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MISSION:INTANGIBLE, the blog of the Intangible Asset Finance Society, offers critical comments on intangible asset, corporate reputation, and finance; supplemented by quantitative reputation metrics. Intangible assets include business processes, patents, trademarks; reputations for ethics and integrity; quality, safety, sustainability, security, and resilience; and comprise 70% of the average company's value. MISSION:INTANGIBLE is a registered trademark of the Intangible Asset Finance Society.

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ThyssenKrupp: The value of good women

C. HUYGENS - Monday, February 02, 2015
Starting in 2016, more than 100 of the Germany's biggest listed companies will be forced to choose women when filling vacant supervisory board seats to reach the threshold of 30%. Ulrich Lehner, the supervisory board chairman of German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG, told journalists, according to Bloomberg, that "Good women are a rare commodity” for supervisory boards. The bar is not very high. From among the 40 million women, excluding German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, a physicist who is conflicted as head of state, only 170 are needed to meet the quota.

Lehner's reactionary comments stirred up a debate on the Boards and Advisers affinity group on LinkedIn. Opinion aside, the objective Reputational Value Metrics show that there is significant upside to an evolution in Lehner's mindset. The company's reputational value ranking is at the 26th percentile relative to 43 peers, and its reputational value risk is at the 86th percentile with absolute Consensus Trend values hovering around 7% - a threshold usually associated with a forthcoming material change in equity value.

Given that the company's net reputational health is at the 16th percentile, it seems there is significant reputational value benefit -- ample returns, if you will -- for an investment in finding a few good women.

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