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IR Magazine Awards Hall of Fame – Europe – Biographies

Fredrik Berge
Fredrik Berge serves as the Head of Investor Relations at Aker ASA. Prior to this role, he was Head of Investor Relations at Aker Solutions ASA until November 2022. His professional background includes international experience, having worked in both China and the UK. A Norwegian national, mr. Berge is an alumnus of Copenhagen Business School, where he earned a Master of Science in Finance and Strategic Management. His academic pursuits included an exchange program at Università Bocconi, Milan.

Kiran Bhojani
I am a founder & CEO of a new company, called Lili Navitas, Hamburg, Germany in April 2023 with the focus on green hydrogen solutions for beterment of climate in the world, especially India. Prior to that ,i worked for 17 years as EVP and Global Head of IR at E.ON, one of the largest Utilities in Germany. We won award for IR consistently for 17 years number one or two in IR.

Daniel Bohsen
Finance, pharma and IR professional with long term tenure within large cap European pharma company.

Etienne Bouas-Laurent
Etienne Bouas-Laurent graduated from ESCP business school. He started his career in 1990 at Guy Barbier & Associés (Arthur Andersen) in Paris, before joining Franz Haniel & Cie in Duisburg in 1992. 

From 1997, he has been occupying various financial and operational functions within AXA, including Group Corporate Finance Manager (1997/1999), Head of Controlling of AXA France (2000/2005), Head of Group Investor Relations (2006/2010), Managing Director of AXA Wealth Management France (2010/2012), Chief Financial Officer of AXA Germany (2012/2016,) and CEO of AXA Hong Kong (2016/2019). 

In 2019, he became a Member of AXA’s Management Committee as Deputy and then Chief Financial Officer.

In July 2021, he was appointed CEO of AXA Belgium and Chairman of the Board of AXA Luxembourg.

Vice Chairman of the Belgian Insurance Federation (Assuralia), Brussels, since  September 2021.

Jesper Brandgaard

  • 20 years at Novo Nordisk as CFO and EVP (1999 to 2019).
  • Present Chairman of the Board of LEO Pharma +  Vice Chairman at William Demant Foundation & Novonesis.
  • Education: Copenhagen Business School; MBA 1995 + Master of Science, Economics&Auditing 1990.

Keith Byrne
Keith is an experienced corporate executive with 20 years’ global experience across the Healthcare, Pharmaceutical, and Financial sectors in key areas, including Investor Relations, Corporate Development / M&A, Finance, Corporate Strategy, Investment Analysis, Marketing, and Corporate Communications.

Before joining Ergomed Group (previously Ergomed plc before being taken private by Permira in 2023) as SVP of Capital Markets (incorporating Investor Relations, Corporate Development and Strategy), Keith spent 11 years with UDG Healthcare plc, including 2 years in the USA. UDG expanded and grew significantly in the pharmaceutical services sector before its acquisition by CD&R private equity, where Keith was Head of Investor Relations, Strategy & Corporate Communications. Prior to this, Keith was Corporate Development Director supporting UDG’s M&A and inorganic growth strategy completing 13 successful acquisitions and six strategic disposals, including the completion of both the largest acquisition and, separately the largest disposal, in UDG’s history.

Keith is a qualified Chartered Accountant, having trained with Deloitte in Dublin.

Ignacio Cuenca

  • Born in Granada (Spain) in 1961.
  • Degree in Business Administration and Economics. (Madrid University).
  • MBA in Industrial Economy, degree in Electricity Sector (Madrid University).
  • IMD Global Leadership Programme.
  • He has worked for Iberdrola since 1986:
    • Controlling Department (1986-1993)
    • Investor Relations Department (1993- )
    • In 2001 appointed as Director of Investor Relations
    • Director of Corporate Communications (2017-2021)
    • Chairman of the Spanish Investor Relations Association (AERI) from 2008 to October 2017.
    • Chairman of the Iberdrola’s Compliance Committee since July 2017 to 2023.

David de la Roz
Born in Pontevedra (Spain) in 1974; David is the Director of Investor Relations of eDreams ODIGEO. 

Prior to joining eDreams ODIGEO, he was a Vice President at Morgan Stanley in the Institutional Equity Division as a Corporate & Strategic Access Specialist, and before that, he occupied positions as Head of Investor Relations at Abertis and Indra, and as a Research Associate and in Private Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley & AB Asesores (acquired by Morgan Stanley in 1999). 

David de la Roz has over 25 years of experience in the Financial Capital Markets and hold a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the Asturias Business School and San Francisco State University and a MBA from ESCP Business School.

Marco Delfrate
Marco Delfrate was born in Milan, Italy, in 1965.

He earned a degree in Economics and Business Studies from Università Cattolica (Milan) in 1989.
He served as a Lieutenant in the Guardia di Finanza (the Italian law enforcement agency responsible for dealing with financial crime and smuggling) from 1990 to 1991. From 1991 to 1998, he worked in various departments at Banco Ambrosiano Veneto (Organisation, Administration, Planning and Control), taking charge of Investor Relations from 1993. After the merger with Cariplo, he became Head of Investor Relations at Banca Intesa until 1999. Since then, he’s been Head of Rating Agencies (first at Banca Intesa and then at Intesa Sanpaolo), renamed Rating Agencies and Investor Coverage in October 2014, with responsibility for managing relations with rating agencies and institutional investors.

In April 2018, he became Co-Head of the Financial Market Coverage Dept., that also includes Benchmarking and ESG & Sustainability.

He won IR Magazine’s “Best Investor Relations Officer” award in both 2018 and 2022.

In the survey by Institutional Investor he has ranked first among the Best IR Professionals in the "Europe Combined Banks Sector Ranking” for 6 consecutive years since 2018 and he ranked in the top three for "Best IR Professional" among European Banks since 2013.

Karl Mahler 
Ph.D. in Economics (Institute for Mathematical Economy), Univ. of Freiburg.

1992 - 1995: Germany / Freiburg: General Manager of the Tumor Biology Center in Freiburg i. Brsg. – founded the largest Cancer Research Clinic in Germany - an Institution consisting of a Clinic for Acute Treatment, a Center for Oncological Rehabilitation, Fundamental Research, and Cancer Drug Development.

1995 – 2000: China / Shanghai & Beijing: General Manager of two Joint Ventures in Life Sciences (Animal Health- Shanghai /Novartis and Pharma- Beijing / Aventis), Member of the Asia Executive Committee – Headquarters in Tokyo.

2000 - 2002: France / Strasbourg: Head of Planning, Deputy Head Investor Relations- Aventis.

2002 – 2022: (retirement) Basel: Hoffmann La Roche: Member of the Finance Leadership Team

  • Head of Investor Relations,  a key member of the Genentech acquisition (largest cash transaction in the financial market so far (>CHF 40bn) / financing in mid of Lehman crisis), the transfer of the Roche shares from Novartis to Roche (largest Swiss capital market transaction), 
  • Roche with strong market cap development (tripled)
  • Head of Corporate Planning (mid/long term Plan)
  • Member of the Corporate Sustainability Committee
  • Member of the Roche Anlage Commission (Pension Fund- CHF 12 bn)

Since retirement: Senior Adviser for McKinsey – worked on projects in several industries (IT, Transportation, Banking, and Healthcare sectors)- Capital Market Days, Equity story, Investor targeting, onboarding of CFOs and CEOs

  • Invited as a conference speaker (Euronext IPO day, etc.)
  • Advisor to large European Cap Companies (Capital Market related)

Awards*: 

  • Best IR Professional ranked by the Buy and Sell side (26 times in 20 years) 
  • Highlighted in IR magazine as one of the top 30 in the past 30 years
  • First IR Professional inaugurated in the Hall of Fame of Global Executives in the Financial Market 

Diego Morón
Working for Iberdrola for almost 25 years in different positions: Business development, structured finance, investor relations and now at the CEO office.

Magda Palczynska
Magda Palczynska is currently the head of Investor Relations at UniCredit in Milan, a role she has held since October 2021. Under her leadership the IR team quickly became one of the top ranked by Institutional Investor. Magda was recognised as Best IRO in Europe by IR Magazine in 2023.

Magda started her career at UBS in London in 1998 as part of the financial institutions group where she worked on a wide range of investment banking transactions. Her 20 years at the bank took her all over the world working in a number of senior roles. At the time of leaving UBS she was head of North America and Asia IR and global head of debt IR.

Prior to joining UniCredit Magda held the role of Head of Investor Relations at BNY Mellon in New York for two years.

Magda has a BBA from Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada and an MA from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL, UK.

Tomasz Pozniak
Investor relations professional with financial background and extensive experience. Combining both hard and soft skills requires for streamlined and efficient communication to capital markets. Graduate with Master’s degree in Finance from the Warsaw School of Economics.

Barbara Seidlova
Barbara heads investor relations team of Prague based electric utility CEZ since 2007. Previously she worked as a sell-side equity analyst in London and Prague. She graduated Faculty of Finance and Accounting at University of Economics in Prague.

Oliver Stratmann
Oliver Stratmann works as Group CFO of the German specialty chemicals company LANXESS AG. He is responsible for the group functions accounting, corporate controlling, IT, M&A, Tax & Trade Compliance as well as Treasury and Investor Relations.

Oliver has a track record of more than two decades in investor relations functions. Throughout his career, he has gained a deep understanding of capital markets, strategic communications, and financing instruments. 

As a key communicator of LANXESS’ transformation-strategy to the capital market, Oliver effectively managed the communication of various significant activities, including acquisitions, divestments, and restructuring programs. His efforts ensured transparent and consistent messaging to the capital market, fostering investor confidence and support.

He gained expertise in treasury management and was responsible for establishing the financing structures for LANXESS’ largest acquisition. He also executed multiple bond emissions and implementing ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) criteria in sustainability linked bonds and the company’s revolving credit facility.

For eight years, Oliver served as a board member of the German Investor Relations Association (DIRK). He continues to promote the IR profession in Germany, sharing knowledge and expertise with peers and up-and-coming professionals.

Oliver was awarded the European IR Magazine’s ”Best IR Officer” five times.

He studied business administration in Giessen, Germany, and London, UK. Before joining LANXESS, he held positions in Controlling and Investor Relations at Celanese AG.

Carl Vanden Bussche
Investor Relations professional with 14 years of experience in strategic positioning and relationship-building within the investment community. Held senior roles at Accenture, Clear2Pay, Barco and DEME Group NV. Dedicated to maintaining trust and fostering strategic relationships for long-term success.

Education:

  • Master in Law, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • MBA and Master in Finance, Solvay Business School, Brussels, Belgium

Career Highlights:

  • Investor Relations: 14 years, including 12 years at Barco and 2 years at DEME
  • Strategic Ambassador: Positioning the company with analysts, investors, and stakeholders
  • Reputation Management: Enhancing the company’s reputation for trust and reliability
  • Leadership Collaboration: Strong relationships with the C-suite, management teams and Boards

Key Competencies:

  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Adaptive communication & goal-oriented execution
  • Prioritization and conflict management
  • Storytelling &executive presence


João Vermelho
João joined the equity sales team in 2023. Prior to joining BESTINVER, he was Managing Director in the Equity Sales department of JB Capital for five years. Previously, he worked for sixteen years for the Portuguese group Mota-Engil as Investor Relations Director. In addition, he was also CEO of the Portuguese broker Central Investimentos, having started his career as a sell-side analyst at the broker Socifa & Beta.

He holds a degree in Economics from the Nova School of Business and Economics in Lisbon and an MBA from the HEC School of Management in Paris.

Matthias Zachert
Matthias Zachert has been Chairman of the Board of Management of the German specialty chemicals company LANXESS AG since April 1, 2014. Previously, he was a member of the Executive Board and Chief Financial Officer of Merck KGaA.

Matthias served as Chief Financial Officer of LANXESS AG from 2004 to 2011, where he had a key role in establishing the global finance organization, restructuring the portfolio, and realigning the company after it was spun off from Bayer.

After his return to LANXESS as Chief Executive Officer in 2014 Matthias carried out a capital increase and implement a comprehensive restructuring program. These efforts were aimed at enhancing the company’s financial profile and laying the groundwork for its strategic repositioning.

Under his leadership, LANXESS underwent a significant transformation including numerous acquisitions and divestments, evolving into a global specialty chemicals player, focusing on higher-margin and more resilient sectors. This included pursuing LANXESS’ exit from the rubber business and directing the company’s focus towards more profitable segments, such as additives and consumer protection products.

Institutional Investor magazine ranked Matthias as No.1 CEO in Europe’s chemical industry in 2016-2018 and 2021 as well as No.1 CFO in chemical industry in 2007, 2010 and 2011. Furthermore, he was awarded the European IR Magazine’s best CFO in 2011.

Matthias is member of the Supervisory Board of Siemens AG as well as member of the executive committee of the association of German chemical companies (VCI). In addition, he is member of the German-Asia Pacific Business Association (APA).

Matthias studied business administration, majoring in finance and international management. Before joining LANXESS, he was CFO of the International Region of Aventis Pharma AG, which was formed by the merger of Hoechst Marion Roussel (HMR) and Rhône-Poulenc Rorer. Prior to that he was CFO of Kamps AG, where he helped to restructure the company.

Matthias is married and has four children.

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