Corporate governance refers to the entire system for managing and supervising a company. This includes the organization, values, corporate principles and guidelines as well as internal and external control and monitoring mechanisms. Effective and transparent corporate governance guarantees that BASF is managed and monitored in a responsible manner focused on value creation. This fosters the confidence of our domestic and international investors, the financial markets, our customers and other business partners, employees and the public in the company.
Management and supervision
BASF has the legal form of a European Company (Societas Europaea, SE). The legal foundations of its corporate constitution are primarily the SE Council Regulation of the European Union, the German SE Implementation Act and the German Stock Corporation Act. The fundamental elements of BASF SE’s corporate governance system correspond to the proven principal components of the German Aktiengesellschaft’s corporate constitution: these are the two-tier system consisting of BASF’s Board of Executive Directors and the Supervisory Board, the equal representation of shareholders and employees in the Supervisory Board and the shareholders’ rights of co-administration and supervision at the Shareholders’ Meeting.
Direction and management by the Board of Executive Directors
Under the two-tier management system of BASF SE, the Board of Executive Directors is responsible for the management of the company, and represents BASF SE in business undertakings with third parties. BASF’s Board of Executive Directors is strictly separated from the Supervisory Board: A member of the Board of Executive Directors cannot simultaneously be a member of the Supervisory Board. The Board of Executive Directors agrees on the BASF Group’s corporate goals and strategic alignment. It also manages and monitors the business units of the BASF Group through the planning and setting of the corporate budget, the allocation of resources and management capacities, the monitoring and decision-making regarding significant individual measures and the control of the operational management. The Board’s actions and decisions are aligned with the company’s best interests. It is committed to the goal of sustainably increasing the company’s value. Among the Board’s responsibilities is the preparation of the consolidated and individual financial statements of BASF SE. Furthermore, it must ensure that the company’s activities comply with legal requirements and internal corporate directives. Decisions that are reserved for the Board as a whole by law, through the Board of Executive Directors’ Rules of Procedure or through resolutions adopted by the Board, are made based on a simple majority. In the case of a tied vote, the casting vote is given by the Chairman of the Board. However, the Chairman of the Board does not have the right to veto the decisions of the Board of Executive Directors. Members of the Board of Executive Directors are authorized to make decisions individually in their assigned areas of responsibility. The Board can set up Board Committees to consult and decide on individual issues; these must include at least three members of the Board of Executive Directors.
The Board of Executive Directors informs the Supervisory Board regularly, without delay and comprehensively, of all issues important to the company with regard to planning, business development, risk situation, risk management and compliance. Furthermore, the Board of Executive Directors coordinates the company’s strategic approach with the Supervisory Board. The Statutes of BASF SE define certain transactions that require the Board of Executive Directors to obtain the Supervisory Board’s approval prior to their conclusion. Such cases include the acquisition and disposal of enterprises and parts of enterprises, the issue of bonds or comparable financial instruments; however, this is only necessary if the acquisition or disposal price or the amount of the issue in an individual case exceeds 3% of the equity reported in the last approved Consolidated Financial Statements of the BASF Group.
Compensation of the Board of Executive Directors is described in detail in the Compensation Report
Directors’ and Officers’ liability insurance
BASF SE has taken out liability insurance that covers the activities of members of the Board of Executive Directors and the Supervisory Board (D&O insurance). This policy provides for the level of deductibles for the Board of Executive Directors as prescribed by Section 93(2)3 of the German Stock Corporation Act and for the level of deductibles for the Supervisory Board as recommended in Section 3.8, Paragraph 3 of the German Corporate Governance Code.