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May 15, 2018

Hamburg   (DeutschLeading global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) published a study German Corporate Leadership in Disruptive Times: Corporate Playbooks,  Frustrations and Challenges that provides valuable insights into current challenges of German corporate leadership teams. 

In today’s business world, corporate decision-makers are confronted with a plethora of complex and discontinuous business challenges (“disruptions”) instigated by technology, market, business and institutional forces. Such forces can generate strategic problems that are poorly defined, have no obvious solutions or quick fixes, pose complex dilemmas, and require bold, decisive and novel forms of action. An innate ability to diagnose and manage these disruptions in advance is the foremost determinant companies achieving success over the long-term. 

Managing Director Patrick Siebert and WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management Professor Serden Ozcan are seeking to better understand the roles played by supervisory boards and management teams, the contributions they make, the playbooks they use and the challenges and frustrations they face in trying to keep their organizations one step ahead of these forces of disruption. Germany provides an interesting setting for our investigation in part because its leading businesses are not only diverse, they are active in industries that are experiencing disruption at a breakneck pace. Furthermore, German corporate governance has idiosyncratic attributes, such as a dual board structure. Moreover, supervisory boards are made up exclusively of non-executive members.

Patrick Siebert sees the study as providing deep insights for management in German corporations, stating, “Disruption is fundamentally changing the way the world works. It might be tempting to say that this has always been the case and is nothing new. Indeed, waves of disruptions have always been powerful engines for change. However, this time the dynamic is unprecedented due to the deep integration of politics, technologies, businesses and cultures. This interrelationship on multiple levels leads to an amplification of disruptive forces, calls the status quo into question and substantially alters the way we live.” 

For this study, Patrick Siebert and Prof. Serden Ozcan conducted 20, face-to-face interviews with members of the supervisory boards and top management teams of some of Germany’s largest and most prominent businesses. The companies selected are active in a number of industries, including retail, steel, technology, consumer goods, chemicals, media, e-commerce, energy and real estate. 

About Alvarez & Marsal

Companies, investors and government entities around the world turn to Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) when conventional approaches are not enough to make change and achieve results. Privately held since its founding in 1983, A&M is a leading global professional services firm that provides advisory, business performance improvement and turnaround management services. 

With over 3000 people across four continents, we deliver tangible results for corporates, boards, private equity firms, law firms and government agencies facing complex challenges. Our senior leaders, and their teams, help organizations transform operations, catapult growth and accelerate results through decisive action. Comprised of experienced operators, world-class consultants, former regulators and industry veterans, A&M leverages its restructuring heritage to turn change into a strategic business asset, manage risk and unlock value at every stage of growth.

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Carsten Zehm
Zehm Public Relations, +49 1 722 152 877

Sandra Sokoloff, Senior Director of Global Public Relations
Alvarez & Marsal, +1 212-763-9853

Margaret Cameron-Waller, Director of Marketing U.K. & Europe
Alvarez & Marsal, +44 (0) 207 7155202