Who’s our next CEO?2019-10-30T13:56:34+00:00

Who’s our next CEO?
Zurich, 15. July 2019

It is never easy for a founder or CEO to step down from a company he loves and holds in such high regards as Helvetica Property Investors AG (“Helvetica”). Thirteen years ago, I founded Helvetica. Since then, with a mixture of pride and gratitude, I have watched it grow and thrive. Today, Helvetica is a stable and solid firm, recognized as one of the most respected and successful real estate fund and asset management firms in Switzerland. So, the news I now share with you is bittersweet: In 2020, I will step down as CEO of Helvetica, however remain board member and member of the Investment Committee.
Looking back now on my early days, I recall becoming aware of the qualities that would come to define me and shape my career – passion, discipline, dedication, and a surprisingly helpful streak of stubbornness. I learned that I could rise to meet unexpected challenges, that I had the wherewithal to persevere in the face of daunting setbacks and, most important, that when I set a goal, I would risk all to reach it. Yet I couldn’t have foreseen at the time all of the joys and struggles that awaited me in building this wonderful company.
The best memories of my life are deeply tied to passion, dedication and big dreams. As a young student, even as I sat in history class, half-listening to my teacher drone on about the agricultural revolution in mind-numbing detail, I daydreamed of one day becoming a world-class business leader, zipping around in a Porsche 911 Targa.
That dream never faded. It inspired my development as an entrepreneur and fueled my objective in founding Helvetica: to build the most reputable real estate fund and asset management firm in our industry, a state-of-the-art firm distinguished by its integrity, passion and independence. In achieving this goal, it has been my great privilege to work with an exceptionally dedicated and skilled team – our board of directors, executives and staff – and to enjoy the trust and loyalty of our clients and partners.
As you know, in my role as Helvetica’s founder and leader, I’ve focused on setting the strategic direction for the firm, and on seeking the best opportunities for the firm to grow and excel. I’ve also been very “hands-on” in overseeing day-to-day activities, including implementation and execution of our investment processes, acquisitions, portfolio management, asset management, and sales and marketing activities. After almost 13 years of hard work, I feel I’ve largely accomplished what I set out to do – so now it’s time to hand the steering wheel over to a new and, I’m sure, even better Manager.
As for next steps, the board of directors has approved my wish to step down and tasked a professional executive search firm with the search process. The team has also expressed its support; I know they will enjoy working with and assisting a new CEO. My successor will be joining a very special organization with huge potential, and I have no doubt that he will successfully guide Helvetica to the next level. Drawing on our Norwegian roots and traditional Swiss values, Helvetica has become a truly one-of-a-kind company today, at least in my view. This heritage will, I hope, prove rewarding and beneficial to the new CEO.
I still have the drive, passion and dedication that brought both Helvetica and me the success we enjoy today, and I am tremendously excited about the firm’s future. Our achievements have inspired me to remain ambitious, and to set myself some challenging goals for the years to come.
Once Helvetica` new CEO is in place, I will support the CEO and will be at his or her disposal with focus on client relationships, marketing and business development – areas in which I believe I can continue to make important contributions. I look forward to welcoming the new leader as a partner and will do everything possible to ensure a smooth onboarding and transition process. And, last but not least, I am also hoping to focus on some more personal goals, of which my priority will be to see my daughter Amalie grow up. She`s missing her father and I am missing her.
I would like to express my appreciation and a sincere thank you to all who believed in me and trusted me over the years. I would especially like to thank our board of directors: Hans Ueli Keller, Peter E. Bodmer, Herbert Kahlich and Thomas Huber. Your commitment, trust and mentorship have always inspired me and made me so proud of what we have accomplished together. Also thank you to our Executive team Hans-Peter Wasser, Frederic Königsegg, Peter R. Vogel and Salman Baday for your loyalty and your leadership.
I would also like to thank Partners Group`s Fabian Neuenschwander, Stefan Lempen and Geoffrey Bonnefoy-Cudraz for your trust and confidence and for believing in us and choosing us as your joint venture and asset management partner. It is truly an honor, so Thank you.
Despite our success, I will never forget where this all started – as a small business letting furnished apartments in Zurich almost 25 years ago.
Remember, this is not goodbye, but rather the beginning of an exciting new journey, one that I very much look forward to sharing with you.
Hans R. Holdener
CEO and Managing Partner
Phone + 41 43 544 70 80
E-Mail hrh@HelveticaProperty.com
All press releases can be found at www.HelveticaProperty.com

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