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Going Public: Prudent Sustainable Corporate Governance Necessary (in German)

The EU Commission is proposing that companies should be obliged to balance the interests of all their stakeholders. However, such a general obligation will not lead to companies being managed more sustainably, criticises Dr. Cordula Heldt. It is simply not possible to balance the interests of all stakeholders. Just as there are sometimes irresolvable conflicts of objectives in society as a whole, this also applies to the stakeholders of a company.

The article by Cordula Heldt, which appeared as part of a new series on the Bundestag elections, was published at Going Public.

Absolut|spezial: Generation-appropriate pensions and efficient capital markets (in German)

Equity-oriented pension provision would strengthen the German capital market in the long term and improve its competitiveness, comments Dr. Christine Bortenlänger. The next federal government has the chance to anchor equity savings in old-age provision and thus solve several problems at once. It can secure the population's standard of living in old age and make it easier to finance growth companies at home.

The commentary by Dr. Christine Bortenlänger appeared in Absolut|spezial Equity.

Going Public: Targeted and proportionate compliance legal framework to strengthen corporate competitiveness (in German)

Many legislative proposals and regulations in the area of corporate compliance overshoot the mark. They are impractical and have a detrimental effect on the competitiveness of companies, criticises Jan Bremer. With a view to the federal elections, a new federal government must focus on a targeted and proportionate legal framework in compliance.

The article by Jan Bremer, which appeared as part of a new series on the federal election, was published at Going Public.

€URO-Magazin: "Nobody needs the financial transaction tax" (in German)

A new Bundestag will be elected at the end of September. In the €URO interview, Dr. Franz-Josef Leven talks about the election programmes of the parties and what they mean from a shareholder's point of view. In particular, he criticises the financial transaction tax, gives impulses on how shares can no longer be discriminated against for tax purposes and why long-term pension provision with shares is the right way to go. 

The interview appeared in the magazine €URO.

Going Public: No successful BaFin reform without reform of its financing! (in German)

In the wake of the Wirecard affair, a reform of the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) is pending. The Balance sheet control is to be reorganised and removed from the German Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel. The supervisory system is also facing a reorganisation in the area of money laundering. Under new leadership, a comprehensive reorganisation of BaFin is to be expected in the next few years. For this to be successful, the financing of BaFin must also be reconsidered.

The article by Dr. Franz-Josef Leven, which appeared as part of a new series on the Bundestag elections, was published at Going Public.

Going Public: Fighting financial illiteracy in Germany (in German)

Financial literacy is an important part of general education. Yet the subject of economics ekes out a shadowy existence in many schools. What is needed is a fundamental understanding of economics and finance, taught by well-trained, committed teachers. Therefore, for better financial education in Germany, economics should be included in the curriculum as an independent school subject - compulsory for all. 

The article by Dr. Uta-Bettina von Altenbockum and Martin Möhring, which appeared as part of a new series on the Bundestag elections, was published at Going Public.

Going Public: Modernise stock corporation law - more flexible financing with shares (in German)

Companies raise money on the capital market for innovation and growth. But inflexible stock corporation law makes corporate financing more difficult in this country. Countries like the Netherlands show that things can be better. Politicians must act so that German stock corporation law is no longer a competitive disadvantage.

The article by Dr Gerrit Fey, which appeared as part of a new series on the Bundestag elections, was published at Going Public.

Going Public (Life Sciences): Biotechnology Shares in Germany - Deutsches Aktieninstitut Calls for a "New Equity Culture" (in German)

In an interview with Life Sciences, Dr Christine Bortenlänger talks about the ten recommendations of Deutsches Aktieninstitut for the federal elections and why Germany is not attractive as a financial centre for young biotechnology companies. She advocates making shares a fixed component of old-age provision so that capital-rich pension funds emerge in Germany that also invest in growth companies.

The interview with Dr Christine Bortenlänger appeared in Going Public.

Going Public: Taxing shares fairly (in German)

After the federal elections, a new federal government should clearly align its compass in tax policy in favour of shares, demands Dr. Norbert Kuhn. Capital gains from share transactions should be tax-exempt again after a one-year holding period, as was the case before 2009, and a line should be drawn under the plan to introduce a financial transaction tax. These would be two valuable measures to make share ownership more attractive from a tax perspective.

The article by Dr Norbert Kuhn, which appeared as part of a new series on the Bundestag elections, was published at Going Public.

Capital/Finance 4.0: Sustainable financing is the latest trend (in German)

Sustainable finance has arrived in the finance departments of German companies, as our study with Börse Stuttgart shows. However, the reporting processes for sustainable financing instruments are more complex than for traditional financing, notes Dr Gerrit Fey. This is where policymakers need to act and make ESG regulation more practical.

The article by Dr Gerrit Fey appeared in the Capital supplement Finance 4.0.

Börsen-Zeitung: Finance for Future? – The framework has to be right (in German)

In their guest article, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger, Managing Director of Deutsches Aktieninstitut, and Dr. Michael Völter, Chairman of the Executive Board of Vereinigung Baden-Württembergische Wertpapierbörse, call for the rules of the sustainable finance market to be designed attractively and with a sense of proportion. Companies, investors, stock exchanges and politics must be involved in the design process. Experience shows that new market developments can best be shaped in dialogue with market participants.

The guest article appeared in the german Börsen-Zeitung.

Der Konzern: Assessment of audit quality by the audit committee - Effective quality improvement or toothless paper tiger? (in German)

Jan Bremer, Head of the Legal Department, Nico Zimmermann, Capital Market Law and Corporate Governance Officer, Deutsches Aktieninstitut, and Prof. Dr. Franca Ruhwedel, Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, present the key findings of the Audit Quality Indicators & Beyond study in their article. The survey of audit committee members, CFOs and auditors shows that those involved are open to the assessment of audit quality. Criticism is expressed if such a quality review is accompanied by too much formalism. With regard to the intensity of communication between the audit committee and the auditor, there is a need for improvement.

The article appeared in the magazine DER KONZERN.

Süddeutsche Zeitung: Expectations for a sustainable fiscal and monetary policy in Germany and Europe (in German)

Together with Edmund Stoiber, Peer Steinbrück and other authors, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger calls for a turnaround in economic and financial policy. Among other things, the German government should reduce new debt and return to moderation in budgetary policy. In climate policy, she said, it was important to return to free-market principles. According to the authors, the European Central Bank should concentrate on ensuring price stability and refrain from giving preferential treatment to green corporate bonds.

The article appeared in the Süddeutschen Zeitung.

hkp: Employee equity ownership receives better framework conditions

The Finance Committee of the German Bundestag has decided to increase the tax allowance for employee equity ownership to 1,440 euros. In an interview with Constantin Härthe, Dr Norbert Kuhn welcomes the increase as progress, but criticises the fact that start-ups benefit little from the new regulations. He notes that many politicians have a deep-seated scepticism about shares and capital markets. According to Kuhn, it is worth leaving the ideological trenches in view of the opportunities of equity-based pension provision and adopting pragmatic, sustainable solutions that include equities.

The interview with Dr. Norbert Kuhn, among others, was published by the hkp-Group.

Tagesspiegel: 3:0 for England

In her contribution, Dr. Christine Bortenlänger calls for politicians to better involve the business community in overcoming the Corona crisis, but also in solving other challenges. The United Kingdom is a model for good cooperation. The UK has been very successful in involving company doctors in the vaccination campaign. We can also learn from our British neighbours when it comes to stock-based pension schemes and less bureaucracy.

The guest article by Dr. Christine Bortenlänger appeared in the Tagesspiegel on April 17 (page 14).

BOARD: Reform of the Annual General Meeting to be tackled before the Bundestag elections

The general meeting of the future must be made fit for the future, state Dr Christine Bortenlänger and Sven Erwin Hemeling. This requires a legal framework that safeguards investor rights and at the same time creates legal certainty for companies. In order to make the virtual general meeting possible even after the end of 2021, the legislator must act quickly. Even if there is no longer a major reform, initial modernisation measures should be adopted that enable companies to use the virtual general meeting and develop it further step by step.

The article by Dr Christine Bortenlänger and Sven Erwin Hemeling appeared in BOARD – Zeitschrift für Aufsichtsräte, 2/2021, S. 75f.

Frankfurter Rundschau: Capital market is more than Riester pension

In his commentary, Dr Franz-Josef Leven contradicts the opinion of Hans-Jürgen Urban, Executive Member of the Board of IG Metall, and Markus Kurth, Member of the Bundestag for the Greens, that the capital market is not a useful means of providing for old age. He points to the attractive long-term earnings opportunities offered by stocks and calls for the intelligent integration of equities into old-age provision.

The contribution by Dr Franz-Josef Leven appeared in the Frankfurter Rundschau.

Handelsblatt Orange Podcast: Is it still worth getting involved in the stock market?

The DAX reached a new record high in April. The Orange podcast "Businessclass" asks whether it is still worth investing in the stock market. As one of the experts reporting on the Germans' increased interest in the stock market, Dr Gerrit Fey explains why many millions of people have found their way to the stock market. He advises starting early with a savings plan of, for example, 25 Euro to take advantage of compound interest - despite the all-time high on the stock market.

The podcast episode was published by Handelsblatt-Orange.

Börse am Sonntag: Saving stocks is very popular

The shareholder boom brought Germany almost three million new equity savers. Interest in equity funds was particularly strong. In her article, Dr Christine Bortenlänger explains the reasons for the increased interest in funds and ETFs and emphasises that many millions of investors are pursuing long-term asset accumulation with these investments.

The article by Dr Christine Bortenlänger appeared in Börse am Sonntag.

Going Public: Lucrative Employee Shares

In the course of the general shareholder boom in 2020, the number of employee shareholders has also increased significantly. However, in order to turn this development into a long-term trend, further political support is needed, says Dr Norbert Kuhn. Therefore, he calls for German lawmakers to take a more ambitious approach to the issue of increasing the tax allowance and raise it to at least 1,000 euros per year.

The guest article by Dr Norbert Kuhn appeared in Going Public.

Manager Magazin: In training camp with Christine Bortenlänger

In the section "Im Trainingslager mit", managers report on their sporting passion and what they learn for their (professional) life. In the March issue, Dr Christine Bortenlänger talks about her passion for team sports and her goal of running a half-marathon.

The interview with Dr Christine Bortenlänger appeared in Manager Magazin.

ZDF "Volle Kanne": New generation of shareholders

In the Corona crisis, Germans have discovered their love for stocks. The number of shareholders is as high as it was 20 years ago. The magazine "Volle Kanne" interviewed experts on this topic in a feature. Dr Gerrit Fey outlines the reasons for the shareholder boom and who the new shareholders actually are.

The TV-report can be found in the ZDF-Mediathek.

Going Public: Outlook 2021 - Developments in Capital Markets Law

As in previous years, sustainable finance is a top priority for the EU Commission in 2021. In his guest article, Maximilian Lück calls for the EU Commission to step up the pace on the issue of the Capital Markets Union. The companies hit by the COVID-19 pandemic need strong capital markets through which they can recapitalise themselves now, not in a few years' time.

The guest article by Maximilian Lück appeared in Going Public.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: Well meant! Well done?

The President of Deutsches Aktieninstitut, Dr Hans-Ulrich Engel, subjects the newly adopted "Finanzmarktintegritätsstärkungsgesetz" to a practical check. He describes the risks of short rotation periods, calls for advisory services not to be unduly restricted and rejects the judicial replacement of the auditor in petty cases. The draft law's additional restrictions on auditing will lead to further concentration in the auditor market, Engel criticises. He concludes that the draft could have the opposite effect in the area of auditing of financial statements to what it aims to achieve.

The guest article by Dr Hans-Ulrich Engel appeared in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, page 25.

Börsen-Zeitung: Financial market integrity - Not at the expense of compliant companies!

With the recently discussed Financial Market Integrity Strengthening Act (Finanzmarktintegritätsstärkungsgesetz), the political processing of the Wirecard case is entering the decisive phase. In her contribution, Dr Christine Bortenlänger criticises that the draft law still lacks accuracy and proportionality. There is a threat of a considerable disruption of the market for audits and the premature criminalisation of accounting errors. The Bundestag urgently needs to take countermeasures.

The guest article by Dr Christine Bortenlänger appeared in the Börsen-Zeitung.

Inpact Media: Have young people suddenly discovered the stock market?

Corona has given an additional boost to the youth trend that Deutsches Aktieninstitut has been observing in stock investing since 2014, states Dr Franz-Josef Leven. Corona lockdown, more free time, social media and financial influencers have played their part in getting more young people excited about the stock market. However, GameStop & Co. have shown that gambling with speculative stocks is not a good guide. A successful, broadly diversified stock investment is a marathon, not a sprint.

The editorial by Dr Franz-Josef Leven appeared in the WELT supplement Inpact Media.

HV-Magazin: Legal uncertainty at an unseasonable time

The short-term rule changes for the virtual general meeting at the end of 2020 have led to uncertainty among companies, especially with regard to the newly introduced right to ask questions. According to Dr Franz-Josef Leven, it would have been better if companies had been able to build on the experience of 2020 when it came to the topic of questions. It remains to be seen how companies will deal with the topic of shareholder questions in the 2021 AGM season and whether they will try out anything new.

The article by Dr Franz-Josef Leven appeared in the HV-Magazin.

Der Aufsichtsrat: The future of shareholder meetings - Updates are needed

The traditional general meeting needs an update. Dr Christine Bortenlänger and Sven Erwin Hemeling outline in their article how the general meeting can be further developed so that companies can hold physical and virtual general meetings in a technically, organisationally and legally secure manner. The decisive factor is that the legislator modifies the law on questions, motions and defects in resolutions.

The article by Dr. Christine Bortenlänger and Sven Erwin Hemeling appeared in the German magazine „Der Aufsichtsrat“.

Zeitschrift für das gesamte Kreditwesen: Equity culture 2020 - much light, but also shadow

Dr Christine Bortenlänger analyses in her article how the equity culture has developed over the past year. Overall, the equity culture has been robust despite Corona and Wirecard. To strengthen it further, however, a clear signal for equities is needed on the part of politics. Above all, more shares in old-age provision, better framework conditions for IPOs and a stronger political interest in Germany as a financial centre would give a boost to the equity culture in Germany.

The guest article "Aktienkultur 2020 - viel Licht, aber auch Schatten" by Dr. Christine Bortenlänger appeared in the Zeitschrift für das gesamte Kreditwesen.

Audit Committee Quarterly: Wirecard legislation - Avoiding negative consequences for law-abiding companies

With the draft of a law to strengthen financial market integrity (FISG), it is becoming apparent what regulatory consequences can be expected after the Wirecard case. In their article for the Audit Committee Quarterly, Dr Christine Bortenlänger and Dr Gerrit Fey call for improvements to be made with regard to the audit of financial statements and balance sheet control so that law-abiding companies are not disproportionately burdened.

The article by Dr Christine Bortenlänger and Dr Gerrit Fey was published in the Audit Committee Quarterly.

marktEINBLICKE: Light and shadow in the new stock market year

The stock market world will also have to live with imponderables in 2021. In addition to Corona, six German state elections and the federal elections in September will provide sufficient excitement in the new year. If you want to relax despite ups and downs on the stock market, it is best to stick to the rule: invest regularly, diversify and hold for a long time.

The editorial by Dr Franz-Josef Leven appeared in marktEINBLICKE.