Klaus Kottmeier, Chairman of the Deutscher Fachverlag (dfv) Supervisory Board is celebrating his 80th birthday today. On behalf of the entire management board, Angela Wisken, spokesperson for dfv management, pays tribute to him on this special occasion: “For over four decades, Klaus Kottmeier has had a decisive influence on the development of dfv, one of Europe’s largest independent trade media publishers. His word carries much weight in our company and in our industry because his knowledge of the trade media business is second to none.” Andreas Lorch, principal shareholder of the publishing company and son of its founder, Wilhelm Lorch, adds: “Klaus Kottmeier wholeheartedly believes in what makes the Deutscher Fachverlag stand out: journalistic excellence and independence.”

Kottmeier began his career at dfv in 1969 as publishing director of the Lebensmittel Zeitung. In 1976 he was appointed Managing Director of the publishing group and from 1981 to 2003 served as its spokesman. Numerous milestone achievements took place in this phase of the company’s history, such as acquisition of the advertising and marketing trade journal HORIZONT in 1986 and launching the first online content formats in the mid-1990s. Kottmeier recognized the potential of the then nascent technologies at an early stage and was pivotal in the development of online media content as a growth driver for dfv. He also set his sights on expanding into new markets, not only within Europe but also internationally. For example, in 1997 dfv acquired a share in Manstein Publishing in Vienna/Perchtoldsdorf. The Austrian publishing house has many well-known publications and has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of dfv since 2001.

Kottmeier became the chairman of the newly founded Supervisory Board of the Deutscher Fachverlag in 2003. During his chairmanship he was the driving force behind the takeover of the IZ Immobilien Zeitung Verlagsgesellschaft and the Stuttgart-based Matthaes Verlag, which publishes the AHGZAllgemeine Hotel- und Gastronomie-Zeitung. Today, both companies are key sources of revenue for dfv.

Kottmeier was also a strong proponent of acquiring an equity interest in the Frankfurt-based Maleki Communications Group, as well as the takeover of the Hamburg-based FVW Mediengruppe. Both companies have been part of the dfv group since the first quarter of 2013: dfv holds a majority stake in the Frankfurt financial market communication specialist and the FVW Mediengruppe is a wholly-owned subsidiary of dfv.

In 2009 Kottmeier was awarded the Merit Cross on Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of his deep commitment to not only the dfv itself, but also to the independent status of the specialist and trade media, and the vocational and continuing education of young people. He served for many years on the board of the Verband Deutscher Zeitschriftenverleger (Association of German Magazine Publishers) and was chairman of the board for its trade journal division. From 1992 to 2000, he served as spokesman for – and played a decisive role in founding – the Verein Deutsche Fachpresse (German Association of Business Media), which represents the interests of trade publishers. Kottmeier was also instrumental in establishing the three non-profit foundations of dfv. These foundations promote the development of talented young people in the textile and food industries, and the communications and advertising sector. The Wilhelm Lorch Foundation, the Goldener Zuckerhut Foundation and the HORIZONT Foundation now administer a total endowment of approximately €4.8 million. Kottmeier continues to serve on the board of all three foundations.

Klaus Kottmeier was born in Surabaya on Java in 1933. After studying law in Basel, Heidelberg, Berlin and Hamburg, he worked for seven years as in-house counsel and Prokurist (company officer with statutory authority) for the Weser-Kurier in Bremen.