Structure and management of the Group
HHLA acts as the strategic management holding company for the Group. Its operating business is primarily conducted by domestic and foreign subsidiaries and associated firms. Group structure Operating activities are managed and monitored by the Executive Board and its central HHLA departments, such as Purchasing, Finance, Legal and HR. Compliance with the management’s corporate governance requirements is ensured by internal company guidelines as well as provisions in the articles of association and rules of procedure for the subsidiaries and associated firms. Most subsidiaries also have their own supervisory or advisory boards that monitor and advise the executive boards of the respective companies.
Compliance with corporate guidelines and the statutory provisions relevant to the company’s activities (hereinafter also referred to as “compliance”) is regarded as an essential part of corporate governance at HHLA. The management team in each corporate unit is therefore responsible for ensuring compliance with the applicable statutory provisions for their field of activity and area of responsibility, and for promoting their observance. Workflows and processes must be structured in line with these regulations. The cornerstone of HHLA’s compliance management system (CMS) is a code of conduct, which formulates overriding principles on topics with special relevance for compliance, such as fair competition, the prevention of corruption, discrimination and conflicts of interest, as well as the handling of sensitive corporate information and information subject to data privacy, see www.hhla.de/compliance. It also offers the opportunity for employees and third parties to provide information about misconduct within the company. The code of conduct is supplemented by further Group guidelines on such matters as corruption prevention and fair conduct. A further element of the CMS is the systematic, ongoing analysis of compliance risks and the introduction of corresponding measures – such as staff training and process adjustments to minimise the respective risks. Furthermore, a supplier code of conduct together with the business partner screening system, which is currently being implemented on a Group-wide basis to facilitate a risk-oriented assessment of business partners, help to reduce compliance risks. Overall coordination of the CMS is performed by the Group Compliance Officer, who reports directly to the Executive Board and synchronises their activities with those of the Internal Audit and Risk Management departments, among others. There are also compliance managers or officers at the various corporate units in Germany and abroad. The responsibilities of compliance officers primarily include advising employees on all compliance-related issues and investigating any indications of breaches. The Audit Committee monitored the effectiveness of the CMS in the reporting period by means of regular reports from the Executive Board and the Group Compliance Officer. The CMS underwent an effectiveness review in 2020/2021 in accordance with IDW PS 980, taking into account the requirements of ISO 19600, by PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Düsseldorf, and its effectiveness was confirmed. The system will continue to be optimised on an ongoing basis and adapted to any changes in the risk situation.
The HHLA Group’s risk management system is described in detail in the risk and opportunity report, which forms part of the management report. Risk and opportunity report
HHLA believes that informing shareholders and interested members of the public promptly about important issues is an integral part of good corporate governance. HHLA provides information about the economic position of the company, as well as important company developments, particularly by means of its financial reporting (annual report, half-yearly financial report and interim statements), press conferences for analysts and financial press conferences, meetings with analysts and the press, press releases and ad hoc announcements as required, and its Annual General Meetings. As a permanently available and up-to-date communication medium, the website www.hhla.de provides all the relevant information in both German and English. In addition to information about the HHLA Group and the HHLA share, it contains a financial calendar with an overview of the important dates. Furthermore, the Investor Relations department is available for all enquiries from shareholders, investors and analysts.