Research Affiliates and Associated Consultants
In our projects, we are working together with a network of renowned experts. The network is constantly being expanded.
Sergio Ascari is part-time professor in Energy Economics at Florence School of Regulation, European University Institute and lecturer at University of Pavia. Before, he has worked as consultant on energy topics for the World Bank, USAID, EU-Commission and for other institutions.
His research focuses on economics of gas market regulation, economic forecast of gas demand and the analysis of gas market tariffs and prices.
Since March 2020, he has supported the activities of Berlin Economics with advisory in EU energy law. In this field, Sergio Ascari has been lecturer at the training “EU energy law for Ukrainian policy makers”, jointly organised by Berlin Economics and the NGO DiXi Group. In this training, decision makers from the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministry, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Agriculture, the Ministry for Regional Development, the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Environment, from the Verkhovna Rada and further institutions have taken part in his lectures.
Professor Dr. Stephan von Cramon-Taubadel
Professor Dr. von Cramon-Taubadel is Chair for Agricultural Policy at the Department of Agricultural Economics at the Georg-August University Göttingen.
After his studies of agricultural economics at the Macdonald College of McGill University in Montréal and at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) he obtained his Ph.D. degree and his habilitation degree at the Christian-Albrecht-University in Kiel. The focus of his consulting and research activities is on reforms of the agricultural sector in transition countries as well as the agricultural policy in Germany and the EU.
Professor Dr. von Cramon-Taubadel is active as a high ranking agricultural policy advisor inter alia for the FAO and the World Bank. He has worked as an expert for Berlin Economics in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.
Per Fischer has worked in the banking sector in Eastern Europe and the CIS countries for many years and has more than 30 years of practical professional experience in the banking sector.
After studying economics, history and Russian, Per Fischer began his career at Commerzbank AG, where he worked for 26 years – most recently as head of the Financial Institutions department in Central Europe and the CIS region. After leaving Commerzbank, he coordinated from 2015 to 2019 the Working Group on Economics and Rehabilitation of the OSCE Trilateral Contact Group for the Settlement of the Donbass Conflict (Ukraine). Berlin Economics benefits greatly from his profound practical experience as a policy advisor on financial sector development issues and his knowledge in conflict resolution and prevention.
Professor Dr. Jörg Franke
Since 2010 Professor Franke supports Berlin Economics in consultancy projects with his expertise regarding the development of the financial sector, especially the development of futures exchanges.
After graduating in law, Jörg Franke initially entered investment banking at Westdeutsche Landesbank, where he worked for 14 years. Afterwards he became the Managing Director of Berliner Börse and subsequently Head of the Deutsche Terminbörse (now Eurex), where he was in charge of its setup. Under his leadership, Eurex quickly developed into one of the leading futures exchange in the world. After the establishment of the Deutsche Börse AG he also joined its management board, a position he kept until 2000. Today he chairs several boards of directors, amongst others Tradegate AG, a stock broker in Berlin, and RTS AG, an independent software vendor in Frankfurt. Furthermore, he is the Chairman of the Stock Exchange Council of the Börse Berlin and Chairman of the Bundesverband der Wertpapierfirmen e.V.. In addition, he is honorary professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
His distinguished career in setting up futures exchanges and his strategic network in both domestic and foreign stock markets make him an outstanding expert on stock exchanges and stock market regulations.
Dr. Norbert Irsch
Dr. Norbert Irsch is Berlin Economics’ independent expert for Eastern Europe’s banking sectors.
He graduated in economics and worked several years with the German Monopoly Commission before he obtained his doctorate in economics at the RWTH Aachen.
Mr. Irsch then joined the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) where he held different key positions in the economics – as well as – export and project financing divisions and later in the Secretariat for European Affairs. He decisively contributed to the development, support and the refinancing of development banks in middle and eastern Europe, a.o. in Russia, Belarus, the Baltic states and Ukraine, as well as Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Dr. Hans Janus
Hans Janus studied Law and Russian Language at the universities in Bochum, Hamburg and at the Moscow State University (Lomonosov University).
For more than 30 years Hans Janus worked for the Euler Hermes Aktien JSC in the field of state export credit coverage by the German Federal Republic and was member of the board from 1994 until 2014. From 2003 to 2005 he was President of the Berne Union, an international credit and investment insurance union. Since 2015 he has his own office in Hamburg and works as a lawyer and business consultant.
Hans Janus is a financial expert for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. He is deputy chairman of the German-Russian Lawyers Union. Mr. Janus is the author of various publications in the field of banking law, public business law and international finance and trade law. Also, he is one of the authors of the Manual for Banking Law (C.H.Beck-Verlag) and editor of the German-Russian Law Journal DRRZ (Berliner Wissenschaftsverlag).
Dr. Alexander Knuth
Dr. Alexander Knuth is an expert on the issues of SME policy and economic development.
He studied economics at the University of Potsdam and at Bath University (UK) and made a PhD in the topic of entrepreneurship promotion.
Alexander Knuth has worked for Berlin Economics in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Uzbekistan since 2010.
Dr. Alexander Lehmann
Dr. Alexander Lehmann joined Berlin Economics in September 2017 and focuses his consulting activities on the financial sector.
He is currently also non-resident fellow of Bruegel, the Brussels economics think tank, and adjunct professor at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.
Until 2016, Dr. Lehmann was the lead economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) where he headed the strategy and economics unit for central Europe and Baltic countries, most recently based in the bank’s regional office in Warsaw. In this role he advised a number of central banks and governments in the emerging Europe region on closer integration with the EU and on financial policy issues. Previously, Alexander Lehmann was with the International Monetary Fund in Washington, advised the World Trade Organization and the central Bank of Mexico, and worked in research and teaching positions at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and the London School of Economics.
He holds a graduate degree in economics from the London School of Economics and a PhD in economics from Oxford University.
Professor Dr. Matthias Lücke
Professor Matthias Lücke is a senior researcher at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, an adjunct professor at Kiel University, and a Fellow at the CASE Centre for Social and Economic Research, Warsaw.
His research interests include the development impact of labour migration and remittances in migrants’ countries of origin, resource-based development (especially in Central Asia), international trade policy, and the relationship between globalization, technological change, and income inequality.
From 2000 until 2003, Matthias Lücke was a senior economist at the IMF where he worked on the country desks for Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Moldova, covering macroeconomic developments, systemic transformation, and programme administration.
Professor Lücke has been a consultant to several national governments and international organizations, especially on issues related to WTO accession and labour migration. His teaching at Kiel University focusses on the economics of European integration. Since 2011 Professor Lücke is a senior consultant for international trade policy and labour migration with the German Economic Team Moldova.
Thomas Otten is owner and managing director of Otten Consulting LLC. located in Kiev.
Since 2010 Thomas Otten and Berlin Economics are working together on a project regarding the Ukrainian tax- and accounting-system.
Before founding his own consultancy company in 2008, he has already worked two years in Kiev for another consultancy company focusing on accounting and taxes. Until then he has worked in Germany as an expert on corporate assessment and as a CFO in the German industry.
Thomas Otten already became an expert on Ukraine while working as a consultant for the KfW and the EBRD in Ukraine at the end of the 1990s. In the fields of financial due diligence, controlling and tax consultancy Otten Consulting cooperates with German as well as English speaking experts, who have several years of experience in an international environment.
Andrius Simkus is a high-profile energy lawyer with over 14 years of post-qualification experience and proven track record in the fields of electricity, natural gas (including LNG), renewable energy, nuclear energy, district heating, energy efficiency, oil and petroleum, and energy trading.
He is a founder and managing partner of Simkus Energy Consulting – a boutique energy consultancy involved in a number of energy legal, regulatory, and infrastructure projects across Europe. Previously, he worked as a general counsel at Lithuania’s electricity TSO, board member of TSO Holding (ex Nord Pool Holding) in Norway, gas expert and energy lawyer at the Energy Community Secretariat in Vienna, and as an external or in-house energy counsel in a number of other affiliations.
His research interests focus on a broad range of energy legal, regulatory, and policy matters, including practicalities of the EU’s Clean Energy Package, public service obligations and consumers’ protection, practical application of European network codes, unbundling of energy undertakings, etc.
Since March 2020, he supports the activities of Berlin Economics with advisory in EU energy law. In this field, Andrius Simkus has been lecturer at the training “EU energy law for Ukrainian policy makers”, which was jointly organised by Berlin Economics and the NGO DiXi Group. Decision makers from the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministry, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Agriculture, the Ministry for Regional Development, the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Environment, from the Verkhovna Rada and further institutions took part in his lectures.
Professor Dr. Enzo Weber
Professor Dr. Enzo Weber is Professor of Empirical Economics, especially Macroeconometrics and Labour Market at the University of Regensburg.
After his studies of economics he obtained his PhD degree and taught at the Institute for Statistics and Econometrics at the Free University of Berlin. He was member of the Collaborative Research Centre 649 „Economic Risk“ at the Humboldt-University Berlin, visiting fellow at the Japan Center for Economic Research in Tokyo and worked as a Postdoc at the University of Mannheim. His consulting and research activities focus on the fields of econometrics, empirical macroeconomics and financial economics as well as applied labour market research.
Professor Dr. Enzo Weber is head of the research department “Forecasts and Structural Analyses” at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) in Nuremberg and research fellow at the Institute for East European Studies Regensburg. Since 2008 he is active as a consultant and research affiliate at Berlin Economics.
Dr. Klaus Wohlrabe
Dr Klaus Wohlrabe is Deputy Director of the ifo Center for Macroeconomics and Surveys and Head of the Department for Surveys.
He studied economics at the Technical University of Dresden. From 2004 to 2009 he was a PhD student at the ifo Institute for Economic Research. He received his doctorate (summa cum laude) at the University of Munich in 2009. His thesis dealt with the forecasting of mixed-frequency time series models. After being a postdoc Research Fellow at the ifo Institute he became head of the ifo surveys in 2012 and has been working in this position ever since.
He is responsible for all surveys conducted by the ifo Institute, both in terms of methodology,interpretation and presentation. He is also in charge of the ifo Business Climate Index for Germany. Since 2020 he has been supporting the activities of Berlin Economics in an advisory capacity in the field of surveys and business climate indices.