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DKSH positions itself with a strengthened Group Management and new CFO

04.04.2011 | DKSH Group, market leader in the sector of Market Expansion Services with a focus on Asia, has appointed Bernhard Schmitt as new CFO and Martina Ludescher as a member of the Group Management.

Zurich, March 31, 2011 – Switzerland’s privately held DKSH Group, market leader in the sector of Market Expansion Services with a focus on Asia, appointed Bernhard Schmitt as its new CFO effective March 31, 2011. He succeeds Stuart Davy, who is retiring from active business for personal reasons. In his six years as CFO and a total of 13 years with DKSH, Stuart Davy has had a decisive impact on the successful development of the Group. Under his leadership, the finance function at DKSH has seen significant professionalization. Not least the extremely solid balance sheet of DKSH facilitated the Group’s rapid rate of expansion in recent years. Today, the Group is net debt free and consequently ideally positioned for further dynamic growth, both organic and through strategic bolt-on acquisitions.

Joerg Wolle, President & CEO of DKSH comments: „It is extremely satisfying that we have been able to fill the position of CFO from within our own ranks. Bernhard Schmitt has been with DKSH for seven years now, of which five as Country Finance Manager of our biggest country operation, Thailand, and the last two years as the member of the Group Management responsible for country organizations, business process optimization, and supply chain. Joerg Wolle goes on to say: „With his in-depth understanding of our complex business model, Bernhard Schmitt is a safeguard for professional process and risk management, including efficient cost controls – key success factors for a rapidly growing and transaction driven Group like DKSH“.

At the same time, DKSH is strengthening its management structure with the newly created function „Corporate Development”, to be held by Martina Ludescher, who has been appointed a member of the Group Management effective March 31, 2011. Corporate Development covers the areas of Human Resources, Strategy, Corporate Communications, and Branding. „With Martina Ludescher, we are very proud to promote a young executive from our own in-house talent pool and the first woman to be appointed to the Group Management of DKSH“, comments Joerg Wolle. Martina Ludescher has been with DKSH for eight years, holding the position of „Vice President Strategy & Corporate Communications“ since 2007. „In that time she has made a significant contribution to the strategic repositioning and establishment of the DKSH corporate brand. For a services organization such as DKSH, the caliber and commitment of our 22,500 employees are crucial to the successful implementation of our growth strategy“, emphasizes CEO Joerg Wolle.

Since the merger in 2002, DKSH has seen an average increase in profitability of 17%. Based on a clearly defined growth strategy, the company is continuously extending its position as the leading provider of Market Expansion Services throughout Asia

CV Bernhard Schmitt

Bernhard Schmitt, 51, was appointed CFO of DKSH effective March 31, 2011. After joining DKSH in 2004, he held the position of Country Finance Manager in Thailand, DKSH’s biggest country operation, for five years. For the past two years as a member of the Group Management, he has been responsible for country organizations, business process optimization, and supply chain. He brings over 16 years of Asia experience to the table, gained in various countries throughout the region. He holds a degree in Economics from the University of Mannheim in Germany. Bernhard Schmitt is a German citizen.

CV Martina Ludescher

Martina Ludescher, 33, was appointed Head Corporate Development of DKSH effective March 31, 2011. Previously, she held the position of Vice President Strategy & Corporate Communications. She joined DKSH in 2003 and holds an MBA from the University of St.Gallen (HSG). Martina Ludescher is a Swiss citizen.

About DKSH

DKSH is the leading Market Expansion Services Group with a focus on Asia. As the term "Market Expansion Services" suggests, DKSH helps other companies and brands to grow their business in new or existing markets.

With 610 business locations in 35 countries – 20 of them in Europe and the Americas – and 22,500 specialized staff it is one of the top 20 Swiss companies ranked by sales and employees. In 2009, DKSH generated annual gross revenues of CHF 8,600 million.

The company offers any combination of sourcing, marketing, sales, distribution, and after-sales services. It provides business partners with expertise as well as on-the-ground logistics based on a comprehensive network of unique size and depth. Business activities are organized into four specialized Business Units that mirror DKSH fields of expertise: Consumer Goods, Healthcare, Performance Materials, and Technology.

Although DKSH is a Swiss company with headquarters in Zurich, it is deeply rooted in communities all across Asia Pacific. This is because the company looks back on a nearly 150-year-long tradition of doing business in and with the region.




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