2nd Christian Wilde Rememberance Lecture

Independence of supervisory boards

On June 12, the second event organized by the Institute for Corporate and Capital Markets Law in memory of Christian Wilde, business lawyer and member of the founding commission of Bucerius Law School, took place. The person was remembered by Professor Dr. Christoph H. Seibt, who described him as a precise thinker with an entrepreneurial spirit and an extraordinary emotional intelligence. Christian Wilde’s companion, Professor Dr. Hoffmann-Becking, then captivated the audience with his theses on the independence of the supervisory board. He began by pointing out that independence is becoming increasingly important. Independence should not only exist from the management board of the same or affiliated company, but also from the controlling shareholder, according to the GCGC. This would lead to greater consideration of shareholder minorities. Hoffmann-Becking also doubted whether the requirement for independence was not too much in advance of a conflict of interest and could not be better handled by the classic instruments of stock corporation law such as transparency, voting bans and resignation from office. In the subsequent discussion, the European plans to strengthen shareholder rights were criticized in particular, according to which major transactions of the company with related third parties would have to be approved by the Annual General Meeting. According to one participant, this shift in authority would “throw the baby out with the bathwater”. The evening concluded with pretzels and wine.

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