Supervision of company management by the Supervisory Board
- Supervisory Board appoints, monitors and advises Board of Executive Directors
- Four Supervisory Board committees
The Supervisory Board appoints the members of the Board of Executive Directors and supervises and advises the Board on management issues. As members of the Supervisory Board cannot simultaneously be on the Board of Executive Directors, a high level of autonomy is already structurally ensured with regard to the supervision of the Board of Executive Directors.
Together with the SE Council Regulation, the Statutes of BASF SE and the Agreement Concerning the Involvement of Employees in BASF SE (Employee Participation Agreement) constitute the relevant legal basis for the size and composition of the Supervisory Board. In November 2015, the Employee Participation Agreement was supplemented by several stipulations implementing the statutory regulations on the minimum percentage of women and men in the Supervisory Board as of January 1, 2016. The German Codetermination Act does not apply to BASF as a European stock corporation (Societas Europaea, SE).
The Supervisory Board of BASF SE comprises twelve members. Six members are elected by the shareholders at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. The remaining six members are elected by the BASF Europa Betriebsrat (European Works Council), the European employee representation body of the BASF Group.
Resolutions of the Supervisory Board are passed by a simple majority vote of the participating members. In the event of a tie, the vote of the Chairman of the Supervisory Board, who must always be a shareholder representative, shall be the casting vote. This resolution process is also applicable for the appointment and dismissal of members of the Board of Executive Directors by the Supervisory Board.
BASF SE’s Supervisory Board has established a total of four Supervisory Board Committees: the Personnel Committee, the Audit Committee, the Nomination Committee and, as of 2015, the Strategy Committee.
The members of the Supervisory Board of BASF SE, including their membership on the supervisory bodies of other companies, are listed under Management and Supervisory Boards.
Compensation of the Supervisory Board is described in detail in the Compensation Report.
Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht (Chairman), Michael Diekmann, Robert Oswald, Michael Vassiliadis
- Prepares the appointment of members to the Board of Executive Directors by the Supervisory Board as well as the employment contracts to be entered into with members of the Board of Executive Directors
- When making recommendations for appointments to the Board of Executive Directors, considers professional qualifications, international experience and leadership skills as well as long-term succession planning, diversity, and especially the appropriate consideration of women
- Prepares the resolutions made by the Supervisory Board with regard to the system and determination of the amount of compensation paid to members of the Board of Executive Directors
Dame Alison Carnwath DBE (Chairwoman), Ralf-Gerd Bastian, Franz Fehrenbach, Michael Vassiliadis
- Prepares the negotiations and resolutions of the Supervisory Board for the approval of the Financial Statements and Consolidated Financial Statements, and discusses the quarterly and first-half financial reports with the Board of Executive Directors prior to their publication
- Deals with monitoring the financial reporting process, the annual audit, the effectiveness of the internal control system, the risk management system, and the internal auditing system as well as compliance issues
- Is responsible for business relations with the company’s external auditor: prepares the Supervisory Board’s proposal to the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting regarding the selection of an auditor, monitors the auditor’s independence, defines the focus areas of the audit together with the auditor, negotiates auditing fees and establishes the conditions for the provision of the auditor’s nonaudit services
- Is authorized to request any information that it deems necessary from the auditor or Board of Executive Directors; can also view all of BASF’s business documents and examine these and all other assets belonging to BASF. The Audit Committee can also engage experts such as auditors or lawyers to carry out these inspections
Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht (Chairman), Dame Alison Carnwath DBE, Prof. Dr. François Diederich, Michael Diekmann, Franz Fehrenbach, Anke Schäferkordt
- Identifies suitable candidates for the Supervisory Board based on objectives for the composition decided on by the Supervisory Board
- Prepares the recommendations made by the Supervisory Board for the election of Supervisory Board members for the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting
Dr. Jürgen Hambrecht (Chairman), Dame Alison Carnwath DBE, Michael Diekmann, Robert Oswald, Michael Vassiliadis
- Handles the further development of the company’s strategy and prepares approval resolutions of the Supervisory Board on the company’s major acquisitions and divestitures
Objectives for Supervisory Board composition
- Composition criteria: professional and personal qualifications, diversity, and independence
One important concern of good corporate governance is to ensure that seats on the responsible corporate bodies, the Board of Executive Directors and the Supervisory Board, are appropriately ﬁlled. Seats on the Board of Executive Directors and Supervisory Board should be ﬁlled with members who ensure a well-balanced consideration of all the knowledge, skills and personal qualiﬁcations necessary to manage and supervise BASF as a large, globally operating, capital market-oriented company in the chemical industry.
On October 21, 2010, the Supervisory Board agreed upon objectives for the composition of the Supervisory Board in accordance with Section 5.4.1 of the German Corporate Governance Code; these were supplemented in the Supervisory Board meetings of December 20, 2012, and October 22, 2015. According to these objectives, the Supervisory Board shall be composed in such a way that the members as a group possess knowledge, ability and expert experience
- In the management of an internationally operating company
- In cross-industry value creation along different value chains
- In the application of accounting principles and internal control procedures
- In the ﬁeld of technical and scientiﬁc innovations in the chemical sector and associated industries as well as in the sectors using chemical products.
At least one independent member of the Supervisory Board must have expertise in the fields of accounting or auditing as per Section 100(5) of the German Stock Corporation Act. With regard to diversity, the Supervisory Board shall consider a variety of professional and international experience as well as the participation of women. With regard to independence, the Supervisory Board aims to ensure that all Supervisory Board members are independent as defined by the terms of the Code. Individuals who may have a conflict of interest shall not be nominated for election to the Supervisory Board. The same applies to candidates who will have reached the age of 70 by the day of the election. Since October 2015, there has been an additional objective for the composition: Membership on the Supervisory Board should generally not exceed 15 years; this corresponds to three regular statutory periods in office. The members of the Supervisory Board elected at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting already fulfill this new objective with one exception.
In assessing independence, the Supervisory Board assumes that neither election as an employee representative, nor membership on the Board of Executive Directors more than two years in the past, taken together or in isolation, precludes the classiﬁcation as independent.
On this basis, the Supervisory Board has determined that all of its current members can be considered independent. We firmly believe that the current composition fulfills the objectives with the aforementioned exception regarding the period of membership.