For the tourism industry, 2020 will go down in history as the year of the greatest challenges, enormous efforts and far-reaching upheavals. For the FTI GROUP, after the Corona-related streamlining of the company portfolio and the implemented structural measures last summer, the end of the year means a final reorganization of the top management before the focus is fully on the future.
As part of the reorganization, the company’s founder Dietmar Gunz is handing over his area of responsibility to co-managing director Ralph Schiller and withdrawing from the operational business. However, Gunz and Roula Jouny will remain shareholders. The company founder is also expected to continue contributing his in-depth expertise as the designated chairman of the new FTI GROUP Supervisory Board.
“After facing the unparalleled challenges of the pandemic start since March, our previous minority shareholder Samih Sawiris became the main shareholder in April with a 75.1 percent stake. After very intensive months, our company is now well on its way,” Dietmar Gunz summarizes. “This means that now is the right time for Roula Jouny and me to dedicate ourselves to new tasks, but also to continue supporting the FTI GROUP.”
From January 1, 2021, Ralph Schiller will then lead the fortunes of the tour operator group together with Constantin von Bülow. Commenting on this, Samih Sawiris said, “Ralph Schiller has decades of experience in tourism and I have full confidence in his entrepreneurial decisions. He has been leading the FTI GROUP as co-managing director since 2011 and he has a broad, crisis-tested wealth of knowledge that he will use to steer the tour operator group safely into the future with his team.”
Close interlocking of shareholders
Dietmar Gunz’s retirement from the operational business of the FTI GROUP will take effect on December 31, 2020. Roula Jouny will transfer responsibility for Meeting Point International and MP Hotels to Karim Hassan, who most recently worked in the executive management of Orascom Development Holding (ODH).
Priority will now be given to Roula Jouny as Senior Advisor to the Family Office of Samih Sawiris, thus enabling the companies, which are already connected through their shareholders, to become even more competitive with combined forces. “I am very pleased that Dietmar Gunz and Roula Jouny have agreed to continue to support both ODH and FTI GROUP in the future,” said the FTI main shareholder. “My special thanks go to Dietmar Gunz. We greatly appreciate his decades of experience in tourism and it continues to be essential for us.” Dietmar Gunz and Roula Jouny emphasize, “The close relationship between the Sawiris family and FTI GROUP grew out of a friendship and has developed into a great partnership, for which we are very grateful. Now we want to continue to create synergies between the companies and push projects in this direction.”
Well positioned for the next tourism year
With its new management structure and the measures already taken to overcome the Corona crisis, the FTI GROUP is looking ahead to 2021 with strength and confidence. “The prospect of an imminent vaccine is a ray of hope for the entire industry,” says Ralph Schiller. “And the desire for vacation in the country is unbroken – after many had to spend their 2020 vacations within their own four walls, the desire to travel is noticeably high. We are entering the next season with great expectations and have positioned ourselves optimally for the increase in bookings. Because 2021 could become a real boom year.”