Robert (Bob) Bischof is a German, who has lived and worked in Britain for 40 years. He is well known for his outspoken comments on economic, political and industrial issues concerning Britain and Germany. He is convinced that the two countries can gain much by learning from each other.
A regular speaker at conferences and events, he has co-authored a number of books, and had numerous articles published in German and British newspapers on economic issues. He also appears regularly as a commentator on TV and Radio in both countries.
Current positions include:
- Chairman of the German-British Forum in June 2015 with Lord Mandelson as President appointed in March 2019
- Member of the LONDON FIRST Skills Commission with focus on Apprenticeships
- Vice President of the German British Chamber of Industry & Commerce
- Advisory Board Member of OMFIF – the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum
- Former UK Chairman of SCCO International Ltd, a Munich-based business consulting group
- Former Member of the UK Technician Council, a government-funded initiative to create a recognised “Technician” status – part of the BIS ‘Skills for Growth’ program
- Shareholder and former Non-Executive Director of 4Navitas Ltd, who have developed the first Vertical Axle Wind Turbine
In May 1998 the German President honoured him with the Federal Order of Merit (“Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande des Verdienstordens”) for his “extraordinary contribution” to Anglo–German relations. He served as Honorary Consul for Germany in the North West of England from 1998 till 2003 .
He was an advisor to John Smith, the former Labour leader, helped several shadow ministers in the run-up to the 1997 election and was a member of the Commission for Public Policy and British Business, which determined much of New Labour’s economic policy.
Born on the Baltic island of Rügen, the family settled in Hamburg after the war, where he attained his A-levels, trained as a merchant banker and achieved an honours degree in Economics.
In 1967 he joined the Forklift Truck maker Jungheinrich AG, Hamburg and was sent to Britain to set up a new subsidiary. Under his leadership the company grew to a turnover of around £Mio50 and 500 employees by 1989/90, having taken a large slice of the UK market and becoming Jungheinrich’s largest foreign subsidiary.
In 1991 he became Non-Executive Chairman of Jungheinrich (GB) Ltd and accepted Chancellor Kohl’s call (“Kanzler Aktion”) for 100 selected managers to assist with the restructuring and privatisation of East Germany’s ailing industries through the Treuhand. Until 1993 he was in charge of the combinat baukema (construction and heavy engineering) with 12 subsidiaries and over 20’000 employees. This was one of the more successful restructuring and privatisation projects. In addition, he served on 3 supervisory boards and was chairman of one.
In March 1994 Jungheinrich AG requested him to assist in the negotiation over the acquisition of the failed Lancer Boss Group and head the company as Chairman and CEO. He successfully restarted and restructured the company.
At the end of 1995 he stepped down as CEO and remained part-time Non-Executive Chairman until December 1996.
In September 1997 he acquired a share in the Liverpool based direct marketing and mail order company McIntyre & King and was Chairman until March 2002. The company completed a successful restructuring and investment programme with the help of the venture capital company 3i and employed around 800 people, when he exited.
From 2002 to 2004 he worked on an assignment from Linde AG, Germany to reposition their British subsidiary STILL Materials Handling and return it to profitability.
He served on the advisory board of T-Systems, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telecom and assisted LII GmbH, a Frankfurt based chemical company in its defence against a takeover attempt by a rogue private equity company.
He was a Non-Executive Director of Henderson Eurotrust Plc, an investment fund in the City from 1998 till 2009, and Chairman and lead investor of Vitalize Health Products Ltd., a company promoting immune system enhancing products from 2002 till 2011. and NED and investor in 4Navitas Ltd, a British wind turbine maker.
He is presently Chairman of the German-British Forum, Vice President of the German British Chamber of Industry & Commerce, UK Chairman of SCCO International Ltd, a Munich based business consulting group and serves on the Advisory Board of OMFIF, The Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum, London.
He has co-authored a number of books, and had numerous articles published in German and British newspapers on economic issues.
He is married with two children and plays tennis, golf and likes skiing and sailing in his spare time.
6 thoughts on “Bob Bischof”
Read your article in the Daily Mail today and agree entirely….lets hope our politicians and captains of industry read it too.
thanks for your comment – my experience is that little changes unfortunately – however that should not stop us from trying…
I completely agree with your comments in the Article, WHY THE BRITISH NEEDS GERMAN LESSONS. The biggest weakness in British industry is untrained and unqualified managers and supervisors. I worked as a service technician in the paper and printing industry for 36 years and traveled all over the UK and Europe. I never met a manager or supervisor in the UK that had any Qualifications, the stock answer was, I went to the university of life, in European countries most supervisors and managers I met were qualified and trained to do their jobs. Too many UK firms still operate a them and us approach to the workforce.
I see you commented on the below subject. I cannot seem to find any information regarding this scheme with the exception of articles in the media. Do you have a link or email address for the International Business Academy?
Thanks for your interest. There is full information at http://www.international-business-academy.co.uk/ and I will shortly be posting a new article here on the blog with more details as well.
Bob, it is encouraging to know that there are voices of reason on both sides of the argument. I am a 69 yearold Irishman who has lived and worked in Great Britain for over 50 years. In that time I have come to love this country and its people. In spite of cultural differences between the different regions, there is a unity of belief in the cornerstones of democracy, which along with just a small handful of countries in Europe, we have had for hundreds of years. Those cornerstones are based on the rule of law, as made by elected representatives of the people – not by appointed and unelected civil servants. In two major conflicts of the 20th century, Britain stood alone at times in fighting the oppression of “small” countries by aggressors.The majority of the countries in the EU do not have that long history of democracy and therefore may fail to understand why British people are sceptical about the EU. We are not anti-any of the countries or their people in the EU. A far greater number of Briritish people vist EU countries every year than come the other way. We love most of your food and drink and a great deal of your goods. Somuch so that whilst we export £150billion worth of goods and services to the EU annually, the EU exports £200billion to us. Is the EU going to abandon £200billion of sales to GB if we leave? Not even Brussels would say yes to that. On a day to day practical level the EU does nothing to help its own case for even closer harmony- and it is these “super irritants” that are at the heart of the rise of the protest parties in many EU countries – not just the UK. Let me put an analogy to you. Suppose that the EU was a large private company now wishing to have a listing on any of the major stock exchanges in the world. Assuming that the prospectus was truthful, the propectus would contain the fact that the accounts had not passed the board of auditors for 16 years; that once per month the whole of the EU Parliament moves, lock stock and barrell to Strasbourg from Brussels for no other reason than to satisfy French ego; that EU civil servants and elected representatives are wildly overpaid and compensate; that the CAP is rife with corrupion and serves only to maintain small unefficient French farms and keep food prices high; that the amount of red tape coming out of Brussels is suffocating trade in the EU and makes all of the EU inefficient against the rising economies in the world. There are manay many more irritants that could be listed. Given all of that, would that be a company that you would invest in? Would that be a company that investment managers would invest their clients savings in? Not in Britain it won’t. Unless the EU loses its arrogance and starts to listen to the people (of all countries) and as we say in Britain “GETS IT”, then the EU will lose countries like Britain. There is a wide world out there, full of countries that want to trade freely with us and others who “get it”. The Common Market was a great concept and could still work to make Europe a powerful force in the world of trade. However, once the aspect of power in the hands of an unelected cabal takes precedence over the wishes of the people then Europe will find itself on the road to oblivion -and the two fingered salute to the people by the appointment of Mr. Junker indicates that it is already halfway there!