Dr. Bernard gr. Broermann

Dr. Bernard große Broermann, the founder and shareholder of the Asklepios Group, passed away on 25 February 2024 at the age of 80. Not only did he establish one of the leading healthcare providers, his entrepreneurial vision helped shape the entire German healthcare sector over many decades.

Portrait von Dr. Bernard große Broermann, Gründer und Gesellschafter der Asklepios Kliniken
Dr. Bernard gr. Broermann, founder and shareholder of Asklepios Kliniken © Asklepios

Bernard große Broermann was born in Damme in what is now the federal state of Lower Saxony on 20 November 1943 and grew up on his parents’ farm. Working in the family business soon saw him develop the entrepreneurial spirit that would accompany him throughout his entire life. After leaving school, he initially started to study medicine and chemistry before switching to and graduating in law and business administration and obtaining his doctorate of law at just 26 years of age. He subsequently obtained Masters of Business Administration from INSEAD in Fontainebleau (France) and Harvard in Boston (United States). 

Bernard große Broermann began his career with the auditing and tax advisory firm Ernst & Whinney in Boston (now Ernst & Young) before moving to the company’s Frankfurt office. During this period, he also qualified as a tax advisor and auditor and passed his second state examination in law. 

The foundation of the Asklepios Group in 1985 was the first chapter in the success story of one of Germany’s largest and best-known hospital groups. The establishment and development of the company – named after the god of medicine in Greek and Roman mythology – would prove to be Bernard große Broermann’s life’s work and his legacy. He began by taking over numerous public hospitals in need of renovation and restructuring, successfully repositioning them as businesses offering a high quality of care. In spite of his role as a visionary company founder, Bernard große Broermann was always happy to remain in the background. For many decades, he pursued his goal of continuously improving healthcare and prevention through quality, innovation and social responsibility with great passion and entrepreneurial foresight. As the Asklepios Group continued to grow, he placed particular importance on quality management – always with the aim of developing a system that takes full account of patient safety and the quality of medical care. 

The acquisition of a majority interest in the former Hamburg state hospitals (“Landesbetrieb Krankenhäuser”) in 2005 was a key event in the Asklepios Group’s development. A majority interest in the listed MediClin AG followed in 2011. Finally, Asklepios acquired a majority interest in the listed Rhön-Klinikum AG in 2020, giving it an indirect interest in Germany’s only privately operated university hospital in Gießen and Marburg. Thanks to Bernard große Broermann’s business acumen and his tireless efforts, Asklepios now provides high-quality medical care and patient-oriented services at more than 170 healthcare facilities throughout Germany. Today, the company looks after more than 3.5 million patients every year and has over 68,000 employees.

Bernard große Broermann’s dedication to medicine and his business success were unprecedented. He understood how to combine modern management methods with humanitarian responsibility, allowing him to make lasting improvements to the quality and efficiency of healthcare in Germany. Continuously improving and enhancing medical care through innovation was his great passion. This is also reflected in the Broermann Innovation Prize for Medicine, an international award endowed with one million euros which will be presented annually. The award represents another important legacy of Bernard große Broermann and underlines his unstinting desire to encourage and reward ground-breaking medical achievements. This mindset is also illustrated by the title of his autobiography, published in 2023, entitled “Leidenschaft für Gesundheit” (A Passion for Health). 

Looking to the future of the company, Bernard große Broermann gradually handed over the operational management of the Asklepios hospitals to an experienced management team in order to increasingly dedicate himself to his role as shareholder. Bernard große Broermann ensured that the Asklepios Group will remain in family ownership after his own death, continuing to exist as a single entity with the ability to act and take decisions in its own right at all times. This was a matter of great importance to him and epitomises his understanding of entrepreneurial responsibility. All of the shareholdings have therefore been pooled in Broermann Holding GmbH, where a committee of family members and trusted individuals he knew for many years will protect the interests of the shareholders and ensure that Bernard große Broermann’s vision is carried forward into the future.

We will remember Bernard große Broermann as a man who dedicated his life with great passion to making healthcare better. A devout Catholic, his work always reflected his Christian values and his commitment to the good of mankind. Bernard große Broermann was a pioneer of the private healthcare sector. His legacy will live on in the facilities he created and in the hearts of everyone who was fortunate enough to meet him and work with him.

We wish to extend our sympathy to his family and relatives. Bernard große Broermann’s death represents a great loss, but his spirit and his vision will live on through his achievements. We pay tribute to an outstanding individual and express our gratitude for everything he did for his company and for healthcare in Germany.

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