Interview about the mission of the Chief Financial Officer
Konstantin Wolf started to work with The meeco Group in 2010 when he and his colleague Stephan Trutschler decided to join the group with the Dresden based PR company MEDIENKONTOR, which has become meeco Communication Services in 2017. With his expertise in finance and administration he was appointed Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in November 2012 and also became board member of meeco AG in Switzerland. Now he is taking care of possibly the most sensitive part of a company – the money.
What are your responsibilities and daily tasks as CFO at The meeco Group?
My position includes all finance and administration related matters of our five Swiss-based companies including management and HR issues as well as the management and supervision of financial and HR related issues of subsidiaries, joint venture companies and other group companies of The meeco Group. It also includes amongst other tasks organisational issues, project financing, tax related issues, processing of orders incl. invoicing, export/import and oversight of logistics and procurement as well as dealing with banks and insurance companies. It is mandatory to have structures sorted and streamlined to be competitive and successful.
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What has been the most challenging experience of your career?
I honestly can’t think of one single event but I think that the simultaneous management and oversight of more than 30 companies of The meeco Group including its subsidiaries in more than 15 countries and its joint venture companies with external partners whilst also keeping in mind the respective profit centres, cash flow and financing needs and especially appropriate legal, organisational and financial structures to meet the needs of the diversity of projects and national requirements pretty much represents what challenges me every day. I must admit that I like to face these challenges and to work on meeting them with tailor made solutions.
The meeco Group is spread over four continents. How do you stay in contact with the other international members of the company?
It is important to travel and to meet colleagues in person in order to ensure professional and efficient co-working. Modern technologies provide good tools to also cooperate closely whilst being stationed far away from each other. This includes daily calls via phone or Skype, conference calls or e-mail communication. Nevertheless personal meetings are advisable to ensure successful execution of projects and efficient administration. I am thus travelling extensively to countries in which we are pursuing projects and in which we maintain companies. This includes both – long haul flights to countries far away from my home bases Dresden, Germany and Zug, Switzerland but also short trips within Europe on a regular basis.
Honestly I nearly don’t face language issues at all. Of course there have been minor misunderstandings due to cultural differences and especially with regards of the level of commitment persons from different cultural backgrounds express but in general the culture and also the mission of The meeco Group pays a lot of attention to the diversity of cultures in the several countries all around the globe, which are in our focus and I think we are quite successful in dealing with them. It is also our understanding and a principle to always work with reliable partners in the markets we are targeting and to never enter a country without having already established sustainable relationships with local professionals.
As The meeco Group manages projects in many countries the products have to be imported from the manufacturer to the client. What is your role regarding the shipment of equipment?
Obviously as CFO I have to overlook and advise on pricing, procurement, logistics and other related matters. I need to especially work together with Ms. Victoria Lazaro, our Head of Procurement and Logistics, who is based in Alicante, Spain. We work closely in terms of orders with our suppliers but also with regards to the sales and execution side and I rely on her support regarding processing and invoicing the projects with our clients. I appreciate her support very much and we are working together very efficiently – even though she is based in Alicante, Spain and I am either in Germany, Switzerland or somewhere else. But as previously mentioned it is very important to meet each other from time to time – discuss projects and co-work personal and in detail. And it is always advisable to travel to sunny Alicante…
What is the personal motto that drives you in the execution of your daily work?
I do not have a personal motto, which captures in just a few words, what is important to me but allow me to summarise one of my professional principles. I value and appreciate if professionals are clear and honest in their communication and in their way of working. It is not always the most appreciated thing when you get straight to the point and – as mentioned above – you also need to pay attention and keep in mind cultural differences but some kind of concentration and “coming straight to the point” is what I value very much. In addition I think one should always be honest and frank – even though it would also not make your counterpart immediately your best friend but I’d rather tell the entire truth than enjoying building cloud-castles.
According to you, what challenges do you see arising in the future for The meeco Group?
As for The meeco Group and its activities with regards to clean energy, especially PV, I see a bright future for the technology, the market and thus for the company. This obviously comes with challenges, which need to be managed and mastered including the diversity of legislations, financial requirements, market movements, development of the technology amongst others but generally speaking I am sure that PV will become more and more important for a balanced and healthy mixture of energy resources all over the world. And we as meeco will try to remain in the lead in several countries and promote solar technology including our services and solutions.
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MEDIENKONTOR Dresden, which has become meeco Communication Services, is the company you initially co-founded. Today it is a part of The meeco Group. Which role does meeco Communication Services play for the group?
meeco Communication Services is kind of the in-house agency for The meeco Group but also supports other clients with its wide range of services. As a cooperative agency it aims to attract public notice to businesses and to conveying the message of its clients. Its mission is simple: Making content visible. Functioning as centre of expertise in the fields of media and communication meeco Communication Services makes sure that its clients can be found in print and online media as well as television and radio broadcasting. In addition, meeco Communication Services offers holistic visual identity services, allowing companies to gain significant visual recognition in the market, whatever its size is.
Also The meeco Group benefits from the services of meeco Communication Services. The PR team publishes press releases and blog articles, designs the cooperate brochures, maintain the website and manages social media platforms as Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn.
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