Russell Reynolds Associates: DAX 30 - Supervisory Board Study 2019

In no other year have more board members been up for election.

Key insights from this year's analysis by Russell Reynolds Associates show expectations for changes in board compositions were high in 2019. These expectations have been only partially fulfilled.

  • 92 seats were up for election (36% of all seats).
  • 57 turned out to be re-elections of existing members. In total, 30 supervisory board members were replaced across the DAX 30 and another 5 non-executive director positions were newly created in the Linde-Praxair merger. This brings the total count of first-time elections to 35, still an above-average number for a single year.
  • After the 30% female quota was achieved last year by shareholder representatives, there was only a moderate increase this year. Surprisingly, among the newly elected members, the share of women was significantly below the 30% threshold.
  • The number of digital experts on supervisory boards continues to grow rapidly. As of 2019, 67% of DAX 30 companies are able to rely on this crucial expertise on their boards.
  • Cross-linkage of DAX 30 companies via supervisory board members with seats on multiple boards continues to decline; several directors have reduced their workload. However, 16.5 percent of shareholder representatives would likely be considered overboarded, according to the new German Corporate Governance Kodex, and would need to give up over 80 board seats to rectify this situation.


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