Grenke AG, a German-based global provider of leasing to SMEs, has announced several changes to its supervisory board, including the departure of its founder Wolfgang Grenke who “will leave the supervisory board at the end of the upcoming AGM on July 29 of this year,” the company said in a statement.
Wolfgang Grenke temporarily stood down from his role on the supervisory board in September 2020 following a series of allegations by Fraser Perring of Viceroy Research of accounting fraud at Grenke AG.
Grenke AG rejected the report as unfounded and launched several internal audits. Changes of personnel at the company followed, including a number of board-level resignations. At the time, the German financial regulator also launched an investigation, the publication of which has not been fully disclosed by Grenke, citing reasons of commercial sensitivity. During its full-year 2020 financial report in May 2021, Grenke said it was working to rectify the procedural and control deficiencies found by the audits and investigators.
Today, Grenke AG also gave notice that Grenke Beteiligung GmbH & Co. KG – the Grenke family’s joint company that holds a majority shareholding of around 40 per cent – “intends to submit a related proposal for election to the Supervisory Board to the AGM”.
Claudia Krcmar and Florian Schulte of the supervisory board have also announced they will resign their posts “at their own request” with effect from the end of the upcoming AGM.
Norbert Freisleben (51), graduate economist, and Dr Konstantin Mettenheimer (65), lawyer and tax consultant, will be proposed to the AGM as their successors, the press release said.
- Norbert Freisleben is the managing director of various limited liability companies and worked for many years in the field of auditing at KPMG. He is also the author of numerous specialist publications on the subjects of stock corporations and accounting law.
- Dr Konstantin Mettenheimer is chairman of PMB Capital Partner Ltd and was previously the global chairman of the international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, as well as a partner at Edmond de Rothschild Private Merchant Banking LLP.
In addition, Andreas Schulz (59), a member of the Grenke Bank AG board of directors responsible for the market business unit, will leave the company on August 1 of this year.
From this date, his duties will be assumed by Helge Kramer (54), a business mathematics graduate, who in his last position was a member of the board of directors at Frankfurter Bankgesellschaft Deutschland AG. A successor for the member of the board of directors responsible for the back office, Sven Noppes (45), whose contract ends on December 31, 2021, is expected to join Grenke AG as early as the fourth quarter of this year.
“After all the changes in recent months, the upcoming AGM will be an important milestone,” said Prof Dr Ernst-Moritz Lipp, chair of the supervisory board of Grenke AG:
“New, independent supervisory board members with a high level of expertise will be proposed at the AGM, and the successful strategy of profitable, double-digit growth in the small-ticket segment with its special blend of leasing, factoring, and banking products will continue.
“The expansion of robust internal monitoring and control structures had already begun in the previous year and will have advanced significantly by the year’s end.
“Additionally, the board of directors has already been decisively strengthened with the appointment of Isabel Rösler as CRO and future CEO Michael Bücker. With these new and comprehensive personnel changes at Grenke, we are laying an important foundation.”
Grenke Bank AG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grenke AG and, based on its portfolio, forms an important component of the Consolidated Group’s strategy. In addition to partially refinancing Grenke’s leasing business, the bank subsidiary offers financing for SMEs and start-ups and cooperates with development banks such as Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau and Landeskreditbank Baden-Württemberg. Grenke Bank also offers current accounts for businesses as well as overnight and fixed-term deposits for private customers.
Annual General Meeting
On 29 July 2021, Grenke AG’s AGM will be held virtually and can be followed live in its entirety at the following link: https://www.grenke.com/investor-relations/general-meeting.