Life After Chase: Heinz Hackl
Lecturing in Namibia
Heinz Hackl is based in Zug, Switzerland, where he is "semi-retired" from a venture capital firm. He joined Chase in 1968 for the Frankfurt credit training program and underwent additional credit training in New York in 1969-1970. He was Manager, Commercial Banking, Munich Branch, in 1971-72 and then spent three years as a vice president in New York's Eurocurrency Division. He served as general manager, Bahrain, 1976-1978.
When I decided to quit corporate life in order to become master of my own time, I also wanted to allocate part of my active life to charitable causes. So I approached a number of governmental and supranational organisations active in this field in the belief that a former business executive with a rather varied background (and an excellent training at Chase) could add value to their activities and that they would be keen to accept my pro bono cooperation. I received a lot of very polite reactions to my offer of assistance, but in the end nothing concrete materialized. Either I approached the wrong organizations or the people I talked to were afraid of somebody who would do the same things on an unpaid basis for which they earned a salary.
Anyway, soon my various new activities did not allow me to pursue the idea further. But in the back of my mind the idea has remained, especially recently, as I am cutting back again on my business activities, being at retirement age.
As it so happens, I recently ran into an NGO – B360 education partnerships – that arranges for active and retired professionals to join the Polytechnic of Namibia in Windhoek, Namibia, as guest lecturers for two to four weeks. They hold lectures, practical training sessions or workshops for students and Polytechnic staff on topics in the area of their expertise. Lecture topics and format are developed together with the responsible Polytechnic lecturers.
The Polytechnic of Namibia, one of the few university level institutions in this country, also has a very active business school. The first B360 education partnerships guest lecturer, a former Executive Vice Chairman and Head of Credit Suisse Asset Management Switzerland and board member of B360 education partnerships, held courses and workshops on international financial markets and lessons learnt from the current economic crises. A Human Resources expert gave lectures and case study workshops, providing students with the full overview of Human Resources processes in corporations. In addition, B360 education partnerships looks for opportunities and facilitates internships for Namibia students and lecturers with companies and institutions outside of Namibia.
I found the concept of this NGO very interesting, both from an objective as well as subjective point of view: Education plays a key role in the fight against poverty and disease. Namibia has a lot of catching up to do in this respect. Assisting in this process may be very rewarding. It could also be a lot of fun, using the skills, the network and the experience gained during our business life for such a worthwhile cause, passing it on to eager students and at the same time getting to know a new country and culture in somewhat more depth by having close contact with the authorities and students.
Why do I tell you all this? I feel that there are many of us in a similar situation as I am: Having more time than previously due to (semi)retirement, wanting to get involved in charitable causes, using one´s skills, experience and contacts, and having fun doing so. You could get involved as guest lecturers, in arranging internships for Namibian students and professors, or in the fund-raising area. Just contact B360 education partnerships.