Prof. Dr. Peter May

b. 1958 | Lawyer
Peter May


Peter May is a pioneer and trailblazer of owner-strategic thinking in family businesses. With his demand for a dedicated business administration for family businesses, the development of a comprehensive consulting methodology, groundbreaking initiatives, countless publications, lectures and teaching activities both in his home country and abroad, as well as numerous successful consulting projects with leading family businesses, he has earned the reputation of being the “family expert”  (Handelsblatt) and “Germany's number one family business consultant” (Family Capital).

Peter May is one of the world's leading experts on family businesses and a pioneer in strategic consulting for their owners. In 1998, he founded INTES, the first company in Germany focused on consulting and qualification for entrepreneurial families. Handelsblatt has awarded him the honorary title “family expert” in a portrait, and even Manager Magazin attested that he had shaped an entire generation of family entrepreneurs. The lawyer and business graduate advises and accompanies renowned entrepreneurial families and is the founder of PETER MAY The Family Business People.

Peter May is an honorary professor at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar and has taught at universities in Germany and abroad. From 2008 to 2009, he held the Wild Group Chair of Family Business at IMD in Lausanne. May was an early advocate for a dedicated business administration for family businesses and developed important concepts for advising family businesses and entrepreneurial families with the owner strategy, the 3-dimension model, the INTES principle, and the family constitution, which he combined into a comprehensive consulting methodology, the May Method.

Furthermore, he has launched numerous initiatives for family businesses. The world's first governance code for family businesses (in 2004 in Germany and 2005 in Austria) can be traced back to his initiative, as can the Family Business of the Year Award, FBN Germany and the Institute for Family Businesses at WHU. Peter May is President of the Governance Commission and served as Managing Director of FBN Germany for over two decades.

In addition, Peter May is the author and editor of numerous publications on the topic of family businesses. His standard works “Erfolgsmodell Familienunternehmen” and “Die Inhaberstrategie im Familienunternehmen” have been translated into various languages, and the works “Lexikon der deutschen Familienunternehmen” and “Aus bester Familie”, edited together with Florian Langenscheidt, are repeatedly reissued.

Peter May's focus lies on the comprehensive support of entrepreneurial families (including advisory and supervisory board activities) and the assumption of particularly demanding consulting mandates.

His guiding principle is: “Family businesses are my passion. I am happy that I can combine this passion with my inclination to pass on knowledge and experience and turn my vocation into a profession. I love my work and everything that is connected with it.”