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Our survey approach

2020 Germany Spencer Stuart Board Index

The 2020 Germany Spencer Stuart Board Index covers a sample of 68 stock corporations (AGs). The cohort under review includes all the 30 DAX companies, plus 38 constituents drawn from the M-Dax, S-Dax and Tec-Dax indices.

The purpose of the survey is to provide a substantial review of governance practices in the largest German companies at a given point, comparing fresh data with previous years to identify significant trends.

Information has been compiled from publicly available sources. Data relates mainly to the 2019 fiscal year, in case of a different fiscal year on the 2018/2019 year. Personal data however, such as age or tenure, relates to 31 August 2020. AGM elections to the supervisory boards are also included up to this latter reporting date. However, the Covid-19 pandemic prompted Drägerwerk, GEA Group and Volkswagen to postpone their AGMs until autumn 2020.

If the sources do not provide any information to the different data sets, this is marked with „n.a.“ (not available) in the tables.

The standard corporate form of Aktiengesellschaft (AG, stock corporation) remains the most widely adopted structure among the larger public companies, accounting for 68% of the companies under review. However, the figure is down slightly from the 70% share recorded in 2018.

The Societas Europaea (SE) form for European companies continues to advance: in 2020 its share increased to 24%, up from 18% in 2016. Other legal forms such as AG & Co, KGaA, SE & Co, KGaA and plc are less common.

Public listed companies in Germany must maintain a dual-board system. The SE form does permit businesses to operate under a unitary board, but only one company — the DAX-listed Linde plc — chooses to do so.