Transatlantic Business Conference


The 13th Annual Transatlantic Business Conference will take place on Nov 06-07, 2019 at Spreespeicher Berlin. In cooperation with our conference partners, the Federation of German Industry (BDI), Commerzbank, Deloitte, and our media parter DIE WELT, we will be offering different forums for exchange through presentations, panel discussions, workshops and site visits, all of which will center on the topic ''Building the Power to Compete in the 21st Century''.

Together with business leaders and political decision-makers, we aim to discuss how businesses must be set up and which framework the economy needs to ensure competitiveness in the future. Transatlantic economic relations will be at the center of the discussions, as well as the question of how to deal with China and the innovation capabilities of the industry on both sides of the Atlantic.


Haus der Commerzbank, Pariser Platz 1, 10117 Berlin

+++ Please note that the program on Nov. 6 is not open to press. +++

4:00 pm - Registration & Welcome

Division of participants into groups.

Site Visits: Innovation Spaces

  • Tour 1: Commerzbank #openspace
  • Tour 2: tbd
  • Tour 3: tbd

Learn more about the site visits by clicking the respective button above.

7:00 pm - Evening Reception hosted by Commerzbank
Haus der Commerzbank, Pariser Platz 1, 10117 Berlin

Opening & Welcome

  • Frank Sportolari, President, AmCham Germany
  • Roland Boehm, Head of Corporates International, Commerzbank AG

Speech: Geopolitical Developments and Implications of U.S. Policies

  • Eric Holder, Former U.S. Secretary of Justice & Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

Followed by drinks and buffet


Please note that this program may be subject to change.

Spreespeicher, Stralauer Allee 2, 10245 Berlin

08:00 am Registration | Welcome Coffee

09:00 am Welcome & Opening Remarks

  • Frank Sportolari, President, AmCham Germany
  • Dieter Kempf, President, BDI

Keynote Speech

  • U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell

Viewpoint from the Industry

  • Gordon Riske, CEO, KION Group AG

Panel: IoT & Platform Economy - Evolution of Business Models (working title)

  • Sabine Bendiek, Cairman of the Management Board, Microsoft Germany
  • Dr. Anastassia Lauterbach, International Supervisory Board Member, Tech Companies
  • Dr. Dominik von Achten, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board, HeidelbergCement Group (invited)
  • Moderation: Olaf Gersemann, Chief Editor Economics & Finance, WELT

Coffee Break

Breakout Sessions

  • Deloitte: Neuroconsulting - Leveraging the invisible
  • Squire Patton Boggs: Trade in times of the Trump Administration
  • SAS Institute: Artificial Intelligence and Ethics


Talk: How can Politics and Businesses React to the Challenges of Protectionism and Disruption (working title)

  • Katharina Dröge, Member of Bundestag, The Green Party
  • Jack Kingston, former Member of U.S. Congress & Principal, Squire Patton Boggs
  • Moderation: Dr. Inga Michler, Economics Reporter, WELT

Panel: U.S.-China Trade Conflict - Effects for Business in the U.S., China and the EU (working title)

  • Audrey Winter, Deputy Assistant for China Affairs, U.S. Trade Representative
  • Dr. Thomas Hueck, Chief Economist, Robert Bosch GmbH
  • Doris Albiez, Senior Vice PResident & CEO, Dell EMC Germany
  • Moderation: Noah Barkin, The Atlantic (invited)

Coffee Break

Panel: U.S.-China Trade Frictions - Where are they headed and what impact will they have on the global trading system? (working title)

  • Tim Stratford, Former Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, Chairman of AmCham China, Partner of Covington Beijing
  • Peter Flanagan, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP
  • Jim Hagemann Snabe, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Siemens AG (invited)
  • Moderation: tbd (invited)

Keynote Speech: The Transatlantic Partnership beyond Trade and Business Affairs (working title)

  • Joschka Fischer, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Vice Chancellor of Germany (invited)

Closing Remarks

  • Frank Sportolari, President, AmCham Germany

04:15 pm Reception and Get-Together


Please note that this program may be subject to change.

Sabine Bendiek, Chairwoman of the Management Board, Microsoft Germany

Sabine Bendiek has been Chairwoman of the Management Board, Microsoft Germany since January 2016. She holds a Master of Science degree in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge (MSc) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Mannheim. At the beginning of her career, Bendiek worked for McKinsey, Booz Allen as well as Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems. Subsequently, she was responsible for Dell’s Small and Medium Business in Germany, Switzerland and Austria where she contributed a significant share to the company’s earnings. Prior to joining Microsoft Germany, Bendiek held the position of Vice President and General Manager for EMC Germany. In her capacity as General Manager of EMC, Bendiek assumed responsibility for all business activities in the German market. She focused on the transformation of the company into a provider of hybrid cloud and software solutions. Meanwhile, Bendiek looks back on more than 20 years of professional experience as an executive in the technology industry. She is also a member of the executive board of the industry trade association BITKOM.

Roland Boehm, Divisional Board Member, Corporates International at Commerzbank AG

Roland Boehm is Divisional Board Member, Corporates International at Commerzbank. Roland is responsible for the business with international corporate clients and Commerzbank's network of international branches and subsidiaries. Before taking on his current role in January 2016, Roland served as the Divisional Head of Debt Capital Markets Loans, which includes Commerzbank’s Syndicated Loans, Schuldschein, Strategic Asset Finance and Aircraft Business sectors. Prior to its merger with Commerzbank in 2009, Roland was responsible for the loan syndication business at Dresdner Kleinwort for Europe and Developing Markets.
From 2012 until 2017, Roland has been Chairman of the Loan Market Association (LMA), having been elected as a member in 2009.

Peter Flanagan, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

Peter Flanagan counsels clients on a broad range of compliance requirements affecting international trade and investment. These include most notably export controls, economic sanctions constraints, defense trade limitations, and the implications of related non-U.S. requirements. He has deep experience in assisting multinational clients with complex compliance, enforcement, and licensing matters before the key U.S. trade controls agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Treasury, Commerce, and State.

For more information, see his full CV.

Olaf Gersemann, Chief Editor Business, Finance & Real Estate, DIE WELT
Olaf Gersemann has been Chief Editor for Business, Finance and Real Estate at DIE WELT since 2010. Before joining DIE WELT, Mr. Gersemann was the team leader of the foreign correspondents at the "Financial Times Germany", the Washington Correspondent and Business & Policy Editor for "Wirtschaftswoche", as well an editor for Careers and Young Careers at "Handelsblatt".

Richard Grenell, U.S. Ambassador to Germany

Richard Grenell has been U.S. Ambassador to Germany since May 2018. Previously, he was a partner with Capitol Media Partners. His public sector experience encompasses work as National Security and Foreign Affairs Spokesman for Mitt Romney as well as Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy for the U.S. Ambassador to the UN. He has also served as Alternate Representative to the UN Security Council. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. For more information, see his full CV.

Eric Holder, Former U.S. Secretary of Justice & Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

Eric Holder advises clients on complex investigations and litigation matters, including those that are international in scope and involve significant regulatory enforcement issues and substantial reputational concerns. Mr. Holder, who was a partner at Covington from 2001 to 2009, rejoined the firm after serving for six years as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States.
Including his tenure as Attorney General, Mr. Holder has served in government for more than thirty years, having been appointed to various positions requiring U.S. Senate confirmation by Presidents Obama, Clinton and Reagan.

For more information, see his full CV.

Dieter Kempf, President, BDI (Federation of German Industries)

Dieter Kempf is President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), a position he has held since January 2017. In addition, he serves on various supervisory boards and as honorary professor at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. Previously, Kempf has been President of Bitkom and has held positions at Datev, including 20 years as Chairman, and Arthur & Young (now Ernst & Young).  For more information, see his full CV.

Inga Michler, Economic Reporter, WELT

Dr. Inga Michler is an economist and business reporter for WELT, where she started as a financial editor in 1998. Her writing focuses primarily on major economic trends as well as on family businesses in Germany, philanthropy and education. Michler is also an experienced moderator, chairing large conferences for the paper such as the "Welt-Waehrungskonferenz" and "Weltkonferenz Frauen im Top-Management" and has published three books. For more information, see her full CV.

Frank Sportolari, President, AmCham Germany & President, UPS Germany

Frank Sportolari is AmCham Germany's President and has been President of United Parcel Service Deutschland since September 2011. Frank Sportolari joined UPS in 1986 as a management trainee in the Finance and Accounting department in Munich, Germany. He held various positions of increasing responsibility within the Finance and Accounting function, including working as the Controller in Munich, Cologne and Neuss for UPS in Germany, before moving to Madrid in 1996 where he was the Controller for UPS Spain & Portugal. From 1999 to 2002, Mr. Sportolari had Controller assignments at UPS Italy and the Europe Region headquarters in Brussels, where he coordinated the UPS Controllers across the Europe Region. In 2002, Frank was appointed Country Manager of UPS Italy, a position he held until 2004, when he took on the role of European Region Strategy Manager for 3 years before returning to Italy as Managing director from 2007 until 2011.



Tim Stratford, Former U.S. Trade Representative, Chairman of AmCham China & Partner at Covington & Burling Beijing

Tim Stratford is managing partner in Covington & Burling LLP’s Beijing office. He is also presently serving as Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. Mr. Stratford’s practice is focused on advising international clients doing business in China. As a former Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, Mr. Stratford is the most senior former U.S. trade official working as a member of the U.S. business community in China. Except for the five years he spent in Washington, DC in government service (2005-2010), Mr. Stratford has lived and worked continuously in the greater China region since 1982.

For more information, see his full CV.

#openspace is a digitalization platform for German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

Customers include but are not limited to the clients of its parent company, Commerzbank AG. #openspace offers its customers various solutions for all stages of the digital transformation. Main services are multi-faceted workshop formats individually tailored to the specific customer. #openspace also works closely with individual parts of the customer’s value chain as well as with strategic partners providing various areas of expertise. The aim is to enable executives and employees of SMEs to independently develop their own digital future.

In addition, #openspace offers access to a wide-ranging network of technology experts and start-ups. Openspace GmbH was founded in January 2017 and is based in Berlin. It maintains regional networks in Cologne, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Stuttgart.

Learn more about #openspace here.

"Neuroconsulting: Leveraging the invisible"

Speaker: Dr. Nadine Galandi, Head of Deloitte Neuroscience Institute

In the age of digitalization, companies know more about their customers than ever before. However, to better understand the needs and motives underlying customers’ actions, we must examine the core of human decision-making, which is hidden in unconscious processes of the brain. The Deloitte Neuroscience Institute (DNI) supports companies in finding out what customers truly think about their brand, how much they are really willing to pay for products and services, and how they use specific offerings in real-life circumstances. In this session, we will present tools that combine neuroscientific methods with our industry expertise and thus allow us to derive specific and actionable recommendations. From Mindreading to Eyetracking and Needsphere Testing, join us to uncover the implicit determinants of human behavior.

Dr. Nadine Galandi is Head of the Deloitte Neuroscience Institute, where she develops new service offerings using neuroscientific technologies. She has several years of consulting experience and has managed CX and UX improvement projects for companies in the pharmaceutical, MedTech, and several other industries. Before joining Deloitte, Nadine Galandi led a strategic planning department at an international pharmaceutical company. She holds a PhD in Biophysical Chemistry.

Registration & Accommodation

Registration & Admission Fees

The invite for the conference will be sent out via e-mail by the end of September. It contains a link to register online.

Admission Fees

€ 200 for members
€ 300 for non-members & guests
The fee includes all stated parts of the program.


There is no room contingent this year. We recommend booking a room at a hotel close to the conference venue, such as the nhow Berlin or the Moxy Berlin Ostbahnhof.

Mandy Elgner

Head of Conferences & Events

+49 69 929104-30

Julia Zhao

Specialist, Events

+49 69 929104-35

Take a look at last year's Transatlantic Business Conference 2018

Conference 2018

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