Deutsches Aktieninstitut’s management team
Chief Executive and Member of the Board
The driving force
As Executive Member of the Board, Christine Bortenlänger has been responsible for leadership and strategic orientation of Deutsches Aktieninstitut since 2012. She is in constant exchange with our Presidential Board and Executive Committee. In addition, she is the face of Deutsches Aktieninstitut vis-à-vis the media.
With passion for capital markets, she studied business management with a banking focus in Munich and wrote her doctoral thesis on automation of stock markets.
A native of Munich, she tops up her energy during the morning run with her dog along the banks of Isar or Main, in relaxed get-togethers with family and friends or during walks in the hills.
Deputy Managing Director
As Deputy Managing Director, Rhinelander Franz-Josef Leven coordinates the work of Deutsches Aktieninstitut’s offices and represents the Executive Member of the Board.
After studying economics and receiving a doctorate from the University of Cologne, in 1989 he joined the predecessor organisation Arbeitskreis Aktie e.V. and has since shared ups and downs of the capital market at first hand.
Franz-Josef Leven lectures at Goethe-University Frankfurt’s University of the Third Age and the University of Liechtenstein.
In his free time, he is involved with charitable organisations Malteser Hilfsdienst and Lions.
The Deutsches Aktieninstitut team
Head of Communications, Head of Sustainability Department
The route to the dream job
Uta-Bettina von Altenbockum has worked with Deutsches Aktieninstitut since 2006.
With a doctorate in law, she followed a varied route before landing in communication: after a bank apprenticeship and study, first job with Schwerin Savings Bank followed by a period abroad in Sweden, with us she turned her hand to the European Company Statute and MiFID. In addition, she took charge of our Finanzplatz-Magazin publication with great commitment.
In 2012 she became Head of Press and Public Relations, since March 2020 she has been Head of Communication. Since 2023, she leads Deutsches Aktieninstitut’s newly founded sustainability department.
The mother of three almost adult children is an enthusiastic reader of crime novels and thrillers. For her, holidays always mean sea, and she still has ties to Berlin.
Executive Advisor and Policy Advisor Capital Markets Policy (currently on parental leave)
An economist by training, multitasking with Deutsches Aktieninstitut
In addition to the specialist work for our management, Svenja Balonier is responsible for the all-round support of our member companies. Furthermore, the economist provides support for a wide range of capital market projects.
Svenja Balonier studied international relations and management in Regensburg, and economics in Mainz.
And even outside Deutsches Aktieninstitut, the networker is happy to talk about money – preferably with women who (want to) take their finances in their own hands.
Her favourite hobbies, running and her campervan Walter, keep her balanced.
Policy Advisor EU Liaison Office
Traveled far for the Brussels Adventure
Zelda Bank, having already completed an internship in our Frankfurt office in 2018, joined the EU Liaison Office in Brussels in September 2022. Since her internship, she finished her studies in the United States where she majored in political science at Swarthmore College and earned her Juris Doctor at the Boston University School of Law.
In Brussels, among other things, she keeps an eye on the digital files as well as any changes in the field of sustainable finance.
After work, the longtime field hockey player enjoys sports and baking. During the weekend, she enjoys watching the German Bundesliga soccer matches, preferably with a portion of Belgian fries.
Accounting, Finance and Facility Manager
Passion for people and numbers
When the topic at Deutsches Aktieninstitut is money, all roads lead to Claudia Brehm:
Having studied logistics, she joined our administrative staff in 2000. In 2003, she additionally took on the book-keeping function and discovered her flair for financial matters.
She has also been the mastermind behind Deutsches Aktieninstitut’s changes of premises since.
Moreover, Claudia Brehm is responsible for the organisation of our working group meetings.
Her passion is serving people. For her, the well-being of all guests and employees is a personal concern.
Head of EU Liaison Office
Committed lawyer and passionate sustainability expert
After an intermission setting up the Brussels Representation of the Foundation for Family Businesses and Politics, Jan Bremer again heads the EU-Liaison Office of Deutsches Aktieninstitut since August 2022. A lawyer by profession, he served in this function already for almost ten years prior to his two-year term as Head of the Legal Affairs department in Frankfurt.
Alongside scrutinising German and European legislative initiatives, inter alia in the areas of company law, corporate governance and capital market law, he is primarily active around the issues of sustainability and corporate compliance.
Jan Bremer studied law in Constance and Stellenbosch/South Africa. He likes to spend his free time on art and culture in Brussels.
PA to the Chief Executive and Member of the Board
Early bird who catches the worm
As Assistant to Christine Bortenlänger, Alexandra Claas’s most important task is looking after the Board and Executive Committee in every aspect.
An early riser, she also takes care of HR administration and member support as well as organisation of our annual and autumn receptions. She always has a willing ear, even when things are figuratively on fire.
After a commercial training with Hoechst and periods working with Celanese and SGL Carbon, she joined our team in 2014.
A native of Kelkheim, she relaxes in the gym and when mountain biking or walking in the nearby Taunus hills.
The Event Manager
Since August 2022, Kathrin Engel has been supporting the event management team at Deutsches Aktieninstitut. With her many years of experience in organizing conferences, she ensures that meetings, conferences, webinars and any other events are well prepared and run smoothly.
An industrial clerk by training, she was most recently head of event management at a university in Frankfurt am Main.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, playing tennis and hiking in the mountains.
Database Management (currently on parental leave)
Mother of the database
Elisenda Fàbrega came to us as events manager in 2013 – taking care of addresses was almost a sideline.
After the introduction of our CRM, Elisenda Fàbrega concentrated all her attention on database management in 2016.
The well organised Catalan who always has a smile on her face is happy to pass on her wide knowledge to new colleagues.
Elisenda Fàbrega is currently on parental leave.
Head of Capital Markets Department
Regulation expert with a sense of humour
As head of this specialist area, Gerrit Fey analysis fundamental questions surrounding capital markets.
He analyses and comments on transparency and conduct obligations of listed companies as well as the impact of capital market rules on the availability of instruments for management of companies’ interest-rate, exchange and raw-material risks.
The tools of his trade can be traced back to his studies and doctoral work at the University of Marburg with a focus on monetary, currency and institutional economics.
In his free time, Gerrit Fey most enjoys sitting on his mountain bike or putting on his walking boots.
Head of Event Management
Jovana Folkens has been organising our conferences and major events, planning them with specialist colleagues and drawing up checklists since 2016. In addition, she supports Claudia Brehm with accounts and finance.
She always produces a comprehensive no-worries package so that advisers and participants can concentrate on the matter in hand.
Jovana Folkens studied business administration in Mannheim with a focus on trade fair, congress and event management.
Once everything on the checklist has been ticked, she regularly plays volleyball or cooks with great passion for friends and family.
Head of Sustainability Reporting
Brings clarity to complex topics
Jessica Göres has been contributing to the capital market policy debate for Deutsches Aktieninstitut since 2019. Initially, she worked for the communications and sustainability team.
After preferably formulating positions on sustainable finance, she became Head of Sustainability Reporting in our newly founded Sustainability Department in 2023.
Following her studies in politics and economics in St. Gallen, Jessica Göres first worked in Brussels before coming to Frankfurt.
She particularly values the international atmosphere of Germany’s metropolis on the Main, an aspect which manifests itself in many different ways.
So that our message gets through
Mariya Grozdanova has been working at Deutsches Aktieninstitut since 2020. She supports the team with database management and ensures that we always reach our discussion partners with job title and address.
Mariya Grozdanova completed her business management studies at Saarland University. She then worked as an assistant in the area of HR consulting for ten years before diving into database management with us.
Whether taking a breath of fresh air in the countryside, baking with her daughter or enjoying a good book together – she always loves to spend her free time with her family.
Head of Corporate Governance and Company Law
Good governance is her thing
Cordula Heldt has been responsible for corporate governance and company law with us since 2005. In addition, she heads activities relating to Regierungskommission Deutscher Corporate Governance Kodex – the government commission on the code for which we provide the secretariat.
She studied law in Frankfurt and Milan. She became familiar with the Federal Constitutional Court during her legal internship. With her doctoral thesis, she laid the foundations for the legal theory work which is indispensable for activities in a think tank.
Her practical experiences, for example as a member of supervisory boards, have complemented her professional know-how.
Outside the office she is an artist.
Legal Counsel (Company Law)
Head of Primary Market Law
The thoroughbred lawyer
Sven Erwin Hemeling can deploy his passion for law and capital markets to the full in his work as head of primary market law with Deutsches Aktieninstitut, in conjunction with our member companies.
The lawyer, working with us since 2016, deals first and foremost with prospectus law, virtual general assemblies, the shareholder rights directive and similar capital market themes.
He had previously passed both legal examinations at the University of Tübingen with a focus on corporate organisation and finance.
Assistant to the Deputy Managing Director and to the Head of Berlin Office
The friendly voice of Deutsches Aktieninstitut
As the guardian of receptions, Ilona Hix has been the face and voice of Deutsches Aktieninstitut since 1999.
As assistant to Franz-Josef Leven, she deals with management of the Deputy Managing Director’s appointments, prepares the organisational aspect of speeches and ensures good order in documents and at the workplace.
In addition, she supports the head of the Berlin office since 2020.
Each morning anew, Ilona Hix enjoys supporting our team wherever things are getting hot.
In private, she loves table football and other games with friends.
Head of Berlin Office
Birgit Homburger follows for us political developments in Berlin. After graduating with a diploma in administrative sciences from the University of Constance, she started her professional career in the SME sector.
In 1990 she was elected to the German Bundestag, of which she was member until 2013. In this period, she held a series of leadership positions, inter alia as chair of the FDP political group from 2009 to 2011.
She was then active as associate partner at an international HR consultancy before taking over as head of our Berlin office.
In her free time, she finds pleasure in her garden and orchard, and enjoys making trips through the dreamlike landscape of the Hegau region.
Head of IT and Digital
Loves good solutions
As head of IT and digital, Petra Kachel is responsible for Deutsches Aktieninstitut’s IT infrastructure.
With her passion for solving problems, the trained economist quickly got a handle not only on substantive but also on technical tasks after she arrived at Deutsches Aktieninstitut in 1998.
As special advisor to a member of the Bundestag, she had previously learnt about the political side of shares and the capital market.
A native of Frankfurt, she likes to spend her free time with family and friends, and enjoys being on a climbing wall or bicycle.
IT System Administrator
Felix Klein has been keeping all of our systems running and has been our colleagues’ first point of contact for all technical questions since March 2023.
After completing his training as an IT specialist for system integration, Felix Klein worked for an IT systems company including in the field service for seven and a half years. As a result, he is just as familiar with the cloud world as he is with all on site IT topics.
His great passion is soccer, where he used to be a midfielder on the left wing. When he is not watching soccer, he likes to spend his free time hiking.
Economist, Political Scientist
Deputy Head of Capital Markets Department / Head of Corporate Finance
Researcher for shares
Shares as a financing instrument, as employee capital participation, in retirement provision and bank advisory services, or tax framework conditions which promote share ownership – the themes which Norbert Kuhn takes care of for us have no end.
Furthermore, the economist and political scientist is concerned with the wide range of regulatory initiatives which influence companies’ risk management instruments or payment flows.
Norbert Kuhn studied in Marburg, earned a doctorate and has worked with Deutsches Aktieninstitut since 2006.
In his free time, he likes to be outdoors on a bicycle saddle, on water or on foot.
Press Officer and Digital Media Manager
Reaching Goals with Passion and Persistence
Elke Pfeifer has been working as the Press Officer and Digital Media Manager at Deutsches Aktieninstitut since October 2022.
After discovering her passion for journalism and capital markets during her studies, she spent 15 years as a business journalist for the news agency dpa-AFX, reporting on the capital market and listed companies. She also brings capital market experience from her time as a corporate spokesperson and senior consultant for financial communications and investor relations.
The Mainzer loves the cinema, weekend trips to the Rheingau region, and spending time with family and friends. Her passion in sports are endurance sports. She prefers to spend her vacations in the mountains.
Policy Advisor Berlin Office
Interpreter in Berlin’s political tumult
As Public Affairs Manager to our Berlin office, Renz Peter Ringsleben organises a close dialogue between business and policy-makers.
He has collected public affairs experiences working on behalf of the Federal Ministry for family affairs and as press spokesman for young entrepreneurs’ association Die Jungen Unternehmer.
Renz Peter Ringsleben studied political communication at the University of Amsterdam and economics and philosophy at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
In his free time he plays on the wing for Berlin’s Freizeitfußball club and enjoys both theatre and the region’s lake landscape.
Deputy Head of Legal Department / Head of Capital Markets Law
Creative capital market lawyer
Claudia Royé has been looking after our capital market law topics since 2002. Her experience and her knowledge feeds not only into legislative processes, she is also an important pillar of the Regierungskommission Deutscher Corporate Governance Kodex secretariat.
A doctor at law, a particular hobby horse of hers is the design and management of events and working groups. On this point, she helps to develop new formats.
Claudia Royé studied in Mainz and London, she carried out her legal traineeship in Frankfurt.
She recuperates from her multifaceted workload with walking the dog, horse-riding and yoga.
Policy Advisor Communication
The Musical Communicator
Successful communication is key - true to this guiding principle, Tina Sauerbrei has been working for Deutsches Aktieninstitut since September 2022.
A project manager by training, she particularly enjoys the many ways in which she can make the Institute's topics visible to the outside world. She is no stranger to working for an association as she has previous experience doing so.
In her free time, Tina Sauerbrei passionately plays the E-flat clarinet in a symphonic wind orchestra and is active as the press spokesperson for her music club. To relax, she spends time with her family in the countryside and by the sea.
Head of Legal Department
Deep diving and distance running
Klaus-Dieter Sohn has been Head of Legal Department at Deutsches Aktieninstitut since May 2022. He was previously Head of Economic Policy at the Foundation for Family Businesses and Politics in Berlin.
Before moving into the world of policy-making, the fully qualified lawyer spent twelve years with the German Army in a range of staff positions. Following this, he helped set up the Centre for European Policy in Freiburg.
Klaus-Dieter Sohn enjoys every opportunity to come home to the Kaiserstuhl region of Germany with its excellent cuisine. In sports, his passion is distance running and diving in faraway waters.
Marlon Stämmler has supported our management board since July 2022 in a wide range of matters, including the care and recruitment of members.
He previously studied Management, Philosophy and Economics at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management with an emphasis on political issues.
In his free time, the Westerwald region native also has a wide range of interests. He enjoys reading about a variety of topics, grows bonsais, plays golf and enjoys traveling.