b. 1958 | married, 4 children | Lawyer
Peter May is one of the leading experts on family businesses and a pioneer in providing strategic consulting to their owners. In a profile, a major German business newspaper described him as “the man who understands families.” The lawyer and business administrator advises and supports well-known business families and is the founder of PETER MAY Family Business Consulting.
Back 1998, he founded INTES, the first company focused on consulting and qualification for business families in Germany, and developed it into the leading brand in its segment. In 2013, he sold INTES to PwC. Since then, he has worked as a strategic consultant and in joint projects with PwC and INTES.
Peter May is an honorary professor at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar and has taught at various universities. From 2008 until 2009, he was Wild Group Chair of Family Business at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Early on, he called for an independent approach to business administration for family businesses. With the INTES Principle, the 3-Dimensional Model, the Owner Strategy and the Family Constitution, he developed important concepts for advising family businesses and business families.
He has also launched numerous initiatives for family businesses. He initiated the world’s first Governance Code for Family Businesses (2004 in Germany and 2005 in Austria) as well as the Family Business Owner of the Year Award (since 2004), the entrepreneurs association FBN Deutschland (since 2000), and the Institute for Family Business at WHU. With the Business Owner Success Forum at Schloss Bensberg (since 1998), he has also created one of the most important conferences for family business owners. Peter May is President of the Governance Commission, Jury Chairman of the Family Business Owner of the Year and Managing Director of FBN Deutschland.
Peter May is also an author and the publisher of numerous publications on the topic of family businesses. His standard works, Erfolgsmodell Familienunternehmen [Family Businesses as Models of Success] and Die Inhaberstrategie im Familienunternehmen [The Owner Strategy in Family Businesses: A Guide], have been translated into various languages.
The areas of focus for Peter May’s work are in in-depth personal support of business-owning families (including advisory and supervisory board activities) as well as taking on difficult and particularly exciting consulting mandates.
His guiding principle is: “Family businesses are my passion. I am happy to have been able to combine this passion with my penchant for sharing knowledge and experience, and to turn my calling into a career. I love my work and everything connected with it.”
DR. KARIN EBEL
b. 1964 | married, 1 child | Lawyer, tax consultant
Karin Ebel is a recognized expert on family businesses. Combining many years of work in owner strategy for business-owning families and expertise in tax laws, she offers a unique approach toward developing ownership strategies and succession concepts. Karin Ebel combines structure and emotion to finds the right solutions for the individual business-owning family. A longtime partner of Peter May, Karin Ebel is particularly familiar with the content of his work.
After earning her degree in law and business administration, Karin Ebel gained her first career experience with family businesses in a well-known law firm before joining Peter May in setting up the consulting business of INTES. After several years of successful self-employment, in early 2016 she became the first partner in PETER MAY Family Business Consulting, which had just been established by Peter May. Karin Ebel is a member of advisory boards and a sought-after speaker at conferences and events for business owners, both in Germany and abroad.
Her guiding principle is: “I have long and repeatedly been fascinated with the tension between family and enterprise. Mingling factual and emotional topics often casts families into a whirlwind of unanswered questions and misunderstandings – causing them to suffer as a result. It is important to break this vicious circle and give every family member adequate space for his or her concerns. To find shared solutions that will last – for the family and the business. That is my passion and my contribution to our business families.”
DR. ARNO LEHMANN-TOLKMITT
b. 1975 | married, 3 children | Lawyer
Business families value Arno Lehmann-Tolkmitt as an expert and confidant. He combines qualifications, experience and a pronounced ability to get people to talk to one another, even in challenging situations, and to lead them to solutions. He assists business owners and business-owning families in the context of moderation and mediation when it comes to personal choices, owner strategies and shaping governance models in succession situations.
As a lawyer, he came to INTES early on. He gained professional diversity through several years working for a private bank and receiving training as a business mediator. His status as partner at INTES Consulting was followed by several years of self-employment before he brought his consulting firm to Peter May Family Business Consulting.
His guiding principle is: “As a family, we’ve never spoken this way about ourselves and our company: If we want to achieve something we’ve never had before, we have to do something we’ve never done before.”
DR. MATTHIAS HÄNDLE
b. 1967 | married, 2 children | Business Economist
Matthias Händle comes from an entrepreneurial family that was at home in many industries: the automotive trade, mechanical engineering and IT. After completing dual studies in Business Administration, he completed his Master of Science and received his PhD from the University of Bradford.
Matthias Händle remained loyal to the trade by joining Wilh. Hamm in Osnabrück, a company owned by his parents-in-law. There, he initially held various management positions before being appointed Managing Partner and CEO of the HR Group in the course of the merger between Hamm and Reno in 2005. Even after the sale of the company in 2016, Matthias Händle continues to work in the presidencies of German and European trade associations and is a member of the Foreign Trade Advisory Board of the Federal Ministry of Economics.
Thanks to his entrepreneurial and personal experience, Matthias Händle’s focal areas of work are in actively supporting the implementation of the ownership strategy as a personal advisor to entrepreneurs and shareholders. He also assumes responsibility as an active advisor or interim CEO.
His guiding principle is: “Put the interests of the company before the interests of the shareholders! I am convinced that this is the only way to achieve the economic goals of the shareholders in the end. However, from my personal experience I am very aware that emotional issues in particular often play a very important role.”
b. 1961 | married, 4 children | Lawyer
Karin May is a lawyer, Master of Mediation and Systemic Coach. She began working with INTES in 2008 and with the team at PETER MAY Family Business Consulting in 2013. To her, it is especially important to support business families as part of a moderated process of interaction on the way to developing fitting governance rules.
From 2011 to 2013, she was Managing Director of the INTES Family Business Academy. For years, she helped shape important events such as the Business Owner Success Forum with the award presented to the to the “Family Business Owner of the Year.”
Thanks to to her dual qualification in legal and systemic questions, the main focus of Karin May’s work is in facilitating orientation and decision-making processes, both in finding solutions to conflicts and in assisting the business-owning family with development of owner-strategy concepts.
Her guiding principle is: “Families whose members have learned to distinguish between the ‘family hat’ and the ‘business hat’ have created an essential basis for conflict reduction."
PROF. DR. SABINE RAU
b. 1962 | 3 children | University lecturer
Sabine Rau is one of the internationally leading female scientists in the field of family businesses and has been advising family businesses for many years. In her combination of consulting and scientific work, she has developed important tools to precisely grasp the situation of the family business and to arrive quickly and efficiently at a solution that can be implemented by all parties involved.
After studying business administration and organizational psychology, Sabine Rau worked at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, the EBS European Business School in Oestrich-Winkel, the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar and at King’s College in London. She is currently Visiting Professor at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and at ESMT (European School of Management and Technology) in Berlin. As founding director at ESMT, she helped establish the world's first institute for hidden champions.
Sabine Rau joined John Ward's Family Business Consulting Group in 2001. She has been a partner at PETER MAY Family Business Consulting since 2017.
Her focal areas of work are in national and international ownership strategy and succession mandates. With great passion she also supports NextGens in developing their place in the family business and the entrepreneurial family.
Her guiding principle is: “As a society, we need family entrepreneurs who take responsibility for their economic actions. It is my pleasure and honor to support and accompany these entrepreneurs and those who grow into such a position to the best of my knowledge and belief.”
b. 1957 | married, 2 children | Lawyer, tax consultant, mediator
Dieter Jeschke is a proven expert in the field of family businesses through his many years of experience both as a consultant and sparring partner to owner families and via his own entrepreneurial activity. The focus of his work lies in the avoidance and moderation of shareholder conflicts through mediation. In addition, he supports the introduction and improvement of governance structures and accompanies owner families in succession processes as well as in implementation of owner strategies. For several decades he has also been active as a supervisory board and advisory board member in family businesses and therefor he has an in-depth knowledge of governance structures of companies from various perspectives.
After studying law and economics, Dieter Jeschke went on to complete master’s degrees in International Taxation, Business Law and Mediation. He began his professional practice in a law firm in Stuttgart, there he was soon made partner. During this time, he specialised in advising family businesses with a focus on succession and family governance. After many years working as a lawyer, he became the sole director of a listed company, which he successfully restructured. He worked there for two 5-year-terms before returning to consulting. Dieter Jeschke is now a partner at PETER MAY Family Business Consulting and Ebel Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft.