The Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Hannover Re work together on a trusting basis to manage and monitor the company. In accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Executive Board, matters of fundamental importance require the consent of the Supervisory Board. In addition, the Supervisory Board is kept informed on a regular and timely basis of the business development, the execution of strategic decisions, material risks and planning as well as relevant compliance issues. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board stays in regular contact with the Chairman of the Executive Board in order to discuss with him significant business occurrences. The composition of the Executive Board (including areas of responsibility) as well as of the Supervisory Board and its committees is set out respectively in the present Annual Report.
The Rules of Procedure of the Executive Board are intended to ensure that a consistent business policy is elaborated and implemented for the company in accordance with its strategic objectives. Within the framework of a consistent business policy, the principle of “delegation of responsibility” enjoys special status. In the interests of shareholders, importance is expressly attached to an organisation that facilitates cost-effective, quick and unbureaucratic decision processes. Open and trusting cooperation geared to the interest of the whole is the foundation of success. In this context, the members of the Executive Board bear joint responsibility for the overall management of business. Irrespective of their overall responsibility, each member of the Executive Board leads their own area of competence at their individual responsibility within the bounds of the resolutions adopted by the Executive Board. Only persons under the age of 65 may be appointed to the Executive Board. The term of appointment shall be determined such that it expires no later than the end of the month in which the member of the Executive Board turns 65. The Supervisory Board takes account of diversity considerations in the composition of the Executive Board.
The Rules of Procedure of the Supervisory Board provide inter alia that each member of the Supervisory Board must have the knowledge, skills and professional experience required for orderly performance of their tasks and that the Supervisory Board must have a sufficient number of independent members. Currently, four of the six shareholder representatives are independent as defined by Item 5.4.2 of the German Corporate Governance Code. At least one independent member shall have technical expertise in the fields of accounting and the auditing of financial statements. Persons suggested to the Annual General Meeting as candidates for election to the Supervisory Board may not be older than 72 at the time of their election. Nominations shall take account of the company’s international activities as well as diversity. For their part, each member of the Supervisory Board shall ensure that they have sufficient time to discharge their mandate. The Supervisory Board meets at least twice each calendar half-year. If a member of the Supervisory Board participates in less than half of the meetings of the Supervisory Board in a financial year, this shall be noted in the Supervisory Board’s report. No more than two former members of the company’s Executive Board may belong to the Supervisory Board.
In 2012 the Supervisory Board carried out another regularly scheduled audit of the effectiveness of its work. An extensive questionnaire addressed, among other aspects, issues such as the organisation of the Supervisory Board and the conduct of meetings, the cooperation between the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board and the supply of information to the Supervisory Board. The findings were explained and discussed at the first Supervisory Board meeting of 2013. They resulted, among other things, in meeting documents being made available to the Supervisory Board members in an “Electronic Board Room” as part of the efficient provision of information.
The committees of the Supervisory Board prepare the decisions of the Supervisory Board within their area of competence and take decisions in lieu of the Supervisory Board within the scope of competence defined by the Rules of Procedure applicable to the committee in question.
The Finance and Audit Committee monitors the accounting process and the effectiveness of the internal control system, the risk management system and the internal auditing system. It also handles issues relating to compliance and the information system for the Supervisory Board and discusses the interim reports as well as the semi-annual reports prior to their publication. It prepares the Supervisory Board’s examination of the annual financial statement, management report and proposal for the appropriation of profit as well as of the consolidated financial statement and Group management report. In this context, the Finance and Audit Committee receives detailed information on the auditor’s view of the net assets, financial position and results of operations as well as explanations of the effects of any modified recognition and measurement principles on the net assets, financial position and results of operations together with available alternatives. In addition, the committee prepares the Supervisory Board’s decision on the commissioning of the independent auditor for the financial statements. It considers matters associated with the necessary independence of the auditor, the awarding of the audit mandate to the independent auditor, the determination of the audit concentrations and the fee agreement.
The Standing Committee prepares personnel decisions for the Supervisory Board and decides in lieu of the Supervisory Board on the content, formation, amendment and termination of contracts of service with the members of the Executive Board with the exception of matters of remuneration-related content and their implementation. It bears responsibility for the granting of loans to the group of persons specified in §§ 89 Para. 1, 115 Stock Corporation Act and those considered equivalent pursuant to § 89 Para. 3 Stock Corporation Act as well as for the approval of contracts with Supervisory Board members in accordance with § 114 Stock Corporation Act. It exercises the powers arising out of § 112 Stock Corporation Act in lieu of the Supervisory Board and – in cooperation with the Executive Board – ensures that long-term succession planning is in place.
The Nomination Committee is tasked with proposing to the Supervisory Board appropriate candidates for the nominations that it puts forward to the Annual General Meeting for election to the Supervisory Board.
For further details of the activities of the Supervisory Board committees please see the explanations provided in the Supervisory Board Report.
Information regarding the following items is provided in the remuneration report:
Information on share-based payment pursuant to Item 7.1.3 of the German Corporate Governance Code is provided in Section 8.3 of the notes “Share-based payment” and in the remuneration report with respect to the members of the Executive Board.