We thank you for your interest in the work of our Initiative. The Institute for Corporate Governance in the German Real Estate Industry was constituted in Autumn 2002. Leading enterprises in the real estate sector have joined the Initiative as corporate members and many prominent representatives of the sector have also become personal members. The Initiative aims to produce and establish principles for transparent and professional corporate management in the real estate business. Since its formation over five years ago, the institute has achieved positive results: not only has it produced a Code for the real estate business on the basis of the Cromme Code; it has also drafted and passed "Principles of Proper and Fair Management for Real Estate Business". These guidelines require members of the sector to comply with values such as professionalism and transparency. They warn about the avoidance of conflicts of interest or at least the need for the disclosure of such conflicts, and place an obligation on enterprises to ensure the application of criteria such as professional knowledge and independence in the selection of auditors and members of organs. The real estate economy has undisputedly encountered turbulences in recent years. However, a concerted effort by all participating sectors has succeeded in regaining lost trust by the implementation of a values management system. However, this is a continuous process that needs to be pursued with commitment. The Corporate Governance Initiative wants to continue its support for this successful development with its work. Our various codices, which have been developed individually for the different sectors, will make it possible for every enterprise in the real estate business to develop its own guidelines in future. In our view, the next obvious step is then an evaluation of the measures and ultimately certification for the objective documentation of the guidelines. Corporate governance encompasses binding rules, self-regulation and a high degree of transparency. This is intended to strengthen the reputation and competitiveness of the real estate business. The Corporate Governance Institute will therefore continue its efforts to promote the implementation of good, responsible corporate management.
Yours sincerely, Board of Direcors of the Institute for Corporate Governance in the German Real Estate Industry