Free from conflicts of interest
One characteristic sets Haniel apart from many other family-owned companies: Since the start of the 20th century, managers from outside the family have been responsible for the corporate governance. No family members work in the Haniel Group. Entrepreneurial decisions can be made free from familial obligations. The family attaches importance to sustainable growth and value enhancement. The steps to be taken along the way are at the discretion of the Management Board, which confers with the board of the Company. The basic structure of corporate governance at Haniel thus adheres to the standards set out in the German law governing stock corporations.
The more than 680 shareholders are organised in the Shareholders’ Meeting. It meets once a year and elects from its midst six shareholder representatives to serve five years on the Supervisory Board. The shareholder representatives and six employee representatives on the Supervisory Board help to shape the fundamental business policies of the Company and influence the corporate strategy. The Supervisory Board has equal representation as a co-determined monitoring body; it is always chaired by a member of the family. Shareholder and employee representatives jointly appoint and dismiss members of the Management Board, monitor their work and support them in an advisory capacity. Four members of the Supervisory Board form the Audit Committee, which also has equal representation. This committee monitors the accounting process and the effectiveness of the internal control system, the risk management system, the Internal Auditing office, and the compliance management system. Moreover, the committee examines and confirms the independence of the auditors of the financial statements. Details of the work of the Supervisory Board in the 2014 financial year are contained in the Report by the Chairman of the Supervisory Board. The Shareholders’ Meeting elects also from its midst 30 members for the Advisory Board, which particularly facilitates communication between the executive bodies of the Company (Supervisory Board and Management Board) and the members of the family.