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Alexander Otto

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) ECE Group

Alexander Otto has been Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ECE - a company owned by the Otto family - since 2000. Under his leadership, ECE has developed into the European market leader in the shopping center sector and further into a broadly positioned, internationally active real estate and investment group, the ECE Group.

Alexander Otto is a member of the Supervisory Boards of the Otto Group and of SITE Centers in Cleveland/USA as well as a member of the Advisory Board of Peek & Cloppenburg KG Düsseldorf. He is also a member of the Global Advisory Council of Harvard University.

Otto is the initiator and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the "Lebendige Stadt" Foundation, which focuses on the revitalization of European city centers. With the "Alexander Otto Sportstif-tung" (Alexander Otto Sports Foundation), Otto particularly promotes youth and disabled sports in Hamburg and, in this context, has donated an ice rink and ball sports arena as well as the HSV junior sports center for Hamburg. With the "Dorit und Alexander Otto Stiftung" (Dorit and Alexander Otto Foundation), he also helps in particular with medical and cultural developments, including the extensive modernization of the Hamburger Kunsthalle.

Alexander Otto was born in Hamburg in July 1967. After graduating from Oxford, he studied at Harvard University (BA 1990, summa cum laude) and Harvard Business School (MBA 1994, with distinction) before joining ECE in 1994.


Joanna Fisher


Joanna Fisher has been CEO of ECE Marketplaces since 2021 and is responsible for the entire shopping center business in the ECE Group. She has been CEO since 2014 and most recently headed the center management and thus the portfolio business of ECE in this function. She started her career at ECE in 1998 as a center manager at various locations in Germany and abroad, in particular in Eastern Europe.

In addition to the management and numerous restructurings of existing properties, she was also responsible for the opening and market launch of shopping centers. From 2011 to 2013, she was initially responsible for various regional areas as Regional Director Center Management. Subsequently, as Senior Director, she took over the responsibility for new markets and thus the supervision of ECE developments in countries such as Italy, Denmark, Turkey, and Qatar.

Joanna Fisher was born in Szczecin in 1973 and studied business administration at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), specializing in marketing and controlling. She has been Chairwoman of the European Council of Shopping Places since 2023.

Steffen Eric Friedlein


Steffen Eric Friedlein has been responsible for store leasing at ECE as Managing Director Leasing since 2018. He joined the company in 1999 as Leasing Manager. From 2008 he was Regional Director for various regional areas and from 2013 Senior Director Leasing.

As Senior Director, he was initially responsible for the northern half of Germany as well as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Italy, and from 2014 for leasing throughout Germany.

Steffen Friedlein was born in Stuttgart in 1968 and began his career at the Kriegbaum Group in Böblingen after studying business administration at the BA Stuttgart, most recently as Head of Leasing.

Robert Heinemann


Robert Heinemann has been Managing Director of ECE since 2017. At ECE Group Services, ECE's service company, he is responsible for Accounting, Commercial Property Management, Compliance, Data Protection & Security, Corporate Insurance Management, Information Technology, Legal, Organizational Development, People & Office Management and Sustainability & Corporate Communications.

He began his career at ECE in 1999 in Corporate Communications. He initially became Head of Department, Press Spokesman and Director in 2006 before moving to Center Management in 2013, where he took over responsibility for the operations of around 120 shopping centers in six countries as Senior Director.

At the same time, Robert Heinemann was a member of the Hamburg Parliament for eleven years and is now involved in the plenum of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, the HDE, the European Council of Shopping Places, the Economic Council and as a board member of the "Lebendige Stadt" foundation.

Robert Heinemann was born in Hamburg in 1974. He trained as a banker, completed a part-time degree in business administration at the FernUniversität Hagen and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Dr. Volker Kraft


Dr. Volker Kraft founded ECE Real Estate Partners in 2010 as a fund company of the ECE Group and has been managing partner since then.

He is a member of the Board of Aliansce Sonae Shopping Centers, a leading shopping center company in Brazil.

Dr. Volker Kraft studied business administration and received his doctorate from the University of St. Gallen. He started his professional career as a member of the management board of Allianz Capital Partners.

Henrie W. Kötter

CEO ECE Work & Live

Henrie W. Kötter has been CEO of ECE Work & Live since 2021. In this function, he is responsible for all investment and development activities of ECE in the areas of office, residential, hotel, logistics and special real estate.

Since 2004, he has managed various divisions within the ECE Group in Germany and abroad; as a member of the Management Board, he led, among other things, the Center Management division for four years and, as Chief Investment Officer (CIO), the project development and M&A business for six years.

Born in 1974 in Bünde/Westphalia, he graduated in business administration from EBS European Business School and started his professional career at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. He is a Board Member of the US REITS Retail Value Inc. and Global Governing Trustee of the ULI Urban Land Institute.

Claudia Plath


Claudia Plath has been Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the ECE Group since 2013.
Her career at ECE began in 1996 as a controller. After five years, she took on management tasks as a team leader in Controlling in 2001 and from 2004 onwards she led the Asset and Corporate Controlling division including the national companies in a director function.
As Managing Director Finance, Claudia Plath led the areas of accounting, controlling, risk management, corporate finance, and asset management for all shopping centers in Germany and abroad for the ECE Group from 2013.
Since the reorganization of the ECE Group at the beginning of 2021, Claudia Plath has been responsible for the strategy and management of the entire Group as CFO of the ECE Group together with Alexander Otto (CEO).

In parallel, Claudia Plath was a member of the Supervisory Board of Hochbahn AG for six years and is currently a member of the Supervisory Board of CECONOMY AG and Deutsche EuroShop AG.
She was born in 1971 in Freital near Dresden, studied business administration at the Technical University of Berlin and worked for Bayerische Immobilien Verwaltung in Berlin during her studies.

Markus Schmitt-Habersack


Markus Schmitt-Habersack was born in Ludwigshafen in 1962. He studied law in Mainz and Freiburg, where he also passed the 1st and 2nd state examinations. He started his career in 1991 as head of department at the Treuhandanstalt in Berlin.

From 1999 onwards, as Director at ECE, he was responsible for the international project development business and M&A, among other things. From 2014, he was Chairman Investment Germany at Cushman & Wakefield.

Arndt Schwerdtfeger

Managing Director Architecture & Construction ECE Group Services

Arndt Schwerdtfeger has been Managing Director of ECE since 2020. In ECE Group Services, the service company of ECE, he is responsible for the Architecture & Construction division. He started his career at ECE in 2007 as a project manager and took over various project management tasks in Germany and abroad. In 2014, he was appointed Deputy Director Design Execution at ECE, followed by the appointment as Director Project Management in 2015.

Arndt Schwerdtfeger was born in Zwickau/Saxony in 1975 and studied architecture at the University of Applied Sciences Wismar - University of Applied Sciences for Technology, Economics and Design. After completing his studies, he worked in various positions for Ernst & Young / Prof. Weiss & Partner Projektsteuerungsgesellschaft mbH in Berlin.

Parallel to his professional activities, Arndt Schwerdtfeger holds a Master of Business Administration in Management and Real Estate. He holds a degree in Real Estate Economics, is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS) and a Professional Coach.

Jan-Hendrik Walloch

Managing Partner ECE Living

Jan-Hendrik Walloch has been Managing Partner of ECE Living since 2021. In this function, he is responsible for supporting national and international institutional investors in European residential investments. He has been with the ECE Group since 2008 and has held various positions in development as well as investment and transaction management. Most recently, he was responsible for the transaction business in Europe for more than five years as Director Mergers & Acquisitions.

Born in Hamburg in 1977, he completed a banking apprenticeship and a degree in business administration and started his professional career at DZ HYP in 2002.