Werner Knips


Werner Knips is a partner emeritus in Heidrick & Struggles’ Düsseldorf office and a member of the global Financial Services and CEO & Board of Directors practices focusing on financial services, real estate, and private equity sectors as well as supervisory and advisory board roles. He advises international and domestic clients on filling leadership gaps in front of market changes with regards to stakeholder value, sustainability, digitalization, and supports his colleagues to win business at the highest level.


Werner has been with Heidrick & Struggles in Düsseldorf for more than 30 years, where he helped build and has led the global Real Estate Practice. Together with Heidrick Consulting colleagues, he developed a consulting program for the introduction and implementation of a sustainable, value-driven corporate governance approach.

During his career, he has successfully completed more than 1,000 search mandates – with more than 700 in the real estate sector and more than 100 for private equity clients – including chairman, NXDs, CEOs, COOs, CFOs, partners, principles, and VPs as well as specialists like senior asset managers, senior developers, corporate real estate managers, and so forth.

Werner has authored and been quoted in Institute for Corporate Governance in the German Real Estate Industry (ICG) publications including:

Werner started his career at a major German bank. He is fluent in English and German.


Deutsche Sporthochschule, Cologne, Master’s Degree in Physical Education

Fachhochschule Düsseldorf, Degree in Business Administration


Immobilienmanager, Award for developing the Corporate Governance (ICG) initiative best practice guide “Social Impact Investing in Real Estate.”

Philanthropy and Service

Werner is founder and deputy chairman of the Institute Corporate Governance of the German Real Estate Industry (ICG) and a founding board and steering committee member of Zentraler Immobilien Ausschuss, (ZIA - the German Property Federation).

He initiated and chairs the annual ICG real estate top management event, The German Real Estate Summit, and the ICG and Heidrick & Struggles’ joint venture, ICG Real Estate Board Academy.

Werner initiated the ICG best practice guides including, “Taking Responsibility”, “Social Impact Investing in Real Estate,” and “Good governance for Real Estate asset management companies.”

He authored the survey, “Corporate Governance as a driver for company performance,” and is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

German Insights - Deutsche Einblicke