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Wolfgang Kirsch: Banker becomes Chairman of the Fresenius Supervisory Board

E.A era is coming to an end: The health care group Fresenius is getting a new chairman of the supervisory board in the form of the former DZ bank boss Wolfgang Kirsch. Kirsch will take over the post from Gerd Krick at the end of the general meeting in May next year, as the Dax group announced on Tuesday.

The 82-year-old Krick has chaired the supervisory body since 2003, and was previously the chairman of the board from 1992 to 2003. He has held senior positions in the company for a total of 45 years. Krick is to be appointed honorary chairman of the supervisory board. In addition, the Supervisory Board has extended the contract of Fresenius CEO Stephan Sturm by five years. The 57-year-old Sturm has been in this role since July 2016; previously, the former investment banker was responsible for finance on the board for eleven years.

Krick joined Fresenius in 1975 as managing director for research, development, production and technology. During this time, important developments such as the first in-house dialyzers emerged. The expansion of the blood washing business, which is bundled in the listed subsidiary Fresenius Medical Care, can also be traced back to him. In addition, he was instrumental in driving the entry into the hospital business. “I see Fresenius very well equipped for the future and will continue to be in the best of hands,” said Krick. He has been working closely with his successor, Kirsch, since the beginning of the year.

Kirsch has proven to be a capable moderator

The 65-year-old Kirsch stepped down from the position of CEO of DZ Bank in December 2018, but he is still very present at the top institute of the Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken. This is also due to the mandates that Kirsch continues to exercise after the baton has been handed over to the new dual leadership of Cornelius Riese and Uwe Fröhlich. Kirsch is on the advisory board of the screw dealer Würth, in May 2020 he became a member of the board of the American agricultural company Agco, and now he is the chairman of the supervisory board of the health care group Fresenius, to which Kirsch has been associated for many years in the advisory group of the Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation. When the federal government, as Commerzbank’s largest shareholder, was looking for a new chairman of the supervisory board there this summer and sounded out Kirsch’s interest, according to information from F.A.Z. from.

Kirsch stepped into the limelight at the Frankfurt financial center rather surprisingly. Coming from Deutsche Bank in 2002, the Rhinelander prevailed against Thomas Duhnkrack and Alexander Erdland in a three-way battle to succeed DZ CEO Ulrich Brixner in 2006. Kirsch guided DZ Bank through the financial crisis with a steady hand. In 2016 he succeeded in merging with WGZ-Bank, which had failed several times. With Kirsch, Fresenius is not only gaining a top-class banker with a focus on risk management, but also a good moderator.


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