Prof. Dr. Karl Pilny

Founder & Managing Director asia21 gmbh
Lawyer & Keynote Speaker
Professor for International Technology Transfer Management
Senior Investment Expert

Prof. Dr. Karl Pilny

Dr. Pilny studied law, economics and Japanese studies (1979-1985) and has been professionally active in Asia for more than 30 years.

Following a Research Fellowship at the Japan Department of the Max Planck Institute for International Intellectual Property, where he also received his doctorate (1985-1989), he taught German Law, partly in Japanese, at the Universities of Kyoto and Osaka (1989-1991). This was then followed by a ten-year period as partner at the multinational law firm Coudert Brothers – including posts at the Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, Paris, London and Brussels offices – for which he opened and managed the first German office in Berlin, in 1995. This was followed by a five year position   as Managing Partner Germany for the London law firm Travers Smith. In 2006, Dr. Pilny founded asia21 GmbH in Zurich, Switzerland, a financial consultancy which advises companies and entrepreneurs strategically on investments in and from Asia.

Dr. Pilny is still active in the M&A field as an investor/business angel and partner at Rihm Law, in Zurich. In addition to his professorship at the bbw University in Berlin, he is also a Senior Investment Advisor for various foundations in Geneva. Dr. Pilny is a regular guest on TV and radio (n-tv, N24, 3sat) and is a sought-after keynote speaker at international conferences. Dr. Pilny holds captivating, descriptively rich lectures in German, English and Japanese and has published numerous books, among other things “ASIA2030: Was der globalen Wirtschaft blüht” (ASIA2030: What is Thriving in the Global Economy), the sequel to his well-known trilogy “Das asiatische Jahrhundert” (Campus Verlag); “Investment Guide Asia” as well as “Asiens Energiehunger – Rohstoffe am Limit” (FinanzBuch Verlag). His political thrillers “Japan Inc.” and “Korea Inc.” (Osburg Verlag/Heyne) were also very well received.


International financial and capital markets
Direct Investments, Equity Markets and M&A
International Law and Economics
Asia and New Markets
Geopolitics and strategy consulting
Energy, infrastructure and telecoms sector
Corporate, real estate and project finance
Intercultural Competence


Federal Association German Silk Road Initiative e.V. (BVDSI)
Member of the Presidium
German-Chinese Lawyers Association e.V. (DCJV)
German-Japanese Lawyers Association e.V. (DJJV)
German-Japanese Business Circle e.V. (DJW)
Swiss Impact Investment Association (SIIA)
Swiss-Japanese Chamber of Commerce (SJCC)
International Club at the Foreign Office (ICAA)
Lions Club Berlin-Mitte


Mc Kinsey & Co. / AT Kearney / BCG
Goldman Sachs / J.P. Morgan
Sal. Oppenheim / Berenberg Bank
Fidelity Investments/ Schroders
IVG Immobilien AG / FOCAM AG / Hartz Regehr
Landesbank Berlin / Commerzbank AG
Union Investment / ampega Gerling
Zeppelin University/ TU Berlin / EBS
Capital / Smart Investor / Going Public
Euroforum / Management Circle
UBS / Credit Suisse / Vontobel , Zurich
Lorange Institute / CEIBS / University of Zurich
Center for Corporate Governance (ZfU), Zurich
ESAFON, Geneva
C-Quadrat / Erste Bank / Austrian Council for Sustainability, Vienna


German, English, Japanese, French

Speakers Fee

Upon request


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