Team

The two founding partners have been consultants to the chemical & life science industry for many years.

Dr. Walter Schweeberg

Founding Partner

Dr. Walter Schweeberg holds a PhD in chemistry and has extensive operational and strategic management experience. In his 18 years with Bayer, he gathered experience as production manager in Germany and the United States and later as BU-head and as head of corporate strategy and in-house consulting. Since 2003 he is professional consultant for the chemical and life science industries and highly appreciated for his operational background. As Managing Partner of Stratley, Dr. Walter Schweeberg was awarded the "hidden champion" of consulting for the chemical industry. With the sale of Stratley in 2014, he brought his expertise to KPMG. For the keen tennis player and fan of FC Barcelona, early retirement is not attractive. Therefore, Sapherior benefits from Walter Schweeberg’s deep and comprehensive knowledge of the companies and markets of the chemical and life science industries.

André Thieme

Founding Partner

André Thieme holds a degree in business administration and has been developing solutions for strategy and organization issues worldwide since 2004, of which he has been working for global players in the chemical & life science industries for over 10 years. André Thieme has worked both as an external consultant, including at Stratley, and in corporate development. As a supervisory board member, he is also familiar with the fields of conflict that strategic recommendations demand of his clients, not least regarding the issues when dealing with digitalization and the Internet of Things (IoT). André Thieme is married and has two children. If time permits, he enjoys hunting in his spare time and has recently discovered stand-up paddling.

Sapherior Supervisory Board Members contribute highest level industry and consulting experience

Manfred Vehreschild

Chairman of the Supervisory Board

Manfred Vehreschild has bottom up experience in the finance management of the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. After completing his commercial training, he began his career in internal auditing at Bayer. The auditor soon started to work in M&A projects and little later became the CFO for Bayer subsidiaries in Munich and Toronto. Back in Leverkusen, Manfred Vehreschild conducted the introduction of SAP FI/CO at Bayer and implemented the transparency regulations following the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The responsible for the Legal Entity Accounting for the entire Bayer group was promoted to the Board of Management of Bayer Healthcare AG as CFO for Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health, Diagnostics and Animal Health. The overall responsibility for the realignment of The Bayer group after the spin-off of Covestro completed a great career. In the current phase of his life, the outstanding expert for controlling, finance and accounting, M&A, IT, change management, project management, corporate compliance, risk management and restructuring enjoys travelling, spending more time riding his motorbikes and supporting the development of Sapherior.

Steve Gunders

Member of the Supervisory Board

Steve Gunders joined Touche Ross & Company as a Chartered Accountant after completing his MBA at the University of Chicago. After the merger with Deloitte, he put financial consulting on a growth course and coordinated the realignment of the European consulting organization from Frankfurt and London. Back in the USA, he was Deloitte's key account manager for the world's largest private equity fund KKR and its investments. When he retired from Deloitte, Steven Gunders joined the Stratley Strategic Council. Today he is the driving force and acting CEO of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) under the leadership of Michael Bloomberg. The New Yorker now lives in San Francisco and at Lake Tahoe, but you never know if you can catch him there or rather in London or Hong Kong or for Sapherior in Hamburg.​

Dr. Harald P. Wulff

Member of the Supervisory Board

Dr. Harald P. Wulff studied chemistry in Marburg and Heidelberg and received his doctorate summa cum laude from Georg Wittig, a later Nobel Prize winner. With his first research assignments at Shell and BASF, Dr. Harald P. Wulff began commuting across the Atlantic, and he never stopped doing so. Changing to Henkel turned the experienced researcher into a successful top manager who first implemented the integration of Emery in the United States and then put the Group's chemicals division back on track for growth in Germany. With the sale to private equity funds, he became Chairman of the Board of Management and later of the Supervisory Board of Cognis. He already contributed his experience in the positioning of private equity portfolio companies to the Stratley Strategic Council. Today Dr. Harald P. Wulff lives in California, from where he commutes regularly to Germany (not only) for Sapherior.

Back Office

Birgit Schweeberg

Director of Finance

Birgit Schweeberg studied economics in Munich and is married to chemical expertise. As Chief Financial Officer she takes care of the company well-being, keeping the partners' backs free for project work at the customers. For almost 15 years she managed training and organizational development projects for the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, mostly in African countries. She now appreciates settling down at the Sapherior headquarters in Hamburg, which gives her more opportunity to attend choir rehearsals and to participate in concerts in the old and new Hamburg landmarks, the St. Michaelis church and the Elbphilharmonie.

Dr. Judith Schulze-Schlarmann

Business Development

Dr. Judith Schulze-Schlarmann is in charge of Business Development Coordination. She supports the Sapherior team in acquisition activities as well as in research and marketing, and she consolidates the know-how of the company. She holds a PhD in Chemistry and started out in the Sales and Marketing department of specialty chemicals, followed by Business Development Management for an international operating chemical company and in consulting. Dr. Judith Schulze-Schlarmann is married and has two children. In here scarce free time, she enjoys literature and classical music.

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