Generation change for professionalisation of corporate governance structures

ATZWANGER AG-SpA, specialist for plants in the field of water, energy, waste and building technologies, has a new president of the Board of Directors: Since the beginning of January, Thomas Atzwanger has succeeded his father Paul Atzwanger, who managed the traditional South Tyrolean company for more than six decades.

Christoph Atzwanger is now vice president of the board of directors, and the other members are Martin Atzwanger, long-time head of administration and finance Arnold Lunger, and family business expert Markus Weishaupt.

 “We are using the generational change to professionalize our corporate governance structures and have now opened up the decision-making level to experienced professionals from outside the family,” explains Thomas Atzwanger. 

Meanwhile, in day-to-day business, the focus is on continuity: Thomas, Christoph and Martin Atzwanger are the new old delegates to the Board of Directors.

With 250 employees, an annual production output of 70 million euros, and locations in Bozen/Bolzano, Munich, Salzburg, Palmanova, and Baar in Switzerland, ATZWANGER is one of the established leaders in plant engineering.

“We are fortunate to operate in two highly attractive macro areas: energy and environment, as well as water. While the necessity of the energy transition has been firmly anchored in people's minds at least since the Ukraine war, the importance of the topic of water for the future is still underestimated by many. However, I am convinced that water will become the next oil,” says Thomas Atzwanger.

ATZWANGER AG-SpA is the holding company for all activities in the fields of energy, waste, building-HAVC, drinking-and wastewater as well as pool water treatments. The home market is South Tyrol, but plants are also planned, built and serviced in the rest of Italy, in German-speaking countries, in Eastern Europe and in the Baltic States, North Africa and Japan. Whenever technological challenges for larger plants are involved, ATZWANGER is a sought-after partner. Thomas Atzwanger puts it this way: “We are a traditional South Tyrolean company that is helping to build the world of tomorrow with innovation and a pioneering spirit.”

Experienced management team

After graduating from the Franziskanergymnasium in Bozen/Bolzano, Thomas Atzwanger studied business administration at the universities "L. Bocconi" in Milan and Cologne and obtained an MBA at the business school Insead in Fontainebleau. He started his professional career in the chemical industry with the Montedison Group in Germany in the 1990s, then worked for the consulting firm McKinsey in Düsseldorf, Munich, Milan and Rome for several years and, from 2001, was a private equity manager with the British financial investor 3i Group in Munich and London. He joined the family business in 2006. There, he assumed responsibility for the pool water treatment division and primarily drove expansion in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The two other delegates of the Board of Directors, Christoph and Martin Atzwanger, also studied at Bocconi and have many years of extensive experience.

Before completing his MBA at Insead, Christoph Atzwanger worked for the Nestlé Group and subsequently for the management consultancy Arthur D. Little, as well as in leading positions at the consumer goods conglomerate Strauss-Elite in the Netherlands, Israel and Brazil, and in the telecommunications sector. In 2003, he joined the family business, where he is now responsible for the waste treatment division and the international energy business.

Martin Atzwanger - operative at ATZWANGER AG since 1995 and responsible for drinking & waste water treatment, building-HVAC and energy in the Trentino-South Tyrol region - previously worked for several years as a management consultant at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in Milan, Turin, Rome and Chicago. He then worked as managing director of the Italian holding company of Nettingsdorfer Papierfabrik AG (now Smurfit Kappa) in the corrugated board division.