Reflections of two decades at MDD

Daniel Hitz offers an exclusive look into the life at MDD over the last two decades, as seen through his perspective.



Fabio Negro and Armin Galliker congratulate Daniel Hitz on his 20 years at MDD

Wild Times

When I look back on my last 20 years, there was a phase when I started working in Schlieren that I remember as a "wild time".

After the successful implementation of the MDD Platform at Credit Suisse, the platform was released for other customers, the number of platform users increased within a very short time. During this time, when high demand meant that Armin was sleeping in the MDD offices in the then NZZ printing center in Schlieren, I joined the still young company as a reinforcement. There were four of us at the beginning, and only about a year later Nadine Künzli (now Stäheli) joined the team, and everyone naturally took on tasks that were not defined in their job description. Flexibility was a top priority, and we only finished when the customer was satisfied and the report was published on time. We sometimes worked all through the night and, of course, at weekends too. The result was highly satisfied customers, virtually all of whom have remained loyal to us to this day. We celebrated our five-year anniversary with canyoning and a visit to an Ambrì-Piotta ice hockey match at the Valascia stadium in Ticino. Why Ambrì-Piotta of all places? This is our boss's favorite ice hockey club and, in the early days of MDD, great importance was attached to ensuring that only coffee beans from Ambrì's main sponsor at the time – Chicco d'Oro – were ground in MDD's coffee machine. Legendary aperitifs and team events were held, which could sometimes be extravagant. 

The two NZZ chefs Beat Meister and Giovanni Putignano from the NZZ canteen also spoilt the employees of the joint venture subsidiary MDD with delicious food – and Armin with LOTS of meat. Thanks to the NZZ Group owning 50% of MDD at that point, we were also able to take part in company ski days and excel in an NZZ cricket tournament with the "MDD fun" team. A certain Vivianne Chalverat was still playing in the "Fretzlis" team at the time. Today, her name is Vivianne Gilliéron and she has been a member of the MDD Project Management team for three years.

Lenzburg Years

The move to Lenzburg in 2010 and the subsequent management buyout ushered in a phase of growth and professionalization.

The 10-year anniversary was honored internally with a children's hotel wellness holiday, and a dignified event with a murder mystery dinner at Lenzburg Castle was organized for customers. For years, both, the employees and MDD customers benefited from Bürgi & Partner's Christmas tree festival in Lenzburg, where they socialized in a great atmosphere and always took a Nordmann fir home with them.

With the expansion of the support team and the start of development of the fourth generation of the MDD platform in Uruguay, the course has definitely been set for the future. During this time, Luzia Kasper, Brian Büchi and Jürg Schneider joined the Project Management team, which was completed when Vivianne Gilliéron and Jasmin Mathys joined.

Embracing Geographical Change

The optimistic mood manifested itself not least in the relocation of the offices to Zurich and a reorganization of the company, which was now gearing up for the new challenges. The new COO, Fabio Negro, and Connie Pegoraro, who manages the back office and HR, ensure that the Project Management team can concentrate on customer support and the further development of the assigned domains. With Patricia Cleopazzo, the company now also has someone to take care of the marketing activities. Anja Meyer is contributing her power to Business Development and XBRL Projects. Daniel Sidler expertly takes care of IT & Security, while Christoph Lipp is the latest addition to the team, contributing his accumulated expertise in the area of Digital Reports and Platform Development. Carolina Saralegui, who supports us in Quality & Testing, completes the circle in my eyes, as she has made a significant contribution – from Armin losing his heart to her and her home country of Uruguay, and their three sons Felipe, Lorenzo and Javier growing up bilingually, to the company's workforce being spread across two continents. The pandemic years were an important touchstone for the whole company and showed that MDD was also able to work entirely from home.

The first MDD Summit in Mallorca in 2023 was an emotional highlight for me personally, because it was the first time that the entire company, including the Developer and IT team from Uruguay (Hernan Bouza, Juan Machado, Lorena Pacheco, Matias Miranda, Nicolas Stummo), came together as we met in a hotel on the Balearic island to launch the next generation of the MDD platform and work together. The fact that there was enough time for poolside aperitifs, personal discussions, wine tasting and delicious food in addition to the work made the event unforgettable.

The Future Looks Bright

In my view, what has always characterized MDD, as it does today, is the personal contact with our customers as well as the willingness to do everything that we can to fulfil their requirements with passion and to lead the joint product to success.

It has always been a great challenge to bring the "right" people on board, who not only share our work ethic, but are also prepared to persistently drive MDD forward and adapt to future requirements.

I would therefore like to thank all of my "comrades-in-arms" at MDD, but also "my" customers, who have accompanied, supported and challenged me on my journey at MDD to date or who continue to do so 😊. Even if I haven't mentioned all of them by name, they have all contributed to the fact that I am celebrating my anniversary today with great joy and marveling at how quickly the time has passed.

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Daniel Hitz

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