Declaration of Conformity pursuant to § 161 Stock Corporation Act (AktG) regarding compliance with the German Corporate Governance Code at Hannover Rückversicherung AG
The German Corporate Governance Code sets out major statutory requirements governing the management and supervision of German listed companies. It contains both nationally and internationally recognised standards of good and responsible enterprise management. The purpose of the Code is to foster the trust of investors, clients, employees and the general public in German enterprise management. Under § 161 Stock Corporation Act (AktG) it is incumbent on the Management Board and Supervisory Board 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 applied.
The Executive Board and Supervisory Board declare pursuant to § 161 Stock Corporation Act (AktG) that in its implementation of the German Corporate Governance Code Hannover Rückversicherung AG diverges in three respects from the recommendations contained in the version of the Code dated 15 May 2012:
(Code Section 4.2.3 Para. 4; Caps on severance payments in Management Board contracts)
Premature termination of a service contract 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 an Executive Board contract, this does not preclude the possibility of negotiations also extending to the severance cap in the event of a member leaving the Executive Board. Whilst it is true that the legal literature discusses structuring options that would permit the legally secure implementation of the recommendation contained in Section 4.2.3 Para. 4, it is, however, open to question whether qualified candidates for a position on the company's Executive Board would accept appropriate clauses. In addition, the scope for negotiation over a member leaving the Executive Board 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 Hannover Rückversicherung AG, it is therefore in the interest of the company to diverge from the recommendation contained in Section 4.2.3 Para. 4.
(Code Section 5.2 Para. 2; Chairman of the Audit Committee)
The current Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hannover Rückversicherung AG served as the company's Chief Financial Officer in the period from 1994 to 2002. During this time he acquired superb knowledge of the company and he is equipped with extensive professional expertise in the topics that fall within the scope of responsibility of the Finance and Audit Committee. With this in mind, the serving Chairman of the Supervisory Board is optimally suited to chairing the Audit Committee. In the opinion of Hannover Rückversicherung AG, it is therefore in the interest of the company to diverge from the recommendation contained in Section 5.2 Para. 2.
(Code Section 5.3.2; Independence of the Chairman of the Audit Committee)
The current Chairman of the Audit Committee is at the same time also the Chairman of the Board of Management of the controlling shareholder and hence cannot, in the company's legal assessment, be considered independent. As already explained above in the justification for divergence from Code Section 5.2 Para. 2, the current Chairman of the Supervisory Board is, however, optimally suited to chairing the Audit Committee. This assessment is also not cast into question by the fact that the Committee Chairman cannot therefore be considered independent within the meaning of the German Corporate Governance Code. Furthermore, since his service as Chief Financial Officer of Hannover Rückversicherung AG already dates back ten years, it is also the case that the reviews and checks performed by the Finance and Audit Committee no longer relate to any period in which he himself was still a member of the Executive Board or decisions initiated by him as a member of the Executive Board were still being realised. In the opinion of Hannover Rückversicherung AG, it is therefore in the interest of the company to diverge from this recommendation contained in Section 5.3.2.
We are in compliance with all other recommendations of the Code.
Hannover, 5 November 2012