Dr. Carl Melchior

(1871-1933)

Born in Hamburg in 1871, Dr. Carl Melchior was a German lawyer, banker, diplomat, and shareholder of the bank M.M. Warburg & Co. He was also one of the most important fiscal policy makers in German history. Head of the German finance delegation at the negotiations for the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, he was also of great significance to Beiersdorf.

In his capacity as a shareholder of M.M. Warburg & Co., he was the direct trusted contact of Beiersdorf cofounder Dr. Oscar Troplowitz regarding financial matters until Troplowitz’s passing in 1918, after which he advised Troplowitz’s wife Gertrud. Following Gertrud’s sudden death in 1920, Melchior assisted with the founding of P. Beiersdorf & Co. GmbH, which became a joint-stock company in 1922. With Warburg having been bequeathed the 25-fold voting rights attached to the former shares of Gertrud Troplowitz, the family heirs were no longer able to form a majority. This resulted in a stable course for the company during the uncertain times of the Weimar Republic in spite of the uncertainty of the heirs’ situation, which was marked by self-interest. Melchior himself was appointed Chair of the Supervisory Board upon the corporation Beiersdorf AG being founded in 1922. In the years preceding his death, Melchior’s dedication played a significant part in the company’s stability and international success. Carl Melchior died in Hamburg in 1933 at the age of 62.