QSC AG: Communication services for SMEs – simple, meaningful, efficient.


Declaration of compliance


Since its formation, QSC AG (“QSC”) has been committed to good corporate governance and has viewed transparency and value-driven management as essential. Consequently, the Company implements nearly all recommendations set forth in the German Corporate Governance Code and adheres to them in its daily work. Since submitting its previous Declaration of Compliance, the Company has complied and continues to comply with the recommendations of the Government Commission “German Corporate Governance Code” in the version dated 7 February 2017, with the following exceptions:

No agreement regarding a deductible in the D&O insurance for members of the Supervisory Board (§ 93, paragraph 2 of the German Stock Corporation Act [“AktG”])
(Item 3.8, Paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Code)

QSC complies with the recommendation of the German Corporate Governance Code in that the D&O insurance policy for Supervisory Board members includes a deductible of 10 percent of the respective damages per damage event. However, and contrary to the recommendation, the liability per year is capped at 100 percent of the fixed annual compensation of the Supervisory Board members, since QSC does not deem it appropriate for the deductible to exceed their annual compensation.

No cap on individual variable compensation components or on the overall compensation of one Management Board member and consequently no presentation of the maximum achievable compensation in the compensation report
(Item 4.2.3, Paragraph 2, Sentence 6 and Item 4.2.5, Paragraph 3 [first bullet point], Paragraph 4 of the Code

Only one Management Board member still holds, among other things, convertible bonds issued within the 2006 Stock Option Plan as one variable component of his Management Board compensation. These were allocated before the recommendation took effect. The current Management Board contract provides for a cap in the event of unforeseen developments; it does not, however, set any maximum limit on gains from exercising conversion rights in connection with the 2006 Stock Option Plan and thus on the overall compensation of the Management Board member. In view of this, QSC will also be unable to state any maximum amounts that may be called for in the model tables in the compensation report. QSC otherwise fully complies with the recommendations in respect of existing Management Board compensation and will also comply with the recommendations when determining any future Management Board compensation.

No regular limit set for length of Supervisory Board membership
(Item 5.4.1, Paragraph 2, Sentence 2 of the Code)

The Supervisory Board of QSC has compiled a competence profile for the board as a whole and set specific targets for its composition that are consistent with the recommendations made in Item 5.4.1 with the exception of the requirement to set a regular limit for the length of Supervisory Board membership. The Supervisory Board believes that it would not be in the Company’s best interests to set an advance limit on the length of individual board membership. It is basically desirable that the Supervisory Board should change its composition at certain intervals; on the other hand, the Company should also be able to draw on the expertise of experienced Supervisory Board members.

No disclosure of personal and business relations of each individual candidate with the Company, its executive bodies and with any shareholders holding material interests in company in election proposals to the Annual General Meeting
(Item 5.4.1, Paragraphs 6 to 8 of the Code)

In QSC’s opinion, the recommendation of the German Corporate Governance Code does not specify clearly enough which relationships of a candidate must be disclosed and the extent to which such disclosures are required to be made for proposed elections at the Annual General Meeting in order to comply with the recommendation. In the interests of legal certainty with respect to future elections to the Supervisory Board, the Management Board and Supervisory Board have decided to declare a divergence from the recommendation. QSC is of the opinion that the existing disclosure requirements contained in § 124, paragraph 3 sentence 4 and in § 125, paragraph 1 sentence 5 of the German Stock Corporation Act (“AktG”) are sufficient to meet the informational needs of the shareholders and will, at an appropriate date in the future, investigate and decide – voluntarily and without tying itself to the Code’s recommendation – whether to disclose additional information about candidates proposed for election at the Annual General Meeting.

Cologne, 22 November 2018

On behalf of the Management Board
Jürgen Hermann

On behalf of the Supervisory Board
Dr. Bernd Schlobohm

Download PDF file