Based on my academic background and a willingness to continuously learn and develop throughout the last 15+ years, I have gathered strong expertise in the following areas:
- Entrepreneurship, Private Equity, Startups & Venture Capital
- Achieving Sustainable High Growth & Predictable Revenues
- B2B SaaS & Platform Business Models
- Innovation & Digital Business Transformation
- New Technologies
- Corporate Venture Capital
- Family Businesses & Business Families
Entrepreneurship, Startups & Venture Capital
The foundation of business is entrepreneurship. I have been privileged to spend the last 15+ years working with entrepreneurs, founders, startups and private equity investors.
As an investor and active board member, I help founders develop their ideas into thriving businesses, fuel the growth engine, raise money and exit their ventures.
Read my respective blog section here.
Achieving High Growth & Predictable Revenues
Aspiring founder teams thrive for winning big markets, disrupting entire industries, creating new digital business models, building competitive moats and essentially changing the way business is done today. In our highly competitive markets, management teams are required to lead their teams to high growth and predictable revenues. But entering a high growth phase comes with a lot of challenges and generating predictable revenues is often easier said than done.
As an investor and board director, I actively mentor management teams so they can transition their companies from initial traction to high growth and predictable revenues and cope with the growth challenges ahead.
I am writing a book for founders that want to build high growth sustainable businesses. It will be called SMARTSCALING. Read my respective blog section here.
B2B SaaS & Platform Business Models
I have gathered in-depth knowledge and experience as regards B2B SaaS and platform business models.
Private Equity, M&A and Getting Deals Done
I have always been trying to structure transactions in a way that all parties involved feel comfortable with the outcome and look forward to working together. I help getting deals done.
Innovation & Digital Business Transformation
Digital technologies and business models are radically changing competitive dynamics across industries. In a digitised environment characterised by rapid and continual change, it is critical for organisations to be agile and quickly respond to new developments. But even more important than reacting to external developments is proactively embracing the opportunities that come with new digital technologies and digital business models.
At METRO Group, I am contributing to the digital business transformation by analysing pain points across the complete value chain and creating strong cooperations between the organisation and external innovative solution providers that can solve such pain points.
Constantly exposing an organisation to startups providing new digital technologies does not only enable an organisation to become more digital and efficient, but does also create awareness as regards new disruptive business models and opportunities to become the disruptor.
I help organisations survive and strive in the world of The New Normal.
Change is the only constant. New digital technologies and business models are radically changing competitive dynamics across industries. I am keeping up with this change by following recent developments. My latest research areas comprised the application of AR/VR, AI, IoT and Robotics in the retail, wholesale and hospitality industries.
I try to be a valuable sparring partner when it comes to discussing topics around new technologies.
Corporate Venture Capital
Corporate venture capital (CVC) — corporations investing instartups — is supposed to create a win-win for both established corporations and startups. Startups can tap into the corporate assets thereby uncovering faster and more efficient opportunities to scale. Established corporations can generate awareness within the organisation about new technologies, market trends and potential industry disruptors and can capture value by being shareholders in successful startups or becoming the disruptors themselves.
But the worlds of startups and corporations are not always easy to combine. After a period of initial enthusiasm, many corporate venture capital units falter or close, failing to achieve either financial or strategic returns.
Based on my vast experience advising corporations in connection with their venturing activities and establishing the METRO Group CVC Unit, I have learned that observing some guiding principles can significantly improve the CVC success rate.
I elaborate on these guiding principles as a guest lecturer and share my CVC playbook on Medium.
Family Businesses and Business Families
As a lawyer and notary public, I advised family businesses and business families in connection with business-related and family-related topics like business successions and family constitutions and published an article on family business succession in a renowned German legal journal:”Ausgewähltes zur Unternehmensnachfolge und - vorsorge bei der GmbH und GmbH & Co. KG“.
How I Got Here
From 1993 until 1995, I pursued a career as a professional player in the second and first German handball division.
From 1995 until 2002, I studied law specialising in corporate and business laws. I passed my exams with distinction and concluded this period with a Ph.D. in law and a Master in Business Laws (LL.M. oec.).
Private Equity & Buyouts
After having finished my legal clerkship (Referendariat) in 2004, I joined the renowned international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Until 2008, I advised Private Equity Firms and major corporations on buyouts as both buy-side and sell-side adviser. Goldman Sachs, Cerberus, Arcapita, Lanxess, Airbus and Pirelli were among my clients.
From 2008 until 2009, I attended the INSEAD MBA program. I took electives mainly relating to Entrepreneurship, Family Businesses and Private Equity and prepared myself for the transition from an advisor to an investor.
Venture Capital, Family Businesses & M&A
From 2009 until 2013, I was a partner with two mid-sized law firms. I was a notary public and advised families in connection with their business succession plans as well as corporations on their M&A and venturing activities. Freenet AG and METRO Group were among my clients.
Corporate Venture Capital & Digital Business Transformation
In 2015, METRO Group asked me to join as a managing director of METRO Innovations Holding in order to establish the METRO Group Corporate Venture Capital unit. I invest out of the growth fund LeadX Capital Partners in later stage B2B companies that are active in the retail and hospitality industries and predominantly pursue SaaS or platform business models. As a board director, I try to create value for portfolio companies by leveraging the METRO Group assets and mentoring founders with regards to achieving high growth and predictable revenues.
I contribute to the METRO Group digital business transformation by analysing pain points across the complete value chain and looking for external innovative products and services that can solve such pain points. Constantly exposing the organisation to startups and new digital technologies does not only enable the organisation to become more digital and efficient, but does also create awareness as regards new disruptive business models and opportunities to become a disruptor.
Venture capital investor at LeadX Capital Partners
Active board member passionate about Smartscaling and helping founders build sustainable high growth businesses
Senior executive and thought leader in Corporate Venture Capital
Former notary public and lawyer specialising in Corporate Law, Family Businesses and M&A
Master of Business Administration (MBA) (INSEAD)
Ph.D. in Law
Master of Business Laws (LL.M. oec.)