Rainer Schmückle, former COO of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler AG, and current Management Board Member at Autoneum AG, Switzerland, Dometic SA, Stockholm, Sweden, MAN Truck & Bus SE, München, Germany, Kunststoff Schwanden, Switzerland, and Wittur SE, Germany.
Rainer Schmückle studied Economics and Engineering. He held a number of senior positions in the car industry, before being appointed Chief Operating Office of Mercedes Benz Cars at Daimler AG. From 1994-1997 Schmuckle was senior Vice President for Finance and IT at Freighliner, a manufacturer of trucks and a member of Daimler Trucks North America. After that he became President and CEO of Adtranz, a merger of the transport technology divisions of ABB and Daimler Benz. From 2001-2005 he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Daimler Trucks North America. Here he was responsible for Daimler NAFTA Truck Operations, as well as Freightliner Group, Sterling and Western Star Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, Freightliner Custom Chassis and American LaFrance In 2005 he was appointed Head of Production and Purchasing at Mercedes-Benz and COO of Mercedes-Benz Cars Daimler AG. He is also Vice President of Corporate Planning and Finance.
Pursuant to globalisation and business activity internationalisation, companies operate daily in an increasingly complex and tumultuous world full of unexpected events. Political and legal change, market volatility and global financial crisis are only three examples of the commotion that can endanger the survival of companies. In order for companies to be successful, they must develop organisational resilience, which can be defined as the capacity to anticipate potential threats, to effectively manage unexpected events and to learn lessons from them.
- What are the most common tools developed by first-rate companies to generally face unexpected events.
- Is the car industry different to other industrial sectors and how has it responded to recent challenge?
- How is future development in the car industry seen? Is it seen in the co-use of cars, autonomous driving, electrification, other alternative propulsion vehicles?
- Where will Mercedes be?
- How are suppliers generally perceived in the changing car industry and how are Slovenian car part suppliers, structurally a major player in terms of exports and domestic market? How should suppliers adjust?
- How do we define in detail US-Chinese-European relationships in this sector and what are the possible future challenges?
Jan Svejnar, Professor of Global Political Economy and Director of the Center on Global Economic Governance at Columbia University
Jan Svejnar is the James T. Shotwell Professor of Global Political Economy and Director of the Center on Global Economic Governance at Columbia University. He focuses: on (i) the effects of government policies on firms, labor and capital markets; (ii) corporate, national, and global governance and performance; and (iii) entrepreneurship, innovation and investment. Prior to joining the faculty of Columbia University, Jan Svejnar was the Everett E. Berg Professor of Business Administration and Director of the William Davidson Institute at the Ross School of Business, Professor of Economics, and Professor and Director of the International Policy Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. Before Michigan, Jan Svejnar was professor at the University of Pittsburgh and Cornell University. He received his BS from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and his MA and PhD in Economics from Princeton University. He is the author and editor of a number of books and has published widely in academic, policy, and practitioner-oriented journals.
Where are the EU and Slovenia today and how have they been affected by USA-China competition? Europe is facing internal problems, such as Brexit, political disagreements in the EU and similar. What are the EU’s options for getting back on its feet and back to its previous glory, the way it was not so long ago when the political experiment was most promising, particularly economically.
Amit Nastik, global head strategy and operations, Novartis Technical Operations
Amit Nastik is a Global Head Strategy and Operations at Novartis Technical Operations. He has been in the healthcare sector for nearly 15 years (across medical devices, prescription pharmaceuticals, and over-the-counter drugs) holding a variety of key roles of increasing responsibilities in the fields of Strategy, Marketing & Sales, M&A, Finance and General Management. The various roles have allowed him to build a deep understanding for change management, organizational transformations (front- and back-office) and leadership. He is a Swiss national, holding a Master’s business degree from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) and also being an Alumnus of the Harvard Business School. In 2016, he was nominated to the Young Leaders Conference by the American-Swiss Foundation.
As pharmaceutical companies, we should aim to harness the full strength of our organizations to deliver transformative medicines, and improve outcomes and quality of life for patients. The industry is currently investing heavily into the next generation technologies of cell and gene therapies, with a one-time curative treatment potential. We need to find new ways to expand patients’ access to these highly advanced, cost-effective and possibly life-changing treatments by innovative pricing models. Use of big data and digital technologies can help to speed up the development of these innovative medicines and to make them more cheaply and more targeted. Using predictive algorithms to predict cost, quality and enrollment in clinical trials, automating processes in manufacturing, looking at digital technologies to revolutionize supply chains are some areas, which can help us transform to a highly efficient organization. Setting up a corporate culture that empowers its people to be curious and creative, enabling them to do incredible things and come up with the best innovative ideas is also an essential driver to becoming a transformational medicine company. As a responsible member of the society, it is upon us to give back to the society more than we take, by providing access to medicines, strengthening healthcare systems and improving health outcomes via partnerships while always maintaining the highest ethical standards.
Arnoud Boot, professor of Corporate Finance and Financial Markets at the University of Amsterdam, Chairman of the Bank Council of the Dutch Central Bank (DNB)
Arnoud Boot is professor of Corporate Finance and Financial Markets at the University of Amsterdam and fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). He is chairman of the European Finance Association (EFA) and research fellow at the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) in London. Professor Boot is also a member of the Financial Economists Roundtable. From 2011 through 2015 he served on the Inaugural Advisory Committee of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). Earlier he was on the faculty of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago, and during 2000-2001 he was a partner in the Finance and Strategy Practice at McKinsey & Co. Currently he serves as Council Member of the Dutch Scientief Council for Government Policy (WRR). In his work Arnoud Boot focuses on the broad issue of ‘financialization of society’. In a narrow sense, how should we look at and regulate the financial sector? In a broader sense, how does the increasing emphasis on financial measures (e.g. shareholder value, price data from financial markets, often financial performance measures) affect decision making in general. Does it lead to more myopic and/or opportunistic decision making? Can we estimate the impact that AI and fintech have on the financial services industry? Arnoud Boot’s academic contributions have appeared in many leading journals including the American Economic Review and the Journal of Finance.
So-called fintech companies are already adversely affecting the traditional financial industry. Will these newbies entirely change the role of classical financial intermediaries? What will traditional financial intermediaries become pursuant to new technology and business model influence? Conversely, will fintech platforms adopt traditional intermediary business models because regulator and supervisor pressure? Where will the two worlds meet, and how will they approach each other and partly unite?
Stefan Häbich, Managing Director, George Labs GmbH, Erste Group Research and Development
Stefan is Managing Director of George Labs, the Erste Group Research and Development Lab. He is part of Erste Group since 12 years and lead several Management- and Program Management functions. Prior to this Stefan spent 7 years with one of the global Technology- and Strategy consulting firms. His professional roots are in Deutsche Bank. He holds a Master in economics and psychology and is proud of his family and his 2 kids.
Veljko Bole, Senior Research Fellow, EIPF
For over three decades he has been employed at the Economic Institute of the Law School (EIPF), where he currently holds the position of Senior Research Fellow. Between 1989 and 1990 he was employed as Economic Consultant of the Yugoslavian Government, and in the years between 1991 and 1997 he was a member of the Management Board of the Bank of Slovenia. Between 1992 and 2002 he was a member of the Economic Council of the Slovenian Government, and since 2004 he has been also an Advisor to the Macedonian Government. Bole regularly participates in the creation of the economic trend forecasts and the analysis of the government’s economic policy, as well as economic forecasts for the Euro zone.
This leading Slovenian economist is one of the Portorož Business Conference regular speakers and he will present an economic picture of Slovenia and SE Europe’s today and how he perceives the coming few years.
Časnik Finance Exceptional Economic Achievement Award Ceremony
Faculty of Economic Research: Innovation Governance: Leading the Winners
Debora Revoltella, Director of the Economics Department of the European Investment Bank
Debora Revoltella is Director of the Economics Department of the European Investment Bank. It is also responsible for assessing the impact of EIB activities and the results generated by EIB financed projects. Since her arrival at the EIB in 2011, Debora Revoltella has designed and led the work for flagship publications such as the EIB Investment Report.She launched the idea and led the process for the design and implementation of the EIB Investment Survey, a new survey covering 12,500 European firms which has become a unique asset in terms of understanding investment dynamics in Europe. Debora Revoltella holds a degree in Economics and a Master in Economics from Bocconi University as well as a PhD in Economics from the University of Ancona in Italy. After her experience as an Adjunct Professor in Macroeconomics at Bocconi University, Debora joined the research department of Banca Commerciale Italiana, a leading Italian Bank. In 2001, she joined UniCredit as the Chief Economist for Central and Eastern Europe.
Without extensive investment, the EU will not be able to match up to the USA and, especially, China. Over the last few years, even decades, the EU as champion of traditional industry has started to lose the game against Silicon Valley, as well as Asia’s new technological giants, particularly Chinese companies. How will we start investing in the necessary infrastructure and knowledge to catch up with our competitors and even surpass them and not become a museum?
Johann Stadler, Head of Manufacturing & Industry 4.0, Hilti Befestigungstechnik AG
Johann Stadler as Head of Manufacturing & Industry 4.0 at Hilti driving the company’s production digitalization journey. Prior to that assignment he oversaw enterprise wide, strategic and innovative IT projects for the Hilti group. Within his 10+ years within the organization he successfully planned and realized projects in all IT areas containing SAP (R/3 and S/4HANA), Infrastructure projects. Innovative cloud projects like O365, SAP Business ByDesign, Internal Social Media with Yammer and “Citrix as a Service” on MS Azure transformed Hilti to a digital company. Now production will become digital wherever it makes sense. He is holding a master’s in computer science (Rosenheim University of Applied Science), a bachelor’s in business administration (University of Liechtenstein) and is teaching project management in several institutions (Microsoft, Red bull, BMW…).
Current Slovenian company ownership structure and where we are headed?
Marcel Fratzscher, economist, author and columnist on economic and social issues, President of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) – one of Europe’s leading independent research institutes and think tanks – and Professor of Macroeconomics at Humboldt-University Berlin.
Marcel Fratzscher is an economist, author and columnist on economic and social issues. He is President of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) – one of Europe’s leading independent research institutes and think tanks – and Professor of Macroeconomics at Humboldt-University Berlin. He is member of the High-level Advisory Board of the United Nations on the sustainable development goals (SDGs), Associate Editor of the Journal of International Economics, member of the scientific advisory board of the German Ministry of the Economy and member of the supervisory board of Hertie School of Governance. He engages for the equality of opportunity for disadvantaged children as member of various boards for Kreuzberger Kinderstiftung, Deutschland Rundet Auf and Welthungerhilfe.
His work focuses on macroeconomics, inequality and European integration. He has published three books in German and English since 2014, has a bi-weekly column in Zeit Online (in German) and regularly contributes op-eds in the German and international media, including the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and Project Syndicate. He is one of Germany’s best-published economists and has received several awards for his academic and policy work. He is a European and German citizen.
Marcel Fratzscher will talk about how Germany, Slovenia’s most important partner, will develop in the coming years, where it is now and where it will be in five years, and whether it, an extremely traditional economic power, will be able to overcome internal political crisis and speed up investment in infrastructure and knowledge to catch up with China.