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Herbert Heitmann

Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Karaktero

With over 25 years of executive responsibility for Reputation and Brand Management, as well as Stakeholder Engagement, Herbert Heitmann has successfully steered the brand narratives of three industry-leading global companies. Under his guidance, SAP, Shell, and Bayer each transformed their reputations and achieved record market valuations.

Notably, Heitmann elevated SAP from a German software vendor to a globally recognized strategic business partner. Under his leadership, Shell journeyed from a traditional oil company to the most innovative company in the energy sector. He also played an instrumental role in molding Bayer’s image from a German-centric chemical conglomerate to a global leader in Life-Sciences.

Dr. Heitmann is a trusted advisor to business leaders, leveraging his ability to align business and communication strategies. He has weathered several significant corporate crises and issues, each time emerging with reinforced trust and strengthened stakeholder relationships.

Transitioning from a foundation in Science and Engineering, through Politics and into the business world, Dr. Heitmann’s passion lies in elevating stakeholder engagement, brand management, and communication to the level of effectiveness and efficiency synonymous with other corporate disciplines. His dedication to ensuring alignment between business strategy and stakeholder expectations has yielded spectacular results and serves as a cornerstone in his approach.

His drive to professionalize communications functions led to his foundational contribution to the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD) and the creation of its major events – the European Communications Summit and “The Circle,” a prestigious networking forum for leading European communicators.

Currently, as the Founder and Managing Director of Karaktero, he applies his expertise in co-developing communications and business strategies. With a broad portfolio encompassing Corporate/Personal Brand development, Strategic Communication, ESG/Sustainability strategy, Crisis Communication, Performance/ROI, and CommTech/AI solutions, Dr. Heitmann offers strategic advice tailored for the needs of Founders, CEOs, Boards and CXOs primarily focusing on communications teams.

His unique approach combines innovative technology solutions with traditional communications strategy to achieve tangible, predictable outcomes. Empowered by his rich experience and proven methodology, Karaktero is poised to assist leaders across the globe in realizing their communication objectives and business aspirations.

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Carri Duncan

Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Karaktero

Carri leads Capital Markets Advisory at Karaktero, where she advises Institutional Investors, Founders, CXOs, and Boards in the area of Life Science Capital Markets. Mandates have spanned topics from corporate reorganization to IR/PR to succession planning.

Carri completed her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at ETH-Zürich and conducted biomedical research at Novartis. With 15 years of experience in Life Science Capital Markets, Carri began her career outside of science as cobuilding buy-side Biotech at Credit Suisse. Since then she has been involved in numerous global corporate healthcare transactions at reputable institutions, blending her deep domain knowledge with roles in Investment Banking, Pharma and strategic consulting.

As an angel investor and mentor to HealthTech founders, Carri remains deeply committed to encouraging and cultivating new ideas in healthcare across diverse geographies and founder backgrounds.