It is a warm, late-summer evening in Brazil in 2017. It’s 36 degrees in the shade and there is a gentle breeze. Stefan works for the subsidiary of a German corporate group in southern Brazil, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. Stefan commutes to his office every day. It is a roughly 35-minute drive from the centre of Porto Alegre to an industrial suburb of this major city. Bustling activity on the roads, Brazilian music on the radio. The days start and end in a relatively relaxed manner – but things are stressful and hectic during the day.
When returning to the hotel, reflecting on the day, his work, his colleague’s work – Stefan would drive past an infrastructure project. At this point in time, it was one of the largest construction projects in Brazil. It was the construction of a bridge over the Rio Guaiba.
He observed the progression of the project – slowly, but consistently. When building this bridge, unexpected challenges must surely arise on a regular basis, thought Stefan. Challenges that have to be analysed and understood so that they can be successfully resolved. And are resolved. This construction project was completed over time.
It became clear to Stefan during his time in Brazil that his work was comparable to the work carried out by those people in Brazil who were involved in building that bridge. Just within the world of a group structure. Both he and his Brazilian colleague build bridges. Between two organisational units, two countries, between facts and figures and lastly, between the many different people involved. They are bridge builders.
Stefan’s idea behind bridge builders also developed after his time in Brazil.
When Max joined his father’s company in 2016, he had a vision of a modern consultancy with many connected satellites rotating around a specific centre; a network of knowledge and skills. Within the more conservative realm of tax consultancy, such an organisation is very difficult to create, or can only be created to a limited degree due to various statutory matters. In addition, he missed the multicultural environment, internationality and, in particular, creativity. The idea was to found a second company, take advantage of existing synergies and work together cooperatively.
An exchange to this effect started in 2020. Whilst both were focusing on different activities it clicked instantly. bridge builders was founded in the spring of 2021.