Dec 1, 2016

The founding principle of all the activities of Zdenek and Michaela Bakala is, truly, the courage, which must, according to their belief, always go hand in hand with responsibility.
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Board of Trustees

Michaela Bakala | Chair of the board

Michaela Bakala

Chair of the board

Michaela Bakala is a Czech manager and entrepreneur. Since 2009, she has been involved in the Zdeněk  Bakala Foundation as Chair of the Board, which provides scholarships to talented Czech students so that they can attend prestigious universities abroad. In 2012, she became a member of the Board of Trustees of Václav Havel Library. She also participated in the founding of Aspen Institute Prague, a Czech branch of the prestigious politically and socially oriented Washington D.C.-headquartered Aspen Institute, which forms a Central European platform for wide-ranging discussions and identifying solutions across the political spectrum, with an emphasis on education and promoting new decision-makers. In the business area, she has focused on building Luxury Brand Management, a lifestyle business group that aims to become the leader in its field in the retail luxury goods market in central Europe.  She is also a board member at Economia, a leading business and economics-focused publishing house based in the Czech Republic, with its headquarters located in a building that includes a state-of-the-art newsroom in the Karlín quarter of Prague. Since 2013, she has owned one-half of BM Management, a company that manages her family’s investments in the Czech Republic. She also utilised her experience from modeling, production and communications in 2004, when she established the Czech Miss competition, of which she is still the Director General. She also devoted eight years of her professional career to the public relations area. She worked as head of communication at an international business company and for one of the most important Czech political parties, and she founded her own PR agency. During her studies at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, she participated in the production of the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary.

She is married to Zdeněk Bakala, and they have four children. They’ve been living in Switzerland since 2009.

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Philippe Rudloff | Board Member

Philippe Rudloff

Board Member

Philippe Rudloff is currently a Managing Partner with Atlantis Marcuard, a wealth management company in Geneva. He is also President of the Board of Marcuard Latin America. Previously he has been with Bordier & Cie Banquiers Privés in Geneva where he held the post of Managing Director and member of the Board.

Rudloff’s private banking career began in 1995 with Merrill Lynch in New York and Paris. During this time, he built up a network of private clients, mostly in Europe. In 1997, he headed to Buenos Aires to launch an independent asset management operation: Marcuard Latin America. He subsequently helped to set up sister operations within the Marcuard Group.

Rudloff holds bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Politics from Queen Mary & Westfield College in London, and a master’s degree from the Institute of Political Sciences in Paris. He has participated in numerous executive development courses; the latest one, at IMD, Lausanne, focused on the challenges of successfully managing family firms.

He has been a member of the Board of Trustees since the Foundation's inception in 2011.

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Christiaan Auret van Zyl | Board member, Secretary

Christiaan Auret van Zyl

Board member, Secretary

Auret van Zyl is a corporate and business adviser and entrepreneur residing in Switzerland. He started his career as a corporate lawyer, working at international law firms, Allen & Overy in London and Amsterdam (2000-2005) and Bowman Gilfillan (1998-2000) in South Africa.

In 2006, he founded TMA Partners, a boutique transaction management and advisory business ( 

Auret has 15 years of international corporate advisory experience, involving major cross-border mergers and acquisitions, equity capital market transactions and joint ventures across Europe, Asia, Africa and the US in a wide range of sectors. 

Auret is a member of the board and secretary general of Decolef Lux Sàrl, the operating company of the Omega Pharma Quick Step professional cycling team ( and a member of the board of ZB Sports Development Sàrl, the operating company of the Bakala Academy ( He is the co-founder of Leo Trippi, a Swiss boutique travel agency (

Auret has a bachelor’s degree in law (cum laude) and LL.B. (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

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Patricia Legler | Board Member

Patricia Legler

Board Member

Patricia Legler is a Swiss lawyer and is currently the Secretary General of Cansearch Foundation, which supports medical research to combat cancer in children (

Before this, Patricia was Director of the Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala after having held various positions in wealth planning as a legal advisor for fiduciary companies based in Geneva.

She was also a member of the Swissfoundations Executive Committee, an association for grant giving foundations in Switzerland, as well as a member of the Board of the Foundation Dr Henri Dubois-Ferrière Dinu Lipatti (medicine).

Patricia completed her law studies at the University of Geneva. She also earned a diploma in trusts from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and a diploma of advanced studies in the management of non-profit organizations from the University of Geneva, Faculty of Economics.

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