Board of directors
Non-Executive Director and Chair
Esther was Chief Executive Officer of Dr. W. Kolb Holding AG (“Kolb”), a Swiss specialty chemicals company. From 1991 until 2007 Esther was CEO of the Kolb Group, with over 200 employees, producing in the Netherlands and Switzerland as an internationally operating specialty chemicals company. Esther managed the change from a pioneer-driven family company to a process-orientated modern business with cooperative management style, contributing to substantial growth in production capacity, revenue and EBIT. She then successfully concluded the trade sale of the Kolb Group to Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad, KLK Malaysia and remained on the board for a further 18 months. Before leading Kolb, Esther worked as a product manager in paper chemicals and started her career as a laboratory technician at Dow Chemical. She completed her apprenticeship at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich, and received her Bachelor of Science degree at King’s College London. Esther was active as a member of the board of the Swisscross Foundation, a Swiss charitable foundation. Esther is the Chair of HeiQ.
Co-founder & CEO of HeiQ; Executive Director
Carlo studied Environmental Sciences and Forest Engineering (MSc) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich. He earned his Executive MBA at the University of St.Gallen (HSG). After his service as an army pilot, he started his professional career as co-founder of the ETH spin-off, myclimate, a non-profit organization and prominent provider of carbon offsetting measures. Since 2004, Carlo has served HeiQ as co-founder and CEO, developing the firm from a two-employee company to an over 200-employee company. He also serves as chairman of ECSA Group, a 108-year-old Swiss chemical and energy distributor with an annual consolidated turnover of over US$300 million, and is a member of the executive board of Science Industries, the Swiss association of the pharmaceutical, biotech, and chemical industries.
CFO of HeiQ; Executive Director
Xaver started his career in finance in 2005 after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of St.Gallen (HSG). At the beginning of his professional career, he worked with EY Switzerland as an auditor for industrial clients and graduated as a Swiss Certified Public Accountant in 2009. He later worked in various finance positions and led the global finance and accounting team of a listed Korean specialty chemical producer before joining HeiQ in 2018 as Head of Controlling. He was appointed Group Chief Financial Officer in October 2019.
Having joined the board on 30 June 2014, Ben brings a wealth of experience in high-growth technology operations and venture capital. He currently serves as President and CEO of Visus Therapeutics, Inc., an ophthalmic drug development company with offices in Seattle, WA, and Irvine, CA. He has previously served on the board of several high-growth companies, including as a non-executive director at Lumos Diagnostics Holdings Ltd (ASX:LDX), a leading full-service provider of point-of-care diagnostic solutions; as a non-executive director of Planet Innovation Holdings Limited, a healthtech innovation and commercialization company, and he led investments into life sciences transactions at a seed stage venture fund between 2007 and 2011. Prior to this, Ben held management roles at Vision BioSystems, until the sale of Vision Systems Limited to Danaher Corporation in 2006.
Karen has extensive experience of project finance, private equity and asset management. She started her career at Citibank working on multi-national project finance transactions. Karen worked at CDC (Commonwealth Development Corporation), the UK Government’s development finance institution, where she held positions in equity and debt investing, portfolio management, fund raising and investor development. Karen has been an adviser to hedge funds, family offices and private equity houses. She currently serves as chairman of Aberdeen Japan Investment Trust plc; chairman of Keystone Positive Change Investment Trust plc; non-executive director and chair of audit at Augmentum Fintech plc and is an external panel member of the Albion Capital VCT investment committee.