As an instrument of self-regulation for the business world, the German Corporate Governance Code – the latest version of which dates from 7 February 2017 – sets out recommendations and suggestions that are intended to maintain and foster the trust of investors, customers, employees and the general public in the management and supervision of German companies. Although the Code does not have binding legal force, the enterprises addressed by the Code are nevertheless required by § 161 Stock Corporation Act (AktG) to provide an annual declaration as to whether or not the recommendations of the Code were and are complied with in the reality of the company’s business activities. If recommendations were not acted upon, this is to be explained and disclosed as part of the Declaration of Conformity.
The positive attitude of Hannover Rück SE towards the Code is not contradicted by the fact that in the year under review we did not comply with certain Code recommendations, since a well justified deviation from the recommendations of the Code may – as in the present cases – be very much in the interests of good corporate governance tailored to a particular company, i. e. by reflecting enterprise- and industry-specific features (cf. Foreword to the German Corporate Governance Code). Based on what is still a high degree of fulfilment of the recommendations and suggestions of the Code, Hannover Re continues to rank very highly among the companies listed on the DAX and MDAX.