abc European Partner
Josef Schmidt graduated from the University of Vienna with a Magister Degree in economic sciences. Following a one year postgraduate scholarship in Germany he started his career as an Export Director in the wine industry. In 1984 he was appointed by Pepsi Cola International as Director of Trade and Business Development for Central and Eastern Europe. In 1992 Phillip Morris/Kraft-General Foods appointed him as Area Director, Central and Eastern Europe. He was responsible for the implementation of their aggressive, corporate acquisition and joint venture strategies, in Europe’s emerging markets.
During this 2 year period he was responsible for and successfully led 6 major acquisitions in Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria, as well as the integration into the PM corporate network. After Austria became a full member of the European Union in January 1995 he took over the position as General Manager of WIBAG AG, a government entity of Burgenland, the fastest emerging province within the European Union after the fall of the “iron fence”. He was fully responsible for the evaluation, decision and distribution of projects eligible for grants and subsidies within the EU’s business promotion projects. Additionally, WIBAG manages Austria’s first Venture Capital Fund, which has invested approx. $ 150 Million in 42 local small and medium sized companies.
Since 2000 he has started a new career as an independent consultant with extended networking activities in Austria, Germany, Switzerland as well as in the newly independent states of Central and Eastern Europe. His special focus isthe promotion of international investments (M&A as well as for start up companies). The area of ‘environmental projects’ is the key driver of his business development activities.
In August 2010, Mr. Schmidt was appointed head of abc office in Bratislava, Slovak Republic. As Vice-President for CEE-region, our Chinese and European clients benefit from the Mr. Schmidt´s network and experience in Central and Eastern Europe countries.
Liam Eastland is a commercially orientated Engineering Director with 20 years experience in the automotive industry, both in the OEM’s and in first tier suppliers.
An engineer with a commercial background Liam has spent the previous 7 years as the Customer Group Manager for an aluminium foundry for the APAC region, responsible for all commercial activity for the group in that region. During that time Liam has played the leading role in winning several major new supply contracts from Europe into the Asia-Pacific region. He has also played a key role in mapping out the strategic direction for Asia-Pacific, leading the planning activities for a major new investment in the region.
Some areas of significant accomplishment are as follows:
- Liam has significantly improving both scrap and productivity during his time at Honda, demonstrating extensive problem solving ability.
- He developed the approach, systems and the team, in order to turn around a failing project in West Yorkshire Foundries where he was able to achieve major improvements in product quality, equipment uptime and efficiency, through the introduction of measurement and control key performance indicators on the shop floor.
- He has a proven and referenceable record for on-time, on budget delivery of projects in the extremely challenging environment of the automotive industry.
- He has played a leading role evaluating commercial opportunities around the world in South Africa, Australia and China. Responsible for the evaluation of the overall projects from capital investment to business planning to risk assessment.
- He also has extensive commercial experience both in the Management of Hydro’s and subsequently Nemak’s business in the Asia Pacific region and also leading the evaluation and subsequent negotiation for several major contracts in the Asia Pacific.
Liam holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Swansea University. In addition he has had vocational training covering; Project Management, Managing Project Costs, Project Risk Assessment, APQP, QS9000 Management Awareness, Time Compression Technology, Developing Consulting Skills, German Language Tuition, Negotiation Skills and Problem Solving.
Liam was previously a competitive swimmer competing at county level and later at National Level in Masters Events, however he now swims to keep fit. Recently he has competed in team triathlon events in Nanjing. He enjoy mountain biking and does a regular Sunday morning session with a group of friends in Nanjing.
Last Update: 2010-09-07