HELM - a German family-owned company

Looking back at a corporate history of more than 120 years it can be clearly seen that some main characteristics of HELM never change:

  • Being financially independent.
  • Developing and supporting new ideas.
  • Offering a secured and fulfilling employment.

1950 Hermann Schnabel bought the company and started to specialize on trading chemicals. During this time many of the today’s subsidiaries were founded regardless whether they were in Mumbai, Mexico or Tokyo. HELM’s independence together with a high motivated and innovative team made this possible. In one of these subsidiaries (Mexico) the son of Hermann, Dieter Schnabel, started his personal career. Today HELM de México is the biggest subsidiary within the group.

In 1984 Dieter Schnabel became CEO of HELM. When the trading times changed he had to re-focus the group completely. Under his leadership the functions international marketing, distribution, logistics, production, project development, scientific and technical services were developed step by step. Today more than 1.600 people in over 30 countries worldwide are employed. One of them is Stephan Schnabel, third generation and son of Dieter Schnabel. Dieter Schnabel holds 60% of the shares in HELM AG and Stephan Schnabel holds 40%.

After working in many different areas within the group in 2020 Stephan became Chairman of the Executive Board. Working in a family-owned company brings some significant advantages according to Stephan Schnabel: “In contrast to stock companies we are not forced to concentrate on quarterly results. We can act completely independent and follow a long-term strategy.” This philosophy is also reflected in the cautious dividend policy.

“We are giving our colleagues the freedom to develop their own ideas in a fulfilling working environment”, says Stephan Schnabel. “To take responsibility in the early age is one of the key opportunities with HELM.”

“Celebrating long service anniversaries and in some cases even up to 45 years of employment are not uncommon within the HELM group”, explains Schnabel. Having a secured and fulfilling job gives the people the chance to realize their full potentials. This philosophy will remain part of the specific HELM DNA for the next generations.