Jul 11 2009

Hats off to Mr. Thickskin

Published by at 10:19 pm under Companies,More News

Only those who can take setbacks get somewhere.

Anton Rupert said it (on more than one occasion)…Mandela has said it. Not in those words, but something to that effect: When you are down, you must get back up and give it another go.

But, some people “torture” this life-truth somewhat. To the point where one can only shake the head in disbelief.

One example is Lars Windhorst, the German businessman who lost a hellavu lot of money for his “principal”, London-based Robert Hersov, in recent years. Read all about those losses here.

Windhorst is still around. Still working for (or with) Robert Hersov. Recently Windhorst wrote a bio about himself on a US business network portal called www.vator.tv.

You gotta read it. It’s an outstanding example of “selective reporting”. Not a word about his mishaps of recent years. Well, only this bit here. Which you should also read, because Windhorst says the Hersov family recapitalised Sapinda in April 2009, and appointed him as CEO of a subsidiary of the “new” holding company Sapinda. The subsidiary is called Sapinda Deutschland GmbH.

In his bio, I especially enjoyed the bits where he calls himself “Germany’s flagship of young entrepreneurship” and a “new economy star”.

Hat off to you, Mr. Thickskin.

PS. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what Rupert and Mandela had in mind.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Hats off to Mr. Thickskin”

  1. adminon 12 Jul 2009 at 1:01 pm

    On his own website Lars had the following to say about the mishaps of 2008:

    “Due to the impact of the financial crisis in 2008, the company went through a restructuring phase in the 2nd half of 2008 and in January 2009 the shareholders had no other choice than declaring insolvency for the German subsidiary. In April 2009 all activities were completely restructured and a new holding company was established and capitalized by the shareholders. Lars Windhorst is in charge of one part of this business and running the German subsidiary Sapinda Deutschland GmbH as CEO.”

    Back to my point above: a few months after his company Vatas went belly-up, he wrote a bio like that on a business network portal…

    “Nicht seriös”, many Germans would say. One wonders why a “seriöse” business family such as the Hersovs persists with a guy like this.

    With a little luck, Windhorst will be thick-skinned enough to answer that question right here on this blog.


  2. adminon 13 Jul 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I feel uncomfortable about the things I’ve said above, which might be judged “unnecessarily negative” by readers not following the German media.

    So, I decided to translate the first few paragraphs of an article which appeared in the Financial Times Deutschland on 23 March 2009 to give the whole issue a bit of perspective.

    The full FTD article (in German) can be read here. Also a row of other articles recently published by FTD on Lars Windhorst.

    Here the translated paragraphs:

    Scandal manager

    Lawsuit brought against “Wunderkind” Windhorst

    Once called “Wunderkind”, Windhorst now faces claims of fraud, disloyalty and protracting bankrupcy proceedings. Also Vata, the company he headed up most recently, is bankrupt.

    On Friday, the Berlin state attorney accused the 32-year old Lars Windhorst of obtaining a private loan of about €10 million in 2001 with false information, stealing about €5 million of company money in the period between 2002 and 2004 and dragging his feet to file for bankruptcy of the companies Windhorst AG, Windhorst Electronics GmbH and Windhorst Capital Holding GmbH.

    Windhorst said the accusations were unsubstantiated. A date still has to be set for the case.

    PS. As far as I can see, FTD hasn’t reported about the outcome of the court case (yet?)

  3. adminon 13 Jul 2009 at 8:28 pm

    And now that you’ve read through all of these posts and clicked on all of the attached sources, read this and smile. It’s a list of “Germany’s most controversial businessmen” and Windhorst made it into third position.

    The question remains: What are the Hersovs doing here?

  4. adminon 03 Dec 2010 at 9:53 am

    Windhorst was recently found quilty in a Berlin court.

    Something more interesting at this point: I’ve had to replace all the links in the above stories. Somehow they all broke. Could someone have been snooping around on my blog?


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