iolite recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. I would like to use this opportunity to thank a few people that have helped me tremendously along the way.
- Eli Noam, Professor of Economics and Finance at the Columbia Business School, was kind enough to offer me a desk in his institute when I asked to write my master thesis in New York. From him, I learned what it means if a sharp mind uses common sense applied to real world topics (a stark contrast to the abstract and hierarchical teaching methods in the German-speaking world).
- Tammo Andersch was the first person to offer me a full-time job as a restructuring consultant at KPMG. I had little to show except for passion and curiosity but this didn’t put Tammo off. With him, I travelled Europe, restructuring distressed companies and learning a lot about what makes some businesses and industries great – and others fail.
- Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and Joel Greenblatt taught me an investment approach that immediately and intuitively made sense. Through them, I found my calling.
- Erk Schuchhardt was and continues to be a mentor and a friend with an infectious entrepreneurial spirit, empathy and a curious mind. He is proof that you can become successful without being cynical and political.
- Guy Spier, a friend and mentor in the investment world, taught me all those things that don’t make the textbooks, but that are so crucial to master life and build a business ultimately based on trust.
Last but not least, I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of my family.