Schweizerhall Holding AG

A few days after sending my letter of introduction to CEO Luzi Andreas von Bidder I received an e-mail reply from his assistant Agnes Amer saying the letter went to the Basel office when the head office is in Zurich. I e-mail back, thanking her for letting me know and asking if she's my contact person. Amer responds by saying it doesn't matter as there's only four people in the office.

Publicly-traded Schweizerhall, with revenues of over $150 million and 250 employees, is primarily a trader and distributor of chemicals in Switzerland. The company's roots go back to 1894. Since 2003, Schweizerhall has occupied the fourth floor in a five-story building in Zurich's city center. Retail shops occupy the ground floor and judging from the exterior the building looks to have been built in the 1940's or 1950's. However, the interior underwent a recent renovation and has a snazzy, modernistic-look.

I receive a nice welcome from Amer and von Bidder. Well, with only four people there's not much information to garner here. It's 20 minutes to Zurich's airport, five minutes to the nearest freeway, smoking is not allowed, there's a break room and, no formal dress code.

There's nothing special about CEO von Bidder's corner office. I note the computer. The view out his window? The buildings across the street.

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