Co-Chairman and Founder of DPE
Volker Hichert – managing partner of DPE – was a partner at Granville Baird, one of the leading small-cap investors in the German market for many years, before co-founding DPE. For six years at Granville, he was responsible for investments in mechanical engineering, the metal-working industry, the consumer goods industry, production and industrial services. Prior to this position, Volker Hichert held leading management positions in German SMEs for almost 9 years – as a managing partner of Yxlon International, on the Executive Board of the Hako Group and as a member of the Executive Board at the railway carriage manufacturer Talbot. Volker launched his career at The Boston Consulting Group in Düsseldorf and Deutsche Bank AG in Hamburg. Volker Hichert received his degree in business studies from the University of Münster. As Volker Hichert comments: “From entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. That was our principle right from the start at DPE. As an entrepreneur, it was always clear to me that real added value is created by growth – organic or through acquisitions – and not through debt. The secret is to turn managers into entrepreneurs, and to give them scope and time to allow their entrepreneurial energy to evolve. So that their visions can become reality. And it’s a wonderful feeling today to observe that the companies in our family that work to these principles are extremely successful. We, our entire corporate family, their employees and our investors are passionate about medium-sized businesses.
Dr. Frank Müller
Before joining DPE, Dr Frank Müller provided support for numerous SME transactions in Europe as Principal at H.I.G. Capital. These mainly involved classical buy-out and debt transactions focusing on the strategic realignment of companies, as well as group carve-outs requiring medium-sized structures. He previously gained experience in the field of Special Situations Investments, in particular in the automotive, chemicals, trade and packaging sectors. His first position was with KPMG. Dr Frank Müller studied business management in Mannheim and obtained his doctorate at the University of Witten-Herdecke.
Guido Prehn is a Managing Partner of DPE. Before he joined DPE in 2010, he worked at Allianz Capital Partners, the private equity arm of the Allianz Group in Munich. Previously, Guido Prehn spent several years at TPG Capital, a globally operating investment fund in London. He started his professional career in the investment banking and later private equity department at Merrill Lynch in Frankfurt and London. He studied business management at the European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel, as well as at the Universidad de la Empresa, Buenos Aires, and the DePaul University, Chicago. Privately, Guido Prehn is married and father of three children.
Guido Prehn leads the investment team of DPE together with Dr. Frank Müller and is responsible for the firm’s healthcare activities as well as its human resources. He has led numerous investments in Germany and Europe and sits on multiple supervisory and advisory boards.
Partner and Founder of DPE
Marc Thiery is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder of DPE. Prior to starting DPE, Marc held various roles at a number of leading European private equity firms, including Englefield Capital (now Bregal), Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, and Apax in London and Allianz Private Equity Partners in Munich. Marc obtained a Bachelor of Science (BA) degree at the European Business School and an MBA at Harvard Business School.
Marc comes from a family of entrepreneurs who established a longstanding Mittelstand company in the pharmaceutical packaging industry, and as a result he has long been fascinated by what it means to run and own a business. Prior to entering the private equity industry, Marc worked for the family business, which made a lasting impression on how he believes investments should be made, particularly in relation to the appreciation of staff and the broader community.
At DPE, Marc and his team offer more than just financial expertise, bringing operational and strategic support, as well as an international network, which, when combined, provides benefits for the businesses it backs as well as for the firm’s own investors.
Away from the office, Marc is passionate about wine, American football, travel and extraordinary life experiences. His biggest love is his family.
Fabio Adjoudani has been working for DPE since 2018. Prior to joining DPE, he held the position of investment banking analyst at Deutsche Bank and, in this role, provided support for various M&A and capital market transactions. He studied business administration at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and Warwick Business School.
Before joining DPE in September 2021, Joanna Albrecht spent five years working in the mechanical engineering industry and two years in management consulting. At Schindler Germany, as a Head of Pricing, she was responsible for the pricing and revenue strategy of new installations and service.
At Simon-Kucher & Partners, she advised leading companies in the building materials, construction industry and building services sectors on optimization of sales and pricing strategies.
Joanna Albrecht studied at Ruhr University Bochum and Tongji University Shanghai and holds a master’s degree in Management & Economics.
Philipp Alvisse joined DPE in 2022. Prior to joining, he worked as an intern at DPE and gained further experience in various internships in investment banking and private equity in Munich and Frankfurt.
Philipp Alvisse holds a Master in Finance from IE Business School in Madrid. He has also completed CFA Level 1 and Level 2.
Artur Bäcker has been working for DPE since July 2022. Prior to joining, he worked as an intern at DPE and gained further experience in various internships in private equity and investment banking. He studied Finance at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and Management & Economics at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz.
Before joining DPE, Nils Bennemann had already been involved in the private equity area for more than a decade, most recently as a partner at Greencoat Capital, and prior to this position at Candover Partners and Apax Partners. He has sourced and executed a variety of transactions, from large-cap leveraged buy-outs to growth capital financing in SMEs, as well as serving on the Board of Directors of several portfolio companies. Nils Bennemann started his career in M&A at Lehman Brothers and leveraged finance at CIBC Capital Markets. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a 1st class honours bachelor degree from London School of Economics.
Dr. Marc P. Bielitza
Prior to joining DPE, Marc was Chief Transformation Officer of HIT Holzindustrie Torgau, the world’s largest producer of Euro pallets. In that role, he spearheaded the overall transformation program and led the maintenance and procurement departments.
Before that, Marc spent twelve years at McKinsey & Company, where he was an Associate Partner and a core leader of the global basic materials and operations practices. He primarily served clients in metals, chemicals, energy, and discrete manufacturing, advising them on performance improvement and operational excellence.
Marc holds a graduate degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Karlsruhe, with additional studies in Milan and Strasbourg. He obtained his doctorate at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) on the topic of quantitative analysis of market dynamics in the global iron ore market.
Michael Bruschke joined DPE in 2018. Prior to joining DPE , the business graduate worked as an assistant/audit manager at various prestigious medium-sized auditing and tax consulting companies in the field of operative auditing and tax consulting as well as in business consulting. At Verlagsgruppe Weltbild, he also gained experience as a consultant for internal control systems and as the commercial director of the insolvency estate.
Silja Costa Carvalho
Silja Costa Carvalho supports the DPE team as an assistant to portfolio and investment directors. She studied the hotel trade and obtained a degree in the field of tourism, hotel and event management. In the past six years, she has worked at Geisel Privathotels in Munich and at Hotel Bachmair Weissach in event management.
Joachim Deselaers joined DPE in January 2022. Previously, he worked as an audit manager for Deloitte GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft. There he was employed as a manager in audits of annual financial statements and internal control systems of capital managers as well as service companies. Before studying business administration & management at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar, Joachim Deselaers obtained a degree in horticulture & arable farming at HAS University of Applied Sciences in Hertogenbosch and worked as an engineer for one year.
Janine Dolatschko supports the DPE team as an assistant to Volker Hichert. Prior to this, she worked for several years as an assistant at Hohnhaus & Jansenberger Group and at Munich Private Equity Partners, as well as an investment controller at RWB. She is a trained hotel specialist and did her apprenticeship at the Munich Marriott Hotel.
Mandy Eichhorn supports the DPE team as an assistant to Marc Thiery since 2015. She trained in the hotel trade and previously worked at Ashurst LLP and Hilton Hotels & Resorts in Munich.
Melati Gaymans supports the DPE team at the front desk and in office management. She graduated from the Hague University with a degree in European Studies. She is an experienced gastronomy professional, having previously worked in diverse gastronomy businesses in the Netherlands, Germany and in Indonesia where she worked as a restaurant consultant and café owner.
Thomas Grau joined DPE in 2019. Before joining DPE, Thomas worked as Assistant Manager at KPMG Munich in the Deal Advisory team dealing on M&A and valuation related topics.
Thomas started his career in the banking industry working at UniCredit Group and BNP Paribas gaining experience in private banking, capital markets & M&A.
Thomas Grau holds a master’s degree in Corporate Finance from SDA Bocconi in Milan.
Ilona Grote supports the DPE team as an assistant to the investment partners since 2019. She trained in the hotel trade and previously worked for the Hyatt hotel chain in Dubai and Düsseldorf for five years.
Sonja Heuer has been supporting the DPE team since July 2022. Over the past 23 years, she has worked in various companies, including Vodafone Kabel Deutschland GmbH, as a clerk in accounts receivable and accounts payable.
Barbara Hörmann supports the DPE team as Executive Assistant to Portfolio and Investment Directors. She gained many years of experience in the hospitality industry in Munich, the United States and in Hamburg at InterContinental Hotels Group as Marketing Executive for North, Central & East Europe and as the Language Localization Manager Europe. Most recently, she worked as the personal assistant to 3 Michelin star chef Christian Jürgens at the Restaurant Überfahrt at lake Tegernsee.
Peter Jäckle joined DPE in 2022. Previously, he was a Consultant at Boston Consulting Group in Munich, where he advised on a series of M&A-transactions, buy- and sell-side due diligences, business plan analyses, and restructuring concepts. Peter Jäckle holds master’s degrees in Accounting & Finance and CEMS from the University of St. Gallen (HSG) and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Mannheim.
Florian Kaiser is an expert in company valuation with extensive experience in transaction consulting. Before joining DPE, he worked as a manager for KPMG AG in Munich in the Deal Advisory department. Florian Kaiser has advised domestic and international companies in a wide range of valuation-related topics including cross-border mergers, squeeze-outs, expert valuation opinions and purchase price allocations. He graduated in business administration from Bayreuth University and the National University of Singapore and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Prior to joining DPE as a director, Christian Kasten has managed a technology start-up and worked in management consulting for six years. As CFO of Compact Power Motors, a developer and manufacturer of electric drivetrains for the automotive industry, he developed the commercial and supply chain departments until the successful exit to a strategic investor. During his time at Porsche Consulting, he advised businesses across many industry sectors in operational excellence and lean management. Christian started his professional career in sales network development at the German headquarters and the Spanish subsidiary of Daimler AG in Madrid. He studied business administration at the International School of General Management/Zeppelin University and holds an MBA from Bocconi University in Milan.
Dr. Rudolf Kinsky
Senior Advisor Austria
Dr Rudolf Kinsky is a Senior Advisor at DPE and is responsible for the development of the Austrian market. Over the last 35 years, he has had an international career in the areas of private equity, investment banking and management consulting in the USA, the UK, Germany, Austria and the CEE countries. His career milestones include 3i Group, Charterhouse, Dresdner Bank, McKinsey & Co. and The First Boston Corporation. Since 2006, Dr Rudolf Kinsky has been active in Austria as a freelance management consultant. He is an Executive Board member of AVCO, the Austrian venture capital and private equity organisation. A resident of Vienna, Dr Kinsky has a PhD in Law from the University of Salzburg, a master’s degree in Law from Harvard Law School and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.
Dr. Benjamin Kleidt
Before moving to DPE, Dr Benjamin Kleidt was responsible for business operations as COO of Talenthouse, a start-up in online and content marketing. Previously, he worked as Managing Director of Starwatch Entertainment, a subsidiary of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group, specialising in the business areas of Music, Live Entertainment, Events, Ticketing and Artist Management. He started his career at McKinsey, where he spent five years advising companies in the financial sector focusing on strategy and organisation. Dr Benjamin Kleidt studied Business Administration at the European Business School (EBS) in Oestrich-Winkel with periods in Argentina and New Zealand. He also obtained his doctorate at the EBS.
Head of IT
Before joining DPE, Elmar Koschka worked in IT at various companies, most recently at a large hospital group. There he was responsible for virtualization, backup and storage. He started his career of more than 20 years at companies such as Telekom and Weltbild.
Before joining DPE, Malgorzata Kowalska worked as a lawyer for an investment company in Poland. She also advised numerous companies on contract and corporate law, mergers & acquisitions and due diligence, focusing particularly on software and e-commerce sector companies. Malgorzata Kowalska studied jurisprudence at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, at the University of Osnabrück and at the University of Passau. She is a registered lawyer in Poland and has a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) specialising in German law.
Sergej Lehmann has been with DPE since January 2017. Prior to DPE, he worked as an Investment Associate at Waterland Private Equity GmbH in Munich. There, he supported transactions in the German mid-cap space – especially in the software and e-commerce sectors. Sergej Lehmann started his career in investment banking at Credit Suisse in London, where he closed numerous financing transactions for financial institutions and companies in the fields of metals & mining, oil & gas and TMT. After his tenure at Credit Suisse, he gained further experience at strategy consultancy Stern Stewart, Munich, where he was responsible for corporate finance and M&A advice for German mid-cap clients. Sergej Lehmann studied business administration at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and holds an MBA with distinction from INSEAD in France and Singapore.
Dr. Mathias Makowski
Since November 2022 Dr Mathias Makowski works for DPE. Prior to joining, he was Head of Faber-Castell’s Corporate Sustainability and Engineering department, in charge of establishing and implementing a group-wide sustainability strategy with a focus on decarbonisation, sustainable raw-material sourcing and ESG reporting.
Before that, Mathias has worked for Pöyry Consulting (today AFRY) advising industrial clients in Southeast Asia and Oceania with an emphasis on performance improvement, investment support, benchmarking, and corporate strategy.
Mathias studied wood science and technology at the University of Hamburg where he also obtained his doctorate in natural sciences.
Lisa Mathis supports the DPE team as an assistant to Marc Thiery. She trained in the hotel trade and has spent the majority of her ten-year career with the Kempinski hotel chain in various countries, including Egypt, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Switzerland and China. Before joining DPE, she was the deputy hotel manager at the Kempinski Hotel Yinchuan in China.
Aurelia Maurath joined DPE in January 2020. Prior to this, she worked as an Investment Vice President at Triton Smaller Mid-Cap Fund (TSM) in Frankfurt. There she completed two platform investments in the industrial manufacturing space and worked on a number of opportunities in the DACH region. She started her career at Rothschild in Frankfurt with a focus on M&A advisory for mid-cap transactions with financial sponsor involvement. Aurelia Maurath holds a master’s degree in Accounting & Finance from University of St. Gallen and a bachelor’s degree in Technology & Management from TU Munich.
Dr. Alexander Matzner
Before joining DPE, Dr Alexander Matzner was SVP of Digital Innovation at Sky Deutschland and was responsible for digitalisation at the company. Prior to this role, he was Head of Purchasing at the same company and responsible for its strategic and operational purchasing. Before working at Sky, he was a corporate consultant at McKinsey & Company and headed projects related to product development and lean operations in the automotive, mechanical engineering and chemical industries. He began his career as an officer in the German Air Force, where he flew the Tornado fighter plane in the German Bundeswehr.
Dr Alexander Matzner studied aerospace technology at the Bundeswehr University Munich, where he obtained his doctorate in artificial intelligence.
Michelle Murszewski is responsible for the front desk and as a finance assistant. After completing her vocational education to an legal assistant, she gained work experiences as team assistant/ HR assistant at a credit card company and at a personal service company.
Karin Ostermann has more than 15 years of experience in the global healthcare market across various roles in strategy consulting, the pharmaceutical industry and digital health environment.
Before joining DPE, Karin led the development of a digital therapy for children and adolescents with diagnosed internet gaming addiction in her role as entrepreneur in residence with the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) of the Charité University Hospital. She also supported several digital health start-ups in their company build-up as a mentor.
Previously, Karin spent 6 years with Sandoz International as Global Brand Director Oncology and Global Digital Director. Prior to that, she spent 10 years in strategy consulting with focus on top global pharmaceutical and medtech companies.
She holds a diploma in international business administration from the European Business School (ebs).
Head of Human Resources
As Head of Human Resources at DPE, Karolin Plechinger is responsible for strategic and operational HR work. Before joining DPE, she led Partner Hiring in Europe at McKinsey Digital. She started her career as part of the Financial Services team of a large executive search firm, focusing on senior appointments in the insurance and private equity sector.
Karolin Plechinger trained as a shipping clerk and completed her studies in business administration at Humboldt University in Berlin.
Franz Reiffenstuel has been at DPE since July 2019. Before moving to DPE, Franz Reiffenstuel gained 10 years’ experience in the field of private equity, most recently at Chequers Capital and before that at AEA Investors. He has supported a wide range of transactions at German SMEs in the healthcare, medical products, automotive and business services sectors. Franz Reiffenstuel started his career in M&A at Citi. He studied at the European School of Business in Reutlingen and at Reims Management School.
Andreas Reiter joined DPE in April 2022. In his previous role he was a Portfoliomanager for Private Equity Fund of Funds at Wealthcap, a subsidiary of UniCredit Bank AG in Munich. There he was responsible for the management of several Fund structures in Germany and Luxembourg. Andreas Reiter started his professional career as a Management Consultant focused on controlling and corporate management at Horváth & Partners.
Andreas Reiter studied at Technical University Munich (TUM) and holds a Master’s degree in Management & Technology. Further, he graduated from University of Passau with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Economics.
Fabian Rücker joined DPE in April 2011. Prior to this, he was an Associate at Morgan Stanley in Frankfurt, where he advised on a series of M&A and capital market transactions. Fabian Rücker studied business management at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and the University of Sydney. Fabian Rücker has a degree in business management.
Chief Risk Officer
Before joining DPE, Hosnia Said was Managing Director at La Française Systematic Asset Management GmbH. As Managing Director, her responsibilities included Finance, Controlling, Risk Management, Legal, IT, Internal Audit and Fund Management. She worked for La Française Systematic Asset Management for a total of 11 years. She started her professional career at Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investment GmbH as Associate Fund Controller. She studied business administration in Koblenz and is a Certified Risk Manager.
Before joining DPE, Andreas Schmid spent several years at Goldman Sachs Principal Investment Area in London focusing on investments in the German-speaking region. Before that he worked in investment banking at J.P. Morgan, London. Andreas Schmid studied business administration at the European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel, including semesters abroad at Bond Univerity, Queensland and Université Paris I Sorbonne, Paris.
Andreas Schoder has been working for DPE since 2019. Prior to this, he spent five years working at RWB, a renowned private equity fund-of-funds company from Munich, where he was responsible for matters such as reporting, US taxes and cash flow management. Mr Schoder originally comes from the banking sector, where he worked in financing business and corporate customer support for several years. He earned his master’s degree in business management, specialising in corporate finance and banking, at Georg Simon Ohm University in Nuremberg.
Senior Advisor Austria
As a Senior Partner, Anton Schubaschitz has been responsible for the development of DPE’s Austrian market since 2018. Over the course of his long-standing career, the consultant has taken over, restructured and sold a number of Austrian companies. Examples include Let’s Print, Alu-Sommer and Neudörfler Büromöbel. In addition, he has held a number of different positions on the supervisory and advisory boards of prestigious companies in a range of different sectors, including Ankerbrot, Umweltdienst Burgenland and BAWAG Versicherungs AG. Prior to his activities in the private equity business, Anton Schubaschitz performed a wide range of management functions, including as the CEO of a large regional energy supplier and as a manager at Siemens, Bank für Arbeit und Wirtschaft AG, the Burgenland Computer Centre and Regina Küchen. The business graduate and electrical engineer lives in Vienna and today holds the position of a member of the Management Board and Managing Director of TSB Unternehmensberatung und Management GmbH.
Anja Schuller has supported the DPE associates as an assistant since 2008. She has commercial training in wholesale and foreign trade and has been working for various industrial companies for almost 20 years.
Alexander Schwab joined DPE in September 2020. Prior to this, he was an Associate at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Frankfurt, where he advised on a series of M&A transactions and corporate finance mandates. Alexander Schwab holds a master’s degree in finance from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management as well as a bachelor’s degree with majors in economics, finance and psychology from The University of Melbourne.
Michaela Stapfer has supported the DPE team since 2016 as an assistant to Dr Frank Müller and Guido Prehn. She is a certified hotel manager and previously worked at Ruf Automobile GmbH.
Sonja Straub joined DPE in January 2022. In previous years she was employed as a senior consultant at PKF Industrie- und Verkehrstreuhand GmbH. Here she was responsible for accounting and the preparation of annual financial statements for various companies from different sectors. Before that, she worked for various industrial companies in the accounting and tax departments.
She completed her training as a tax assistant at Rödl & Partner and Hatzfeld + Frenzel.
She has been a „Bachelor Professional (CCI) of Accounting“ since 2020.
Senior Advisor Schweiz
Walter Stürzinger is supporting DPE as Senior Advisor for the development of the market in Switzerland. After more then 40 years of experience in banking, working in various Senior Executive roles and serving as a member of the Group Executive Board at UBS, he took the seat as Vice Chairman and Group CEO, of an international food ingredients supplier in 2014, a family-owned business, established in Switzerland in 1920. Walter Stürzinger also serves as Vice Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors of an international procurement service company headquartered in Switzerland. Furthermore, as investor he is also advising Start-up companies. Walter Stürzinger lives in Zurich. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant (Dipl. Wirtschaftsprüfer).
Before moving to DPE in 2009, Mark Suderow worked for the investment banks Lehman Brothers and Nomura in Frankfurt and London in the field of Corporate Finance, where he accompanied and managed a series of transactions as an M&A and IPO consultant. The business management graduate started his career during his studies as a freelancer for equity research at Rochdale Securities in New York. He studied business management at the European Business School (EBS) in Oestrich-Winkel, as well as at the National University of Singapore, Singapore, and the Unitec School of Business, Auckland. Mark Suderow has a degree in business management.
Philipp Unterberger joined DPE in 2022. Previously, he was an Associate in the Direct Private Equity Team of Partners Group in Zug and Munich, where he worked on several investment opportunities in the services, industrial technology and medical technology sectors. Philipp Unterberger holds a Master in Management from HEC Paris and a Bachelor in Finance and Accounting from LMU Munich.
Head of Business Development
Before moving to DPE, Mathias Weidner was a partner at IMAP of many years’ standing, a leading international consulting firm for mergers and acquisitions. He combines long-standing experience in international transactions as a consultant for SMEs with his own distinctive business approach. Starting in 1998, he supported SMEs in national and international transactions at IMAP. From 2010, he focused on transactions between Chinese and German companies and was chairman of the IMAP China Desk. Between 2012 and 2016, Mathias Weidner also founded and managed several companies in the education and social sectors, including the fundraising platform Crowd Charity. Before joining IMAP, Mr Weidner had held leading management positions in German SMEs for eight years.
Before Daniel Wiechmann joined DPE in June 2020, he spent six years working in the media industry and four years in corporate consulting. He was responsible for digitalising sales channels and establishing digital platforms at Axel Springer and FUNKE Mediengruppe.
At Roland Berger, he advised major leading European groups on developing and implementing digitalisation strategies and on the digital transformation, restructuring and optimisation of their business models and processes.
Daniel Wiechmann studied media management in Bremen and Manchester and has a Master of Science from the University of Glasgow.
Michael Wiesmeier joined DPE in January 2021. Prior to this, he completed an investment banking internship in the M&A division of Rothschild in Frankfurt. Before that, he pursued an internship at DPE and gained further experience in the private equity sector, among others with a turnaround investor.
Michael Wiesmeier studied at the Technical University Munich and the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and holds a master’s degree in Management & Technology. Further, he graduated from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Michael Wolnicki joined DPE in June 2022 and has several years of private equity experience. Before joining DPE, he worked for H.I.G. Capital in Hamburg as an Investment Manager, focusing on investments in the DACH mid-market space. Prior to H.I.G. Capital, he spent more than two years at Gilde Healthcare Partners, a specialized healthcare-dedicated private equity firm. His experience includes working with companies in the healthcare, TMT, business services and chemicals sector.
Michael Wolnicki holds a Master in Finance and Bachelor in Business Administration from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management.
Chief Financial Officer
Prior to moving to DPE, Peter Zillekens worked for many years as Chief Financial Officer, most recently for his own fund start-up and previously as GP and chief financial officer of Deutsche Telekom Group’s investment division – Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners. At DTCP he accompanied the development of the group from the late founding days to a global investment manager with more than 1 billion USD assets under management and advisory. Prior to joining DTCP, he was Chief Financial Officer of Fludicon, a German deep tech start-up in the field of smart materials. There he accompanied the development of the operative business and led several financing rounds as well as the exit to a Japanese conglomerate. Prior to this, Peter Zillekens worked for many years as an investor and investment banker at Macquarie Capital, Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank, where he primarily led M&A and capital markets transactions in the German-speaking region. Peter Zillekens started his career more than 25 years ago in the M&A department of Morgan Grenfell. He holds an MSc. in Management Science from University College Dublin and a German degree of Diplom-Volkswirt.
Mina-Isabella Zimmermann is responsible for the front desk and office management. She obtained a degree in geography from the University of Augsburg.
Anica Zuber joined DPE in 2021. Previously, she was an Associate at Goldman Sachs in the Real Estate and Consumer, Retail & Healthcare Group, where she advised on a series of M&A and capital markets transactions. Anica Zuber holds a Master in Banking and Finance and Bachelor in business administration from the University of St. Gallen (HSG).
The six members of our advisory board represent an indispensable panel of consultants for us and our investments. Their entrepreneurial approaches and actions have made both them and our companies immensely successful. You can now share these experiences with our corporate family:
Dr. Jürgen Heraeus, Chairman of the Advisory Board
Dr Jürgen Heraeus was born in Hanau in 1936. He studied business administration at the University of Munich, earning his doctorate in 1963. He then spent around two years in the USA, where he worked for different Heraeus subsidiaries. He was appointed to the Board of Management of W. C. Heraeus GmbH in 1970 and later became Chief Executive Officer of Heraeus Holding GmbH. He has been Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Chairman of the Shareholders’ Committee of Heraeus Holding GmbH since January 2000. Dr Heraeus is also Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Messer Group GmbH. Until April 2017, he was Chairman of the Supervisory Board of GEA Group AG, an MDAX-listed company. Dr Heraeus also serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board of Deutsche Private Equity GmbH.
In addition, he is committed to society in his role as Chairman of the Kathinka Platzhoff Foundation. As the father of five daughters, Dr Jürgen Heraeus is particularly interested in educational policy.
Dr. Alfred Gossner
Dr Alfred Gossner studied economics and philosophy in Munich and Oxford. After working in academia at LMU Munich and as a consultant at McKinsey, he started working at the Allianz Group in 1985. After five years in the Executive Board office of the group holding company, he took over the management of Allianz South Africa and Namibia as Managing Director. After returning from Africa, he was appointed to the Board of Management of Allianz Versicherungs AG, initially with overall regional responsibility for Allianz Norddeutschland and then as member of the Board of Management for industrial business.
From 2002 to 2017, he was a member of the Board of Management of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe’s leading organisation for contract research in science and engineering disciplines. As well as taking care of all commercial functions, he also dealt with the economic concerns of Fraunhofer start-ups and research partnerships in the southern hemisphere. Stellenbosch University appointed him as “Professor Extraordinary”. He has been president of Munich Business School since 2018.
Dr Gossner has had intensive experience as a supervisory board member in various sectors. Several companies have achieved considerable value increases under his chairmanship.
Prof. Dr. Michael Heise
Michael Heise is the founder of the consulting firm Macroadvisors and Chief Economist of the Multi-Family Office HQ Trust. Until 2019, he was Chief Economist at Allianz SE and was responsible for economic and strategic capital market analyses of the group. Before he started at the Allianz Group, Mr Heise worked for eight years as General Secretary of the Advisory Council for the Evaluation of Macroeconomic Development, which advises the German federal government. Additionally, he has worked as Chief Economist and Head of Research at DZ Bank and its predecessor, DG Bank. Mr Heise has been appointed as a forecaster for the German economy several times by the Financial Times Deutschland and the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspapers. Heise is one of the best-known economists in Germany and is a regular commentator on financial and monetary policy topics in the press. Heise is the author of several books and is a member of numerous committees.
James Kester is an experienced private capital investor and executive. Since 2000, Mr Kester has built and managed global investment businesses for institutional investors. In 2010, he became Chief Investment Officer of the Private Equity department of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. He was also a member of the Executive, Investment, Strategy and Risk Committees. Prior to ADIA, he was the Head of Private Equity and a member of the Investment Committee for Zurich Alternative Asset Management, an investor in private equity, real estate and hedge funds on behalf of Zurich Financial Services. In 2000, Mr Kester co-founded and was co-CEO of Allianz Private Equity Partners GmbH, an investment manager for Allianz Group and third party client assets. Mr Kester began his career as a finance executive at the General Electric Company, followed by roles at the General Motors Corporation and with the Barents Group. He earned a BSC from Cornell University and holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Presently via Aquitaine Partners, Mr Kester advises institutions on private markets strategies. He joined the Advisory Board of DPE in 2017.
Dr.-Ing. E.h. Peter Leibinger
Peter Leibinger joined DPE’s Advisory Board in 2018. He is the Vice Chairman of the Group Management Board and Chief Technology Officer of TRUMPF, a global leader in manufacturing machine tools and industrial lasers, with a workforce of 12,000 employees and annual revenues of more than €3 billion. In this function, Leibinger, who has a degree in mechanical engineering, was responsible, among other tasks, for research and development, sales and service, as well as the development and expansion of new business units. Having completed his degree at RWTH University in Aachen, Peter Leibinger initially joined Ingersoll Milling Machine Company, Rockford, IL/USA, as a design engineer. He was subsequently head of the US subsidiary of TRUMPF before taking over at the helm of the Laser Technology Business Division in 2003. He has been the CTO of the TRUMPF Group since 1 July 2017. Peter Leibinger is committed to promoting research. He is also the spokesman for the “Photonik Forschung Deutschland” program committee of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). In addition, as a committed Christian, he also performs a great deal of voluntary work, for instance in the Arbeitskreis Evangelischer Unternehmer (AEU), a network of protestant entrepreneurs and executives.
Dr. Nicolas von Rosty
Dr Nicolas von Rosty has been an advisory board member at DPE since 2016. Not only is he one of the most prominent experts for management development and executive search in Germany, but he also brings experience as CEO of a start-up and as CEO of a corporate group foreign subsidiary. He is partner-in-charge of Heidrick & Struggles’ Germany and managing partner of the CEO & Board of Directors Practice in Germany and Central Europe. He is also a member of the European Industrial Practice. As a renowned executive search consultant and former Head of Management Development at Siemens, Nicolas von Rosty has comprehensive experience in placing experts for industry and in executive assessment. Thus, at Siemens, he was responsible for filling all key roles in the group and for remuneration systems. He reported directly to the CEO. He gained business experience as managing director of an Internet start-up of the ThyssenKrupp Group and as CEO of a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp in Mexico. Nicolas von Rosty studied law in Heidelberg and Hamburg and is a lawyer with a doctorate. Apart from German, he also speaks English and Spanish fluently.