The deep case of Klaus Zumwinkel: The end of the networker


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The case of Klaus Zumwinkel was a deep case. Until then, he was also the longest serving Dax CEO - and one of the last members of the network "Germany AG" or "Rhenish capitalism".

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Here writes for you: Carsten Knop is an economics editor at the Frankfurter Allgmeinen Zeitung. Profile

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The end of a networker

It takes a long time to set up and describe such networks: For example, Zumwinkel sat on the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa AG, but also on the Supervisory Board of Arcandor / Karstadt.

The Supervisory Board of Deutsche Telekom was in front of Zumwinkel; He also supervised Postbank and the investment bank Morgan Stanley. Until the end of 2003, Zumwinkel was on the supervisory board of Allianz, one of the germ cells of the old Germany AG, and until August 2003 member of the supervisory board of Tchibo Holding AG. In addition, he sat on the board of the Federal Association of German Employers' Associations and was president of the Research Institute for the Future of Labor. This network was the capital of the old brand Zumwinkel. And suddenly it was used up.

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Shocked managers

Overview

The shock that this triggered in the German world of managers, one can not imagine big enough - especially since he triggered many people who could have evaded their taxes in a similar way, the pressing questions about a self-report. Today, however, we know for sure that at least the then Bayern manager Uli Hoeneß did not bring about a rethink.

So too often is measured with two levels. This also applies to the former postalChef: In his own capacity as chairman of the supervisory board of Telekom, however, Zumwinkel had cracked down when he put in November 2006 the then CEO Ricke before the door. At that time his allegations to Ricke were that the investments of the past had not counted and promises had not been fulfilled.

With two dimensions

Overview

At the time, Zumwinkel formulated this criticism without conveying a sense of compassion. Even without the discussion about possible tax evasion, the Post-Supervisory Board Zumwinkel could have long since measured the criteria that applied to Telekom and Ricke. Zumwinkel's investments in America have not been profitable either - on the contrary, his withdrawal was preceded by a retreat that ended an adventure that cost many billions of euros.

His promises with a view to the conquest of the American market, he has thus also not redeemed. Zumwinkel wanted to go more praiseworthy than Ricke. But all senior politicians he knew were on dark Thursday morning in Cologne-Marienburg and the day after no help. The net stopped.

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Nevertheless, the top decision maker for 2008 was the only one to receive a bonus. Such developments have helped to make the managers' reputation so bad. First, the regret is missing in case of mistakes, then there are high severance pay. In the case of Zumwinkel, there were pension entitlements totaling 20 millions of euros, which he paid out, as well as bonus payments - more than 480.000 euros for two months.

From Zumwinkel to Hoeneß

Overview

The former manager of Bayern Munich, Uli Hoeness, helped his own, close-knit network of relationships years later. On the contrary, he has to pay with imprisonment of three years and six months for his tax evasion (of which he has been allowed to spend most of his time as a freer with a regular job at his football club since the beginning of 2015). Because the district court of Munich owed the president of FC Bayern Munich in spring 2014 in one of the most spectacular tax proceedings in Germany in seven cases guilty.

The court classified the self-report as incomplete, so as not punitive liberating: The presiding judge said that the self-report, the Hoeness had made well a year earlier, was "not only failed, but clearly insufficient." On that basis, the tax office could not even make an estimate. Hoeneß himself blamed himself for that. His accountant did not just forget about "some note".

Make pure table in time

Overview

The court also did not deny Hoeneß the claim that its bank should have done all business on its own. The Economic Criminal Court estimated the tax damage at 28,5 million euros. For the punishment it does not matter whether further evaluations of bank documents from Switzerland should yield even higher amounts.

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In addition, the court also left open whether the self-report had come too late. Although the judges believed that Hoeneß himself was out of fear of exposing his account by the magazine "Stern": "They were driven out of fear of discovery." Hoeneß, however, had years before, to clear the table , In fact, years were at this time finally the case Zumwinkel back.


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