The Board of Management and Supervisory Board submitted the following declaration of conformity with the German Corporate Governance Code for Talanx AG prior to approval of the annual financial statements:
The German Corporate Governance Code (DCGK) sets out major statutory requirements governing the management and supervision of German listed companies and contains both internationally and nationally recognised standards for good and responsible enterprise management. The purpose of the Code is to foster the trust of investors, customers, employees and the general public in German enterprise management. Under § 161 AktG it is incumbent on the boards of management and supervisory boards of German listed companies to provide an annual declaration of conformity with the recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code Government Commission published by the Federal Ministry of Justice, or to explain which recommendations of the Code were/are not being applied and for which reasons (“comply or explain”).
The Board of Management and Supervisory Board declare pursuant to § 161 AktG that Talanx AG, which has been a listed company since 2 October 2012, in its implementation of the German Corporate Governance Code has diverged in two respects from the recommendations of the Code contained in the version of the DCGK dated 15 May 2012:
Item 4.2.3 Para. 4 DCGK (caps on severance payments in Management Board contracts)
Premature termination of a Management Board contract without serious cause may only take the form of cancellation by mutual consent. Even if the Supervisory Board insists upon setting a severance cap when concluding or renewing a Board of Management contract, this does not preclude the possibility of negotiations also extending to the severance cap in the event of a member leaving the Board of Management. Whilst it is true that the legal literature discusses structuring options that would permit the legally secure implementation of the recommendation contained in Item 4.2.3 Para. 4 DCGK, it is, however, open to question whether qualified candidates for a position on the company’s Board of Management would accept appropriate clauses. In addition, the scope for negotiation over a member leaving the Board of Management would be restricted, which could be particularly disadvantageous in cases where there is ambiguity surrounding the existence of serious cause for termination. In the opinion of Talanx AG, it is therefore in the interest of the company to diverge from the recommendation contained in Item 4.2.3 Para. 4 DCGK .
Item 5.2 Para. 2 DCGK (Chairman of the Audit Committee)
The current Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee is also the Chairman of the full Supervisory Board. Although other members of the Finance and Audit Committee also have special knowledge and experience of the application of accounting principles and internal control procedures, the current Chairman of the Committee is the only member to have spent his whole career in the insurance sector. He can look back on 29 years on the boards of management of insurance companies and insurance holding companies, of which 20 years were spent as Chairman of the Board of Management, sharing direct responsibility for the income situation of the company concerned and the presentation of this income on the balance sheet. In his double role as Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee and of the full Supervisory Board, he coordinates the work of both committees single-handedly and can thus optimise the efficiency of their activities. His position does not lead to a concentration of power on either the Finance and Audit Committee or the full Supervisory Board, as he has only one vote on each committee, like the other members. The company therefore believes that the current Chairman of the Supervisory Board is the most suitable person to act as Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee. It is thus in the company’s interest to deviate from the recommendation in Item 5.2 Para. 2 DCGK.
We are in compliance with all other recommendations.
Hannover, 20 March 2013
On behalf of the Board of Management On behalf of the Supervisory Board