The CEO of Montblanc, NICOLAS BARETZKI, answers our 15 questions and explains why Hamburg is so important for his company’s success. “I feel like a citizen of the world” 

You’ve got ten minutes’ time for yourself at the office. What do you do?
Write down my thoughts and the to-dos that came up throughout the day. Writing is the best way to explore new ideas – it can lead to a game-changing innovation.

Where do you consider home?
I feel like a citizen of the world. Home is where my family is.

Which characteristics do you value most in your employees?
Trustworthiness, reliability and passion.

What`s your favorite spot in Hamburg?
The new Elbphilharmonie fascinates me. I have been fortunate enough to attend several concerts there, especially as I am an amateur piano player. The space and the sound are truly impressive.

What drives you?
Making the impossible happen.

What do you particularly like about Hamburg?
Hamburg is a beautiful and vibrant city that has so much to offer. For me personally I enjoy the closeness to the sea and especially the cultural life.

What does the word success mean to you?
Not much, as I am mostly interested in the next challenge.

Apart from Hamburg, which are your three favorite cities?
Paris, New York and Singapore, as my daughter was born there.

Who would you like to meet?
Montblanc’s founding fathers, to learn about their groundbreaking innovations and vision.

You’ve got a free weekend with no phone calls or meetings … what do you do?
First, I freak out. Then, if I have enough time, I walk as much as I can. Hamburg is great for walks around Lake Alster.

What was the best investment of your life?
Not the highest investment, but one with a personal meaning: the first Montblanc Fountain Pen I bought as a university freshman. It was one of the first luxury items that I treated myself to. It has been a life companion ever since.

How many employees does your company have worldwide/in Germany?
We are over 3,000 Montblanc employees worldwide, of which 1,000 are in Hamburg, Germany.

What do you appreciate about Hamburg as a location for your company?
Our Maison was founded in Hamburg in 1906; this is where our culture of writing began and where the vision of performance, innovation and perfect quality became the driving force of Montblanc. For us at Montblanc, this city plays an emotional role, as it is where everything started.

What targets do you want to reach with your team in 2018/2019?
You can expect surprises from us, we’ll be venturing into new segments, accelerating our digital footprint and conquering high artistry for men.

You have one wish. What do you wish for?
Health and happiness for my family.

The French business manager Nicolas Baretzki (47) started working for the German luxury brand Montblanc, which is part of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, in 2013 as Executive Vice President of Sales. In April 2017, he took over from Jérôme Lambert as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining Montblanc, Baretzki had worked at Richemont brands since 2002, after graduating from HEC (École des Hautes Études Commerciales) in Paris. He started his career at Cartier where he worked in a variety of marketing and general management functions for eight years. He then moved to Jaeger-LeCoultre in 2002 and served as International Sales Director for 12 years. Nicolas Baretzki lives in Hamburg with his family.