Christoph Koellreuter

in memoriam

Christoph Koellreuter grew up in Reinach (BL). He attended the Realgymnasium in Basel and then studied economics at the University of Basel. In 1968 he completed a six-month research internship at the OECD in Paris, after which he worked as an assistant to Prof. Gottfried Bombach until 1973, where he wrote his doctorate. After completing his doctorate, he spent one year researching at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. He then worked as a lecturer at the University of Basel and gained his first professional experience. In 1980, together with other four economists, he founded the Basel Working Group for Economic Research (BAK), as a spin-off of the University of Basel and Prognos AG. In 1987, he transformed BAK into an economically and politically independent public limited company (now BAK Economics AG) and dedicated all his energy as an economist and entrepreneur in his functions as director, chief economist and chairman of the board of directors for around 20 years.

Christoph Koellreuter was well known for his innovative applied research approaches combined with his charismatic nature and a clear and understandable language. He has successfully positioned and continuously developed BAK Economics with its business forecasts for Switzerland and internationally (International Industry Forecasting Service).

With the intensification of global location competition since the beginning of the 1990s, Christoph Koellreuter began to develop a national and  international regional benchmarking on the economic performance of regions and their location attractiveness. Christoph Koellreuter pushed the internationalization of the existing products from 2000 onwards. For many years he has brought many regional representatives to Basel and sold BAK analyses throughout Europe as part of the International Benchmarking Forum. Economic forecasts, sector analyses and the measurement of the attractiveness of a location are still among the core competencies of BAK Economics.

Through his involvement with cross-border metropolitan regions in an international comparison, he has also increasingly dealt with his own region since 2003 and thus founded the association metrobasel. 

Christoph Koellreuter's work took place in the field of tension between a liberal economic order and social responsibility. Throughout his life, he was politically involved (e.g. in the context of the EEA vote), as an advisor and board member in various associations, federations (such as the Basler Oekonomen VBOE, NHG) and companies.

Christoph Koellreuter's tireless work has accompanied him to his last days. After retiring from BAK Economics, he took on various mandates, studied Applied History at the University of Zurich and ran the metrobasel association until 2012. He then worked for Switzerland's competitiveness within the framework of the "CH2048" foundation which was initiated by him.

In recent years, Christoph Koellreuter has devoted more of his time to his wife Eva and his entire family - children and grandchildren. Due to an aggressive illness, he passed away at the age of 75.

Christoph Koellreuter was incredibly enthusiastic and curious.His unconventional thinking, his open and cordial nature will be greatly missed.