News from Liebert

On growth, values and stability

Interview with our General Manager Patrick Merkt

15 years a part of LIEBERT. Grown together and grown together. How would you describe the last few years in a few sentences?
The past few years have been strongly characterised by one direction: Growth. We have grown in terms of personnel, to almost 100 employees across Germany, and have increased our location density with two new branches in the last three years. This growth is constantly fuelled by our motivation to plan technical building equipment of the highest quality, to optimally harmonise ecology, economy and user needs and to use the available natural resources of the four basic elements as efficiently and sparingly as possible. 
Nevertheless, we have not lost sight of our values and, above all, our family-run company structure. We value flat hierarchies, short decision-making processes and our cross-location teamwork. We are still the LIEBERT family. 

You say that LIEBERT has always upheld the same values and remained true to the motto "LIEBERT Family". Is there anything that has changed?  
In recent years, Thomas Liebert has handed over responsibility by appointing Stefan Ballmer (2022) and myself (2019) to the management board. So one head of the family has become three. 
Of course, this new challenge also characterises me, as I no longer act exclusively as project manager, but have also taken on the responsibility of Technical Managing Director. This task is far more varied. I now have to focus not just on one team, but on the big picture - the entire company. However, I can also pass on responsibility in other areas.

LIEBERT opened a new branch in Frankfurt a. M. last year. Why did you choose this location? 
In the past, Munich was an interesting and promising city for us. However, we had few local projects in this region. 
In Frankfurt a. M., on the other hand, we have already built up a large customer base over the last 6 years and managed a large number of projects. In order to serve this location sustainably in the future and consolidate our presence, it is not enough to be on site only temporarily for individual projects. Our customers benefit from our local presence, short distances and quick decisions.
The obvious consequence of this development was for us to establish a branch there and strengthen our position. We will now be an active part of the network, we will realise impulses and act as part of the local community. 

Frankfurt a. M., with its famous skyline, is also known as "Mainhattan". Mr Merkt, you are involved in the construction of the tallest buildings. Which project did you excel at?
When I think back, it was Tower ONE. With a height of 190 metres and 49 storeys, it was a real "cracker" (laughs).
What we had previously planned in smaller projects now had to be scaled up to a new dimension. With our high standards for ourselves, a background in technical building services and a team with an extremely high level of technical expertise, we approached the Tower ONE project with the knowledge that we would successfully master this great project.
In particular, the special features of the thermal wind influences, radar compatibility and fire protection were complex requirements that were crucial and the possibilities and limits had to be explored. The high-rise building was realised and certified as a green building project (DGNB Platinum). 
We surpassed ourselves - ONE was opened on 8 September 2022 after a construction period of four years.

You have already mentioned the team. The new branch in Frankfurt a. M. will create new jobs and build up another team. How would you describe working here on site?
Our Frankfurt team is still small at the moment. It reminds me a lot of my early days at LIEBERT, when we were steadily building up the Hüfingen site in 2008. There is a clearly noticeable spirit of optimism. 
Our offices allow us to concentrate on our work and at the same time to communicate with each other. In our working environment, we can discuss current project topics in person, including over breakfast together. Here, too, you can sense that we attach great importance to working together as a family.
Today we have more than 45 employees in Hüfingen, over 100 employees in total, and we still feel like a family.

If you're always aiming high in your day-to-day work, what brings you back down to earth in your free time?
It used to be sport, but now it's mainly family and friends. My children in particular quickly bring me back to "normal" life. At the weekend, for example, I swap my desk for the stands of my son's baseball team and my daughter's handball team.