The Bertschi Group has appointed Jan Arnet (44) new CEO as of 1 August 2018. Hans-Jörg Bertschi (60), majority shareholder, Chairman of the Board and current CEO, will focus on the Chairmanship and on strategic projects for the Bertschi Group.
The company founded by Hans Bertschi in 1956 has announced a change of management. Hans-Jörg Bertschi will be handing over the operational management of the Bertschi Group to Jan Arnet as of 1 August 2018. After 30 years in the company, 24 of which as Chairman and CEO, Bertschi has decided to broaden the management base and turn his attention to new market activities and major projects for the Group in his capacity as future Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Jan Arnet guarantees continuity at the top
Jan Arnet (44) joined Bertschi as Assistant to the Group Management in 2003. In 2004 he became CFO and one year later CEO of the newly acquired subsidiary Nordic Bulkers in Gothenburg, Sweden. From 2009 onwards he was responsible for the Group’s market entry in the Middle East. Arnet was appointed CFO of Bertschi in 2011. Since 2013 he is heading the Group's largest Business Unit, Liquids Logistics Europe. Jan Arnet lives in the canton of Lucerne and is married with two children. He studied business administration and holds a Master's degree in Corporate Finance.
The right step at the right time
«My decision to withdraw from the operational management of the company is the result of careful consideration within the Board of Directors and the family,» said Bertschi. «We firmly believe that this is the right step at the right time for the company, its customers and its staff.»
Digitalisation and expanding markets are major challenges for the chemical logistics industry. “A broader management team will help Bertschi stay ahead in this fast changing environment. As Executive Chairman of the Board, I will continue to work on a full-time basis and focus on the Group's strategy and innovation projects on Group level,” comments Bertschi.
For the company, this is also an important step to secure a long-term succession, based on continuity. “We want the Bertschi Group to remain a family business. Alongside the second generation of the family, represented by my sister Brigitta Berner-Bertschi and myself, already three members of the third generation are currently working in first management positions within the company. Our third generation can see itself taking over the company management at a later point in time,” said Bertschi.
New head of Business Unit Liquid Logistics Europe
Santiago Gonzalez (40) will lead the Business Unit Liquid Logistics Europe as of 1 August 2018. Santiago Gonzalez is currently head of the Bertschi subsidiaries in Spain and Portugal. Gonzalez has been with Bertschi for the last eight years and has over 15 years’ experience in European liquid chemical logistics. «We are delighted to welcome Santiago Gonzalez on our management team, he will make it even more international,» said Arnet.
Bright prospects for 2018
The management change is taking place in a period of growth for the Bertschi Group. The Group has expanded steadily over the last decades, growing in its core area of logistics for the chemical industry. In 2012 the company launched a globalisation strategy, based on a strong market position in Europe. As a result, more than one third of group sales is now taking place outside Europe. Thanks to the company's global expansion, the strong economy and an acquisition in Belgium, Bertschi Group turnover increased by over 20 percent last year to around 900 million Swiss francs.
Despite the prolonged interruption of the rail tracks near Rastatt in Germany, which caused major disruptions in intermodal transportation in Europe, the Bertschi Group achieved overall a good financial result in 2017. «Our prospects for 2018 are promising. In order to meet the growing demand of our customers, we have once more decided substantial investments in expanding our logistics capacities in Europa and globally. Digitalising our business processes is another important focus for the Group in 2018. We are working intensively on various projects in this area,» reported Bertschi.
In response to the Group's strong growth, two floors will be added to the company headquarters in Dürrenäsch in 2018, an office building constructed just six years ago.