Pitch Best Young M&A Advisor 2020: Folkert Peek, ABN AMRO
What are the specialties of this talent?
With his high energy, enthusiasm and can-do mentality, Folkert is a very valuable member of the TMT and Leisure Corporate Finance team. Folkert has an internally generated motivation for the team and deals that allows him to pull the extra weight and go the extra mile. Folkert is described by team members and clients alike to be transparent, a great team player, fast thinker, enthusiastic, incredibly dedicated, structured, a hard worker, immensely like-able and a great connector. The ease at which Folkert made the origination and execution capabilities his own, have been particularly noticeable. It is not a given to be equally strong in origination as well as execution efforts. When asked, Folkert expresses no preference and thoroughly enjoys both aspects of the job. In the past years, his versatility has materialized in numerous high profile transactions and origination efforts, a.o. as an Advisor to DPG Media in the acquisition of Sanoma Media Netherlands and as an Advisor to Bain Capital in the Acquisitions of Bugaboo, while also reaching into the ECM space via his contribution to the IPO and recent sell-down of CM.com and the Rights Issue of SFC Energy in Germany.
How does the talent distinguish itself from its peers?
With his ability to quickly grasp complex material, Folkert is often the go-to person to take a lead role in complex and voluminous pitch work as well as intense execution projects. With Folkert involved, one is assured of a high-end product that despite the often short term deadlines, doesn’t leave any stones unturned and matches the client’s expectations and needs. It is particularly prevalent to team members that Folkert has the unique ability to not only make complex material his own, but also manages to translate it into something that captures the essence and builds on the trust that we get from our clients. Folkert’s positive energy is infectious and in that sense, he is a strong influencer of the spirit in the team. That same energy contributes to the connections that he makes with clients, by whom he is generally perceived to be reliable, structured, on top of the ball and with an energic drive to get the deal or task over the finish line. With Folkert’s strong capabilities, he has the ability to stand his ground with the seniors in the team as well as clients in a way that is rarely seen from someone his age.
What impact does the talent have within the organization?
Folkert feels a tremendous responsibility towards the bank, reaching well beyond Corporate Finance and extending into numerous cross-departmental efforts. This collaboration is evidenced by his pro-active initiation and organization for ABN AMRO to participate in the Award for Best Bank for Sustainable Finance in Western Europe from Euromoney, as the category fits perfectly within the purpose of the bank “Banking for better, for generations to come”. Bringing together several front runners in the sustainability efforts of ABN AMRO as well as the involvement of the CEO, ultimately resulted in winning this award over several of the largest banks in Europe. Folkert’s interest also includes the bank’s strategy, as proven by his active participation in the Corporate and Institutional Banking (‘CIB’) Transition team that put in a lot of work to determine CIB's new strategy. According to the Transition Team lead, Folkert stood out amongst the numerous team members as the one who was most dedicated, in his participation, never-ending optimism as well as his delivery. Content wasn’t easy and difficult to make concrete, but he managed to make it concise and clear to the reader, also rapidly developing to a more senior position in the team, ending up presenting in many of the large group sessions.
What impact does the talent have outside the organization?
Folkert’s strong social capabilities and sheer interest in connecting, has allowed him to build up an excellent network in which he is a champion of the job, the M&A product and its added value to clients. Folkert’s immense drive and top performance comes from his infectious joy and passion for his work and clients and is displayed with great modesty and charm. We truly couldn’t wish for a better, more authentic and genuine advocate of our profession in the M&A community and to the outside world.
To what extent does the talent makes the difference to clients?`
In his demeanour, Folkert is more senior than his actual experience, which expresses itself in his ability to work independently, be one step ahead, pro-active involvement and follow-up, but also via his quick mind, analytical capabilities and excellent judgement. Together with his strong social competence and intense likeability, Folkert is an excellent counterpart for our clients. As proof of his ability, Folkert for example played a large role in the buy side advisory role for de Persgroep. Folkert’s talent was thereafter underlined by the CFO with a pro-active note stating: “Nog eens ten overvloede, we zijn zeer tevreden over Folkert’s bijdrage. Zorg goed voor hem, het is een talent.” Folkert is a true connector and easily builds a relationship with those around him. Numerous clients already are and no doubt many more clients will be attracted to working with him.
Why does the talent deserves this nomination?
Since Folkert’s start with the M&A department in September 2016, Folkert has been diligently working through the various tasks and levels of the job with equal enthusiasm, precision, great team spirit and professionalism. By working on a great variety of transactions that range from small to large and by spending time in New York, Folkert has devoted and developed himself to become an all-round M&A banker who has built up an excellent track record and position in the market via transactions such as the acquisition of Sanoma Media Netherlands by De Persgroup, as well as the recent IPO and sell-down of CM.com and the acquisition of Bugaboo by Bain Capital. Folkert was a top performer day one and over the years managed to continue to highly impress not just our M&A department, but also the wider bank and clients alike. To be such as consistent outperformer is quite an achievement, let alone to also do it with great humbleness and an inexhaustible desire to share with and support everyone around him. On behalf of ABN AMRO Corporate Finance, we are therefore, immensely proud to put Folkert forward as our nomination for the Young M&A awards.