Rudy Blum,
Head of CAPEX Projects Management LafargeHolcim, Switzerland

“In the time we worked together, I got to learn you as a top business professional, attentive to details in business that make a difference but without losing sight of the big picture. I appreciated your view, support, and guidance to continuously improve the work behavior in our organization and the business.”

Olga Finochenko,
Senior HR Business Partner at PepsiCo, Russia

“I had a pleasure to work with Rene from 2007 till 2011, when he was a CFO for the Russian subsidiary of Holcim. I was amazed by his energy and ability to be proactive, suggest and effectively move forward improvements in many areas which, in the end of the day, helped to make the whole company more efficient. During those years he also proved himself as an excellent crisis manager when the company faced difficult times.
On the top of in-depth financial knowledge, Rene has a sound command of managerial and interpersonal skills. He is a charismatic leader with a strategic approach and has a big-picture view. He sets high personal standards and is always willing to help others to meet these standards by investing into their development and professional growth.”

Claude Ruttimann,
Head of Europe IT Service Center, LafargeHolcim, Spain

“I have been working together with Rene during the period 2010 – 2013 on several projects, mainly in the area of process improvement, change management, IT and finance organization. Besides his deep financial acumen and his IFRS knowledge, I have been impressed by Rene openness to challenge his own organization in place and to look for continuous process improvement, very convincing in leading his team on the way of change management. He is definitely a team player and we have been working together in an efficient, open and friendly way.”

Weilian Ge,
CFO Asia Pacific, Van Hessen (Shanghai) Commercial & Trading, China

“It has been a great pleasure to work with Rene, who has exhibited great commitment and passion to challenge the status quo and drive changes in a very difficult environment. As a dedicated professional with finance acumen, he impresses people with his ability as a role model and leadership skills. I would definitely like to collaborate with Rene in the future again.”

Alexey Grekov,
Senior Legal Counsel M&A ALSTOM, Russia

“I had a pleasure to work with Rene for more than 3 years at Holcim Russia, these were no simple years during crisis time and further renaissance. I can recommend Rene as perfectly skilled crisis manager who is able to manage securing interests of the company on one side and his employees on the other. Without any doubt those years influenced my managerial skills and I got into the core of such things as leadership and communication. Another point to outline is that Rene pays much attention to my improvement of financial knowledge of his non-finance related subordinates and this enables them to talk one language with controlling, reporting and business creating business partnership.”

Vladimir Frankovic,
Management Consultant CRH, UK

“I worked alongside Rene for almost a decade within Holcim, first in Switzerland, later in Russia. Rene is a unique individual, distinguished by his organizational skills and attention to detail, which is obviously very welcome in a CFO. However, he always also managed to show his human side, easily working across functional boundaries, creating a good atmosphere, being a good colleague, building his own team and supporting others. There were sometimes challenging times, as the industry underwent cycles and Rene always showed a firm hand on the tiller, be it with routine financial day-to-day activities, reorganization, or M&A. Based on the above, I would have no hesitation in recommending Rene.”

Henning Sasse,
Head Cement Industrial India LafargeHolcim / ExCo Member Ambuja Cement Ltd. and ACC Ltd. at LafargeHolcim, India

“I had the privilege of working with Rene for almost 4 years in Russia during a period of tremendous pressure for the company. Rene’s common sense approach to change management was instrumental in helping the company stay afloat during these difficult times. He is the rare executive with the willingness to roll up his sleeves and uncover margin potential and business improvements based on an excellent level of financial acumen. Rene leads outstandingly through action and inspiration, takes the necessary time required to solve problems, and brings a great deal of empathy to how he manages his teams and people. He has the absolutely highest level of integrity when it comes to reporting and audit discipline. Rene is someone I will rely on for the rest of my career for direction and advice.”

Ekaterina Timokhina,
Director at Team Training, Russia

“Rene is a leader, who is completely involved in the development and growth of his team. From what I can see Rene has perfect communication and conflict management skills. He leads his people to the clear goals to support company change.”

Matt Allers,
President Maces LLC, USA

“In my function as commissioning manager for a large cement plant, I had the pleasure to work with Rene.
Due to his open personality and stature of managerial presence as well as his competencies, Rene has been respected and liked as a senior manager throughout the organization.
During my tenor of three years, he served three CEOs. Twice, I observed how he supported a new CEO to get acquainted with the specific and difficult corporate situation. My impression has been that he did that very well and with a high degree of loyalty.
He possesses an excellent ability to comprehensively and quickly analyze beyond his direct area of responsibility and core competencies. For instance, in Steering Committee meetings for an about 500 million Euro project, he frequently fostered a constructive discussion about all options, systematically weighing their pros & cons, and making sound financial but also technical decisions.
His leadership style is team-oriented and he has strong coaching skills. For instance, he frequently communicated the relevant financial information tailored to each level of the organization in order to ensure their understanding of the company’s situations and, therefore, the buy-in of the employees into certain measures senior management was taking. Further, I observed on numerous occasions how he successfully coached the IT-Department to become more customer focused.
Although the circumstances have not been easy, Rene assured that the appropriate and timely financing of our large CAPEX project at all times. Furthermore, he ensured that suppliers of goods and services got paid timely according to the contracts, which definitely helped the execution of the project.
Russian laws for taxation of new plants coming online, especially for the property tax, are rather complex and require a high degree of interdepartmental cooperation. Rene successfully led these efforts ensuring full compliance while optimizing the cash-flow for the company within the options, which the tax laws and regulations provide.
In summary, I thoroughly enjoyed working with Rene and am very grateful for all his excellent support.”

Tim Mummey MBA,
Senior Market Manager, Holcim (US) Inc.

“I have know Rene for over nine years and believe him to be of the highest moral character. He has a great leadership quality and a natural inclination of understanding people from diverse backgrounds. From his understanding he is able to motivate both individual and group into a common direction. He makes individuals feel valued and appreciated which is a great motivational trait. He is able to explain the complex and break the “whole” into the “parts” so everyone understands expectations and thus the results.
As a financial expert Rene understands the drivers and what is needed to be a financially successful in the corporate setting. He has developed his financial acumen into a core competency needed for success in today’s increasingly sophisticated business world. Rene is able to analyze financial information to quickly spot strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improving financial performance.
As an individual, Rene Blum’s character is above reproach. In the short time that I have know him he has made me feel valued and needed. He is able to connect with people and in a short time build a great level of trust. Rene is one the finest individual I have met. When I have reached out for help or had a question, he is quick to reply and offer assistance if needed.”