Acting as co-builders
Maurice has acquired over his long and fruitful career an in-depth practical experience in corporate and investment management. In 1971, he started his career at the Electrobel Group (now Electrabel), taking on various roles and responsibilities until 1987.
He has been a member of several Boards, such as Director of Belron and Deputy Chairman of the D’Ieteren’s Board of Directors between 1993 and 2014.
Maurice holds a Master’s Degree in Civil and Commercial Engineering from the Brussels State University, ULB/Solvay.
Michel has an in-depth experience in corporate investment and asset management, having worked for the Group GIB and Cobepa, among others. Michel was also a member of Cobepa’s Executive Team from 1995 to 2000.
After which, Michel became Finance Director of BIAC /Brussels Airport, from 2001 to 2005 and then became the CFO of the SNCB Holding, Belgian Railways from 2005 through to 2016. He is a respected member of several Boards of listed companies, such as D’Ieteren and Zetes. He is also a Professor at Brussels State University, ULB/Solvay Brussels School.
Michel holds a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering in Physics and a Master’s Degree in Economics, from the ULB.
Olivier leveraged his background as an architect and urban planner to found and develop Urban Platform, an architectural firm whose mission is to revamp urban neighborhoods reinforcing the bonds between architecture and the sustainable city.
After 12 successful years as an architect, Olivier became the Chief Executive Officer of SPDG, the holding company of the Périer-D’Ieteren family, one of the two major shareholders of the D’Ieteren Group.
In existence since 1805, and across family generations, the D’Ieteren Group seeks growth and value creation by pursuing a strategy on the long term for its businesses internationally. It actively encourages and supports them to develop their position as a leader in their industry or in their geographies. The group has currently three activities articulated around strong brands: D’Ieteren Auto Volkswagen importer, Belron and Moleskine. It has around 20 Millions customers in over 100 countries and generating revenues of over 6 billion Euros.
Olivier has assumed several key governing roles within the D’Ieteren Group and is now serving as Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Group’s Strategic Committee.
In addition to his involvement within the D’Ieteren Group, Olivier has shaped and expanded SPDG’s investments which scope is sustained by macro trends or consists in intelligent transport and smart city solutions. Direct equity investments and private equity funds have led Olivier to hold various positions on Boards, including CleverCiti Systems which he chairs, or Clove.
Olivier earned a Master’s Degree in Architecture from Brussels State University, ULB, Belgium, an executive Master’s Degree for the Automotive Industry from SOLVAY Business School in Brussels and a certificate in global management from INSEAD.
His main fields of expertise are sustainable architecture, urban planning, real estate, technologies for city infrastructure & mobility, as well as the automotive and transportation industry. In addition, he has over 15 years of international corporate exposure and experience in Private Equity and Venture Capital developments.
He is married with 3 children. He is a keen traveller, backcountry skier and sailor.
Olivier also actively supports the EPIC foundation as one of its ambassadors.
Denis has gained more than 14 years expertise in the fields of strategy, economic/regulatory, corporate finance and valuation advice. He has acquired profound international experience through several assignments and positions abroad. Having worked for PwC from 1997 to 2011, as Director at both PwC Advisory in Brussels and PwC Corporate Finance in Paris.
Denis is on the Advisory Board of Lighthouse India Fund II, and Director of various venture capital companies. He is also a Director of the D’Ieteren Group since June 2014.
His field of expertise is in network-based industries, with a focus on energy, clean-tech, utilities, telecommunication and transportation.
Denis is a civil engineer in Physics the Brussels State University, ULB, 1991 and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Management, from CEPAC, ULB, 1998.
Philippe is an intra and entrepreneur in business building services. He has over 25 years of international experience spanning from consulting, to building (disruptive) technology ventures, and more recently in investing ventures in key B2B spaces.
He started his career in consulting in Paris and London with Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman), to join McKinsey&Company in Brussels in 1995. He was elected Partner in 2000, and focused on marketing, sales and innovation across several industries. He then started a second phase of his career by ideating, designing, launching and leading McKinsey Solutions, from late 2006 to early 2015. As founder and global leader of the division, he went through all the steps of this innovative and disruptive venture, bringing it to more than 1,500 dedicated professionals globally, with over 20 dedicated partners, and more than 40 individual solutions, of which a third were based on some form of collaboration with, investment into or acquisition of an external venture. These Solutions are now an integer part of McKinsey’s global client service offerings.
Prior to leaving McKinsey to set up his own company, The Bridge, Philippe helped set up and lead McKinsey Scale Ups, McKinsey’s efforts to help fast growing tech companies in Europe and in Israel achieve higher performance, and more importantly, improve collaboration with corporates.
He finds his professional passion in working as a bridge between corporates and start-ups, between markets and innovation ecosystems, and between selected service providers (including investors) and those needing support. He joined SPDG in 2018 as Chief Investment Officer, where he leverages his extensive experience as a consultant and especially as a venture builder to guide the company’s investment activities, and actively helps the portfolio companies improve their performance.
Philippe is also a Marketing Professor at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, and a co-founder of Teach for Belgium. He also serves on the Boards of other entrepreneurial endeavors. He holds a Master’s Degree in Commercial Engineering from Solvay, and an MBA from INSEAD.
He lives in Brussels with his wife and 3 children. He is a drummer, a long-distance runner and tennis player. He speaks French, English, Spanish, Dutch and conversational Hebrew.
Prior to joining SPDG, Stéphane was Senior Investment Officer and Head of financial sector at BIO, a development finance institution, where he developed an expertise in the financial sector and in SME investments in emerging markets.
Stéphane has a proven track record in private equity transactions over the full investment cycle, including an active involvement at Board and Management level. He has also gained experience in strategic planning and M&A projects in the building materials industry.
Stéphane holds a Master’s Degree in Business Engineering from the Louvain School of Management.
Sébastien joined SPDG in May 2018 to support its CFO and Investment Team.
His main fields of expertise are accounting, administration and tax.
Sébastien worked for PETERCAM, a Belgian private bank, for 17 years, where he set up the Accounting Department to support the company’s expansion. He then joined different start-ups active in the electronic payment, banking and service sectors, assisting them in structuring and managing their Finance Department.
Sébastien holds a Master’s Degree in Commercial and Financial Sciences from the ICHEC Brussels Management School.
He is a keen golf player and supports the Julie & Françoise DRION Fund, which finances the ULB Cancer Research Center.
Jean-Nicolas has developed his drive for growing and supporting new ventures through experience in finance, corporate venturing (FMCG Industry) and more recently in a Life Science Venture Capital firm.
He started his career as a Project Manager in a leading primary research firm for financial information, Thirdbridge in London.
After which he spent two and a half years at ABInBev, Belgium, acquiring experience across the operations board and finally leading the ZX Ventures entity (Corporate Venture) in Central Europe.
Before joining SPDG, Jean-Nicolas held the position of Investment Associate at Theodorus Investment Funds, a life science and deep tech focused Venture Capital fund.
Jean-Nicolas holds a Master’s in Management degree from the London Business School and graduated with honors as a Business Engineer from the Louvain School of Management.
He finds his passion in combining both data driven analyses and active hands-on support for growing ventures.
In his personal time, he enjoys playing tennis, skiing and is a keen diver. He speaks English, Dutch and French and conversational Italian.
Simon graduated in 2020 from the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management; and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Economics. He is part of the QTEM (Quantitative Techniques for Economics and Management), a global network of leading academic and corporate institutions. During his degree, he exchanged and studied Business Analytics at BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo, Norway as well as Finance at EDHEC Business School in Nice, France.
In 2018, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Management from HEC Management School in Liège. As part of his Bachelor’s studies, he performed a semester at the Maastricht School of Economics and Management in 2017. He and his team were the proud winners of the 2018 edition of the Advisory Awards organized by HEC Liège and BDO Belgium.
Simon has managed to gather analytical and project research expertise as well as acquired some management skills in various roles. He interned as a Corporate Finance professional at BDO and took on a role of Sector Leader in the Investment Club of HEC Liège, which manages one of the largest student-led asset portfolios in Europe.
He enjoys hiking, squash and traveling in his free time.
Simon is a French native speaker, fluent in English as well as some Dutch.
Charlotte De Puydt
In 2020, Charlotte graduated with honors from a Master’s in Corporate Finance at the University of Ghent, after obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics in 2019 at the same university. During the summer foregoing her final year, she joined the team at Cardify, a Ghent-based technology startup. Her role as a finance intern was to support the company in its cost management, budgeting and pricing.
Charlotte was able to develop her problem solving, entrepreneurial and management skills throughout a wide range of extra-curricular activities. She co-founded and presided the Ghent’s branch of the Academics For Companies (AFC), a young company aiming to bridge the gap between the academic and the corporate worlds. Charlotte was also a member of AIESEC, the world’s largest youth-run organization for developing the leadership potential of students and recent graduates. She was part of the winning teams of both the BCG Strategy Cup in 2020 and the Vlerick M&A Challenge in 2019.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling, skiing and playing the piano and is very passionate about ballet. Charlotte is a Dutch native speaker, fluent in English and French.
Fiona joined SPDG in June 2018 as Office Manager and Team assistant, after spending 8 years at the European Real Estate Association (EPRA) as Office Manager supporting its CEO.
Starting her carrier in 1990 at Dow Corning, she then moved on to spend 8 years at Monsanto’s European HQ in Brussels as Assistant for the European corn and then wheat teams. She then took on a role in the public relations’ team at Estée Lauder Brussels, to then become Office Manager/PA to the CEO for 7 years of Weber Shandwick’s Brussels Public Relations and Affairs agency, which included various roles in Public Relations and HR.
Fiona holds a Bachelor’s degree from ISES, Brussels in Languages and Executive Assistance/Management, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design from St Luc, Brussels.
She lives in Brussels and has two grown-up children. Being a keen road cyclist, skier and cook, she also has a passion for the world of colors. She speaks English, French and Dutch with good knowledge of German.
After her primary schooling in Spain, Alessandra continued her secondary education in the United States.
Alessandra holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from EPHEC in Brussels. She also earned a language certificate in Spanish from the Instituto Cervantes. Perfect bilingual French and English and fluent in Spanish.
She spent most of her career working for an import-export company in Brussels as a commercial assistant, then became an account manager, being mainly responsible for the South African market.
Alessandra enjoys travelling the world and back to the United States.
Her spare time interests include CrossFit, yoga, skiing. She also holds PADI and lifeguard certifications.
She lives in Brussels with her husband and a teenage daughter.
Michel has acquired more than 28 years’ experience in the high-tech sector, including start-ups, pre- and post-IPO companies.
Michel started his career in 1990 in Paris at Chorus Systems, an embedded software company acquired by Sun Microsystems (Oracle) in 1996. In 1997, he joined TIBCO Software in Palo Alto (CA, Nasdaq IPO in 1999) and held various senior management positions in London, Paris and Brussels until 2005. He then joined Brussels-based Softkinetic as CEO and led the company to become the world leader in 3D vision and gesture recognition technologies. Softkinetic was acquired by Sony Corp in 2015.
He currently serves as a member on various Boards, such as the smart cities specialist, Cleverciti Systems GmBH, the music streaming start-up, Muuselabs SA, the social media, Jack Media SA, and is an Advisor to the no-SQL database specialist, Hackolade SA. In 2018, Michel joined SPDG as Advisor.
Michel holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Brussels School of Engineering, ULB and a Master of Science Degree in Computer Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
He enjoys kitesurfing, mathematics, philosophy and abstract art.
Cédric is a Senior Architect and Real Estate Advisor. He has acquired over the years a broad professional experience with public and private clients in a wide range of projects. He started his career with Michel Verliefden in A.2R.C. and co-founded Urban Platform in Brussels in 2000 where he is currently in charge of the Concept & Architectural Design services as well as the management of the company. He also runs the Real Estate Audit & Project Management Unit, supporting many projects advised by the studio.
Cédric holds a Master’s Degree in Architecture from the UCL’s department of Architecture (former ISA St-Luc Bruxelles), which included a year spent at the Istituto Universitarion di Architettura di Venezia in Italy. He is a graduate of the Executive Real Estate Programme of the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management where he was awarded 1st Prize.
He also followed several trainings in sustainable design and energy management.
He is fluent in English, Dutch, French and has good knowledge of Italian.
Marc holds a Masters degree in Business Engineering from the Solvay Business School, Brussels, which he obtained in 1981. He is also an experienced instrument-rated pilot qualified on high performance aircraft.
Marc learned basic business and financial auditing at KPMG. He left KPMG to help create the French subsidiary of an innovative Atlanta-based software company that had developed the first mainframe-based accounting software. Following this exciting venture, Marc decided to repeat the experience – this time as an entrepreneur. Since 1987 Marc founded or co-founded several companies, amongst which Pillar, the first distributed PC/Mac-based financial planning software for corporations and Frango, an innovative financial consolidation software.
In 2003, Marc joined the Leuven-based Luciad, a small startup that had developed a real-time, 3D visualization software for the aerospatial industry and was entering the scaleup phase. Marc later became the CEO of Luciad and was instrumental in turning the Luciad software product into a worldwide standard. Luciad products are now used to give real-time situational awareness to users in dynamic environments on land, in the air and in the maritime sphere. After merging Luciad into Hexagon, Marc became Chief Strategic Officer of Hexagon’s Geospatial Division.
In parallel to his operational roles, Marc supported several startups as angel investor (Ticketmatic, CarAsap – now Husk) and is a member of the W.IN.G investment committee, the public fund supporting startups in Wallonia. Marc also holds Director’s mandates in Biotech companies.
Benjamin has a background as a physicist and specializes in areas such as all sensing modalities, artificial intelligence, software, connectivity and related business models for the automotive industry and mobility domain. He initiated his first projects for the automotive industry in 2004. He has since successfully launched numerous products onto mass markets, ranging from standalone cameras to full autonomous driving systems on public roads. The combination of technology, business skills and choosing the right path for the products were key. He initially focused on the increased safety and comfort for car drivers, but rapidly extended into autonomy solutions. Here also the involvement in large technology projects was part of these endeavors. He took over assignments at senior and executive level at Tier1, OEM and Tier2 layer.
He has successfully guided numerous startups and early stage companies. Part of his role was also to focus on how to scale their technology into meaningful products and offerings for the mass market. Sensors, artificial intelligence, electrical components and numerous other technology solutions are his main field of expertise.
Benjamin holds a Master´s degree in theoretical physics.
Benjamin is one of SPDG’s advisors, specialized in the automotive field and related technology investments. He brings along his experience of the industry, his market knowledge and key relationships with the major players worldwide.
Nicola Crosta is one of the world’s leading experts on impact investment, philanthropy and non-profit management, with extensive experience among a wide range of impact-driven organizations.
At the United Nations and the OECD, Nicola held various senior management positions in the world’s top international organizations for a total of 18 years. At the United Nations in New York, Nicola played a key role in helping to define the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During his time spent at the Epic Foundation, as an Executive Vice President and Board Member, Nicola helped to build one of the most innovative philanthropic Foundations from ground up. At Epic, Nicola oversaw one of the largest NGO and donor surveys ever performed globally and the development of cutting-edge non-profits’ due diligence and social impact monitoring methodologies.
Nicola is the Founder of Baan Dek, an award-winning social enterprise that provides access to services to thousands of migrant kids across Southeast Asia. In recent years, Baan Dek has become a strategic implementing partner of UNICEF and won the MIT Award for Social Innovation (Solve 2017).
He is also author and lecturer. Nicola’s articles and books on social impact, development economics and philanthropy have been extensively translated and published globally. He has been visiting lecturer on social impact and innovation at MIT, Harvard, Sciences Po and the Hong Kong University.
Nicola is an Italian native and fluent in English, French.
He joins SPDG as Senior Advisor on the broad topic of sustainability.
Catheline is an Honorary Professor at the Brussels State University, ULB and member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts. Furthermore, Catheline is Director of CREA-Patrimoine at the ULB. She is regularly invited as a guest lecturer at various European universities, is President of the International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC), and a Fellow of the International Institute.
Catheline is also a world-renowned consultant, assisting the European Commission, amongst others, on cultural heritage and conservation topics.
Christian has enjoyed an impressive career in the automotive industry, particularly as Marketing Director of Renault, Managing Director of Renault Technologies and Renault Sport F1 (winning 6 World Championships), and in the clean-tech industry.
He is a Senior Advisor for several automotive and clean-tech organisations and companies. Christian is also a member of several Boards (incl. Mobivia Group, Salon Automobile International de Lyon) and Commissions (incl. Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile / FIA “alternative energy” Commission).
Christian is an engineer, graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts & Métiers in Paris.
Philippe Bodson, who joined the Board of Directors of our company in 2016, sadly passed away on the 4th April 2020 following COVID-19 complications.
The members of the Board and its employees were fortunate to work directly with Philippe Bodson and to benefit from his exceptional professional experience, which was complemented by his charisma, his voluntarism, his ability to formulate constructive ideas and his rare human qualities.
He will be sorely missed by the company and by all those close to Philippe Bodson, but he will continue to inspire us on both a personal and professional level.