. Dr. Theo Siegert, who is not the Chairperson of the Supervisory Board nor a present or former member of the Management Board, satisfies these requirements. The Audit Committee, which generally meets four times a year, prepares the proceedings and resolutions of the Supervisory Board relating to the adoption of the annual financial statements and the consolidated financial statements, and also the auditor appointment proposal to be made to the Annual General Meeting. It issues audit mandates to the auditor and defines the focal areas of the audit as well as deciding on the fee for the audit and other advisory services provided by the auditor. It monitors the independence and qualifications of the auditor, requiring the latter to submit a declaration of independence which it then evaluates. Furthermore, the Audit Committee monitors the accounting process and assesses the effectiveness of the Internal Control System, the Risk Management System and the Internal Auditing and Review System. It is likewise involved in compliancecompliance
Acting in conformity with applicable regulations; adherence to laws, rules, regulations and in-house or corporate codes of conduct.
issues. It discusses with the Management Board, with the external auditor in attendance, the quarterly reports and the financial report for the half year, prior to their publication.
The Nominations Committee comprises the Chairperson of the Supervisory Board and two further shareholder representatives elected by the shareholder representatives on the Supervisory Board. The Chairperson of the Supervisory Board is also Chairperson of the Nominations Committee. The Nominations Committee prepares the resolutions of the Supervisory Board on election proposals to be presented to the Annual General Meeting for the election of members of the Supervisory Board (representatives of the shareholders).
The Shareholders' Committee generally meets six times per year and holds a joint conference with the Management Board lasting several days. The Shareholders' Committee reaches its decisions by a simple majority of the votes cast. It has established Finance and Human Resources Subcommittees that likewise meet six times per year, as a rule. Each subcommittee comprises five of its members.
The Finance Subcommittee deals primarily with financial matters, questions of financial strategy, financial position and structure, taxation and accounting policy, as well as risk management within the corporation. It also performs the necessary preparatory work for decisions to be made by the Shareholders' Committee in situations where decision authority has not been delegated to it.
The Human Resources Subcommittee deals primarily with personnel matters relating to members of the Management Board, issues pertaining to human resources strategy, and with remuneration. It performs the necessary preparatory work for decisions to be made by the Shareholders’ Committee in situations where decision authority has not been delegated to it. The subcommittee also addresses issues concerned with succession planning and management potential within the individual business units, taking into account relevant diversity aspects.
At regular intervals, the Supervisory Board and the Shareholders' Committee hold an internal review to determine the efficiency with which they and their committees/subcommittees carry out their duties. This self-assessment is performed on the basis of an extensive checklist, whereupon points relating to corporate governancecorporate governance
System of management and control, primarily within listed companies. Describes the powers and authority of corporate management, the extent to which these need to be monitored and the extent to which structures should be put in place through which certain interest/ stakeholder groups may exert influence on the corporate management.
and improvement opportunities are also discussed.
Conflicts of interest must be disclosed in an appropriate manner to the Supervisory Board or Shareholders' Committee, particularly those that may arise as the result of a consultancy or committee function performed in the service of customers, suppliers, lenders or other business partners. Members encountering material conflicts of interest that are more than just temporary are required to resign their mandate.
Some members of the Supervisory Board and of the Shareholders' Committee are or were in past years holders of senior managerial positions in other companies. If and when Henkel pursues business activities with these companies, the same arm's length principles apply as those applicable to transactions with and between unrelated third parties. In our view, such transactions do not affect the impartiality of the members in question.
For more details on the composition of the Supervisory Board and the Shareholders' Committee or the (sub)committees established by the Supervisory Board and Shareholders' Committee, please see here. Details of compensation can be found in the remuneration report.