Our interdisciplinary approach as well as our international experience have proven very helpful when working with families all over the world. Whenever needed we build global teams based on our international network.
If you click on our photos you can find out more about our professional background.
The best way to get in touch with us is via email.
SEBASTIAN EHRENSBERGER, Ph.D.
Dr. Sebastian Ehrensberger is a Partner and the Managing Director of Rhodion Advisors GmbH. He works collaboratively with business families to reach consensus on where the family and the business are headed in the long term. In this context, he helps families to prepare their companies strategically, organizationally, financially, and personally so that, when the time comes, the family business can be handed down to the next generation seamlessly. Deepening the emotional bonds between family members, developing the leadership abilities of the next generation, and strengthening effective family governance are other areas of his experience and expertise.
The web of decisions and development processes involved in this work are inherently complex, and Sebastian helps structure and navigate through them, working with families in a deeply interactive way. While focusing on the business problems at hand, he is ever mindful that families of the founding or subsequent generations have radically different needs from international families that have several hundred members and large companies. Aware of the sometimes conflicting interests of the family members involved, he is committed to laying the groundwork for an open and respectful dialogue within the family.
Before specializing in family businesses, Sebastian spent 10 years as a Partner and Managing Director of the Boston Consulting Group. During that time, he supported numerous medium and large businesses, helping them to improve their competitive positions strategically and operationally and to realign their organizations and their management teams.
He has expertise in the fields of product development, brand strategy, marketing and organizational development, and also in the areas of cost optimization and restructuring. He has worked for leading companies in Europe, Asia and North America; often for families, but also for publicly traded companies and for portfolio companies of private equity funds. This not only involved finding optimal, fact-based solutions, but it also required the resolution of conflicts within the management team or at the interface with the shareholders – a challenge he still finds rewarding, given the interaction it involves with people of different cultural backgrounds.
Besides working for Rhodion Advisors, Sebastian is today a non-executive member of the supervisory boards of several European companies. He studied business administration at the University of Cologne and speaks fluent English and French. He is married and is the father of three children with whom he loves to spend time.
Heinz Möllenkamp is a Partner of Rhodion Advisors, supporting European family businesses as they undergo the complex change and decision-making processes inherent in corporate development. Together with his colleagues, he also works closely with clients on succession issues, helping business families to pass the torch from generation to generation, thereby securing the future of their companies.
Heinz’s work focuses on organization, governance, and personnel management, with an emphasis on family education, development, and employment. He works closely with the owners of family businesses to structure, prioritize, and facilitate problem-solving processes and negotiations across the family business system. He has deep experience in managing conflict and major change, and he works with the family and with the business to foster cohesion and to navigate differences. Both professionally and personally, he derives great satisfaction from mentoring, coaching, and training senior managers, as well as members of the next generation.
Before joining Rhodion Advisors, Heinz spent more than 10 years as a Partner and Managing Director of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in various European countries. His consulting work focused on four areas: human resources, change management, organizational behavior; large scale transformation; restructuring and efficiency improvements; and, information technology and digital advantage. He has worked mainly for European (financial) services companies and clients in the media and retail industries, including small- and medium-sized enterprises and family businesses.
In his work, Heinz has always attached great importance to the day-to-day practicality of his recommendations, offering more hands-on advice rather than adhering to abstract concepts. This proved to be especially useful in tough nightly negotiation rounds with workers’ councils and union representatives. In addition, he was jointly responsible at BCG for the recruitment, career, and personal development of the firm’s German consultants and project managers for more than a decade, mentoring work that he found deeply rewarding.
Heinz studied Computer Science and Economics at the University of Kaiserslautern, Germany and was an assistant professor for Business Law at the University of Paderborn, Germany. He is fluent in German and English and lives with his wife in Düsseldorf.
Ute Hagehülsmann is an Expert Affiliate at Rhodion Advisors GmbH. She is an internationally recognized psychologist who specializes in organizational psychology. She works as a change management consultant and coach for both German and global executives who are initiating major change processes.
Ute concentrates on corporate culture transformation, as well as on leadership development. She has deep expertise in the fields of crisis management and the design and administration of customized 360-degree feedback. She has years of expertise working with business families on the broad spectrum of challenges that come up in the family business system – e.g., the influence of the family on corporate culture, the integration of non-family members into management teams, and the challenges of succession planning.
A certified transactional analyst and teacher, Ute trains managers, consultants, and psychotherapists in the area of individual and organizational interventions based on transactional analysis. She has had her own therapeutic practice for more than 25 years and, together with her husband, she conducts group and couples’ therapy. For the last 20 years, they have managed an Institute for Change Management and Coaching, aided more recently by their daughter.
Ute is the author and co-author of numerous books and articles on transactional analysis. These include: The Design of Change Processes in Organizations, Dealing with the Problem of Burn Out, and Successful Relationships.
Ute studied psychology in Tübingen and lives with her husband in northern Germany. They have two adult daughters.
ANDREA KATHRIN CHRISTENSON
Andrea Christenson is Senior Advisor at Rhodion Advisors. She works with family businesses, supporting them with strategic, organizational, but also personnel issues and helps them to prepare these companies in the long term and, if necessary, prepare them for a transfer of generations.
Her main interests are in the areas of governance, human resources, structuring the implementation and complex decision-making processes. In this respect, she is above all concerned with balancing the personal concerns and interests of the family members on the one hand, and on the other hand, with the pursuit of set goals. Based on her over 30 years of experience in and for family businesses, Andrea Christenson contributes to overcoming conflicts, strengthening family cohesion and understanding for each other and developing solutions. Personally, she feels it is a great enrichment and fulfillment to support the leaders and the next generation as coach, mentor and sparring partner. In the context of leadership development programs, she is a coach and mentor at IESE, Barcelona. She is a member of advisory boards and administrative boards of European companies.
At the beginning of her professional career Andrea Christenson worked at the Boston Consulting Group for seven years, most recently as a Principal. During this time she supported numerous international family businesses in improving their competitive position through strategic and operational measures. She gained experience in the fields of brand management and sales, and was a founding member of the “BCG Task Force Organizational Development”. She was also the founder and head of the internal training for consultants with no academic knowledge in the field of economics, a key milestone for the sustained growth of BCG’s expertise, which is still active today.
Afterwards, she acquired the family company “Käthe Kruse Puppen” from the founding family and transformed it from a traditional handicraft workshop into an internationally active toy and textile company in the premium segment by repositioning the brand and professionalizing the production. In 2013, the company was sold to a strategic investor.
Andrea Christenson studied business economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and earned an MBA at the IESE in Barcelona. She speaks fluent English and Spanish. She is the mother of three grown sons.
Ann Ehrensberger is Senior Advisor at Rhodion Advisors focusing on questions of potential development of the younger generation. As certified coach, she supports teenagers and young adults concerning their personal issues and challenges. Frequent subjects are how to find their personal paths, dealing with worries, disappointments, decision-making or issues of self-motivation.
Anne Ehrensberger helps them to develop into self-reliant, cooperative and happy adults, assuming responsibility for themselves and others.
As a certified parent advisor Anne Ehrensberger supports parents and families strengthening educational skills, successful relationships and coping with challenges occurring in daily family life.
She is frequently organizing events and workshops regarding next generation development, in many cases cooperating with psychologists, pedagogues or neuroscience experts.
For many years Anne Ehrensberger has been dedicated to the development of innovative educational programs such as STEP (Systematic Training for Parents and Pedagogues). She is a co-founder of the German Federation Association of Innovative Educational Programs as well as pioneering and implementing innovative school concepts.
Her focus has been on education and coaching for more than 15 years now.
She is a business graduate from ESCP Europe and used to work as Head of Marketing as well as a Marketing Consultant. She speaks English and French fluently.
She is married and a mother of three adult children.
ULRICH M. HARNACKE
Ulrich Harnacke is a Partner of Rhodion Advisors GmbH. In close cooperation with his colleagues, he works with business families around the world during some of their most difficult inflection points, helping them to reposition their companies strategically. During these pivotal moments, Ulrich helps family members to adjust their portfolios. He also supports business families in matters of risk management, auditing, and corporate transactions. Given the impact that each of these decisions will have on transitioning the business to the next generation, Ulrich places great emphasis on transparency in all his interactions with participating family members and management. He believes that trust and candor are core to the enduring success of a business family and finds intergenerational work to be both essential and gratifying.
Before he focused on advising family businesses, Ulrich held senior positions for many years as a chartered accountant (CPA) and tax advisor, most recently as Senior Partner of Deloitte & Touche GmbH. During that time, he audited and consulted to numerous publicly traded companies, as well as to large internationally focused family businesses, whose business model, with its emphasis on longevity and sustainability, impressed him greatly. Today Ulrich continues to advise large family businesses and works to transfer their best practices in corporate governance and financial structures to smaller family business firms.
Besides working for Rhodium Advisors, Ulrich serves on Supervisory Boards of two German publicly traded companies and is the executor for the estates of small business families. He is a member of the Board of the German Protective Association for the Ownership of Securities (DSW) and of the Advisory Board of the Schmalenbach Society of Business Administration. Ulrich is deeply involved in community work and social issues and is an appointed member of the working committee Politics-Church-Economy in North-Rhine-Westphalia and the CFO of Rotary Germany.
Ulrich studied business administration at the University of Cologne, has a degree as a chartered accountant (CPA) and tax consultant, and is fluent in German and English. He is married and has two grown children.