Rupert Stadler was born on 17 March 1963 in Titting, Germany. After graduating in Business Management, Stadler started his career at Philips Kommunikation Industrie AG in Nuremberg. In 1990 Stadler joined AUDI AG, Ingolstadt, where he assumed various controlling tasks in the Sales and Marketing area. Rupert Stadler became AUDI AG Board Member with effect from 1 January 2003. From 1 April 2003 to 31 August 2007 Stadler was responsible for the Finance and Organisation Division. Rupert Stadler became Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG on 1 January 2007.  

  • JÜRGEN FITSCHEN - Member of the Management Board, Deutsche Bank AG

    Jürgen Fitschen is a member of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee of Deutsche Bank AG. Fitschen is a member of the Supervisory Boards of Metro AG and Schott AG as well as a member of the Board of Directors of Kühne+Nagel International AG

  • PROF. DR. PETER MAY - Founder INTES Academy, Chapter Director of F.B.N. Germany

    Peter May is the founder of INTES - the leadingConsulting Firm for Family Business Owners in Germany.Besides being the major force in the field of family business consulting, INTES is well known to German entrepreneurs for its excellent academy and teaching activities. Dr. May works with many leading German family businesses and their owners and serves on several boards.

    Born as a 3rd generation member of a German business owning family active in the food and beverage industry, Peter May graduated in law at the University of Cologne and received a Doctorate Degree in Economics at the University of Stuttgart Hohenheim. Dr. May worked as a lawyer specialised on family business issues, before he served as a CEO in his family business for seven years.

    Under his scientific supervision and experience the German Governance Codex for Family Businesses  was developed and published in 2010. He also initiated the German Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year  Award and the German Chapter for the international Family Business network FBN. Peter May has taught in the most distinguished Universities and Business Schools in Europe and was Professor at IMD in Lausanne, where he holds the Wild Group Chair of Family Business. Peter May has written and published numerous books and articles on family business.

    Peter May collects art and has a passion for classical music. 

  • TOBIAS THELEN – Member of the family council of E. Merck KG.

    Tobias Thelen (*1976) is member of the family council of E.Merck KG, the oldest chemical-pharmaceutical company of the world.

    Tobias graduated in economics from Munich University and holds an MBA from IESE Business School, Barcelona. He started his career as an investment banker in a development bank and later worked for two start-up companies. Today, Tobias is managing director of a laboratory distribution company that he acquired in 2010.

    70% of Merck KGaA, a 10bn EUR pharmaceutical and chemical company with over 40.000 employees, is owned by the Merck Family that is comprised by over 200 family members. Tobias is a member of the 12th generation of the Merck family and the youngest member of the family council of E.Merck KG.

  • URS MEIER - former FIFA Referee

    Urs Meieris one of the most famous professional football referees. He knows what it means to work under enormous pressure: whether in his role as successful business man, in the stadium in front of 60,000 spectators and the millions of self-proclaimed experts in front of their TVs, as head of the Swiss referees, as consultant to FIFA and the UEFA, or as commentator for a major German TV channel.

    As one of the best referees of the world he proved in nearly 900 professional football games that he knows how to analyze complex situations and how to take decision in split seconds. He was a TV-commentator for the 2006 World Cup, the 2008 European Championship and the 2010 and 2006 World Cup. He is a sought-after consultant, coach and speaker.

    The newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” has called Urs Meier a “giftet speaker with lot’s of humour and self-mockery”. Participants can therefore look forward to an informative and entertaining session.

  • SHAIKHA HESSA - Director of Housing Policies and Strategic Planning, Bahrain

    Shaikha Hessa is the Director of Housing Policies and Strategic Planning at the Ministry of the Interior, Bahrain. Where she has previously worked for the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of the Interior. She is currently involved in various policy initiatives and assimilations towards building better housing communities for a stronger Bahraini Society.

    Shaikha Hessa grew up in Bahrain where she graduated from the University of Bahrain (BSc Accounting), University of Denver (Master of Public Policy) where she was a recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship, and Applied Science University (BA Law).
  • CAROLA LANDHÄUSER - CEO Hark Treppenbau, Horstmann Group

    Carola Landhäuser is managing the HARK Treppenbau Ltd. in Bielefeld, Germany. One of 30 different companies that belong to the HORSTMANN GROUP, owned and led by her father, Jürgen Horstmann, herself and her three younger sisters.Carola is part of the 2nd generation. After graduating in business administration at Fernuniversität Hagen she started as a trainee in the family group. Within a short time frame Carola became responsible for HARK Treppenbau and the Real Estate of the HORSTMANN GROUP. After an intensive business day she returns home to enjoy her private family business: Her six children. 
  • FRIEDRICH VON METZLER - Member Partners' Committee of Bankhaus Metzler

    Friedrich von Metzler was born 1943 in Dresden, Germany. Along with nine partners he today heads the Frankfurt bank B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co., Germany's oldest private bank which is meanwhile into the eleventh generation of uninterrupted family ownership.

  • KARL-ERIVAN HAUB - CEO Tengelmann Group

    Karl-Erivan W. Haub was born in 1960. He obtained a Masters Degree in Business Administration of University of St. Gallen, which he attended from 1978 until 1983. At the same time, he completed training in retail sales at the Tengelmann Group. Afterwards, he worked one year for the Nestlé Group in the US as sales representative, and until 1990 as junior consultant/senior consultant/project manager for the McKinsey in Düsseldorf. In 1991 he joined the family owned company Tengelmann and was responsible for ‘building up Eastern Germany’. In 1992 he became the deputy of the sole Managing Partner Erivan Haub and took over the operating business with the main focus on the retail food industry in Europe in 1997. Since 2000 the family owned company is managed by Mr. Haub as personally liable managing partner in the fifth generation.

    The Tengelmann Group is an international multi-branch retailer including OBI, KiK, Kaiser’s Tengelmann, Plus.de as well as Tengelmann Ventures, the company’s own E- Commerce Investment Company. It was established in 1867 in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Today the family owned company operates more than 4.000 stores in 15 countries with more than 80.000 employees and generated an annual turnover of over 10 billion Euros in 2011. 


    H.R.H Princess Helene of Bavaria was born May 1972 in Munich and raised with her four sisters in Kreuth until her Family moved 1984 to Wildenwart, close the Lake Chiemsee. In 2000 Helene did her BA in Business Communications (Brussels) and in 2004 her MA in Marketing Communications (London). Since 2004 she is working in the Organisation of her Family's Estates in Wildbad Kreuth. Main Business Areas are Forestry, Agriculture and Real Estate.

  • PROF. DR. HERMUT KORMANN - Former CEO of Voith


    Hermut Kormann served CFO of Voith GmbH from 1989 to 1999 and CEO of Voith GmbH from 2000 to 2008. Prior to Voith GmbH he held positions at Brown, Boveri & Cie. – today ABB – and Booz & Co., Management Consultants. 

    Hermut Kormann serves on various supervisory boards of family companies in Germany – for example Robert Bosch GmbH and TRUMPF GmbH + Co. KG – and abroad in countries like Lebanon and Ukraine. He is Chairman of the German branch of Lazard.

    Hermut Kormann is an Honorary Professor at Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, and Leipzig University focusing on Strategy and Corporate Governance of Family Businesses

  • Andrea Prym-Bruck - Member of Shareholders’ Committee William Prym GmbH & Co. KG

    Andrea Prym-Bruck is a nineteenth generation member of the Prym Family, one of the oldest entrepreneurial families in the world. Today’s Prym Group, run by the Prym Family for fourteen generations, was founded in 1530 and has its head office in Germany near Cologne. Production facilities are located around the globe, being a leading global supplier of creative sewing products, needlework and fashion accessories, retrievable press fastening systems and accessories to the textile industries as well as a leading provider for material and surface technology, micro fine pressing technology and mechatronics. Andrea studied History of Art, Archeology and Philosophy in Austria and Belgium. She was the one to establish the Prym Family’s archive and later founded a museum for Industrial Heritage. In the 90’s she founded Prym Design, dedicated to social, ecological and economical organizational solutions, specifically for family businesses. She was elected member of the Advisory Board of the Prym Group in 2004. Since the beginning of the existential crisis of the family company she developed the family-strategy to salvage the family’s ownership and heritage, becoming one of the central executive powers in the governance of the business-strategy. She engages in several foundations and in numerous charitable responsibilities. She and her husband Michael Prym have 4 children.



    Carlos Renato Trecenti was Born in Lençois Paulista, a small town 300 km from the city of São Paulo, Brazil. The town has been the home to his family for the last four generations, after immigrating from Italy. The family company, Lwart Group was founded in 1975. After graduating from university, he worked for two years as a consultant in quality control and quality certification systems both in Brazil and for multinational firms in the region. In 1995 he graduated from Amos Tuck Business School with an MBA. During the program, he spent a term at IESE where he met his future wife, Sara. 

    He joined the family company, Lwart Group in 1995, where he began supporting process improvement projects and the development of new products. In 1998, Carlos became the industrial manager for Lwarcel Celulose, and, in 2001, he became the general director. Between 2000 and 2005, he led a major expansion project doubling the capacity of the pulp mill with state of the art environmental technology.  In 2008, Carlos assumed the position of CEO of the group and completed the first succession of the group after 33 years.

    The Lwart Group is comprised of three industrial companies in the sectors of used oil rerefining, pulp production and building materials.  The Group has an annual revenue of approximately U$ 450 million and 2000 employees.


    SARA MARGARET HUGHES, Member of Board of Directors Lwart Group

                                                            Director and Partner Four C Bilingual Academy

    Born in California, Sara has been involved in community leadership projects and entrepreneurship since she was 12 years old. Sara got her MBA at IESE business school in Barcelona where she met an exchange student, Carlos Trecenti. After graduation, Sara and Carlos married and moved to Brazil to help with the family company. At the Lwart Group, Sara began with business improvement projects and exports. Later she became the director responsible for structuring the shared service center for the group and the director of the new start-up for waterproofing and building materials, Lwart Quimica.

    Sara´s interest in community projects and education led her to found a youth leadership project that has prepared new leaders in the community for the last decade, as well as encouraging the group´s involvement with the community.  In 2008, Sara left the company to start a model bilingual school in the region, Four C Bilingual Academy. She currently is a board member for the Lwart Group and coordinates the Corporate and Family Governance Committee. Sara and Carlos have two lovely daughters:  Sofia, 8 and Giovanna, 5. 

  • Catharina Prym, Shareholder William Prym GmbH & Co. KG

    Catharina Prym is a twentieth generation member of the Prym Family, one of the oldest entrepreneurial families in the world. For today’s Prym Group, founded in 1530, she will be the fifteenth generation to run the company that has its head office in Germany near Cologne. Production facilities are located around the globe, being a leading global supplier of creative sewing products, needlework and fashion accessories, retrievable press fastening systems and accessories to the textile industries as well as a leading provider for material and surface technology, micro fine pressing technology and mechatronics. Catharina studied Economics and Philosophy. Being in her mid-twenties, she initiated and became member of a Shareholder’s Committee to review the Company’s Partnership Agreement. During the existential crisis of the family company between 2007 and 2009 she helped to develop the family-strategy to salvage the family’s ownership. She is one of the founders of FBN NxG Germany. Today she works as a consultant for family businesses in Germany.

  • DR. JÜRGEN and ALEXANDRA HERAEUS - Heraeus Holding GmbH

    DR. JÜRGEN HERAEUS, Chairman of the Supervisory Board and the Shareholders Committee of Heraeus Holding GmbH

    Dr. Jürgen Heraeus was born in Hanau, Germany. Dr. Heraeus studied business administration at the University of Munich, earning his PhD in 1963. More than 20 years he was Chairman of the Board of Management of Heraeus Holding. Since his retirement in 2000 he was chosen to serve as a Chairman of the Supervisory Board and the Shareholders Committee of Heraeus Holding GmbH.

    Today, Heraeus, the precious metals and technology group headquartered in Hanau, Germany, is a global, private company with 160 years of tradition. The fields of competence include precious metals, materials, and technologies, sensors, biomaterials, and medical products, as well as dental products, quartz glass, and specialty light sources. With product revenues of €4.1 billion and precious metal trading revenues of €17.9 billion, as well as more than 12,900 employees in over 120 subsidiaries worldwide, Heraeus holds a leading position in its global markets.

    Dr. Heraeus also serves as Chairman in various Supervisory Boards, including that of GEA Group AG and the family business Messer Group GmbH.

    He is also a member of the Executive Board of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and Chairman of the Working Group on China within the Asia Pacific Committee of German Business (APA).

    In addition, he serves as honorary Chairman of the German United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, and as Chairman of the Kathinka Platzhoff Foundation.

    As the father of five daughters, he is particularly interested in educational policy.


    ALEXANDRA HERAEUS - 5th generation member of Heraeus Holding GmbH

    Alexandra Heraeus (born in 1989) is fifth generation member of the Heraeus Holding GmbH, a family business with well over 200 family shareholders. Being surrounded by issues of family business from early on, Alexandra decided to study Business at WHU- Otto Beisheim School of Management, followed by a Master in Law and Business at Bucerius Law School. Growing up close to the family business, Alexandra actively participated in the Heraeus’ youth program “youngsters” as well as the company’s education days for shareholders. In 2011, Alexandra was part of the Committee, which revised the Family’s Corporate Governance Codex." 

  • ARNDT KIRCHHOFF - Chairman, owner & CEO of Kirchhoff Automotive GmbH

    Arndt G. Kirchhoff, Chairman, owner and CEO of KIRCHHOFF Automotive GmbH, Germany, has a long entrepreneurial experience that enables him to look at industrial policy, enterprise policy and competitiveness issues. He was nominated as Chairman of BUSINESSEUROPE Entrepreneurship and SME Committee, Brüssel in 2005. He is member of the Enterprise Policy Group of European Commission (EPG) as well as SME Advisory Group to the German Federal Ministry for Economy (BMWI). He is Chairman of the SME Committee of the German Industry and Employers Federation (BDI/BDA) as well as the Automobile Association (VDA).

    In these functions he has for several years actively represented SME interests, including at the European level. Furthermore he is engaged in various other organisations, such as the German Association of the Automobile Industry, Vice president German-Polish- Chamber of Commerce, Vice president Metall NRW, Düsseldorf and member of advisory board of several German companies. 

  • SANTIAGO PERY - Family Council Member Racafe

    Santiago Perry is a third generation member of RACAFE, a large Colombian family business. Santiago is member of the family council. He is also involved in the succession committee in charge of the transition from the second to the third generation. Santiago is currently enrolled in an Executive MBA Program for families in Business at Kennesaw State University. He is also managing partner at 3 Circulos Consultores in Bogota, Colombia.

  • PROF. DENNIS JAFFE - Professor at Saybrook Graduate School

    Dr. Dennis Jaffe is professor of organizational systems and psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco. He received his BA degree in Philosophy, MA in Management, and Ph.D. in sociology, all from Yale University.For more than 35 years, he has worked as an advisor to families about family business, wealth and philanthropy. He has many articles in management and psychology. He is also author of several books, among which “Stewardship in your Family Enterprise: Developing Responsible Family Leadership Across Generations”.In 2005, he was awarded the Beckhard Award for service to the field from the Family Firm Institute. He is also involved in the development of educational programs for the Next Generation at FBN-Pacific Asia.

  • MARIE-CHRISTINE OSTERMANN - Head of German Association of Young Entrepreneurs

    Marie-Christine Ostermann, 33, has been the Federal Chairperson of the German Association of Young Entrepreneurs (www.junge-unternehmer.eu) since 2009. In 2006 she joined the foodstuffs wholesaler Rullko Grosseinkauf GmbH & Co. KG (www.rullko.de) as a managing shareholder. Since then, she has been directing this family company together with her father, Carl-Dieter Ostermann. In 2010 she was appointed to the SME advisory board of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and also belongs to the supervisory board of Fielmann AG, which is a chain of opticians.

    Rullko was founded by Marie-Christine Ostermann’s great grandfather in 1923 and has its headquarters in Hamm (Westfalen). This firm has specialised in supplying kitchens to retirement homes, clinics and hospitals and also operates a cash-and-carry market for gastronomes. It achieves annual revenues of some 75 million euros and employs approximately 150 people.

    Before entering Rullko, Marie-Christine Ostermann was employed as an area director at Aldi discount supermarkets. She graduated from St. Gallen University in Switzerland with a master’s degree in business economics. She has also been trained as a bank business management assistant. Her hobbies include jogging, rock climbing, reading, golf and horseback riding.

  • NIKI KUX‐KARDOS - Founder and family business coach at Nexus Facilitation & Coaching

    Being raised in a family business, Niki experienced first‐hand the complexity and synergy of working with family. After spending two years dissecting family business as a researcher in Germany, Niki returned to Canada to translate theory into practice. As founder and family business coach at Nexus Facilitation & Coaching, she now dedicates her personal and professional passion to strengthening business families through facilitation, training, conflict management and executive coaching.

    Niki is currently the Chair of the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE) Vancouver Island, Chair of the CAFE Next Generation Committee, and is a CAFE Canada Board of Directors member. As a trained family business facilitator, qualified mediator, and certified executive coach, she is also associate faculty member at Royal Roads University and a volunteer with community justice initiatives in Victoria, BC, Canada.


    Alexander Arnbäck is a financial coach and co-author of “A story your banker will never tell you”. Alexander worked as a private banker for most of his career. He left the banking industry because he felt uncomfortable with the banker’s objectives in terms of selling an increasing number of products to customers in order to increase the bank's profits while often disappointing the investors. Alex is also a 5th generation family business owner and was one of the laureates of the 2011 FBN Young Honors. Two generations ago, his family suffered major losses of financial assets, destroying accumulated wealth. He shares his knowledge and experience to help people avoid what his family went through. 


    Rafael Kisslinger da Silva, is a third generation member of Grupo Condor, which comprises of Máquinas Condor S.A., a leading manufacturer of port equipment in Brazil, Isomonte S.A., which produces capital goods for the mining industry, and Condor Empreendimentos Imobiliários S.A., a real estate developer in south Brazil. Following his graduation from Indiana University Bloomington, in 2002, Rafael has worked for two years in the family business in Brazil and then seven years for a leading real estate developer and fund manager in London and in Frankfurt, Germany. In November 2011, he founded a company together with his family to invest in German real estate. Rafael is Chair of the European Young Leaders Group of the Urban Land Institute and a CFA Charterholder.



    Social Entrepreneurs want to solve relevant social problems with innovative concepts, at their own risk – and with entrepreneurial spirit. Ashoka identifies these pioneers and supports them as social investors at an early stage of their work with a stipend, probono-services and access to global networks. This helps them spread their innovation both nationally and internationally.

    Since 1980 Ashoka supports about 3000 Fellows in 70 countries worldwide while being financed by a private network of entrepreneurs. How does the work of social entrepreneurs look like? Which kind of support is beneficial for them? What can they contribute to individually?

    As a live example, a German Ashoka fellow and an Ashoka investor will talk about their collaboration to spurt the growth of the innovative idea. You will learn from first-hand-experience which hurdles social entrepreneurs face – and what and who they need to overcome them. Particularly, you will get an inside view on how you can have an active and relevant role as a business entrepreneur.

    KATJA URBATSCH, Social entrepreneur and Ashoka fellow


    Katja Urbatsch empowers young people with non-academic family backgrounds to start and succeed in university. She addresses the fact that few of the first high school graduates in their families consider university as a career option. Her mentoring network and information platform overcome barriers like financial concerns, social networks and low regard for the typically free German university education. By creating a positive, and provocative, identity for "working class children" (Arbeiterkind), she enables individual choices and combats social segregation. Currently, 80 local groups are operating in Germany, with over 4000 volunteers involved.

    JOERN PELZER, founder and partner of PINOVA Capital, Munich

    Joern Pelzer is co-founder and Partner at PINOVA Capital, an independent Private Equity firm focusing on high growth Engineering and Services companies in German speaking Europe. Before co-founding PINOVA, Joern Pelzer spent 9 years with 3i in Germany and US (Silicon Valley) as partner and worked at the Fraunhofer Institute with focus on production technology. Joern Pelzer holds a M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin and a M.Sc. in International Relations from the London School of Economics. He joined the Ashoka Support Network in 2010 and has been active as a mentor to various fellows since then.


















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