Managing Partners

Thomas Plötzeneder
Managing Partner

Thomas Plötzeneder joined DDWS Corporate Advisors in October 2005 as managing partner.
He was formerly CEO of the Lowe GGK Vienna advertising agency and a board member of Lowe GGK Holding AG. Through that position he was the first in Eastern Europe to build a network of integrated communication agencies in Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, Moscow, Kiev, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Bucharest and Sofia. A keen understanding of client need and the ability to create business solutions outside the scope of traditional advertising helped him return Lowe GGK Vienna to the top of domestic agency rankings.

He has served as the General Manager Europe of Lowe and Partners Worldwide, worked as an ad man for Ogilvy & Mather and began his career as marketing manager for the former AZ newspaper.

Thomas graduated from Vienna’s University of Economics and Business Administration and is an alumnus of The Wharton School’s Advanced Management Program.

Thomas Plötzeneder lives with his wife and his sons in Breitenstein and Vienna.

Christian Gehrer
Managing Partner

After finishing his studies at the tourism college in Innsbruck, followed by two years of job experience within the French hotel business, Christian Gehrer studied international business administration at the Leopold Franzens University in Innsbruck. During his studies he spent one year abroad at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. From TRIO Advertising und Public Relations in Innsbruck Christian Gehrer changed to Pleon Publico Public Relations & Lobbying in Vienna, where he became a partner of Austrian’s largest PR- and lobbying-agency. After 2.5 years as general manager of the Managementclub, Austria’s largest independent platform of business decision-makers, Christian Gehrer is now managing partner at Gehrer Plötzeneder DDWS Corporate Advisors since January 2008.

Christian Gehrer is married, has two children and lives in Vienna.

Alexander Doepel
Advisory Partner

Alexander Doepel is Founder and Partner of Gehrer Plötzeneder DDWS Corporate Advisors.
Since 1991 Alexander Doepel is co-owner of Scholdan & Company and advised some of the largest capital market transactions at the Viennese stock exchange. Amongst others he actively advised and consulted following transactions: Erste Bank (Recapitalization of Erste österreichische Spar-Casse 1997, Initial Public Offer as Erste Bank 1997, in succession two Recapitalizations), Telekom Austria (Initial Public Offer 2000), Austria Tabak (IPO 1997), Böhler-Uddeholm (IPO 1995, SPO 1996), Mayr-Melnhof (IPO 1994), BBAG (Recapitalization 1993/94) and (IPO 2000). In 1997 Alexander Doepel partially retired from the operative agency business and was solely advising single projects for Scholdan & Company. Up until today he is still an essential stock owner to the agency.
Furthermore Alexander Doepel is the managing director and partner of Return Medien- und KommunikationsgmbH, a small communication and consulting firm.

While his business studies at the Viennese Business University, Alexander Doepel worked as an editor at Austria’s largest daily newspaper.

Alexander Doepel is married, has two children and lives in Eichgraben, close to Vienna.

Andrew Dewar
Advisory Partner

Andrew Dewar has over twenty years experience in the field of financial and corporate communications, based at various times in London, New York and Paris.

Previous to joining Brunswick he was President of Edelman Financial Worldwide and, before that, a Director and member of the Board of Dewe Rogerson in London. An M.Sc. post-graduate of the London School of Economics, he is co-author of "Privatisation - l'art et les manières", a member of the Investor Relations Society and the Institute of Public Relations, he also sits on the International Advisory Board of the pan-European exchange, Euronext.

Based in Paris, most recently he has advised Sanofi-Synthélabo in its acquisition of Aventis, Tetra Laval on its acquisition of Sidel, SCOR on its two rights issues, Euronext in its acquisition of Liffe and the Italian firm Saipem in relation to its acquisition of Bouygues Offshore. On an on-going basis he advises a range of international clients on investor and media relations issues.

Ernst Scholdan † 1953-2014

Ernst Scholdan, Founder and Partner of Gehrer Plötzeneder DDWS Corporate Advisors.

In 1991 Ernst Scholdan founded Scholdan & Company; a communication agency specialized in the financial market. Acting as the managing director of the agency he advised some of the largest capital market transactions at the Viennese stock exchange. Amongst others, following transactions were consulted and advised by Ernst Scholdan:
Erste Bank (Recapitalization of Erste österreichische Spar-Casse 1997, Initial Public Offer as Erste Bank 1997, in succession two Recapitalizations), Telekom Austria (Initial Public Offer 2000), Austria Tabak (IPO 1997), Böhler-Uddeholm (IPO 1995, SPO 1996), Mayr-Melnhof (IPO 1994), BBAG (Recapitalization 1993/94) and (IPO 2000). Up until today Ernst Scholdan holds personal consulting mandates with some of the above listed companies, respectively their managing directors. Since 2001 he was no longer active in the operative business of Scholdan & Company.

Ernst Scholdan was Mentor of the partners of GP DDWS. His legacy was: "Hold up humanity and never stop working for it".

Jan Weidner
Advisory Partner

Jan Weidner is a founding partner of Gehrer Plötzeneder DDWS.

In 2015 he re-joined Leonardo & Co. as Managing Director at their Frankfurt office. Between 2012 and 2014 Jan Weidner was a Senior Managing Director at the Blackstone Group, responsible for the advisory business in the German-speaking countries. Prior to joining Blackstone, Mr. Weidner was a Managing Partner at Drueker & Co and after their merger with Leonardo & Co., Managing Director and Member of the European Operating Committee. Previously he was with Morgan Stanley as Managing Director and Head of M&A for Germany and Austria. He started his career with JP Morgan and BHF Bank. Mr. Weidner studied economics at Goethe University, Frankfurt and received a scholarship at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

He is a lecturer at the Goethe University, Frankfurt. He also serves as regional board member of Human Rights Watch.

Markus Petzl
Advisory Partner

Markus Petzl has been advising brands, companies and institutions since the late 1990s on issues relating to brand positioning and development. In the first decade of this century, he co-founded a prominent brand consultancy. Inspired by the dynamics of the global economic crisis, in 2008 he focused his efforts on rebranding and the development of powerful brands. As founder and managing partner of the rebranding institute, wien in Vienna, Markus advises brands across Europe, always thinking and acting holistically. When his schedule permits, he is also a lecturer in the international Master of Science program at the University of Klagenfurt.

Markus is a long-time associate of GP DDWS Corporate Advisors, where he supports wide-ranging brand-building processes as advisory partner.
Markus Petzl is happily married and lives in Vienna.


George Nimeh
Advisory Partner

The American digital pioneer George Nimeh has worked with companies including The New York Times, Red Bull and KURIER to usher in the age of online media, marketing and communications. In February 2016, he founded NIMEH & Partners, his own agency based in Vienna. 
NIMEH & Partners is “the agency for changing times” and combines strategy, innovation, content marketing, research and product development for businesses seeking to succeed in modern times. Shortly after launching the agency, Google announced that NewsGenie, a millennial media project from NIMEH & Partners, would received funding as part of the European-wide Digital News Initiative. 

As part of KURIER in 2015, George won the WAN-IFRA World Digital Media Award for "Best Digital Advertising Campaign. He won the first INMA Scholarship at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, and his TEDx Vienna talk “What if there was no advertising?” was very well received .(Link)