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Giesecke & Devrient Passes the Torch in Banknote Ethics Initiative

Ralf Wintergerst, Member of the Management Board and Group Executive Banknote at Giesecke & Devrient (G&D), is G&D’s new high-level representative at the Banknote Ethics Initiative (BnEI), taking over from his predecessor, G&D’s CEO Dr. Walter Schlebusch. G&D has been a co-founder of the BnEI, which was launched in May 2013. The initiative has been established to provide ethical business practice, with a focus on the prevention of corruption and on compliance with anti-trust law within the banknote industry.

Wintergerst regards an active role in the BnEI as “a promise to the public” and confirmation of G&D’s impeccable business practices: “We passed the BnEI’s very demanding and tough accreditation, carried out by KPMG, in 2014. BnEI membership and accreditation is an assurance that strong anti-trust, anti-bribery and anti-corruption systems are in place and working. Any accredited BnEI member is conducting its business according to the highest ethical standards.”

Maintaining high ethical standards has grown in importance in all industries, and is increasingly made imperative by the customers and other stakeholders. For Wintergerst, the banknote industry has a special responsibility in that respect. He views his new role as an opportunity to convince more and more industry members to undergo the BnEI accreditation: “We are, and must be, role models for irreproachable standards in our business dealings. Trust must be a synonym for the banknote industry. Because of its neutral external auditors, the BnEI accreditation is like an independent seal of approval for each company joining the initiative.”