DSM's Supervisory Board

Overseeing & advising the Managing Board

Profile, role & responsibilities

The Supervisory Board supervises the policy pursued by the Managing Board, the Managing Board's performance of its managerial duties and the company's general course of affairs, taking account of the interests of all the company's stakeholders.

All current members of the Supervisory Board are independent in accordance with the Best Practice provisions of the Dutch Corporate Governance Code. The remuneration of the members of the Supervisory Board is determined by the General Meeting of Shareholders.

The functioning of and decision-making within the Supervisory Board are governed by the Regulations of the Supervisory Board, which have been drawn up in line with the Dutch Corporate Governance Code. In line with the Code, the Supervisory Board has established from among its members an Audit Committee, a Nomination Committee, a Remuneration Committee and a Sustainability Committee. The task of these committees is to prepare the decision-making of the Supervisory Board.

The functioning and tasks of these committees are governed by charters that have been drawn up in line with the Dutch Corporate Governance Code.

Members

Thomas Leysen, Chair

  • First appointed: 2020
  • End of current term: 2024
  • Nationality: Belgian
  • Supervisory Board roles: Chair of the Nomination Committee and member of the Remuneration Committee
  • Last position held: CEO of Umicore
  • Supervisory directorships/other positions:
    • Non-executive Chair of the Supervisory Board of Umicore
    • Chair of the Board of Directors of Mediahuis

John Ramsay, Deputy Chair

  • First appointed: 2017
  • End of current term: 2025
  • Nationality: British
  • Supervisory Board roles: Chair of the Audit Committee and Member of the Remuneration Committee
  • Last position held: Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Interim CEO of Syngenta AG
  • Supervisory directorships/other positions:
    • Non-Executive Director of RHI Magnesita N.V.
    • Non-Executive Director of Croda International PLC
    • Non-Executive Director of Babcock International PLC

Corien M. Wortmann-Kool

  • First appointed: 2021
  • End of current term: 2025
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Supervisory Board roles: Member of the Audit Committee and Member of the Sustainability Committee
  • Last position held: Chair of the Board of ABP Pension Fund
  • Supervisory directorships/other positions:
    • Vice-Chair of the Supervisory Board of Aegon N.V.
    • Advisory Board Member of the Impact Economy Foundation
    • Member of the Capital Markets Advisory Board of the Dutch Financial Markets Authority
    • Chair of the Supervisory Board of Netspar
    • Member of ‘Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen’

DSM values diversity and strives to reflect this in the composition of the Board of Directors. The composition of the Supervisory Board is such that it can fulfill its responsibilities and duties to the Company, its shareholders and stakeholders. The diverse and balanced composition reflects the nature and diversity of the Company’s business (life sciences & material sciences, (bio) chemicals and biotechnology), the geographical spread, the international knowledge and experience in the fields of general, strategic and risk management, finance/accounting/auditing, marketing/sales, manufacturing & operations, research & development/innovation/technology, safety, sustainability & environment, emerging economies, people & organization, information technology & digital, governance, compliance & legal and public affairs.

The Supervisory Board has formulated a diversity policy for the Supervisory Board, Managing Board and Executive Committee that addresses the concrete targets relating to diversity and the diversity aspects relevant to the Company, such as nationality/cultural background (aiming for a maximum of 50% of one nationality/cultural background), age, gender, board tenure and background of education, knowledge and professional experience. The Supervisory Board profile, together with the Supervisory Board competence matrix and the diversity policy are implemented by applying them to nominations for (re)appointments of Supervisory Board and Managing Board members as well as to appointments of Executive Committee members.

The composition should be as varied as possible taking into account:

  • knowledge
  • experience
  • age
  • board tenure
  • gender (aiming for at least 30% male and at least 30% female members)
  • nationality/cultural background (aiming for a maximum of 50% of one nationality/cultural background)

DSM does not consider race or ethnicity explicitly as a criterion for Supervisory Board composition, as nationality/cultural background is already taken into account.

In the Board should be present (international) knowledge and experience in the following fields:

  • general management
  • finance/accounting/auditing
  • risk
  • strategy
  • marketing/sales
  • manufacturing & operations
  • research & development/innovation/technology
  • safety
  • sustainability & environment
  • emerging economies
  • people & organization
  • information technology & digital
  • governance, compliance & legal affairs
  • public affairs
  • the company’s business (life sciences & material sciences, (bio)chemicals and biotechnology)

Individual members should be prepared and willing to fulfil the role as member of the Supervisory Board according to the Dutch Law, the Dutch Corporate Governance Code, the Company’s Articles of Association and these Regulations. At the moment of his/her appointment each member should subscribe to the DSM Code of Business Conduct and should not have a conflicting interest with the company.

The Supervisory Board must be independent of the Company. They, including their related family members, must meet the following conditions to be independent:

  • Has not been an employee or member of the Managing Board for the last five years;
  • Receive no financial compensation from the company or affiliated company beyond their compensation for their Supervisory Board activities;
  • Has no important business relationship with DSM or affiliated company in the year prior to the appointment;
  • Is no member of the Managing Board of a company in which a member of the DSM Managing Board is a Supervisory Board member;
  • Has not had a temporarily seat in the Managing Board during the previous twelve months;
  • Has no shareholding in DSM of at least ten percent;
  • Is no member of the Managing Board or Supervisory Board or other representative of a legal entity which holds at least ten percent of the shares in DSM’s capital. 

Each member should be capable of assessing the broad outline of the overall policy and should fit in the overall Supervisory Board composition described above, having knowledge or experience in one or more of the fields mentioned with at least one member having competence in accounting and auditing.

Members should represent the following qualities:

  • integrity
  • able to operate independently and critically vis-à-vis the other members and the Managing Board members
  • an open eye for the interests of the company and its various stakeholders
  • aware of global trends in society (economic, social, environmental)
  • a social antenna/an antenna for inter-personal dynamics
  • proven success/prominence in society
  • analytical and critical but solution-oriented
  • having enough time available to fulfil their task adequately
  • prepared to be evaluated periodically
  • willing to sit on Supervisory Board committees
  • willing to follow introduction and training programmes
  • fluent in the English language

On the occasion of each appointment and re-appointment of a Supervisory Board member this profile will have to be respected. Every year the Nomination Committee will evaluate whether the actual situation reflects the desired, diverse composition of the Board and the desired qualities of each individual, and will report its findings to the Supervisory Board. To the extent that the actual situation differs from the diversity of composition aimed for in this profile, the Supervisory Board must account for such discrepancy in the Integrated Annual Report of the company, and indicate how and within what period it expects to achieve this aim. This profile is to be renewed regularly by the Nomination Committee. The Committee will report its findings to the Supervisory Board.

DSM has a number of Board committees whose role is to aid and advise the Managing Board in the execution of its duties. The Board committees cover four key areas: auditing, board nominations, remunerations, and corporate social responsibility.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee is comprised of John Ramsay (Chair), Pradeep Pant, Erica Mann and Corien Wortmann-Kool. The Audit Committee is charged in particular with the supervision of the Managing Board with respect to:

  • the operation of the internal risk management and control systems, including supervision of the enforcement of the relevant legislation and regulations, and supervising the operation of codes of conduct;
  • giving advice to the Supervisory Board on the nomination by the Supervisory Board to the General Meeting of Shareholders for the appointment of the external auditor;
  • where necessary, making proposals to the Supervisory Board on the policy applied in respect of the independence of the external auditor and possible (potential) conflicts of interest between the external auditor and the company;
  • preparing meetings of the Supervisory Board with the Managing Board where the annual report, the annual accounts, the half-yearly and the quarterly figures of the company are discussed.

Nomination Committee

The Nomination Committee is comprised of Thomas Leysen (Chair), Eileen Kennedy, Pradeep Pant and Carla Mahieu. The Nomination Committee has the following duties:

  • drafting selection criteria and appointment procedures for Supervisory Board members and Managing Board members;
  • assessing at least once a year the size and composition of the Supervisory Board and the Managing Board, and to make proposals for the Supervisory Board Profile;
  • assessing at least once a year the functioning of individual Supervisory Board members and Managing Board members, and report their findings to the Supervisory Board;
  • making proposals for (re)appointments;
  • supervising the policy of the Managing Board on the selection criteria and appointment procedures for senior management;
  • preparing the decision-making process of the Supervisory Board on the acceptance by a member of the Managing Board of the membership of the Supervisory Board of a listed company; and
  • preparing the decision-making process of the Supervisory Board concerning any conflicts of interest that may arise in the acceptance by members of the Supervisory Board of additional positions.

Remuneration Committee

The Remuneration Committee is comprised of Carla Mahieu (Chair), John Ramsay, Frits van Paaschen and Thomas Leysen. The Remuneration Committee has the following duties:

  • drafting proposals to the Supervisory Board for the remuneration policy to be pursued for members of the Managing Board, which policy, as well as any material changes thereto, shall be submitted to the General Meeting of Shareholders for adoption;
  • drafting proposals for the remuneration of the individual members of the Managing Board; such proposals shall, in any event, deal with the remuneration structure; and the amount of the fixed remuneration, shares and/or options to be granted and/or other variable remuneration components, pension rights, redundancy pay and other forms of compensation awarded, as well as the performance criteria and their application,
  • and, if there are reasons therefore, to make proposals for changes or additions to the remuneration of individual members of the Managing Board, which remuneration and possible changes and/or additions shall be submitted for adoption to the Supervisory Board (without prejudice to the power of the Supervisory Board to delegate the final adoption to the Remuneration Committee, within the framework set by the Supervisory Board);
  • to prepare the Remuneration Report referred to in clause 12.1 of the Regulations of the Supervisory Board; and
  • to make proposals to the Supervisory Board for the remuneration of the individual members of the Supervisory Board, which remuneration will be submitted to the General Meeting of Shareholders for adoption.

Sustainability Committee

The Sustainability Committee is comprised of Eileen Kennedy (Chair), Erica Mann, Frits van Paaschen and Corien Wortmann-Kool. The Corporate Sustainability Committee has the following duties:

  • preparation of discussions by the Supervisory Board on the supervision of the Managing Board with respect to formulating, developing, implementing, monitoring and reporting on the Company’s social and environmental policies in line with the DSM values / Code of Business Conduct; and
  • to prepare the meeting of the Supervisory Board with the Managing Board where the Integrated Annual Report is discussed.

Supervisory Board members are appointed for fixed-term periods of 4 years. A person may be appointed to the Supervisory Board for a maximum of two 4-year terms. Members may then subsequently be reappointed again for a period of two years, which may be extended by at most two years.

Terms and re-appointment possibilities

Below is a summary of the current Supervisory Board's members terms and their reappointment possibilities.

MemberAppointedTerm expiresFurther term(s)
Thomas Leysen (Chair)20202024Yes
John Ramsay (Deputy Chair)20172025Yes
Eileen Kennedy20122024No
Pradeep Pant20162024Yes
Frits van Paasschen20172025Yes
Erica Mann20192023Yes
Carla Mahieu20212025Yes
Corien M. Wortmann-Kool20212025Yes

The remuneration of the members of the Supervisory Board is based on the Supervisory Board's Remuneration Policy approved by the 2019 General meeting of Shareholders. 

Comprehensive details concerning the actual remuneration of DSM's Supervisory Board can be found in the Remuneration Report 2022.

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