Corporate Governance Declaration 2012
Declaration of conformity by United Internet AG with regard to the recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code in accordance with Sec. 161 German Stock Corporation Act (AktG)
In accordance with Sec. 161 German Stock Corporation Act (AktG), the Management Board and Supervisory Board of United Internet AG declare that:
United Internet AG complied with the recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code (in the currently valid version dated May 26, 2010) with the following exceptions, and expects to comply in future with the following exceptions:
Deductibles in the case of D&O insurance policies (Code section 3.8)
Since the German Act on the Appropriateness of Management Board Compensation (Gesetz zur Angemessenheit der Vorstandsvergütung – VorstAG) came into power, the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG) now requires that Management Board members accept an obligatory deductible for D&O insurance policies of at least 10% of the loss and up to at least one-and-a-half times the fixed annual compensation of the respective Management Board member (Sec. 93 AktG). Deductibles need not be agreed, however, for Supervisory Board members (Sec. 116 AktG). Beyond the scope of the AktG, the German Corporate Governance Code recommends that a similar deductible be agreed for the Supervisory Board in any D&O policy.
United Internet AG has adopted the legal requirements by amending the existing D&O insurance policies as of January 1, 2010 and has agreed its first deductible for members of the Management Board. No deductible was agreed for the Supervisory Board. United Internet does not generally believe that the motivation and responsibility with which the members of United Internet’s Supervisory Board conduct their duties will be affected by such a deductible.
Committees (Code section 5.3)
The German Corporate Governance Code recommends that the Supervisory Board set up an Audit Committee which, in particular, should handle issues of accounting, risk management and compliance, the necessary independence required of the auditor, the issuing of the audit mandate to the auditor, the determination of auditing focal points and the fee agreement. In addition, the German Corporate Governance Code recommends that the Supervisory Board form a Nomination Committee composed exclusively of shareholder representatives, which proposes suitable candidates to the Supervisory Board for recommendation to the Annual Shareholders' Meeting.
The Supervisory Board of United Internet AG currently consists of three members: in addition to their other duties, the members also deal as a group with the above-mentioned topics. The Supervisory Board’s rules of procedure state that committees should only be formed if there are more than three members.
Composition of the Supervisory Board (Code section 5.4.1)
The German Corporate Governance Code recommends that the Supervisory Board specifies concrete objectives regarding its composition which, whilst considering the specifics of the enterprise, take into account the international activities of the enterprise, potential conflicts of interest, an age limit to be specified for the members of the Supervisory Board and diversity. These concrete objectives shall, in particular, stipulate an appropriate degree of female representation. Recommendations by the Supervisory Board to the competent election bodies shall take these objectives into account. The objectives of the Supervisory Board and the status of their implementation shall be published in the Corporate Governance Report.
The current members of the Supervisory Board have been elected for the period ending with the Annual Shareholders' Meeting which adopts the resolution to release the Supervisory Board members from their responsibility for fiscal year 2014. As specific candidate proposals for the Supervisory Board do not have to be made until its scheduled re-election at the Annual Shareholders' Meeting in 2015, it does not appear appropriate to already formulate concrete objectives today without knowing the possible changes in the regulatory environment or the company’s market conditions. The Supervisory Board will carefully monitor developments and make a timely decision before the scheduled re-election of the Supervisory Board regarding the Code’s recommendations on concrete objectives and their implementation as part of the Supervisory Board’s proposals to the Annual Shareholders' Meeting and reporting.
Compensation of Supervisory Board members (Code section 5.4.6)
The German Corporate Governance Code recommends that the compensation of Supervisory Board members should also take into account the exercising of the Chair and Deputy Chair positions in the Supervisory Board as well as the chair and membership of committees.
As long as the Supervisory Board consists of no more than three members and no committees are formed, United Internet only separately considers the Chair position in the Supervisory Board.
Publication of reports (Code section 7.1.2)
The German Corporate Governance Code recommends that interim reports are to be made publicly accessible within 45 days of the end of the reporting period.
Due to organizational, internal reasons, United Internet published its interim report for the first six months of 2011 on August 16, 2011. As already announced in its Financial Calendar 2012, United Internet will publish its interim report for the first nine months of 2012 on November 22, 2012.