Our Story – Where we come from

“We have come a long way since our establishment. We have been blessed with a convergence of good luck, meeting the right people at the right time, and our fierce sense of intuition.”

Peter Hartkopf:

“After obtaining my high school diploma, I completed a banking apprenticeship and bank-internal training as a Savings Bank Operator. I always knew I wanted to work with people. In the subsequent corporate customer business, I encountered the opportunities and risks of medium-sized (Mittelstand) companies first hand.

Working as a Savings Bank Operator I experienced detailed insights involving numerous business models. I had the opportunity to get to know many entrepreneurs of medium-sized (Mittelstand) companies close up and found it very appealing to have a kind of ‘structured freedom’. Ultimately, I saw a career where I could be pragmatic and relaxed but simultaneously have the ability to make quick and direct decisions. This is where I found the possibilities of growth by your own means, in the Mittelstand.

It was clear that over the years I had learned many things from working in a savings bank but due to the static hierarchical structures of the bank, I felt that I had to go in a different direction.

In order to further expand my theoretical background, I began to study Business Management at the University of Cologne, majoring in Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration on Business Psychology. During this phase of my life, I met my wife who was working at a HR consultancy as an Executive Search associate in Frankfurt.

My wife’s current career fascinated me; I could foresee the possibility of applying both my theoretical and practical knowledge in the area of Executive Search.

At the end of the 1980’s we decided to become entrepreneurs by building an office for Executive Search together. In the beginning we worked as a subcontractor for international consultations, such as Kienbaum and others alike. We experienced consistent rapid growth within our own business. Despite our best efforts to personally work with each client, we were eventually unable to continually provide the best service without having other necessary employees.

Working closely with our clients, we learned that it was not possible to simply pursue an Executive Search business without being faced with a wide range of problems surrounding personnel management. This turning point made it apparent that we had to expand our services beyond the core area of Executive Search.

Accordingly we added many tools to our roster including but not limited to: aptitude diagnostic tests, coaching, process optimization, employee performance surveys and the development of Talent Pools.

There were two very important entrepreneurs who undeniably helped us achieve a great deal of success. These men, Dr. Karlheinz Hunecke (IBB Personalmarketing GmbH) and Mr. Herbert Cura (MUMMERT later CHW Managementberatung GmbH), transferred their life’s work into our hands.

More and more our clientele broadened. Today many medium-sized (Mittelstand) companies from all over Germany and neighbouring European countries have found success with us. I am a member of several company advisory boards and professional associations. I also support many projects to better my community as an active Rotarian.”

Brigitte Nücke-Hartkopf:

"I graduated from high school in the Greater Frankfurt area where I soon after completed an apprenticeship with Dresdner Bank. Subsequently, I began my studies at the Goethe University in Frankfurt majoring in Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on International Finance and Corporate Management.

I worked in the Foreign Exchange Trades and the International Service sectors of the Dresdner Bank. Additionally, I gained international experience in various apprenticeships for an insurance company in Paris, London, and Sydney.

These experiences gave me many opportunities to meet many people with a wide variety of career paths leading me to realize that the binary relationship of personal and professional excited me. I began working at one of the leading international counselling companies where I learned the basics of Headhunting and Aptitude Diagnostics.

After many years of freelancing with my husband, we decided to open an office for Executive Search based in Cologne. To further my theoretical experience I obtained a certificate in Operational Psychology. Working as an entrepreneur gave me the opportunity to not only practice Executive Search and Advertisement Based Search, but also conduct many Aptitude Diagnostics therefore advising many clients in the area.

I really enjoy helping my clients find their potential by realizing their strengths and weaknesses. Again and again, young graduates, as well as experienced executives turn to me for advice and guidance in their career paths. I am especially partial to the process of intensive discussion accompanied by Aptitude Diagnostics results, where we jointly develop strategies that correspond to the personal abilities and talents of each individual.

I also deal with the creation of Talent Pools in larger companies in order to counter the negative effects of the current demographic shift.

Together my husband and I volunteer at an annual Rotary event held in selected high schools in the Cologne area, which allows the senior students to receive early career consultation. We have two adult children and live in the Cologne area."

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