Dr. Felix Tschopp
Investor, entrepreneur, board member, consultant, coach, speaker, and author.
Fortunately, not everything always went smoothly
I am very grateful for the many mistakes I have made in life; they make me a better counsellor. I regret, for example, that my personal path too often followed foreign expectations. I became a high school student, an engineering student, a lieutenant in the military, and a tax advisor at KPMG—not because I pined for it, but because it seemed logical and happened as expected. Today, I help entrepreneurs not miss their own path to success.
Unfortunately, as an engineer's son, I first had to drop out of engineering studies to find out that studying business at the HSG was exactly my thing. This is where I discovered my passion for entrepreneurial issues. As part of my doctorate, I was allowed to develop a highly regarded audit simulation, a realistic training facility for aspiring auditors. My dissertation ("Income Taxes in Consolidated Financial Statements", FER No. 11) was published in the series of publications of the Swiss Institute of Certified Accountants and Tax Consultants and served as the basis for the Swiss accounting regulations for groups of companies.
With this background, it was again such a logical step to enter professional life as a tax consultant at KPMG. But it was actually foreseeable that in the hierarchical system of such a large company, I would feel constricted, unfree, and patronised in the long run. As a doer with my own ideas, I was in the wrong place, although everyone congratulated me on that. But perhaps this experience also sharpened my sense as a consultant to locate and develop true potential.
At my next professional stations, I was finally able to live out my entrepreneurial creative urge: as Group Controller in an international raw cotton trading company and as Swiss Managing Director and Group-wide Controller in an internationally active industrial group. Nevertheless, it was not surprising that I felt more and more urged to build up my own company and to use my know-how for my own success.
I founded Tschopp Finance (later Tschopp Group) as an entrepreneurial contact for internationally active companies that wanted to gain a foothold in Switzerland. Here I had the opportunity to build up, structure, develop, merge, and sell companies across a wide range of sectors—as a board member, managing director, HR manager, and IT manager—in short, as a 360° entrepreneur. I was very successful and earned good money.
The success was so impressive that I completely failed to think about the future. Then, when I realised that I was spinning on a golden hamster wheel straight towards burnout, I was able to cede responsibilities. But I couldn't sell the company because the business was too tied to me. I made exactly the significant mistake that I want to save entrepreneurs from today. I had failed to position my company in such a way that investors were happy to line up. I could have used an advisor like me right from the start.
Today, my mission is to help entrepreneurs create sustainable value. This is not just about entrepreneurial success but about prosperity that benefits the whole family and ultimately society.