“We love family businesses –
working with their owners is our calling and our profession.”
We love family businesses. Working with their owners is our calling and our profession. By helping the owners of family businesses to exercise their entrepreneurial responsibility in an optimal way, we serve not only the interests of our clients, but also society. After all, well-managed family businesses represent the best form of capitalist economic activity.
Our success is founded on five simple values.
A strong team. We are convinced that teamwork makes us better. We complement each other – with our different expertise, experience and personalities.
Expertise. All of our partners are renowned experts in their specialist field. From our own first-hand experience, we are intimately aware of what makes family businesses and their owners “tick.”
Experience. All of us have many years of experience of working with and for business families. Only with the right blend of expertise and experience can a good consultant become a “person who understands families.”
Independence. Freedom from conflict of interest is essential to focusing advice exclusively on clients’ interests. That is why we are not part of any group and never act in any way that could endanger the independence of our advice.
Superior methodology. We all work according to the May Method developed by the company founder. This ensures superior concepts and the consistency of our work.
We have conducted more than 1,000 consulting projects with and for family business owners and business families in recent decades. Satisfied customers and public recognition are important indicators of successful work. With this in mind, we have compiled for you a selection of references.
Peter May is rightly considered a trailblazing pioneer in owner strategy within family businesses. With his call for an independent approach to business administration for family businesses and his development of a comprehensive consulting methodology, along with his groundbreaking initiatives, countless publications, lectures and training activities at home and abroad and well over one hundred successful consulting projects with leading family businesses, he has acquired a reputation for being the “man who understands families” (Handelsblatt business newspaper) among Germany’s leading consultants.
Karin Ebel has been working with Peter May since 2000. Her practical experience with owner strategy, governance and succession processes is almost second to none. As a lawyer and tax consultant, she often helps to guide these processes through to their legal implementation. This successful consultant embodies the perfect symbiosis of theory and practice: as a member of a business family with family businesses and a family office, she has first-hand experience of practically all matters of interest to her clients.
Arno Lehmann-Tolkmitt, an experienced owner strategy consultant and mediator, is the prototype of a family advisor. He uses his very personal blend of expertise, experience and intuition to establish a link with all stakeholders. By clearly explaining factual issues and facilitating discussion around conflict, he produces good outcomes from even complex setups. His preferred activities include engaging in stimulating owner strategy processes, preparing the next generation for their future responsibilities and providing long-term support to owner families. His actions are always guided by the motto: “Anticipate, don’t procrastinate, and clarify, don’t quarrel.”
Matthias Händle is the business owner within the PETER MAY Family Business Consulting team. After many successful years at the helm of his in-laws’ family business, he decided after its sale that he would like to pass on the skills and experience he had acquired to other family business owners in the future. As a sparring partner, coach and advisory board member, Matthias Händle knows exactly what he’s talking about, from finding the right owner strategy to preparing for or adapting to a new role.
With her multiple professional qualifications – as a lawyer, mediator and systemic coach – Karin May is particularly successful in the area of conflict prevention and resolution, as a coach in difficult decision-making situations (especially for female successors) and as a project manager in owner strategy, governance and succession processes. It is often she who names the “elephant in the room” and actively contributes to positive treatment of it.
Sabine Rau combines practice and theory at the highest level. In addition to being a world-renowned researcher on family businesses, she also has decades of international experience in working with business families. Consulting practice based on sound theoretical principles is a key priority for her and was a fundamental factor in her decision to join PETER MAY Family Business Consulting as a partner in 2017. As an academic teacher, she is particularly passionate about successful preparation and integration of the next generation of business owners.
Dieter Jeschke’s career to date boasts an unusual combination of complementary expertise and experience gained initially as the eponymous partner in a renowned boutique law and tax firm for family businesses, then as the CEO of a listed investment holding company in family ownership, and finally as an owner strategy consultant and mediator for difficult cases. With his unique blend of intellectual brilliance, human touch and personal restraint, he finds solutions even where others have long since stopped looking.
Maximilian Werkmüller is one of the most distinguished experts in the fields of family office, asset structuring and asset succession. In his previous role as family officer for an important international business-owning family and as a university lecturer and active publicist, the independent lawyer combines practical experience and theoretical expertise at the highest level. Since summer 2020, he has completed our team of family office and business asset experts together with Karin Ebel and Dieter Jeschke.
In addition to our seven partners, our team is also made up of other highly qualified colleagues who assist us with our projects and work.
Joke Bahadir supports our partners in owner strategy, governance and succession processes, but she is particularly passionate about teaching. As a lecturer on shareholder qualification programs, the part-time university lecturer is truly in her element. She had already acquired the tools needed two decades ago – as an assistant in the lectures given by Peter May.
Ursula Merckle complements our team structures as a psychologist and member of a crisis-proven business family. Accordingly, she approaches the demanding and often emotionally charged issues and conflicts within business families in a professional, solution-oriented and empathetic manner. Within interwoven family-company-shareholder systems, she maintains a psychological view of the risks and opportunities and asks the appropriate questions. She uses her background experience to guide business families, family businesses and individual family members towards the right solutions together.
Regine Wieland supports our partners in owner strategy and succession processes. With her natural ability to quickly build individual trust, she can reach all stakeholders at an emotional level. Through her genuine interest in people, the lawyer manages to bring to light hidden issues essential to the process and integrate them appropriately. As a mediator and systemic coach with many years of risk management experience, she combines a structured approach with a high degree of empathy.