Following a commercial apprenticeship and several years of thorough education, Klaus-Michael Kühne joined the family business Kühne+Nagel in the early 1960s. In 1963, he was appointed general partner, in 1966 Chairman of the Management Board. From 1975 onwards, he was Chief Executive Officer and later on appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors at the company’s international head office in Switzerland. Since 2011, Klaus-Michael Kühne has been Honorary Chairman of Kühne + Nagel International AG. The Kühne Holding AG, established by KlausMichael Kühne in 1993, is the majority shareholder of the Kühne+Nagel Group and holds an over 30 per cent stake in Hapag-Lloyd AG, one of the worldwide leading container shipping lines, as well as a 17.5 per cent stake in Lufthansa AG. In addition, the Kühne Holding AG owns real estate and is engaged in the luxury hotel segment. Together with his parents, Klaus-Michael Kühne established the Kühne Foundation in the year 1976. The deed of the Foundation is support for training, further education, scholarships and research in the fields of transport and logistics. The Kühne Foundation is also heavily involved in the area of medicine. It has established a Medicine Campus in Davos, Switzerland, supporting there two major research projects in the fields of allergology and cardiology, and runs the Hochgebirgsklinik. A new focus on climate action is currently in the conception phase. In the area of culture, the Kühne Foundation supports primarily festivals, opera and concert halls in Europe.
Christine Kühne is married to Klaus-Michael Kühne and she supports him in all projects of the Foundation. On her initiative, the Christine Kühne – Center for Allergy Research and Educations was founded in 2009 in order to make a lasting impact on research into allergies.
Dr. Thomas Staehelin holds a PhD in law and has been a partner of Fromer Advokatur und Notariat based in Basel since 1981. His expertise includes international mandates, corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, tax law, contract and commercial law as well as banking and stock market law. Dr. Staehelin is a member and/or President of the Board of Directors of several Swiss and international companies. Dr. Staehelin has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1998 and has been its Vice-President since then.
After studies in law, Michael Behrendt joined VTG Vereinigte Tanklager und Transportmittel GmbH in 1985 and became Managing Director in 1994. In 1999, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of VTG Lehnkering AG. Michael Behrendt became Chairman of the Executive Board of Hapag-Lloyd AG in 2002; and has taken over as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hapag-Lloyd AG in 2014. Furthermore, he is President of the Übersee-Club e.V. in Hamburg and board member of the non-profit science organization Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft e.V. Mr. Behrendt was first appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Kühne Foundation in 2005. From 2008 to 2016, he sat on the Board of Trustees of the Klaus-Michael Kühne Foundation.
Dr. Thomas Buberl began his career as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group for the banking & insurance sector and joined the Winterthur Group in 2005. He moved to Zurich Insurance Group in 2008 as CEO for Switzerland. At the beginning of 2012, Dr. Buberl was appointed CEO of AXA Germany and member of the AXA Executive Committee. In March 2015, he also joined the AXA Management Committee and became CEO of the global health business line, and, in January 2016, of the global fife & savings business line. Dr. Buberl has been Chief Executive Officer and Director of AXA since 2016. He holds a Master of Economics degree from WHU Koblenz (Germany), an MBA from Lancaster University (UK) and a PhD in Economics from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland). He is a member of the Supervisory Board of Bertelsmann Verwaltungsgesellschaft and a member of the IBM Board. He also sits on the Board of Trustees of the World Economic Forum. He was named Knight of the French Legion of Honour in 2019. Dr. Thomas Buberl has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Kühne Foundation since November 2023.
Dr. Jörg Dräger studied Physics and Economics in Hamburg and New York. After his graduation, he worked for Roland Berger Strategy Consultants in Frankfurt/Main. He returned to Hamburg as CEO of the Northern Institute of Technology. From 2001 to 2008 Dr. Dräger took office as Hamburg’s (independent) Minister of Science and Research. In addition, he was a member of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs and a deputy member of the German Bundesrat. From 2008 till the end of 2021 he was a member of the Executive Board at the Bertelsmann Foundation. Dr. Dräger was first appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2008, and has been the Executive Director of the Board of Trustees of the Kühne Foundation since 2022.
Following the completion of an apprenticeship at Kühne+Nagel Hamburg, Dr. Wolfgang Peiner studied business administration in Hamburg and Kansas, USA. Thereafter, he worked as tax consultant and auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co., the Werner Otto Group and as Director, later on as Chief Executive, of the Gothaer Group. During those times, Dr. Peiner was a member of the Board of Directors of the Treuhandanstalt and its successor organization BvS, Kühne + Nagel International AG as well as a member of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Friends Provident. From 2001 to 2006 Dr. Peiner was Senator of Finance of the Hamburg state government, at the same time, he was Federal Treasurer of the CDU party. In the years 2010 and 2011, he was founding president of the Kühne Logistics University. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Kühne Holding AG from 2008 to 2022. Dr. Peiner has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Kühne Foundation since 2005.
Dr. Marc Pfeffer is admitted to the bar in Switzerland and Germany. He received his doctorate with distinction from Saarland University and worked for the FTC, Washington D.C., USA and the Federal Cartel Office, Berlin, at the end of the 1990s. Various management positions included working for the DB AG Group from 2002 to 2006, where he last served as General Counsel of DB Netz AG, Frankfurt. After the IPO was canceled, Dr. Pfeffer moved to Switzerland in 2006 and was Head of International Legal Affairs and later Group Legal Counsel at OC Oerlikon until 2012. In 2013, Dr. Pfeffer advised Kühne Holding AG as attorney-at-law and has been Group General Counsel at Kühne+Nagel since 2014, where he also became Corporate Secretary of the Board of Directors in 2019. He served as a Member of the Board of Directors of Ruf Holding AG from 2008 to 2019. From 2019 to the end of 2022 he was Executive Director and member of the Board of Directors of Kühne Holding AG. When he joined the Management Board of Kühne + Nagel International AG on January 1, 2023, he resigned from this office. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Kühne Foundation since April 2023.
Tobias B. Staehelin is admitted to the bar and specialises in corporate law. He graduated from the University of St. Gallen with a lic. iur. degree. In addition, he holds a CEMS Master in International Management, an LL.M. from Northwestern University, USA, and the Instituto de Empresa, Spain. Tobias B. Staehelin has operational experience in Asia and Europe, most recently as Chairman of the Management Board of C. Haushahn GmbH & Co. KG in Stuttgart and as a member of the management of Schindler Deutschland AG & Co. KG in Berlin. He is currently member of the Board of Directors of Schindler Holding AG and Schindler Aufzüge AG, and since 2021 member of the Group Executive Committee of the Schindler Group, responsible for Corporate Human Resources. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of Kühne + Nagel International AG since 2021 and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Kühne Foundation since 2023.
Prof. Dr. Jens Weidmann, who holds a doctorate in economics, studied in Aix-en-Provence and Bonn. He started his career at the International Monetary Fund, then became Secretary-General of the German Council of Economic Experts, and subsequently headed the department for monetary policy and monetary analysis at the Bundesbank. In the Federal Chancellery, he led the department of economic and financial policy and was most recently the personal representative of the Chancellor for the economic summits of the G8 and G20 nations, before being appointed President of the Bundesbank in 2011. After leaving the Bundesbank in 2021, Weidmann was elected Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Commerzbank AG in 2023 and was appointed as Professor at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. Since November 2023, he has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Kühne Foundation.