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About us

Leading communications and business advisors. Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors is a partnership of leading Swiss communications and business consultants. We advise our clients on corporate communications, public relations, financial and capital market communications, crisis communications, M&A and public affairs, helping them to develop the right strategies and content.

Many years of experience and an extensive network of contacts. Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors brings together international, multicultural experience, tried and tested expertise in communications and crisis management, and an extensive network of personal contacts in business, political, cultural and public sector circles. It is the leading consultancy in Switzerland for M&A transactions and IPOs.

Advocates for their clients. The partners at Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors regard themselves as their clients' advocates in all communications matters. They help clients develop the right strategies and content, and use their expertise and extensive contacts to ensure that this content reaches the defined target groups.

Individual consultancy and personal support. Advice and support is provided on a very individual level. Each client is looked after personally by one of the partners. Each of the partners has years of senior management experience at international corporations as well as extensive practical knowledge of the communications market.

National and international networks. With offices in Zurich, Bern and Geneva the consultancy has a presence in Switzerland's most important economic and political centers. Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors is the only Swiss member of AMO and Fipra, the world's leading international consultancy networks for financial communications and public affairs.

 

Our values and principles

  • Professionalism, independence, integrity, reliability, honesty and discretion are our fundamental values when advising clients.
  • In everything we do we are guided by our client's best interests.
  • Our consultants' expertise, experience and contacts are available to all clients.
  • Each partner personally manages and takes responsibility for his or her mandates.
  • We are fully committed to our clients' interests, but always maintain the necessary critical distance.
  • Our advice and recommendations are always impartial.
  • We will refuse or terminate any mandate that is not or is no longer consistent with our principles.
  • We avoid conflicts of interest and are completely transparent to our clients about mandates from rivals.
  • In all of our activities we comply with the relevant Swiss laws, and when we talk to people or interact with our stakeholders we do so responsibly and with respect for their roles.
  • The firm as a whole vouches for each partner and bears responsibility for all the obligations and responsibilities each partner takes on.

Working with clients. We advise our clients on political options, strategies and tactics. We show them the limits and the possibilities of the political opinion-forming process. We always respect the conventions of parliament and the executive.

The contacts we nurture are always based on trust. We always act with complete transparency towards our clients and the people we talk to.

Our approach to public affairs and lobbying. In Switzerland, lobbying is regulated by and enshrined in the law.* It facilitates access to a broad range of arguments, so that opinions are formed on the basis of many different sources of information.

Our work is characterized by respect for the roles, rights and duties of the people we talk to in politics, business and society. We inform these people transparently about our aims and our clients.

Our job is to represent the interests of our clients within the context of the political, economic and social environment. By doing this we help to get a hearing for different points of view.

* Federal Constitution; Parliament Act, e.g. Art. 11; Operational Regulations of the National Council and the Council of States, e.g. Chapter 4; Federal Act on the Consultation Process; Federal Act on the Principle of Transparency in the Administration, etc.

 

Global network

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors is the only Swiss member of the main international consultancy networks for financial communications and public affairs:

amo

AMO is the leading partnership for strategy and finance communications worldwide; Its best-in-class approach brings together local-market leaders with unrivalled knowledge of stakeholder perceptions, financial markets and cross-border transactions in the key financial centers of Europe, Asia and the Americas. Providing sophisticated communications counsel for reputation management, M&A and capital market transactions, media relations, investor relations and corporate crises.

AMO currently serves its clients through offices in the UK, the United States, Canada, GermanyFrance, Italy, Russia, Spain and Latin America, the NetherlandsSweden and China.

AMO regularly comes first in the league tables compiled by Mergermarket, the international investment banking information service.

fipra

Fipra (Foresight International Policy and Regulatory Advisers), is the world's leading international public affairs advisory network. Based in Brussels, its members include the best advisors on public affairs, public policy and regulation. It also helps clients with advice on government relations and regulatory issues. Since it was founded in 2000, Fipra has spread its network worldwide and is now active in over 60 countries.

 

Consultancy

  • Strategy development and support
  • Communications and positioning concepts
  • Topic management
  • Reputation analysis and management
  • Issue management and crisis communications
  • Litigation PR
  • Social media strategy
  • Brand strategy
  • Corporate social responsibility strategy

 

Media & public relations

  • Nurturing and brokering relations with media outlets
  • Writing and editing texts, briefings and Q&As
  • Publication of press releases
  • Planning and organizing press conferences and dialog platforms
  • Media monitoring and analysis

 

Public affairs

  • Political and business lobbying – nationally and internationally in over 60 countries
  • Nurturing relationships with authorities and parliamentarians
  • Stakeholder analysis and management
  • Developing campaign strategies
  • Political issues analysis and issue management

 

Capital market communications and transactions

  • Development and implementation of communication strategies for capital market transactions
  • M&A and IPO communications
  • Best practice & perception analysis
  • Proxy-fights and defense
  • Investor targeting and roadshows
  • Planning, organizing and supporting investor and analyst events
  • Concepts and content development for IR presentations and websites

 

Documentation

  • Management presentations
  • Planning and editing information documents
  • Ghostwriting (including speeches, position statements, presentations)

 

Coaching & training

  • Workshops
  • Media training
  • Crisis communication training

 

Communication audits

  • Assessing effectiveness and efficiency of all communication activities
  • Fitness test for corporate communications
  • IR audit

 

Aloys Hirzel

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors
Gottfried Keller-Strasse 7
CH-8024 Zurich

Phone: +41 43 344 42 42
Fax: +41 43 344 42 40
Mobile: +41 79 401 43 79
aloys.hirzel@konsulenten.ch

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Aloys Hirzel

Corporate management as a public concern. Greater and greater demands are being placed on corporate decision-makers and project managers. Uncertainty abounds and corporate and personal images can quickly alter. Consumers, investors and many other stakeholder groups want businesses to take clear positions. The social skills of managers and businesses play an increasingly important role in fulfilling this demand.

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors analyzes public opinion of national and international companies, public bodies, governments and high-profile individuals. Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors is committed to optimizing the way the public views its clients.

Core competencies. The main focus of Aloys Hirzel's work includes

  • Developing and implementing innovative strategies for internal and external corporate communications in normal and crisis situations
  • Consolidating individual interests in order to push through overriding corporate concepts and strategies
  • Communications support for strategic projects (restructurings, acquisitions, mergers, IPOs)
  • Managing reputations and expectations

Experience. Aloys Hirzel was co-founder and until 1996 chairman of the board and managing partner of Trimedia Communications, Switzerland's largest internationally active communications consultancy.

Until 1976 he was head of communications and press for the Mövenpick group of companies.

Before this he worked as a journalist for various daily newspapers. Aloys Hirzel is a member of the International Public Relations Association and the European Association of Political Consultants (EAPC). He also lectures at universities and business schools.

Dr. Jörg Neef

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors
Gottfried Keller-Strasse 7
CH-8024 Zurich

Phone: +41 43 344 42 42
Fax: +41 43 344 42 40
Mobile: +41 79 405 56 32
joerg.neef@konsulenten.ch

Dr. Jörg Neef

Identification and objectivity. Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors’ role centers on professional communications and the management of special situations. We fulfill this role by analyzing situations that are important for our clients and acting as a constructive critic.

We identify with our clients' rightful interests without forfeiting the necessary objectivity.

Core competencies. Jörg Neef's core competencies include

  • Acting as an independent sparring partner for senior managers, executive boards and supervisory bodies
  • Developing and implementing strategies to position companies and their leading figures effectively with stakeholder groups
  • Supporting change processes (mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, restructurings) for nationally and internationally active companies

Experience. Jörg Neef holds a Ph.D. in economics and social sciences. He completed studies at the universities of Zurich, Nice and Stanford (USA).

Before joining Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors, he was managing director in charge of worldwide corporate and marketing communications for the investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB).

Until 1996 Jörg Neef was the Corporate Secretary and Chief Communications Officer of Credit Suisse and until 1985 he was co-head of Economic Research at Credit Suisse.

Before that and until 1977 he was a business editor with the «Neue Zürcher Zeitung».

Dr. Victor Schmid

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors
Kramgasse 16
CH-3011 Berne

Phone: +41 31 312 64 33
Fax: +41 31 312 64 35
Mobile: +41 79 350 05 37
victor.schmid@konsulenten.ch

LinkedIn

Dr. Victor Schmid

Credibility. Decision-makers are becoming increasingly isolated, but at the same time the challenges involved in dealing with demanding stakeholders are growing constantly. It is vital, therefore, to be able to activate the right networks of contacts.

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors uses networks that have been built up over many years to give its clients access to the necessary business, political, cultural and social circles. We forge the contacts our clients need and help nurture them.

Core competencies. Victor Schmid's core competencies include

  • Brokering contacts with governments, public authorities, the media, and business and cultural circles
  • Positioning and profiling companies and leading business figures
  • Developing and implementing communications strategies for M&As, IPOs and going-private projects
  • Personal communications and presentational training for managers and opinion-formers

Experience. Victor Schmid, holds a Ph.D. in sociology and political sciences. He was a freelance communications consultant until 1996.

Until 1994 he was first vice president/head of corporate communications of Ascom Holding AG.

Until 1991, he was an advisor to Swiss Federal Councilor Flavio Cotti and press spokesman for the Federal Department of Home Affairs; before this he worked in various positions as a communications manager and journalist. Victor Schmid is president and co-founder of the Club Politique de Berne, a unique club for members only dedicated to political issues in Berne.

Dr. Matthias D. Knill

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors
Gottfried Keller-Strasse 7
CH-8024 Zurich

Phone: +41 43 344 42 42
Fax: +41 43 344 42 40
Mobile: +41 79 218 16 30
matthias.knill@konsulenten.ch

LinkedIn

Dr. Matthias D. Knill

Communicating change. Change requires communication. Increasing globalization, new technologies and far-reaching structural change continue to influence our social and economic environment. Companies, institutions and organizations cannot avoid these changes. However, they can actively help to shape them and can exploit the opportunities they create.
Active and professional communication has to be part of this process.

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors supports and helps its clients with significant change processes. We see ourselves as advocates who represent our client's interests keenly but with objectivity.

Core competencies. Matthias Knill's core competencies include

  • Communications support in change processes
  • Developing and implementing messages in difficult situations
  • Supporting the effective communication of scientific issues to different target groups

Experience. Matthias D. Knill, who holds a Ph.D. in natural sciences from the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, was head of corporate communications for the SIG Group from 1999 to 2005.

Before this (from 1995) he was a scientist and deputy manager of the communication department at Nagra (Switzerland's National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste).

Prior to this Matthias Knill worked as assistant lecturer at various institutes of the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.

lic. oec. publ. Jürg Wildberger

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors
Gottfried Keller-Strasse 7
CH-8024 Zurich

Phone: +41 43 344 42 42
Fax: +41 43 344 42 40
Mobile: +41 79 351 10 24
juerg.wildberger@konsulenten.ch

LinkedIn

lic. oec. publ. Jürg Wildberger

Communication skills. Business success depends on the ability to succeed in the opinions market. Companies are judged on their communication skills all the time – not just during crises. Decision makers have to present the facts quickly and convincingly every day.

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors are highly skilled at communicating themes and developments to a public audience. We help our clients to manage information professionally and deal effectively with the media.

Core competencies. Jürg Wildberger’s main focuses include

  • Development of communications strategies tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of the print media, TV, Internet and mobile media
  • Communications support for innovative business initiatives and change processes
  • Strengths/weaknesses analysis for companies, institutions and leaders
  • Formulating communications strategies for companies and CEOs, with particular reference to reputation and sustainability
  • Personal coaching and support for CEOs in difficult media situations

Experience. Jürg Wildberger has wide experience of journalism and business. After studying economics at the University of Zurich he worked as a business journalist at «Finanz und Wirtschaft» and then took a senior role at the «Bernr Zeitung».

In 1995 he became the first editor-in-chief of the newly founded news magazine «FACTS» and was later also appointed editor-in-chief of «Weltwoche». He was deputy editor-in-chief of the «European Business Channel» and in 1990 founded the «10 vor 10» news magazine on Swiss television. In 1998 he set up TV3, the first fully programmed private Swiss television station, which he led until 2002.

Finally he was the co-owner and managing director of the interactive voice and mobile data communications company Voice Publishing AG.

lic. rer. pol. Hugo Schittenhelm

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors
Kramgasse 16
CH-3011 Berne

Phone: +41 31 312 64 33
Fax: +41 31 312 64 35
Mobile: +41 79 239 32 50
hugo.schittenhelm@konsulenten.ch

LinkedIn

lic. rer. pol. Hugo Schittenhelm

Sustained communication. Only those who build on trust, clarity and transparency in dialogue with their stakeholders provide sustained communication. The decision-maker must be able to base himself on a well-founded analysis of the economic, social and politically relevant circumstances. The communication strategy needs to be formulated and implemented in such a way that it simultaneously serves widely differing fields of interest.

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors ask the right questions in order to place the communication of its clients in a position which creates sustainability and trust. A reputation is based on transparency and clarity in appearance as well as credible anchoring. And for that anchoring, we are able to offer a comprehensive network and broad experience at the highest levels.

Core competencies. The core competencies of Hugo Schittenhelm include

  • Development of communication strategies for companies and institutions based on well-founded analyses of the political and economic circumstances
  • Introduction of sustainable relationships with governments, public authorities, the media, business and culture
  • Strategies for the systematic monitoring of political-regulatory processes
  • Crisis prevention and communication

Experience. Prior to joining Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors as a partner, Hugo Schittenhelm, lic.rer. pol., (focus on economics), was a freelance communication consultant in Bern.

From 1999 until the end of 2005, he was the head of communication for Federal Councillor Moritz Leuenberger and managed the press and information service of the Federal Department for Environment, Traffic, Energy and Communication.

Earlier, he had supported Federal Councillors Kaspar Villiger and Otto Stich as their spokesman at the Federal Ministry of Finance. In the earliest days of his career, he worked as a political journalist for «Associated Press» and the daily newspaper «Der Bund».

lic. oec. publ. Rolf D. Schläpfer

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors
Gottfried Keller-Strasse 7
CH-8024 Zürich

Phone: +41 43 344 42 42
Fax: +41 43 344 42 40
rolf.schlaepfer@konsulenten.ch

LinkedIn

lic. oec. publ. Rolf D. Schläpfer

People-oriented communication. Successful communication has to focus on the long term, but it must nevertheless be able to adapt to new circumstances. And everything has to centre on people: good communications consultancy enables senior managers and businesses to gain approval for their ideas among different people and interest groups with the minimum of fuss. The prerequisites for this are credibility, authenticity and careful preparation.

By providing professional structure and support for communications, Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors helps companies and leaders to create added value in their day-to-day work and in special situations.

Core competencies. Rolf Schläpfer's core competencies include

  • Developing and implementing strategies to position companies, projects and their leaders
  • Advising and coaching business leaders, communications managers and teams
  • Preventing and coping with crisis situations
  • Capital market transactions (mergers, acquisitions, IPOs) and follow up
  • Helping with change processes (strategy, change management)

Experience. Rolf Schläpfer, M. A. (Economics), was in charge of worldwide corporate communications at Roche for ten years up to 2008. He was the first communications professional to join the Enlarged Executive Committee of the Swiss based Fortune 50 company.

During his studies he worked at the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. After graduating in business management he joined Colgate, where he was responsible for several international brands. Between 1987 and 1997 he was a senior partner at the Wirz Group. One of his roles here was as CEO of Wirz Identity AG, which he co-founded and built up into a leading provider of company and brand positioning services.

Rolf Schläpfer lectures in communications at various universities.

Marie-Hélène Hancock

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors
Rue de Malatrex 50
CH-1211 Geneva 11

Phone: +41 22 340 28 45
Fax: +41 22 940 26 27
Mobile: +41 79 204 21 22
marie-helene.hancock@konsulenten.ch

LinkedIn

Marie-Hélène Hancock

Making sense of communications. Before communicating, it is important to make sense of why we are trying to do so ; communications is a means, not an end. First of all, we need to understand the essence of a brand, to decide how best to manage such an asset, and to define the audience we want to reach. Only then is it possible to determine which tools are the most appropriate to achieve this aim. And sometimes, it may even be necessary to choose not to communicate at all.

The subject may be a business organization, an institution or an individual - we may wish to speak about a product or a service, or to build up a personal image. But the preliminary phase always remains the same.
This is why Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Conseillers first of all assist their clients at the strategic level, to make sure that all actions taken from then on, either in the short term or within a longer timeframe, make sense and contribute, each at their own level, to constructing and transmitting an image.

Core competencies. Marie-Hélène Hancock's core skills include

  • Developing brand strategies and transposing them on an operational application, in Switzerland and worldwide
  • Advising on the choice of communications tools and their content, both visual and verbal
  • Providing personal advice, particularly in coaching
  • Handling relations with the media, either for a specific project or on a long-term basis

Experience. Marie-Hélène Hancock holds a degree in business management, with a specialization in finance, from the University of Geneva as well as a Master of Advanced Studies in Visualization and Communication Graphics from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL).

From 1995 to 2008, she worked with the Pictet banking group, Switzerland’s leading private banker, first as Press Officer and then, for eight years, as the Group Head of Corporate Communications with responsibility for Switzerland and worldwide. She previously worked as a Senior Account Executive with the representative of Hill & Knowlton in French-speaking Switzerland.

MA Dominique Reber

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors
Kramgasse 16
CH-3011 Berne

Phone: +41 31 312 64 33
Fax: +41 31 312 64 35
Mobile: +41 76 405 65 85
dominique.reber@konsulenten.ch

LinkedIn

MA Dominique Reber

Protection of interest. Switzerland is notable for its tight web of political interests. In a direct democracy it is particularly important for companies and their managers to identify the right trends so they can adopt the right strategic positions. Interaction with government bodies, trade associations and politicians is, therefore, crucial. Doing this effectively requires knowledge, but also instinct, tact, good timing and personal skills. Integrated public affairs work is the key to success in Switzerland and internationally.

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors know the political trends and understand how to develop effective strategies from this knowledge. We help companies and their senior managers make the right decisions and then act on these decisions in their dealings with parliament, public authorities and the government. Thanks to our partnership with FIPRA, we also have an excellent network of contacts at the highest level in the EU and internationally.

Core competencies. The main focus of Dominique Reber's work includes

  • Formulating integrated political strategies for companies
  • Analysis of trends and developments in the political world
  • Implementation of political activities involving public authorities, parliament and media
  • Personal coaching in communications and politics for business leaders
  • Brokering contacts with politicians and public authorities at the national and international level
  • Developing positioning concepts for companies and organizations with a strong interest in political and social matters
  • Crisis communications

Experience. Dominique Reber was a member of the Executive Board of economiesuisse, the umbrella association for Swiss business until 2012. He led political work relating to major infrastructure projects, energy supply and environmental issues. Among other things he attended the 2010 Copenhagen climate change negotiations as a member of the Swiss government’s delegation.

Before this, Dominique Reber worked in various positions in lobbying, corporate communications and journalism, with an emphasis on IT and communications technology. This included spells as Head of Communications at Sunrise Communications AG and Head of Public Affairs at Swisscom AG and at eBay International in Europe.

Dominique Reber has a Masters in History and romanistic literature and linguistics Studies from Basel University, as well as an Executive Masters in International and European Business Law from St. Gallen University.

lic. phil. Andrés Luther

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors
Gottfried Keller-Strasse 7
CH-8024 Zurich

Phone: +41 43 344 42 42
Fax: +41 43 344 42 40
andres.luther@konsulenten.ch

LinkedIn

lic. phil. Andrés Luther

Creating value through information and trust. If information is to create value, it has to be communicated effectively and understood properly. Our aim is to increase added value for our clients by helping ensure their strategies, views, campaigns, services and products are known and understood by the relevant target groups. The Swiss economy is one of the most closely interlinked and competitive in the world. For any Swiss company, credible, transparent, timely communication with a wide variety of different audiences in domestic and global markets via traditional and web-based media is crucial to business success.

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors has the expertise to help clients fulfill these complex demands. We know how communication can support business objectives most effectively. We have assisted with a broad range of complex projects, and we have designed and implemented successful communications strategies in response to some of the biggest crisis situations of recent years.

Core competencies. The main focus of Andrés Luther's work includes

  • Management of strategic communications projects and board-level consultancy
  • Issues management and communications support for legal cases
  • Capital market communications and investor relations
  • Development and implementation of communications strategies in the fields of corporate governance, corporate responsibility and sustainability
  • Development and implementation of online and social media strategies

Experience. Andrés Luther MA worked in various communications roles at Credit Suisse for more than 10 years up to 2014. From 2005 he was Head of Group Communications and from 2011 Co-Head of Corporate Communications with responsibility for group-level communications, worldwide private banking and the Swiss and Asia-Pacific regions. Before that, Andrés Luther was Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications at Day Software, an internet software company that is now part of Adobe Software.

Andrés Luther has a Masters degree in English and Spanish literature and language from the University of Basel.

Rob Hartmans

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Konsulenten AG

Gottfried Keller-Strasse 7
CH-8024 Zurich 


Phone: +41 43 344 42 42
Fax: +41 43 344 42 40
Mobile: +41 79 254 03 66
rob.hartmans@konsulenten.ch

LinkedIn

Rob Hartmans

Change requires understanding. If you want to change something, you have to win people over to your cause. And if you want to win people over, you need to make sure they’re listening to you and that they understand what you are saying to them. Unless businesses understand their investors, employees and customers, they will not succeed. And in Switzerland’s direct democracy, proposed new laws have no chance if they aren’t supported by the majority of the Swiss people and cantonal representatives.

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors helps clients create wider understanding and acceptance of their actions. We use our extensive experience and expertise in strategy and communication issues to support organizations and leaders, and help protect their legitimate interests. We do this as an equal partner: always loyal, but never uncritical. And always focused on the goal.

Core competencies. Rob Hartmans’ core competencies include

  • Developing and implementing strategies and concepts for purposeful and effective corporate communications and media relations
  • Advising and supporting clients on communications and policy
  • Sparring partner for communication managers and their teams in crises and change processes (turnarounds, restructurings, acquisitions)
  • Trade association work and lobbying

Experience. Before joining Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors as a Partner, Rob Hartmans was an independent consultant for strategy, communication and policy with offices in Zurich, Bern and Zug.

From 2006 to 2014 he was Head of Corporate Communications at Helsana and played a central role in the company’s work with trade associations. Before that, Rob Hartmans worked for Swiss Life (2001-2006, responsible for PR and media work in the Swiss market), as well as in various communications functions at Zurich Insurance (1996 to 2001, ultimately responsible for worldwide internal communications). Prior to his switch to corporate communications, he was a journalist and editor at various newspapers for ten years.

Rob Hartmans studied history and political science at the University of Zurich and has an Executive Master’s in general management from the University of St. Gallen.

Dr. Roger Gaberell

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors
Rue de Malatrex 50
CH-1211 Geneva 11

Phone: +41 22 555 28 46
Fax: +41 22 940 26 27
Mobile: +41 79 641 42 57
roger.gaberell@konsulenten.ch

LinkedIn

Dr. Roger Gaberell

Communication and cooperation. These days, organizations and their representatives are bound up in a network of socio-economic interests that change constantly, rapidly and in ways that are hard to predict.

Successfully mastering the latest challenges in this complex environment requires the right connections, high-quality communication, and genuine cooperation between all interested parties - clients, partners, competitors, stakeholders, influencers …

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors helps its clients gain control over the key mechanisms for communication and cooperation. We provide real added value in matters of strategy, facilitation and the implementation of appropriate measures.

Core competencies. Roger Gaberell's core competencies include:

  • Issue management
  • Developing communication strategies and helping with operational implementation
  • Relationship-building and cooperation with interested parties
  • Establishing, training and supporting crisis communications
  • Supporting strategic projects and change processes
  • (Re)positioning organizations and their leaders

Experience. Until 2017, Roger Gaberell, who has a DPhil in Linguistics and is an SDM-qualified mediator, was Head of Corporate Communications and Member of the Extended Executive Board of Skyguide, the Swiss civil and military air traffic control service.

Until 2008, he was Deputy Head with responsibility for internal communications and corporate culture.

In these roles he had to manage a series of extraordinary situations.

Roger Gaberell studied, researched and taught at the Universities of Zurich and Geneva.

Dr. Erich E. Vad

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Konsulenten AG

Gottfried Keller-Strasse 7
CH-8024 Zurich 


Phone: +41 43 344 42 42
Fax: +41 43 344 42 40
erich.vad@konsulenten.ch

Dr. Erich E. Vad

Core competencies. Erich Vad’s core competencies include

  • Strengthening business relations between Switzerland and Germany, particularly relations with government agencies, parliament, companies and business associations in Switzerland and Germany
  • Developing and implementing strategies within change and adaptation processes
  • Crisis communications and crisis management; corporate security precautions
  • International security and risk analysis; preserving digital self-determination
  • Consultancy on leadership and strategy in the military, politics and business
  • Preparing and implementing complex negotiating situations

Experience. Erich Vad was military policy advisor to German Chancellor Angela Merkel for many years with the rank of Brigadier-General, as well as Group Leader in the Federal Chancellery and Secretary of the National Security Council, the Federal Republic of Germany’s highest ranking security body.

As a young officer, Erich Vad wrote his doctoral thesis, supervised by Israeli military historian Jehuda L. Wallach, on the modern relevance of Carl von Clausewitz’s strategic thinking. In subsequent years his work took him to the USA, where he lectured at institutions including Johns Hopkins University and the National Defense University in Washington DC, as well as to NATO and the EU in Brussels, and to the German Ministry of Defense, Foreign Office and Bundestag.

Erich Vad spent many years in leadership and policy-shaping positions in the military and politics, and more recently has been advising businesses that value his expertise and his independent, strategic judgment. He also teaches as a lecturer at the Universities of Munich and Salzburg.

His professional and academic expertise, as well as his numerous publications and talks, range across military and contemporary history and strategy, international relations, foreign and security policy, leadership, policy advice, self-management and strategic business leadership.

Erich Vad is an expert on making connections, acting and taking decisions in three different worlds: the military, politics and business. He understands the differences, similarities and synergies between these three worlds, and the distinct ways of thinking and acting in each. And he knows how to communicate these insights very effectively to his partners and clients.

M.A. HSG Yves Böni

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Konsulenten AG

Gottfried Keller-Strasse 7
CH-8024 Zurich 


Phone: +41 43 344 42 42
Fax: +41 43 344 42 40
Mobile: +41 78 775 01 01
yves.boeni@konsulenten.ch

LinkedIn

M.A. HSG Yves Böni

Clear messages create trust. Today, anyone with a smartphone can consume news round-the-clock or generate news themselves. New information spreads rapidly and affects how companies and individuals are seen by the public. Financial markets react instantaneously; a loss of reputation can cost vast sums of money. This is the environment in which leaders formulate their strategy, and the way they communicate their decisions is particularly crucial. Clear and understandable messages help build long-term reputations and trust, making it easier to navigate difficult obstacles.

In this dynamic environment, the experts at Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors use their many years of experience to help clients assess situations correctly, focus their communication strategies appropriately and implement them effectively.

Core competences. Yves Böni’s core competences include

  • Strategic positioning of companies, leaders and projects
  • Advising leaders on a personal level and coaching on communications inside and outside their company
  • Developing and implementing communication strategies for businesses in mission-critical situations (restructurings, mergers and acquisitions)
  • Issues management and crisis communications

Experience. Yves Böni, M.A. HSG, started his career at strategic communications consultancy Hering Schuppener in Frankfurt, where he advised a wide range of clients in corporate communications from 2009 to 2014. From 2014 to 2016 he worked as media spokesperson for UBS AG, dealing with issues in the personal banking and wealth management segments.

In 2016, Yves Böni joined the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock in Zurich, where he headed corporate communications for the Swiss market. Most recently, he worked at BlackRock in London as chief of staff and personal adviser to BlackRock Vice Chairman Philipp Hildebrand.

Yves Böni has a master’s degree in marketing, services and communications management; he studied at the University of St. Gallen (HSG) and the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.

News & Events

SIFF 2018

The NZZ Swiss International Finance Forum takes place in Zurich on October 25, 2018. More than 300 decision-makers and experts from Switzerland and abroad, from the financial industry, politics, public service, business and academia will discuss the future of the Swiss financial industry. Distinguished figures, including Sir John Major, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and Ben Rhodes, senior advisor to Barack Obama, will be sharing their views on the current situation and future trends within the financial sector. Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors is once again a partner of the NZZ Swiss International Finance Forum. Further information about the 2018 event can be found here.

Erich E. Vad, long-time advisor to the German Chancellor, becomes Partner at Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors

Zurich/Bern/Geneva, June 27, 2018 – Dr Erich E. Vad (59), long-term military policy advisor to German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the rank of Brigadier-General, will join Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors, one of Switzerland’s leading strategic communications and financial consultancies, as a Partner.

(Media release)

Rob Hartmans becomes Partner and Yves Böni becomes Principal at Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors

Zurich/Bern/Geneva, June 20, 2018 – On July 1, 2018, Rob Hartmans, former communications director of Helsana and since 2015 an independent business consultant focusing on insurance and healthcare, becomes a Partner in Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors, one of Switzerland’s leading communications and financial consultancies.

Also joining Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors on July 1, 2018 is Yves Böni (34), who will add strength to the financial services practice in particular.

(Media release)

AMO to Partner with Deekeling Arndt Advisors to Serve the German Market

11.07.2016 – AMO, the leading global partnership of corporate and financial communications consultancies, and Deekeling Arndt Advisors, a leading strategic communications consultancy in Germany, today announced that Deekeling Arndt Advisors has joined the AMO Partnership as part of an ambitious expansion strategy to serve the financial communication needs of companies operating in and outside the German market. Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors is already since 2007 exclusive Swiss member of AMO. (Media release)

Lifefair

Forum Lifefair organizes regular discussion events with interesting keynote speakers on the theme of sustainability.

News on events you can find here.

Forum Einstein

The Forum Einstein is an independent institution for the promotion of dialog between opinion leaders from business, academia and politics. Its aim is to discuss social issues and develop possible solutions outside of party politics, ideologies or preconceived views.

News on events you can find here.

SIFF

Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Counselors is a partner of the Swiss International Finance Forum (SIFF), a leading international platform for the financial and capital markets. The Forum brings together decision-makers from the financial industry, business, public authorities, institutions and politics.

News on events you can find here.

Publications

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