CEO from 2016 - 2018


What is the most valuable lesson we can take forward from the period in which you were CEO of FMO?

We can be proud of how we navigated the uncertainties of the financial crisis during and after 2008, of our bold strategic decision to become the leading impact investor, of how we dealt with failures (the ‘Most Brilliant Failure Award’ is still fresh in my mind), of how we were the first to issue a Sustainability Bond in the Netherlands, and of how we became an established impact investor by successfully setting up FMO Investment Management.

But for me, personally, the highlight was the creation of Arise! With a small team and little time, we did what many thought was impossible: together with Norfund and Rabobank, we created a leading African investment company with the aim to become the leading and most trusted local investment and development partner for independent financial service providers in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is still the largest single investment in FMO’s history and an example of how institutions can come together to Invest in Africa’s Local Prosperity!

Which insights gained during your tenure as FMO’s CEO would help us reach the SDGs faster?

Practice what you preach! An organization that promotes decent work, reduced inequality, and climate action, needs to lead by example. And that is just what FMO did! By signing the ‘Gouden Standaard’ agreement for the facility services personnel, by ensuring that the pay-gap between management and junior employees is limited and by adopting a ‘clean car leasing policy’ (although I have to admit, I was not convinced from the beginning)! And this requires personal leadership. In this respect I am grateful for my own leadership journey to India and beyond. Indeed, FMO does not only change the world, it also changed me in that it made me a better person!

"FMO does not only change the world, it also changed me in that it made me a better person."

Future-minded is a special publication of FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, to mark its 50th anniversary. Editors | FMO N.V. Creation & design | Studio Duel Photography | Opmeer Contact | For questions please contact This email address is not for acquisition purposes.

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