New CEO for Siemens venture arm

Ralf Schnell, who built up Infineon Technologies’ venture portfolio – which was sold last week – has become the new president and CEO of Siemens Venture Capital.

Siemens Venture Capital (SVC), the corporate venturing arm of German engineering giant Siemens, has appointed Ralf Schnell as president and CEO. Schnell replaces Bjoern Christensen, who left Siemens in October.   

After leaving Siemens in 1998, Schnell became managing director of Infineon Ventures, the corporate venturing subsidiary of semiconductor maker Infineon Technologies. He built it up into one of the largest corporate venturing portfolios in Europe with approximately 30 direct investments and a number of fund investments.

Earlier this week the sale of Infineon Ventures to Cipio Partners, a London and Munich based investment management firm, and LGT Capital Partners, the Swiss fund of funds manager, was announced. The business had been up for sale since October 2004.

His latest move is a homecoming for Schnell, who spent 11 years at Siemens from 1987 to 1998 prior to joining Infineon. In his last position at Siemens he was responsible for a corporate venture nurturing programme, having previously held positions in microelectronics and software development.

SVC has €600 million under management and aims to identify investments in emerging and innovative technologies that will enhance Siemens’ core business, particularly in the areas of information and communications, automation and control, medical solutions, automotive technology and transport systems, power and lighting.

The firm has offices in Munich, the US (San Jose and Boston), and operates as Siemens Israel in Herzliya near Tel Aviv.   

I n 2004, SVC completed 16 new investments and 17 follow-on financings. It also completed a number of exits, including from Cambridge Silicon Radio, the Bluetooth wireless device maker, which achieved a €301 million IPO on the London Stock Exchange.