The Jacobs Group is in a period of transition, as the leadership of Jacobs Holding AG and the Jacobs Foundation, the beneficiary of the Jacobs family’s business holdings, is being passed on to the next generation. Christian and Andreas Jacobs – born in 1962 and 1963, respectively – took over the chairmanship of Jacobs Holding AG and the Jacobs Foundation from their father, Klaus J. Jacobs. Now, after 10 years, they are passing the baton to the next generation. Effective April 1, 2015, their sister Lavinia (born in 1980) will succeed Christian as chair of the Jacobs Foundation. Their younger brothers Nicolas (1982) and Philippe (1984) will assume the responsibilities of co-chairs of Jacobs Holding AG at the March 2015 General Meeting.
Andreas Jacobs will continue to serve as a member of the Jacobs Holding AG Board of Directors, while Christian Jacobs will play an active role in the foundation’s activities as its honorary chairman.
“I am delighted that my oldest sister is succeeding me in chairing the Board of Trustees. She is very familiar with the work of the Jacobs Foundation, having been involved in its activities for many years. I am also pleased to be able to hand over a foundation that is in excellent condition – in terms of its organization, its programs and its financial situation,” said outgoing chairman Dr. Johann Christian Jacobs, who presided over the Jacobs Foundation during a period of numerous important decisions and changes.
It was under his leadership that the foundation established a professional management structure, introduced a strategic approach to program planning, and developed a fact-based system for assessing performance. His accomplishments are many: During his term as chairman, the Jacobs Foundation transitioned from being exclusively a grant-making foundation to implementing programs of its own. It launched a number of large-scale national programs, notably in the field of early childhood education. Also under his leadership, the foundation increased its funding for international scholarship, established the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize in the field of child and youth development, and expanded the Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development at the University of Zurich. Dr. Jacobs strengthened cooperation with Jacobs University in Bremen, a private university that received 200 million euros from his father, Klaus J. Jacobs, in 2006 – a new standard for private funding. With the help of Dr. Jacobs, that institution, which is run according to the principles of the private sector, has become one of Europe’s leading research universities.
In keeping with his guiding principle – investments in education pay off – Dr. Jacobs has not only encouraged the government and private industry to play a larger role in strengthening children and young people, but also made sure that the foundation’s earning capacity has kept pace with an increase in opportunities for new programs. With his sister Lavinia, he saw to it that their father’s vision was realized even in the years following 2008, a difficult economic period for the companies of the Jacobs Group.
“I would like to express my sincere thanks to my brother for his untiring efforts over many years to improve the living situation of children and adolescents. I look forward to continuing to work with him, in the spirit of our father, for the benefit of future generations,” said Lavinia Jacobs.