FASE – Our Team

Dr. Markus Freiburg
Founder & Managing Director

By building FASE to become the leading social finance intermediary in Germany and Europe, Markus combines his strategic and financial expertise with his passion for social entrepreneurship. Today he is recognized as a thought leader for social finance, with an active presence in public discourses e.g. as member of the Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES) of the EU Commission and the German National Advisory Board of G7 Social Impact Investing Taskforce. He was also selected for the 40 under 40 European Young Leaders Class 2017. Markus studied Economics at Witten/Herdecke (Dipl.-Ök.) and Cambridge (M.Phil) and promoted at the WHU Koblenz on investments by institutional investors in private equity funds. He also contributes his experience as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and pro-bono advisor to social entrepreneurs.

For Markus’ full professional profile please click here.

Karsten Zengerling
Senior Advisor

Karsten has supported FASE as Senior Advisor since its beginnings. He has over 25 years of experience in corporate finance, banking and consulting, with a focus on structuring and implementing equity investments and mezzanine financings as well as corporate transactions. Prior to joining FASE, he was head of the equity participations and investment business of social-ecological GLS Bank. Prior to that, he was Managing Director at the German bank WestLB AG, Senior Investment Manager at the investment firm 3i and Senior Manager at A.T. Kearney. Karsten holds a Diplom-Kaufmann degree from WHU Koblenz.

Dorothee Vogt
Senior Transaction Managerin

Dorothee joined FASE in February 2018 as a Senior Transaction Manager. She contributes her extensive experience in social entrepreneurship, impact investing and philanthropy, among others as investment manager at the German impact fund pioneer BonVenture, as head of business development of the social business Change.org Germany, as well as project manager at Körber Stiftung, one of the largest German foundations. Dorothee holds a Masters degree in cultural sciences and studied at Leuphana University Lüneburg (Germany) and Universitá degli studi di Macerata in Italy. As a passionate advocate for social change, she also has several pro bono roles for organisations with a social mission.

Christophe Baudin
Founding Partner FASE Benelux

Christophe Baudin started to set up FASE Benelux in October 2016. He brings valuable sector expertise to the FASE team. Previously, he worked as an investment manager for SI²Fund, where he was responsible for deal flow generation, investment execution, and investment management. Before, he was the strategic development director for Sibelco Group in Antwerp. leading the origination to completion of a broad range of cross border transactions. Christophe has relevant M&A experience from two banks and holds a Master in Business Engineering from Solvay Business School, Free University of Brussels.

Dr. Adrian Fuchs
Transaction Manager

Since March 2017, Adrian strengthens the FASE team as a transaction manager. He studied business economics in Maastricht (BSc.) and London (MA) before receiving his PhD from the University of Hamburg on the subject of impact investing for German charitable foundations (Dr. rer. pol.). Adrian gained relevant project management experience at Bonventure – where he assisted the establishment of the first German social venture capital fund for foundations (MRI pilot fund) – and at the Bertelsmann Foundation. He is driven by the goal to professionalise the impact driven sector.

Blanca Pohl
Finance & Accounting

Since March 2018, Blanca is responsible for finance and accounting at FASE. Her professional experience builds on many years as a freelancer and entrepreneur, having been a founder and managing parter of a dotcom startup as well as a freelance financial planner and controller. She supported enterprises in multiple sectors during their financing and growth stages and gained insights into social entrepreneurship when doing a “volunteer summer” with Ashoka in 2011. Blanca has a holistic and entrepreneurial view on numbers and sees financial success as the expression of a purpose-driven collaboration.

Ellinor Schweyer
Founder & Managing Director

Ellinor discovered her passion for financing sustainable business models in 2012 when working as an investment manager for German impact fund Bonventure. Before Ashoka Germany approached her to become a co-founder of FASE, she also supported social entrepreneurs in her role as a fundraiser and social impact lecturer at the Munich-based Social Entrepreneurship Akademie (SEA). For FASE, Ellinor contributes her broad network of investors, multiplyers and supporters as well as her extensive marketing and fundraising knowledge to build a pool of engaged impact investors. Through her father, Rolf Dienst, a seasoned venture capitalist, she knows the VC business from scratch and leverages her own entrepreneurial experience as a start-up founder. Ellinor is a frequent panelist for impact investing and social finance in workshops and conferences within and outside the impact sector. Originally, she obtained a bachelor degree in hotel and restaurant management from Lausanne and Oxford and ran marketing initiatives for premier brands such as Dom Pérignon, Dior and Falke.

 

Sabine Kaiser
Senior Transaction Managerin

Sabine joined FASE in May 2016 as a Senior Transaction Manager. She is passionate about technological and social innovations that have a significant positive impact on peoples’ lives, and draws upon her experience from more than 20 years of consulting and entrepreneurial investing. Sabine previously worked with McKinsey&Company, Technologieholding VC GmbH, 3i plc and BTV, an internationally active German family office. She holds a Diploma in Human Biology from the Philipps-University of Marburg and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School.

Thomas Knaack
Senior Advisor

Thomas Knaack has been active as a business angel for many years which includes several investments in social enterprises. In 2008 he established a foundation together with his wife to support projects in the area of microfinance globally. Thomas has more than 25 years of experience first as a banker and then as the mananging partner of a consultancy firm in the financial services sector. Since September 2016 he strengthens the FASE team as a Senior Advisor.

Alexandra Heraeus
Transaction Managerin

Alexandra joined FASE in April 2016 after gaining her transaction and project management experience in M&A and merger integration at Henkel Adhesives in Duesseldorf, Germany. Alexandra discovered her enthusiasm for solving social problems with economically sustainable business models during her studies. To link both worlds more closely, she co-founded “SensAbility”, the largest conference in Germany organized by students around the topic of social entrepreneurship. Alexandra holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Germany, and a Master of Law and Business from WHU/Bucerius Law School.

Magdalena Keus
Executive Assistent to the Managing Directors

Magdalena joined FASE as Executive Assistent to the Managing Directors in April 2017 after gathering relevant experience in change and project management roles. At Make-A-Wish, an international organisation based in Munich that fullfills wishes for critically ill children, she took care of partnerships and volunteers. During her studies, Magdalena was engaged with various renowned non-profits in the areas of education and development work. She first came in touch with sustainable solutions for social problems developed by hybrid organisations and social enterprises during her master studies. Magdalena holds a master degree in management for non-profit organisations.

Christina Moehrle
Communications Manager

Christina joined the team in August 2014 and takes care of FASE’s communications. In 2011, she entered the sector as a freelance writer and journalist to actively promote social entrepreneurship and impact investing. Meanwhile, she focuses on social finance product development for online and onsite education and on communications consulting. Christina gathered more than 15 years of experience in structured finance, venture capital and investor relations, with management roles at international VC firm Star Ventures as well as DB Trust, a fully owned subsidiary of Deutsche Bank. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Mannheim (Germany), and is a member of the German journalist association DFJV.

Initiators and Co-Founders

The financing agency was initiated by one of its major shareholders, Ashoka – the first and leading organization in support of social entrepreneurship worldwide.

Felix Oldenburg
Secretary General of the Association for German Foundations

Felix Oldenburg initiated the idea of the “planetary system of finance” and the creation of the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship. He is strongly convinced that the financing agency creates more transparency and cooperation between the different planets of financiers and donors.
Before becoming Managing Director of Ashoka Europe, he started as entrepreneur, project pioneer and consultant between politics, economics and society, among others as a member of directorate of a political consultancy, as a management consultant at McKinsey&Company in London. Previously he founded an Internet-Start-up. Felix Oldenburg studied Philosophy (M.A.) at the universities in Bonn, Tübingen and Oxford and completed an Executive Master in Political Management at Georgetown (Washington, US).

Björn Strüwer
Founder and CEO Roots of Impact

 

Bjoern Struewer is Founder and CEO of Roots of Impact, a specialized advisory firm building the market for more effective impact investing. He is also senior advisor to Ashoka on social finance, co-founder of the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship (FASE) and initiator of the Ashoka Angels Network. Bjoern has more than 20 years of experience in the finance sector. Until 2013 he was Managing Director of Credit Suisse and is now actively engaged in developing solutions for responsible investments, social finance and impact investing for many years. Bjoern serves on several boards and regularly speaks, lectures and publishes internationally on impact investing and social finance.

Support Team of External Experts

Around the core team there is a circle of experienced experts, donors and investors that support the core team:

Andreas Lange
Senior Advisor

 

 

Andreas Lange has always been enthusiastic about the idea of creating better financing opportunities for social entrepreneurs. He is especially interested in the synergies between non-profits and private companies, which share a business sector and can optimize their impact through cooperating. Andreas is the CIO of Argenthal Private Capital Limited and leads the investment activities of the major stockholder, the Garcin Family. Previously he founded Altira AG, a company that sets up, buys and sells asset management boutiques. His MBA he completed at Bayreuth University.

Markus Hipp
Geschäftsführender Vorstand der BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt

Markus Hipp actively supports the professional setup of the financing agency. He is convinced of the crucial role a strong intermediary can play in enhancing the capability of social enterprises, thereby rendering the sector attractive for new investors. As a board member of the BMW foundation, Markus Hipp supports numerous NPOs. Furthermore, he engages in boards of other organisations, such as the National Association of German Foundations, the European Venture Philanthropy Association, the MitOst e.V. and gut.org gAG

Thomas Jetter
Senior Advisor

 

 

Thomas Jetter was one of the most important sparring partners during the genesis of the FASE – idea. After studying and completing his PHD at the University Saarbrücken, he began his professional career at JP Morgan in Frankfurt am Main and New York. 1989 he changed to McKinsey & Company. Between 1995 and 2009 Jetter was a partner at the Permira GmbH. Thomas Jetter is currently active as a chairman of Sirona Dental Systems, Inc, a board member of Ashoka Germany, amongst other engagements.