Social Diversity, Accountability, Fairness

Social

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In keeping with the ESG model of sustainable development, we aim for a responsible and always fair treatment of our employees, clients and business partners. The constructive exchange and dialogue with all stakeholders allow us to rate our corporate performance in its societal context, too.

As one of Germany’s largest commercial property asset holders and providers of real estate investment products, our business activities have social ramifications that extend beyond our industry and even influence the municipal and regional environments in German cities and communities.

Our Principles of Social Sustainability:
  • Developing a positive corporate culture as well as a safe and pleasant working environment
  • Helping employees to unfold and develop their potential, not least through continuing education and market-consistent pay
  • Cultivating long-term partnerships with highly productive companies
  • Handling historically evolved neighbourhoods respectfully through sensitive urban development
  • Sponsoring charitable and social commitments, specifically to promote community development

Our Workforce

The knowledge, skills and commitment of our employees constitute the bedrock of our company’s success. We will achieve our ambitious goals only if we have qualified and motivated employees who represent our company to the outside world with dedication and success. Accordingly, we value and encourage an entrepreneurial mindset and behaviour, accountability, flexibility and expertise.

Maintaining seven branch offices across Germany enables us to be active in the focal regions of our portfolio. DIC Asset AG’s principal place of business is Frankfurt am Main where the key management and administrative tasks are taken care of.

During the 2019 financial year, the organic growth of our asset management and property management business and specifically the takeover of GEG brought our workforce up to a total of 247 employees (31 December 2018: 186). In conjunction with the GEG acquisition, 67 employees were integrated, thereof 11 persons in the Portfolio Management, Investment and Funds unit, 29 persons in the Asset Management and Property Management unit, and 27 persons in the Group Management and Administration unit. By the end of the year, the workforce broke down into 34 employees in Portfolio Management, 145 in Asset Management and Property Management, and 68 in Administration.

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Number of employees
Portfolio management, investment and funds
Asset and property management
Group management and administration
Employer Brand

Inspiring enthusiasm in new co-workers is one of the most critical tasks of our Human Resources department. In order to appeal to young talent and highly skilled job seekers, we are committed to positioning DIC Asset AG as an excellent employer. We offer flat organisational structures, let employees assume responsibilities early on, and delegate significant decision-making competences. In May 2019, as in previous years, we participated in the IZ-Karriereforum job fair hosted by the Immobilien Zeitung real estate newspaper in Frankfurt for the purpose of networking and raising awareness among career starters for the job opportunities at DIC Asset AG. In addition, we launched our new career website at www.dic-asset.de/karriere/ in June 2020. It serves interested parties and job seekers as go-to point for sourcing detailed information on the service areas of the DIC Asset Group and for getting a rough idea of the benefits offered. This year’s edition of the IZ-Karriereforum job fair, originally scheduled for June 2020, was postponed until October because of the COVID-19 pandemic, at which time DIC Asset AG plans to attend if possible.

Diversity

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DIC Asset AG and its subsidiaries are committed to promoting diversity within the group of companies. As of 31 December 2019, half of all positions (50 %) were staffed with female employees (2018: 52 %). By the end of 2019, the majority of our employees (65 %) were between 31 and 50 years of age. An additional 18 % of our employees are aged 30 or younger, while 17 % are aged 51 or older.

As far as flexible working hours go, our employees can take advantage of part-time models. By the end of 2019, the group had employees from nine different nations. We believe that heterogeneous teams who differ in their individual skills, expertise and different solution approaches are in many ways better positioned to address complex issues than homogeneous teams, and that they bring more innovation potential to a given task. To this end, we maintain a corporate culture that is dedicated to the principles of ethical standards and integrity, and that promotes mutual respect, accountability and respect within our workforce. Our compliance guideline defines comprehensive safeguards against discrimination, particularly in regard to ethnic identity, gender, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual identity. Our stated objective is to actively discourage discrimination, unfairness or undesirable behaviour.

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Employee Gender Breakdown
Females
Males

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Age Structure
<30 years
30-50 years
>50 years

As far as the composition of the Management Board goes, the Supervisory Board pursues a diversity concept that is described in the “Corporate Governance” section of the 2019 Annual Report. In addition to the knowledge, skills and professional experience required to perform the tasks properly, it is supposed to take diversity into account when making board appointments. The board’s composition is to integrate different, complementary professional profiles as well as job and life experiences that benefit the board’s work. The objectives for its composition were defined according to the recommendations of the German Corporate Governance Code (DCGK) as stipulated by the Declaration of Conformity. These objectives also include the competence profile for the entire body and the diversity concept the Supervisory Board pursues in regard to its composition.

DIC Asset AG is legally obliged to set targets for the number of female appointees to the Supervisory Board, the Management Board and, where applicable, to the two executive levels below the Management Board. The set deadline for achieving the targets is 30 June 2022:

  • The target of 1/6 or 16.66 % for the Supervisory Board was not achieved, as the rate by the end of 2019 was 0 %. When proposing candidates to the Annual General Meeting for the election of Supervisory Board members, the Supervisory Board will duly take account of the objectives it has set for its composition and the competence profile for the Supervisory Board as a whole, but will prioritise the professional and personal qualifications of a given candidate.
  • The target of 1/4 or 25 % for the Management Board was exceeded with 1/2 (50.00 %) as of year-end 2019.
  • We missed the target figure for the proportion of women on the executive level below the Management Board, which is 2/13 or 15.38 %, with an actual rate of 2/14 or 14.28 % as of year-end 2019. This shortfall is associable with the expansion of the executive level just below the Management Board in the wake of the GEG acquisition in June 2019.
  • There is no second executive level below the Management Board.
Salaries: Fair Remuneration and Promotion of Performance

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In the materiality analysis, all stakeholders identified fair salaries and adequate remuneration as a particularly important aspect for DIC Asset AG. Pursuant to the Compliance Directive, our employees must be treated equally and should not be privileged based on gender and/or other criteria. Our company attaches great importance to equal pay for equal work.

Salary payments break down into basic income, additional benefits, and performance-related components. Our salaries are oriented to industry levels and competitive standards. The performance-related component is based on the achievement of strategic, operational and personal goals, which are determined annually for each employee together with his or her superiors. Total payroll and benefit expenses in 2019 equalled EUR 24.9 million. They include performance-related remunerations in the amount of EUR 3.7 million, implying a share of around 15 %. Social security contributions, pension plans and other benefits added up to EUR 3.7 million.


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Hirings and departures*

Male

Female

Total

2019

Hirings

30

26

56

Departures

28

21

49

Turnover rate**

19.8%

2018

Hirings

19

24

43

Departures

9

21

30

Turnover rate**

16.3%

2017

Hirings

20

14

34

Departures

12

15

27

Turnover rate**

14.4 %

* adjusted for staff changes within the DIC Group, based on employee-side termination of permanent employment contracts.

** defined as departures relative to the average number of employees during the financial year. The ratio determined for 2019 is 49/247 or 19.8 % (previous year: 30/184 or 16.3 %)

Human Resource Development

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Target-oriented human resource development is an essential part of our long-term corporate development. We ensure that talents are discovered, sponsored and tested in our company. We therefore support the personal goals of our employees in regard to their professional development, and invest as necessary in the development of individual expertise and competence. In addition to general training programs, we also offer theme-specific professional development classes on currently relevant industry topics. These are taught by in-house and third-party experts or by training institutes.

Human resource development and advancement are among the key responsibilities of our executives. We support our executives in the process and provide them with the tools they need, including through training classes and/or one-to-one coaching. No statistics are on record concerning the average time employees spent in professional training and continued professional development.

Training and Sponsoring Young Employees

Our work placements give high school students (two weeks) and university students (two to six months) the opportunity to get to know the various units of our company. University graduates may take advantage of our trainee program of 12 to 18 months after getting their degrees. The programs’ purpose is to prepare career starters for senior positions.

We have also been certified as trainer for the profession of estate agent since 2015. Moreover, we support university students in their bachelor or master thesis projects. We consider all of these programs to be important building blocks to keep attracting qualified young talent to our company in the future, but also to live up to our social responsibility.

On 28 March 2019, we participated in the Girls’ Day, the largest career orientation project for schoolgirls worldwide, for the third time. During the event, schoolgirls had the chance to familiarise themselves with vocational job training and degree programs in the real estate industry, and to meet female executives. The Girls’ Day is organised in support of a national initiative meant to assist in the selection of a profession or degree program, and to overcome career stereotypes (Bundesinitiative “Klischeefrei – Nationale Kooperationen zur Berufs- und Studienwahl”). The initiative’s objective is to help select a profession or degree program based on personal interests and free of gender stereotypes across Germany.

Occupational Health and Safety

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We ensure safe working conditions through timely preparation and training. The occupational safety strategy is defined in regular meetings of the senior management and the occupational safety committee, which is composed of internal representatives and third-party experts. Our executives are briefed on best practices in tutorials, e. g. on the subject of their responsibility for occupational safety.

The fire safety training we provide for our fire protection officers and the fire safety briefing we give to all new employees when entering the company also contribute to a safe working environment. Fire protection equipment and first aid materials with appropriate instructions are easily accessible on each floor in case of an emergency. In addition, we periodically offer first aid training courses for employees at any of our branch offices in Germany.

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Ultimately, our ambition is to make our offices not just safe, but also attractive and comfortable. Our principal place of business is located at the MainTor site in the heart of Frankfurt where a rich variety of gastronomy, retail and cultural venues lies within walking distance. The offices, located in the two buildings MainTor Primus and MainTor Panorama, get plenty of natural light and overlook both the MainTor grounds and downtown Frankfurt. The location has protected bicycle parking spaces, convenient access to public transportation and spacious areas for joint lunch breaks with co-workers. Each floor features a kitchen with a choice of hot beverages and chilled soft drinks. In cooperation with a fitness chain, we give our employees the opportunity to take out a discounted membership. To prepare for the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge again in 2019, employees at all of our branch offices were given the opportunity to train on the job with a professional coach for several weeks, and the offer was warmly welcomed by our employees.

Flexible Working Time Models and Remote Work

DIC Asset AG offers flexible working time models, especially to support employees returning to work after parental leave. This way, we make it easier for our employees to reconcile family and job. In 2019, a total of 35 employees (14 %) worked part-time, up from 26 employees (14 %) in 2018. In conjunction with the necessary protective and precautionary measures in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, DIC Asset AG also took advantage of remote working options on a major scale for the first time during Q1 2020. At its core, the group-wide work concept focused on employee health and the best possible continuation of normal business operations involved the formation of teams in all departments who took regular turns working in-house and remotely from their home offices. This enabled us to make sure that the workforce, reduced to half its usual number, fully complied with the social distancing and safety rules in their shared office facilities. To make it easier to coordinate the geographically distributed teams, we relied more heavily on digital tools for internal communication and collaboration that will now become a permanent component of the working environment in line with additional digitisation measures introduced within the DIC Asset Group.

Acting Responsibly from the First Day on the Job

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All of our employees receive a regular assessment of their performance and career progress within the framework of annual feedback interviews. In addition to established human resource development tools such as this one, it is very important to us to encourage an open dialogue among our employees across hierarchical boundaries. The general idea is that our employees should be able to approach their superiors any time with queries and concerns.

New employees are given a comprehensive guide to their workplace, including practical energy-saving tips for the office and a copy of the compliance policy for them to sign and thereby to commit themselves to a responsible and lawful conduct, among other advice. Aside from enhancing the flow of communication, this approach directly briefs new team members about their rights and obligations and the resources available to them.

We promote collaboration and the exchange of know-how through regular meetings of working groups in which staff from different regional offices and from the head office work together on a variety of projects.

Employee Absence Remains on Low Level

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We strive to keep sickness absence days to a minimum through active communications. For instance, we will sit down with employees returning to work after a lengthy sickness absence and jointly try to find ways to adjust their work environment optimally to their needs.

The average sickness absence per employee decreased year on year in 2019, dropping from an average of 10.0 days to 8.5 days. Accordingly, it remained well below the established average among German employees, which is 15.5 sick absence days annually, according to the latest data released by the TK health insurance. Specifically, the sickness absence rate at DIC Asset AG was 3.3 % in 2019 and thus undercut last year’s rate (2018: 3.8 %). The national sick leave ratio was determined as 4.3 % on average.*

* Source: Gesundheitsreport 2019; Techniker Krankenkasse; https://www.tk.de/resource/blob/2060908/b719879a6b6ca54c1f2ec600985fb616/gesundheitsreport-au-2019-data.pdf

Sick Absence
2019 2018 2017

Total sick absence days

2,105

1,866

1,526

Ø sick absence days per employee

8.5

10.0

8.2

Sickness absence rate**

3.3%

3.8%

3.1%

** Calculation: Sick absence days p.a. / (target work days multiplied by average number of employees during that financial year)

Trade Association Work and Memberships

Active Trade Association Work

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We are active members in various trade associations and industry organisations, our goal being to anchor sustainability-related topics such as transparency, reporting or investor communications more firmly in the German real estate sector, and to promote the exchange of experience and information within our industry.

Together with other industry players, we engage in efforts to boost awareness for real estate businesses and their concerns, especially in the trade associations German Property Federation (ZIA) and European Public Real Estate Association (EPRA). Sonja Wärntges, our CEO, contributes her expertise to the ZIA German Property Federation as a member of its executive committee while also sitting on the board of the German Equities Institute (DAI). Our membership in the European Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles (INREV) underlines the growing significance of the third-party business in our Institutional Business segment (see ESG in the Institutional Business).

Community Involvement

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In 2019, we once again sponsored the “Blickachsen” biannual sculpture exhibition, which presents the works of international artists living in the Frankfurt metro region, and appreciated the opportunity to promote regional art and culture.