Prof. Dr. Herbert A. Henzler
DAAD Scholarship 1968–1969
Herbert Henzler goes where the air gets thinner. This not only applies to his mountain tours, such as when he and his friend Reinhold Messner climbed the 6,310-metre-high Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest mountain. He has also climbed high as an economic adviser. With his PhD in economics, he made it all the way to the top at management consultants McKinsey & Company – as Chairman of McKinsey Europe and a member of the office of the Managing Director Worldwide. The company’s European expansion, above all eastward, is largely down to him.
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Henzler’s career began in 1961, when he did a commercial apprenticeship at Deutsche Shell. After studying business administration at Siegen, Saarbrücken and Munich, he went to the University of California, Berkeley, with the assistance of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the DAAD. While there, he met McKinsey consultants from San Francisco, felt a fascination and found his vocation.
The business journal Manager-Magazin rated Henzler as one of the 50 most powerful Germans in 2005. For many years he was a key expert in the consultancy industry, helped a whole range of companies, and experienced the rise and fall of quite a few managers first hand. In his work Henzler focused above all on one thing: taking a close and careful look. Furthermore, he is seen as a perfect networker. His contacts reach to the highest echelons, and not only in business and industry; his advice is also heeded in politics, sport and culture.
In 2001, Henzler, who was born in 1941, stood down as an active consultant at McKinsey and shortly afterwards joined the company’s Advisory Council. But he remained anything but idle. Until 2012, for example, Henzler advised Credit Suisse Deutschland as vice president of the International Advisory Board and on the Board. For many years he was chief adviser as chairman of the Scientific-Technical Advisory Board of the Bavarian State Government where he actively promoted innovation. Besides this, he holds an honorary professorship at the LMU Munich.
Henzler has written numerous books on the strategic management and organisation of international corporations and other economic and social themes. In 2011 he published a book called “Der Generationen-Pakt. Warum die Alten nicht das Problem, sondern die Lösung sind” jointly with Lothar Späth, the former premier of Baden-Württemberg. They put forward the idea that every senior citizen who helps others in the context of a voluntary social year should be credited with this time if they need nursing care later on. In the same year Henzler was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit.