Outgoing UBS boss Ermotti could become Swiss Re president

Zurich The outgoing head of the major Swiss bank UBS, Sergio Ermotti, is about to switch industries. According to insiders, Ermotti is the reinsurer’s next Chairman Swiss Re intended.

Ermotti is to inherit Walter Kielholz as President of the world’s second largest reinsurer in spring 2021, as three people familiar with the matter said to the Reuters news agency. Another person familiar with the matter also confirmed this to the Handelsblatt.

According to her head of UBS’s board of directors, Axel Weber, was not involved in the decision and reacted with dismay. Ermotti had presented Weber with fait accompli, the voice said.


Fed wants to support the US economy in the face of the corona virus

Jerome Powell

“We will use our tools and act as it is appropriate to support the economy.”

(Photo: AP)

Washington Fed Fed leader Jerome Powell said the Fed will act appropriately to support the economy in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. “The fundamentals of the US economy remain strong,” Powell said on Friday. “However, the corona virus poses increasing risks to economic activity.”

The Fed is closely monitoring developments and their impact on economic growth. “We will use our tools and act as it is appropriate to support the economy.”

Coronavirus’ market value has shrunk by nearly $ 6 trillion since the start of the week. A reassurance is not in sight for now. The Dax Since then it has lost more than twelve percent in value after marking a record high of 13,795 points a week and a half earlier.

Investors are also hoping for the central banks to save them. “The markets are now pricing in at least two rate cuts by the Fed,” said Seema Shah, chief investment strategist at asset manager Principal Global Investors. Some stockbrokers already consider a step down possible in March.

More: The corona virus is causing the stock market to panic. Read what needs to be done here.


Financial investor Apollo senses opportunity in coronavirus crisis

Leon Black

During the 2008 financial crisis, Apollo invested $ 50 billion within four months, says the financial investor’s CEO.

(Photo: Reuters)

Berlin Large financial investors hope that the Corona virus will continue to upset the market for cheap buying opportunities. In recent years, they have set up billions of dollars in funds to buy bad loans and are now waiting for their chance, as managers said at the annual industry meeting “Super Return” in Berlin.

“A downturn would not be bad for Apollo,” said the chief financial officer, Leon Black, during a panel discussion. Apollo invested $ 50 billion in four months during the 2008 financial crisis. This time, too, one is ready to spend such a sum should the downturn come, Black said. In a crisis, loans would be undervalued. “This creates buying opportunities,” said Jason Thomas of financial investor Carlyle.

Many private equity firms have set up funds to buy non-performing loans in recent years. They kept their powder dry so that they could strike in a crisis. According to data provider Preqin, there were $ 77 billion in cash worldwide for this in 2019, more than ever before.

For investors, it is now a matter of getting the right time for their investments. “Everyone tries to find out when the growth cycle ends. Perhaps the coronavirus is the first trigger, ”said an industry representative. 2020 could be our year, several investors in the bad loan specialist Reuters said.

Black is unsure how long and how long the coronavirus epidemic will plunge the economy into turmoil. “The best we can do is be prepared,” said the Apollo boss.

More: The Corona Virus Panics the Exchange – What to Do Now.


Ex-boss Bill McDermott receives 15 million euros in remuneration

Dusseldorf In November Bill McDermott is from SAP to Service Now changed, to the surprise of most employees, customers and shareholders. Nevertheless, the long-time boss of the software manufacturer received compensation of 15.18 million euros for the past year, an increase of 55 percent. On the one hand, this results from high bonuses in recent years, on the other hand from the positive share price development – from which the other board members also benefit.

In the future, however, the management should also focus on other criteria, as the annual report published by the group on Thursday shows: A new compensation system takes into account concrete financial indicators on the one hand, and sustainability, on the other hand, consisting of factors such as CO2 emissions, employee engagement and customer satisfaction. The shareholders are to vote on the rules at the Annual General Meeting in May.

McDermott has been one of the highest paid managers in the German economy for years. Despite his farewell, he should still appear on the lists in the coming years when long-term compensation programs expire. For 2019, the group awards the American 7.77 million euros, which he will receive in 2023, the final amount depending on the share price. In addition, despite his move to Service Now, he is still negotiating compensation for a non-competition clause, as the annual report notes.

In comparison, the two new co-bosses receive significantly less remuneration. For Christian Klein it is 1.85 million euros, for Jennifer Morgan it is 1.97 million euros. Background: Since the two managers have been on the board for less than four years, no long-term bonuses have yet to be paid. In SAP top management, these make up at least 50 percent of the remuneration.

The grants granted are significantly higher: EUR 5.51 million for Klein, EUR 5.96 million for Morgan. According to the company, the differences between the two managers result from the fact that they have been on the SAP Executive Board for different lengths of time and that different legal frameworks apply to the United States and Germany, which affect compensation.

The entire body will receive 45.58 million euros, around 76 percent more than in the previous year. The increase is largely due to the development of the share price, which rose by 38 percent in 2019 and thus developed significantly better than the Dax, In addition to Bill McDermott, CFO Luka Mucic and the now retired head of cloud business group Robert Enslin were among the top earners with almost 5.5 million euros each.

The – allegedly amicable – separation from the former chief of technology Bernd Leukert in spring 2019, who is now at German bank Working on the board, SAP is expensive. The severance pay, compensation for a non-competition clause and benefits for old-age provision totaled EUR 9.7 million, plus the regular remuneration of EUR 4.99 million.

Sustainability bonus

The focus is likely to shift in the future. The Supervisory Board proposes several changes that take into account “the transformation of the company” and demands from investors, but also the Shareholder Rights Directive, which will come into force in 2021. The board has considerably less discretion in short-term and long-term remuneration, which is an important criterion for large shareholders and voting rights advisors.

The long-term bonus no longer counts how the SAP share develops in comparison with a “peer group index” with some software manufacturers, but what return the paper generates compared to the Nasdaq 100 – the IT group therefore compares itself with a cross-section of the Economy. In addition, unlike in the past, the remuneration also depends on whether the company achieves the goals for sales, operating profit and cloud computing.

Also new: for the first time, the Executive Board remuneration includes a component for sustainability. The annual bonus takes this into account to 20 percent, which in addition to the emission of greenhouse gases also includes employee engagement and customer satisfaction, the latter measured in terms of willingness to recommend – the latter left a lot to be desired and decreased slightly in 2019.

More: SAP promises that the integration will improve soon


A third of all managers struggle with their own leadership role

Dusseldorf German companies have a problem in their management levels – and it is the managers themselves. Or more precisely: their attitude and their level of confidence.

Because almost a third of all managers struggle massively with themselves and their own role. Young managers in particular are plagued by great self-doubt. This is shown by the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s current “Executive Radar”, which the think tank created in collaboration with the Reinhard Mohn Institute for Corporate Management (RMI) at the University of Witten / Herdecke.

According to this, every fifth manager judges that they do not meet their own demands in the job. And a good 25 percent of those questioned even agree that they would make a higher contribution to a group if it was not led by them but by someone else.

“This finding is a serious problem for companies,” says the report, which was available to the Handelsblatt in advance. The authors justify it because insecure managers would rarely achieve their goals and employees would be less able to get their messages across. “Leadership doubts go hand in hand with less leadership effect,” the authors write.

Around 1,000 managers in Germany participated in the representative survey.

Young executives particularly affected

The self-doubts seem to be particularly deeply rooted in Generation Y (born between 1980 and 2001). There, almost 44 percent of the executives surveyed struggle with themselves and their tasks. The most confident, however, are the so-called baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964). Here, only 21 percent stated high management doubts.

The study could not find a big difference between men and women in terms of self-doubt. The size of the company also played a minor role.

The astonishing uncertainty among the managerial staff is justified with a lack of clarity and excessive bureaucratic and formal hurdles when it comes to completing their own tasks.


What the “executive radar” also shows: The high burden on managers often rubs off negatively on the productivity and satisfaction of employees. Around 45 percent of the highly stressed managers stated that they adopt a rather skeptical attitude towards their employees. Of the less stressed managers, only 16.4 percent answered yes to this question. Such bosses are hardly likely to really motivate their teams.

“Managers themselves need motivating and supportive conditions in order to lead effectively and create a creative and innovative working atmosphere for their teams, as well as to implement changes,” says Liz Mohn, deputy chairwoman of the board of the Bertelsmann Stiftung.

The study makers therefore give the following tips on how companies can help unsettled managers:

  • The issue of stress should be addressed openly in development discussions.
  • If necessary, unsettled managers can be offered support via the HR department with workshops and coaching.
  • The conditions of the managers should be checked regularly – preferably semi-annually or quarterly: Where can ambiguities be removed? Where to cut red tape?
  • In middle management, the superiors on the level above can act as role models – and appeal to work on themselves.
  • However, those who suffer permanently from their own role as managers must, in case of doubt, take responsibility – and perform other tasks, write the study authors.

The manager barometer, which the personnel consultancy Odgers Berndtson creates exclusively in cooperation with the Handelsblatt once a year, regularly shows that leadership is anything but a dream job for many managers.

Many managers lack fun and sense

According to the survey, just over 55 percent stated that they enjoy their job as a manager. 52 percent see a sense in their managerial role or corporate purpose. Conversely, this means that almost half of the managers lack this usefulness.


“Management is becoming more and more individual, situational and demanding,” explains Markus Trost, partner at Odgers Berndtson and head of the manager barometer. “The constantly evolving demands on customer needs make it necessary, for example, to be more agile and to continually adjust intermediate goals.”

This is perceived as particularly stressful by executives when the basic motivation in the company is already at a low level “and therefore management performance must be permanently invested in the motivation,” says Trost.

More: Gallup CEO Jim Clifton: “A manager can lead a maximum of ten people”


HP boss Enrique Lores is under pressure

San Francisco, Dusseldorf Enrique Lores has only been CEO of HP since November – and possibly the last in the company’s history, which is considered the forefather of all garage start-ups. In front of the garage at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto, where Bill Hewlett and David Packard developed the first electronic measuring devices, there has been a bronze sign since 1989: “Birthplace of Silicon Valley”.

1989 was also the year in which Enrique Lores began his career HP started. The electrical engineer started as an intern, never changed employers and instead worked his way up over three decades. He experienced and shaped two splits: 1999 the spin-off of the medical technology and measuring instrument business, which went public as Agilent.

And in 2015 the separation from the business customer division HPE. The business with computers, printers, scanners and software for private customers remained. At this point in time, the company no longer looked like the pioneer, but rather like the old Uropa of Silicon Valley.

When the group was split up, Lores headed the “Separation Management Office”, then he took over the business area for printers and printing solutions, where he was responsible for taking over Samsung’s printing business in 2017. When Dion Weisler left the HP chief position for personal reasons in November 2019, Lores moved to the top of the group.

It was not an easy start: Lores has to implement a billion-dollar savings program in which up to 9,000 out of 55,000 jobs worldwide are to be cut.

There was hardly any improvement in the quarterly figures that the company published on Monday after the US stock market closed: In the three months to the end of January, profit fell 16 percent year-on-year to USD 678 million. Revenue decreased nearly 1 percent to $ 14.6 billion.

struggle with Xerox and Icahn

Now Lores also has to fight for HP’s independence. Shortly after taking office, the significantly smaller printer manufacturer Xerox made a takeover offer for HP, supported by activist investor Carl Icahn, who holds shares in both companies and publicly emphasized the great savings potential of a merger. HP management at Lores has repeatedly rejected the Xerox offer as too low.

However, Xerox was not satisfied with this, the copier manufacturer secured a line of credit of $ 24 billion from several banks and increased the offer to $ 35 billion. HP is open to talking about a merger, Lores said when he first presented quarterly figures – at least if the deal created value for shareholders and contributed “to HP’s strategic and financial plan”. The manager doubts that.

The product ranges of the two companies complement each other. Xerox manufactures large printers and copiers for offices, HP products for private users. However, business has been shrinking for years: In times of digitization, less and less printing is taking place.

Lores must now convince the shareholders that his company is doing better on its own. HP has announced an extensive share buyback program: Instead of five, he plans to invest $ 15 billion to increase the price, financed with new debt.

It doesn’t sound like a great strategic idea. More like the fear of the end.

More: HP had previously resisted being taken over by rival Xerox. Now HP is open to discussions.


National team: restart with old forces

Both are attached to their jobs, and both consider the tournament debacle to be an industrial accident that can be corrected without radical measures – by them.

“We both felt that even after 14 years, we still have the great motivation and the energy to put what we’ve screwed up in Russia on good feet and to put this ship back on course with all our might,” said the 58th -year-old Löw on the 63rd day after the crashing preliminary round knockout the defending champion at the joint XXL press conference with his companion and confidant Bierhoff (50) in the Munich arena.

The hard-hit success connection Löw / Bierhoff is once again dependent on each other. As the main responsible for the sporting misery in Russia (Löw) and the lousy appearance of the national team (Bierhoff) off the pitch, the duo needs itself once more in an awkward position. Should one fall in a failed restart, it could well carry the other one along.

Löw is particularly important because football is a result sport, victories and defeats determine the overall situation: the head coach has to initiate a turnaround in the international matches against world champions France and Peru in just one week.

“We have to send a clear signal,” said Löw. DFB director Bierhoff has to reverse the lost proximity to the fans. “I am responsible for the external presentation of the team,” he said clearly.

Löw and Bierhoff have also mastered crises in the past. Before the 2010 World Cup, the manager was blamed with exaggerated demands for the DFB’s initially extended contract with the sports management. Löw stood by Bierhoff at the time. And after third place with a young, fresh team in South Africa, the DFB not only extended with Löw and Bierhoff.

From then on, both were able to expand their power positions in the association more and more, align the national team according to their tastes. Even now Bierhoff said: “It would be completely wrong to throw everything that we are very proud of and what worked for 14 years.”

In their Munich World Cup analysis, one thing became clear: Both are planning a course correction in their own way. The personnel change is correspondingly minimal, the old comrades from Boateng via Hummels to Kroos continue to form the framework.

“Mats, Jérôme, Toni are players who have proven it on the international stage,” said Löw: “I am absolutely convinced of our class and our quality.”

In Russia he missed enthusiasm and fire in the team. “It was not an individual, in total we did not deliver,” said the national coach. He remains true to his philosophy: “We must never give up the vision of our game. A team that I coach will not only play defensively. “

The talents Kai Havertz (19 / Bayer Leverkusen), Thilo Kehrer (21 / Paris) and Nico Schulz (25 / Hoffenheim) are supposed to be enough new faces at the start. 17 Russian drivers will gather in Munich on Monday. Of the 2014 world champions, Löw alone midfielder Sami Khedira (31) was no longer appointed.

The former world class striker Bierhoff documented at the appearance in Munich that defensive is not his thing. He doesn’t feel comfortable in defense. That’s why he wants to “go forward as a manager, roll up his sleeves and tackle it”.

The European champion from 1996 was already a footballer: “Anyone who knows my career knows that criticism did not work for me, but always spurred me on.” Löw remains Löw, Bierhoff remains Bierhoff.

The manager will slim down the bloated staff. The art term “the team” is put to the test. The crux of his work is the alienation between fans and team. The support of the fans was “taken for granted”, Bierhoff admitted.

As an immediate measure, he announced two public training sessions, but not at the restart, but one each in October in Berlin and one in November in Leipzig. “Learning from mistakes” is Bierhoff’s motto. The proof must be successful on the way to the EM 2020 in everyday international matches. Only in this way can the new pact of the old companions Löw and Bierhoff work.