Roland Berger

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Roland Berger
Roland Berger.jpg
Born (1937-11-22) 22 November 1937 (age 83)
Berlin, Germany
OccupationHonorary Chairman, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants
Board member ofSelection:
Fresenius SE,
INSEAD (Advisory),
Miller Buckfire (Advisory)

Roland Berger (born 22 November 1937) is a German entrepreneur, consultant and philanthropist.


Roland Berger was born in Berlin in 1937 as Robert Altmann; his family name changed later, after his father, Georg L. Berger, married his mother in a second marriage.[1] An early member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), Georg Berger was chief bookkeeper of the Hitler Youth from 1936 to 1939, and in 1940 was appointed general manager of the aryanized Austrian food company Ankerbrot.[2] In 1937 Hitler had appointed Georg Berger Ministerialrat in the Reichswirtschaftsministerium.

Contrary to earlier statements by Roland Berger, his father had not been an active opponent of the persecution of the Jews, nor was he persecuted by the Gestapo himself and sent to a concentration camp.[1][3]

Berger's mother worked as manager in his grandparents' general store, later in a furniture company.[3]

After attending primary school in Vienna and Egglkofen, Roland Berger attended grammar schools in Landshut, Munich and Nuremberg, where he graduated from the humanistic Neuen Gymnasium Nürnberg in 1956.[4] He studied Business Administration in Hamburg and München; besides his studies he ran a laundry with 15 employees. In 1962, he completed his studies as a Diplom-Kaufmann at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München as the best of his year.[4] In 1962 he was able to sell his laundry for 600,000  DM.

From 1962 to 1967 Berger worked as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, first in Boston, later in Milan,[4][5] In 1967, he went into business for himself as a management consultant in Munich and founded the predecessor of today's Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, which he led as CEO until 2003.[6]

A great success for him in 1968 was the recommendation to found the travel company TUI based on his forecast of an extraordinary increase in charter flights from the companies TOUROPA, Scharnow, Hummel and Dr. Tigges. With the opening of a Milan branch in 1969, Berger now focused on internationalizing its consulting activities; the company is now active worldwide. He also increasingly won government institutions as clients.

In 1988, Deutsche Bank acquired 75.1% of the shares in "Roland Berger & Partner GmbH International Management Consulting" for almost 100 million marks. In 1997, the bank increased its stake to 95 percent. One year later, Berger and his staff bought the company back.

Memberships and functions[edit]

After stepping down as CEO of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, Berger became chairman of the supervisory board of the firm in 2003, and has been honorary chairman since 2010.[6]

Since 1996, Roland Berger has held a visiting professorship at TU Munich and since 2000 an honorary professorship in business administration and management consulting at Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus.[7][8][9][10] He was a close advisor of Gerhard Schröder, beginning when Schröder was the Minister-President of Lower Saxony and continuing through his tenure as Chancellor of Germany. Berger reportedly declined an offer to become Minister of Economy in 1998 when Schröder became Chancellor because he wanted to remain independent.[11]

Berger is also the founder of the Roland Berger Foundation for Human Dignity.[12]

Furthermore, Berger is a founding partner and chairman of London-based RiverRock European Capital Partners (formerly BLM Partners) which he established with Florian Lahnstein, Gero Wendenburg and Jason Carley.[13] Thomas Middelhoff left the firm in November 2010.[14] In November 2012 Michel Péretié, former CEO of the Corporate and Investment Banking Division of Société Générale until January 2012, joined RiverRock as partner and CEO.[15][16]

Berger served as a member of the Advisory Council of INSEAD from 2011 to 2017,[6][17] and as a member of the supervisory board of the pharmaceuticals and healthcare company Fresenius SE from 2008 to 2016.[18] He is an honorary member and former member of the International Advisory Council of Bocconi University.[19]

In 2015, he was appointed Singapore's honorary consul general in Munich.[20]


  • Berger, Roland; Dutta, Soumitra; Raffel, Tobias; Samuels, Geoffrey (2008). Innovating at the Top: How Global CEOs Drive Innovation for Growth and Profit. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-57573-8.


  1. ^ a b "Schönfärberei oder Selbstbetrug? Roland Berger stellt sich der Wahrheit über seinen Vater Georg | Interview: Embellishment or self-deception? Roland Berger confronts the truth about his father Georg". Handelsblatt (in German). 17 October 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  2. ^ Ewing, Jack (27 November 2019). "Father’s Nazi Past Overtakes German Business Guru". New York Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019. Print version 28 November 2019, p. B1, B4.
  3. ^ a b "Roland Berger" (in German). Munzinger-Archiv. Retrieved 19 October 2019. Preview freely available; subscription required for full article.
  4. ^ a b c Frenkel, Rainer (5 February 2004). "Die Reizfigur: Roland Berger | Career questions to ... Roland Berger" (in German). Die Zeit, No. 44/2004. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  5. ^ "Vom Wäscher zum Berater | From washer to consultant" (in German). Die Welt. 24 January 2004. Retrieved 28 November 2004.
  6. ^ a b c "Roland Berger (profile). Roland Berger Strategy Consultants official website. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  7. ^ Julia Löhr, Julia; Peitsmeier, Henning (8 June 2010). "Führungswechsel bei Roland Berger: Trio mit zwei Aufgaben | Management Change at Roland Berger: Trio with two tasks" (in German). Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  8. ^ Carter Dougherty (April 9, 2005). "Consultant has politician's ears". International Herald Tribute. To ask whether Roland Berger, Germany's most important management consultant, has a political home misses the point entirely. The politicians all seem to want him in their homes - that's the point.
  9. ^ Nathaniel C. Nash (October 30, 1995). "New Rules on Ownership for German TV". New York Times.
  10. ^ Konstantin Richter (August 17, 1999). "German Consulting Guru Seeks U.S. Audience". The Wall Street Journal. A success story in Germany, Roland Berger has shown that he can make it there. But can he make it anywhere? Starting out as a one-man enterprise in 1967, the Munich-based management consultant has gradually built up an 848-consultant business that today has 31 offices across the globe. In Germany and other parts of Europe, the reputation of Mr. Berger's firm has long been on a par with U.S. strategy giants such as McKinsey & Co., Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Co. Now, he wants to pick a fight in their backyard.
  11. ^ Ewing, Jack (October 29, 2001). "Germany: The power behind the power". BusinessWeek – via (preview only; subscription required for full article). "After Social Democrat Schröder became Chancellor in 1998, he asked Berger to be the nation's Economic Minister. But Berger, a political conservative, declined ...."
  12. ^ Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms (2014 ed.). Vault. 2013. ISBN 978-1581319033. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  13. ^ Pritchard, Becky (20 March 2015). "RiverRock eyes first close on Italy fund". Financial News. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  14. ^ "Middelhoff leaves BLM Partners", BLM Partners press release.[dead link]
  15. ^ Ahuja, Vivek (11 November 2014). "Lahnstein exits RiverRock". Financial News. Retrieved 2 October 2015. Lahnstein was chief executive of the firm until November 2012 when RiverRock recruited Michel Péretié, Lahnstein's former colleague at Bear Stearns, as a partner and joint CEO.
  16. ^ "Michel Péretié joins RiverRock", RiverRock official website.[dead link]
  17. ^ "About INSEAD: Advisory Council". INSEAD official website. Archived from the original on 14 September 2011.
  18. ^ "Fresenius nominates Supervisory Board candidates for election by 2016 Annual General Meeting". Fresenius official website. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  19. ^ "About Us: International Advisory Council". Bocconi University. Archived from the original on 2016-08-04. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Dr Roland Berger appointed Singapore's Honorary Consul in Munich". The Straits Times. 2015-12-29. Retrieved 2020-08-23.