responsAbility announces CEO succession with a focus on continuity
New composition and strengthening of leadership team
Zurich, 16 November 2015 – Klaus Tischhauser, Co-Founder & CEO of responsAbility Investments AG, will step down from his function as CEO at the end of 2015. Rochus Mommartz, a longstanding member of responsAbility’s Management Board, has been named as his successor. At the same time, it has been decided that the number of members on the Management Board will increase from three to five. This step will enable the company to strengthen its leadership team and to prepare for the next stage in its development.
The Swiss asset manager responsAbility was founded in Zurich in 2003 and currently has around USD 3 billion of assets under management, which are invested in over 500 companies in 93 developing countries and emerging economies through 12 different investment vehicles. responsAbility is, among other things, the largest private provider of microfinance investments worldwide.
After 12 years at the helm of the company, Co-Founder & CEO Klaus Tischhauser will step down as CEO on 31 December 2015. According to Tischhauser, this decision was prompted by his longstanding wish to pursue his childhood dream of sailing around the world. To ensure a smooth transition, he will continue to serve as a member of responsAbility’s Management Board until mid 2016. In addition, Tischhauser will retain his close ties to responsAbility both as a shareholder and as advisor. It is planned that he will be proposed for election to the Board of Directors of responsAbility at the Annual General Meeting in 2018.
His designated successor Rochus Mommartz has been with responsAbility since it was founded in 2003 and has been a member of its Management Board since 2010. The German national, aged 53, is a recognized expert in the field of private sector investing in developing countries and emerging economies. Before joining responsAbility, he worked as an independent consultant on financial sector development in more than 40 countries and played a key role in the expansion of ProCredit Holding – one of the world’s largest microfinance groups – in Latin America. He also helped to design the legal and regulatory framework for the microfinance sectors of eight countries. As a member of responsAbility’s Management Board, he is responsible for the company’s investment activities in Asia and Africa and for equity investments.
In addition to appointing Klaus Tischhauser’s successor, responsAbility has decided to increase the number of members on its Management Board from three to five. As was the case when the Board of Directors was expanded in spring 2014, this decision reflects the company’s impressive growth: Since 2011, it has recorded a threefold increase in assets under management to around USD 3 billion. Over the same period, responsAbility has opened branches in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Geneva, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Nairobi, Paris and Oslo, has launched new investment vehicles that focus on agriculture and energy, and has expanded its private equity investments.
Commenting on the leadership changes at responsAbility, Kaspar Müller, Chairman of the Board of Directors, stated: “We are delighted that Rochus Mommartz has agreed to take over the function of CEO from responsAbility’s founder Klaus Tischhauser and that we are thus able to ensure continuity in the company’s leadership. With his vast expertise and management skills, Rochus Mommartz is ideally qualified for this role. Furthermore, after more than a decade at responsAbility, he can guarantee the continuation of our corporate culture. We are convinced that the CEO transition is the right time to further strengthen our leadership team and to thus prepare for the next stage in the company’s development. Klaus Tischhauser already informed the Board of Directors one year ago that he wanted to step down as CEO. We very much regret his decision. Fortunately, we have had enough time to plan his succession. Under Klaus Tischhauser’s inspiring and far-sighted leadership over the last 12 years, responsAbility – which began as an idea – has developed into a leading asset manager in the field of development investments. On behalf of the Board of Directors and all employees at responsAbility, I wish to thank Klaus Tischhauser for his tireless efforts and for this achievement. We are grateful that we will continue to benefit from his expertise in the future.“
Rochus Mommartz, designated CEO of responsAbility, added: “I very much look forward to taking on this new challenge as CEO of responsAbility. I know the company extremely well and I am convinced of the potential of the Development Investments business model that we have actively built up under Klaus Tischhauser’s leadership in recent years. The focus will now be on working with our proven team of experts at our 10 locations to systematically pursue our existing strategy and further expand our business activities in all their diversity.“
Klaus Tischhauser, Co-Founder & CEO of responsAbility, stated: “The very founding of responsAbility was inspired by an adventure: My two-year cycle tour from Zurich to Cape Town. In 2008, I embarked on another adventure when I crossed the North Atlantic on a sailing boat during a period of unpaid vacation. Even though the establishment of responsAbility has enabled me to live out my entrepreneurial explorer spirit, my desire to sail around the world has never left me. The decision I have taken will allow me to now realize this dream and will, at the same time, enable responsAbility to take a step forward in its development. I am delighted that I can hand the company over to an outstanding global team led by my longstanding colleague Rochus Mommartz.“
responsAbility Investments AG
Ulli Janett, Media Relations
Telephone: +41 44 250 67 15
e-mail: ulli.janett [at] responsAbility.com
About responsAbility Investments AG
responsAbility Investments AG is one of the world’s leading asset managers in the field of development investments and offers professionally managed investment solutions to both private and institutional investors. The company supplies debt and equity financing to non-listed firms in emerging economies and developing countries.
responsAbility currently has USD 3 billion of assets under management invested in over 500 companies in 93 countries. Founded in 2003, the company is headquartered in Zurich and has local offices in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Lima, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Nairobi, Oslo and Paris. Its shareholders include a number of reputable institutions in the Swiss financial market such as Baumann & Cie, Raiffeisen Switzerland, Swiss Re Foundation, Vontobel Beteiligungen and Alternative Bank Schweiz, as well as various private investors and its own employees. responsAbility is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.