Critical questions to the management welcomed – the voluntary establishment of a supervisory board at Finance in Motion
At its foundation in the fall of 2009, Finance in Motion as a German GmbH decided to set up a supervisory board, even though this is not required for German GmbHs. The thinking at the time was to give external experts and shareholders holding minority stakes a possibility to critically question management, which directly and indirectly, through an employee participation company which it is General Partner of, holds the majority of shares.
The composition of the Supervisory Board allowed to benefit from advice of a senior private banker and asset manager (representing Deutsch Bank, Dr Wolfgang Leoni), a structuring lawyer with excellent international experience (Christian Cornett from King & Wood Mallesons), and six months after its foundation, in the course of a capital increase, the private equity and entrepreneurial experience of one of Germany’s most experienced deal makers (Michael Phillips, then senior partner at Apax). Chaired by an experienced development finance professional (who actually had been instrumental in making Finance in Motion's first fund happen, EFSE: Dr Klaus Maurer) and soon containing a senior employee representative, its composition made sure that the social goals and interests in financial inclusion which drove Finance in Motion since its foundation were also taken into account.
As Finance in Motion grew and sought a license from the German Financial Sector Authority (Bundesamt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht – BaFin), and as the worldwide financial sector crisis inaugurated a stronger regulation of financial firms, Finance in Motion was actually ahead of the curve in that any firm nowadays holding such a license needs to have a Supervisory Board.