As an instrument of self-regulation for the business world, the applicable version of the German Corporate Governance Code (DCGC) for the year under review dating from 7 February 2017 sets out not only legal requirements but also various recommendations and suggestions for good corporate governance. They are intended to maintain and foster the trust of different stakeholder groups 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.
Since 2003 we have provided an annual Declaration of Conformity with the applicable version of the German Corporate Governance Code as amended, which is published on our website and can be reviewed in the Group Annual Report. Furthermore, our Corporate Governance Principles are regularly revised and reflect the recommendations of the Code as amended. The Corporate Governance Principles of Hannover Rück SE applicable for the 2018 reporting year were approved by the Executive Board and Supervisory Board on 7 November 2017.
Our positive attitude towards the Code notwithstanding, we did not comply with certain Code recommendations in the year under review. A well justified deviation from the recommendations of the Code may be very much in the interests of good corporate governance (cf. the Foreword to the Code). With this in mind, we make allowance for enterprise- and industry-specific features and tailor our corporate governance to fit our company.
In addition, we are already engaged in an intensive exploration of the upcoming comprehensive reform of the Code, currently available as a government bill, and its prompt implementation following entry into force.