In 1897, Ernst Müller founded his own tinsmithing business in Kleinhüningen. Once he started making cans and barrels, there was no looking back. Now, the drums produced by Müller Ltd Packaging are highly sought after for the safe transportation of hazardous substances and complex materials. The company is now in its fifth generation. And Swiss Life has been by its side for 84 years.

In this interview, Christian Reinau, CEO of the Müller Group, talks about the company’s development, its relationship with Swiss Life and leading a self-determined life.

Interview with Christian Reinau, CEO of the Müller Group

Mr Reinau, you have been employed by the Müller Group since 2000 and were appointed CEO in April 2019. What has motivated you to remain with the company for 20 years?
The Müller Group is a dynamic manufacturing company that is constantly moving forward. We have to overcome everyday challenges and seize opportunities for the future – maintaining customer focus and cost awareness in all we do. The business processes within the Group are complex and interesting, which is what appeals to me. I started out as financial controller in 2000 and kept taking on new challenges within the Group. I became Group CFO in 2005 and always felt I had the trust of the Board of Directors and the Müller family, as well as support from the management. We are a great team that identifies with the company and is passionate about it. Within the company, you often hear people say: “We are Müller!”
Why is Müller Ltd Packaging so highly regarded in your markets? What made it become so renowned?
We focus on manufacturing high-quality products that customers can consistently rely on to meet their requirements. Customers value our close proximity. They appreciate that our products are reliable, that we are true to our word and that we rise to new challenges flexibly and with an open mind. We see ourselves as a partner to our customers and offer them comprehensive services across our product range.
The “Müller drum” is well known in our markets. It is associated with the highest manufacturing quality and safe packaging for hazardous goods.
In 1897, Ernst Müller founded his own tinsmithing business in Kleinhüningen. Today it is the fifth generation that cuts and shapes sheet metal and stainless steel. How has Müller Ltd Packaging changed over time?
In the course of 123 years, what started as a one-man business has transformed into a corporate group. The Group has expanded geographically: first from Kleinhüningen to Münchenstein and later to Reiden and Muttenz, then to Germany and India. Today, 420 employees in two business areas manufacture and distribute tailored products and services relating to the transportation, shipping, storage and handling of complex industrial goods. Our slogan “From Packaging to Processing” sums up our mission: we offer our customers added value and efficient interface management along their value chain by delivering high-quality Müller solutions.
Business portrait of a man

Brief profile of Christian Reinau, CEO of the Müller
Group, Münchenstein

  • Born in 1967
  • Married with two children
  • Executive MBA from the University of St. Gallen (HSG)
  • Advanced Federal Diploma in Accounting and Controlling

The roots of Müller Ltd Packaging go back to the 19th century. This makes it the oldest company in the Müller Group. What makes you particularly proud of the company’s development?

What makes me proud is the way in which Müller Ltd Packaging has maintained its status as an independent family business for generations. The fact that it has defied economic crises and wars, grown steadily and positioned itself as a strong brand. It was the strength of Müller Ltd Packaging that enabled us to build an industrial group comprising various Müller companies. All this is thanks to prudent management, a motivated and dedicated workforce and the commitment of the Müller family, who, now in their fifth generation, are still shaping the company’s destiny.

Why is Swiss Life the right partner for Müller Ltd Packaging – a partner you have relied on for 84 years?

At the Müller Group, we strive for long-term partnerships with employees, customers, suppliers and business partners alike. What we value about Swiss Life is the security of our employees’ pension assets and the strong service ethic. We also appreciate the fact that Swiss Life, like us, recognises the need to move with the times and is driving its business model forward, such as in the area of digitalisation with electronic pension certificates. Our contacts are professional and communicate on an equal footing. We feel well supported and are always proactively informed or trained when legal changes are imminent. Another plus point is that we have been supported by the same Swiss Life employees for years. When you know each other personally, this builds trust.

Mr Reinau, what does leading a self-determined life mean for you personally?

To me, self-determination means being able to choose freely from different possible courses of action and to reap the consequences. This means freedom of thought and action, which – thankfully – is possible in our system of direct democracy. What’s important in my life is my family, my health, a balance of activities and sustainable relationships.
I am very aware that people in other countries and societies – and to some extent also in Switzerland – cannot lead a self-determined life. I therefore consider it a great privilege to be able to do so.

Müller Ltd Packaging and Swiss Life

What does a start-up do after 123 years? Simple – it keeps going. The roots of Müller Ltd Packaging go back to the 19th century. And Swiss Life has been by its side for 84 years. We support Müller Ltd Packaging through all its ups and downs and ensure it can continue to make self-determined decisions.

Arrange a consultation

Swiss Life is proud of its corporate clients – clients like Müller Ltd Packaging. We’d also be pleased to help your company remain self-determined and innovative for decades to come. Are you interested in a tailored pension solution? Request a personal consultation now.



We are delighted to have supported the leading supplier of medical compression textiles for over 100 years now.

Make sound, self-determined decisions

An attractive pension solution for your company, comprehensive risk reinsurance and motivated, healthy employees to drive your company’s success – with Swiss Life you have a professional partner with many years of experience at your side.

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