Born in 1966. I grew up in Fryslân [the Netherlands], got degrees in urban planning and economics [summa cum laude] from Groningen University and a doctorate from Tilburg University, then moved to and trained at McKinsey & Company.
In the mid-1990s, I became ABN AMRO chair professor of export management and international entrepreneurship at Nyenrode University [and, a few years later, also chair professor of strategy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam]. I was the youngest chair professor of business administration ever in the Netherlands, and still can claim that distinction. Currently, I’m a visiting professor at various business schools and lecture in international business, strategy and alternative investments.
In 1996, I started JRC International, a research firm, and worked for many customers [500+] – and I still do. I also served as CEO of KPN Finance, the finance company of the largest telecom and IT service provider in the Netherlands, and [as of 2002] joined the supervisory and advisory boards of various companies and family offices [e.g., Ricoh Netherlands, NRC Media Groep, Deerns Engineering, Mirror Controls International, Rijk Zwaan]. In 2011, I was very fortunate to bump into alternative investing [for several years I was vice-chairman of the supervisory board of Egeria, a leading Dutch private equity firm].
Writing equals fun. I wrote books [over 30], research reports [over 500], and articles [over 400] – and I still do. I sat on the Dutch Export Award jury, the Young Captain Award jury, and chaired the Tros Aktua Export jury [a well-known Dutch TV show focused on Holland's finest export companies]. I am a global citizen with a 30-year track record. But in all that time I did just one thing: Research. Facts are the servants of the argument.