Our teams are made up of people from diverse backgrounds. Besides Chinese & Cantonese, our team members speak English, German and Spanish.
ESB is committed to continuously invest in the development of our people, and in upholding a positivework environment that is driven by delivering excellence, fairness and openness.
Founder & Managing Director
Nicolas has been living and working in China since 2005. After having gathered experience in the Chinese market with companies such as Linde and Siemens, he engaged in various cross-border business development projects. In 2009 he initiated sales and distribution activities for Agrarfrost GmbH & Co. KG (www.agrarfrost.de), the German market leader for frozen potato products. The addition of new leading suppliers and expansion of sales activities since then have led to the establishment of ESB Holdings Ltd. in Hong Kong, and its subsequent subsidiaries.
Nicolas is a German native and holds a BA degree from Davidson College in NC (USA) as well as a Master of Arts (MA) degree (Merit) from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He speaks English, German, and Mandarin and lives in Shanghai with his wife Melanie and their two children.
(Finance & Business Development)
Benedikt joined the ESB team in 2012 responsible for Finance, Strategy & Business Development. Prior to ESB, he worked for a Singapore based e-commerce venture (Lazada.com) in South East Asia after having spent years as Managing Director of a technology start-up in Germany. Prior to his entrepreneurial career, Benedikt consulted European mid-cap companies as a Senior Associate for Mummert&Company, a Munich based corporate finance specialist.
Benedikt is a German native and holds a degree (honours) in Economics & International Business Administration from Cologne and Copenhagen Business School.
Michael Gerling has decades of experience in the fast food retail industry in Europe. He worked for McDonald’s from 1973 and became Vice President of McDonald’s Europe in 2003 as well as its Chief Supply Chain Officer. During his time at McDonald’s Mr. Gerling managed the company’s development in Germany, and also oversaw the development of the European supply infrastructure and the development of McDonald’s Russia. He is currently an independent business consultant and Board member of Ehrmann AG Oberschönegg (www.ehrmann.de).
Xavier Naville is the founder of Creative Food (www.creativefood.cn) a key supplier to major China restaurant chains. He took it from a start-up to 8 factories and 4 farms in mainland China with turnover of about US$50M and 1000+ employees. It served 2500 foodservice outlets everyday with chilled or frozen foods. If you ate at Starbucks, Costa, KFC, Papa John’s or Pizza Hut in China, chances are you have eaten Creative Food’s salads, soups or sandwiches. Xavier sold the company to a leading UK listed food company (www.bakkavor.com ) and vacated the CEO position in 2011 in order to focus on personal goals and advisory work.
Dr Reinhard Kaeppel
Dr. Kaeppel’s professional experience and expertise cover the complete supply chain of food, from agricultural production to the final customer. The major part of his professional career he spent with McDonald’s, most of the time as Head of Quality Assurance for Europe, based in Germany and the USA.
Dr. Kaeppel is currently an independent business consultant for well-known companies in food manufacturing and retail, as well as companies and organizations in the area of agricultural production. He also covers the technical due diligence for financial investment institutions. Besides his Consulting Business, Dr. Kaeppel was the Managing Director of OVO Cert GmbH, a Certification Body based in Bonn, Germany, with business activities in China. Dr Kaeppel is working closely with ESB on executing its proprietary food safety and quality assurance programs.