At our company, unlike at publicly listed German stock corporations, it is not the Supervisory Board but the Board of Partners of E. Merck KG, Darmstadt, Germany, that is responsible for designing and reviewing the compensation system and deciding on the amount and composition of compensation received by the Executive Board members. The Board of Partners has assigned this task to its Personnel Committee. As a result, the Personnel Committee is responsible for the development and regular review of the compensation system, i.e., for the structure and examination of the performance-independent and performance-related compensation elements. The Personnel Committee also considers the compensation system for managers and employees below Executive Board level to ensure consistency and a uniform steering effect between the compensation systems. Furthermore, the Personnel Committee is responsible for defining the annual targets and thresholds of the key performance indicators for the performance-related compensation elements.
In addition to the structure of the Executive Board compensation system, the Personnel Committee is responsible for defining the specific amounts of compensation paid to the members of the Executive Board. The compensation paid to the members of the Executive Board considers the responsibilities and duties of the individual Executive Board members, and in particular their status as personally liable partners, their individual performance, and the economic situation, as well as the performance and future prospects of the company.
Furthermore, Executive Board compensation is oriented toward the external peer environment of our company, which comprises the DAX® companies as well as a group of selected international competitors:
The international peer group was defined considering the size, business area and geographic location of the headquarters of the respective competitors. Overall, the peer group offers an appropriate ratio of companies headquartered in Europe and the United States as well as a balanced coverage of the Life Science, Healthcare and Electronics business sectors. Based on the size criteria of sales, number of employees and market capitalization, the Group positions itself around the median of this international peer group.
The relationship between Executive Board compensation and the compensation of top management and the workforce as a whole continues to be taken into account, also in a multi-year assessment. Top management is defined as encompassing the senior levels of management below the Executive Board. The compensation of the remaining workforce as a whole is based on typical employee compensation.
The Personnel Committee reviews the amount and structure of the Executive Board compensation by reference to the peer groups described and with the assistance of an independent compensation consultant.