Pitch Best Young Private Equity Manager 2022: Joris van Aken, Torqx Capital Partners
Company: Torqx Capital Partners
Job Description: Associate
What are the specialties of this talent?
Hi – Let me tell you how fantastic Joris is. He’s independently driving workstreams in deal / portfolio situations, shows a good drive to make things happen on deal-making and portfolio-level. He is very mature for his tenure, has an engaging style with management teams and entrepreneurs, is not afraid to take risk and make mistakes, and has a good feel for where the key value drivers are and has a solid network. It’s fun to have Joris on board and charge ahead on the battlefield.
How does the talent distinguish itself from its peers?
He acts like a soldier and thinks like a general. That is why he drives good results at portfolio companies like Fri-Jado, but also recently was instrumental in converting the Ocean Nutrition deal and currently leads multiple potentially great opportunities at the same time. Often, we are faced with complex situations (it is the nature of our business at Torqx) and for Joris no decision is difficult to make, if you will get all of the facts and think of the bigger picture. Yet (and hence the quote above), he balances very well between taking a deep dive into the nitty gritty of an (important) detail whilst maintaining a helicopter view on the whole situation.
What impact does the talent have within the organization?
Joris started his career with a bang by using the COVID-19 situation, that postponed a job for a friend of him, to Torqx’s advantage by using her capabilities at one of our portfolio companies. This was such a success that, together with another colleague, he set up an inhouse operational consulting internship program(known as the “TYBAP program”) which until now has already had more than 250 applications and successfully completed 27 projects across almost all of our portfolio companies. In addition, he is dropping in on several projects with multiple portfolio companies, ranging from new MGMT recruitments to refi’s to new platform acquisitions, eventually to managing an exit (with a laser-sharp view on the numbers and a very good grasp of the key thesis of the business). We are proud to say that, in a short amount of time, Joris became a fully-fledged investment professional that can lead a deal, convince stakeholders and knows where to put his efforts to eventually convert deals or create value in our portfolio. Aside from all of this, who wouldn’t want to drink a beer with that guy? I mean he cuts his hair every other week, is interested in what his team mates have to say, and brings lively topics to the lunch table at our office (please ask Joris about those topics).
What impact does the talent have outside the organization?
I remember clearly that when Joris and I were finishing a discussion on his very first ‘performance’ review moment, he said “Hold on – I do have one question – are we doing something good here?” Off course – I didn’t have to answer that question – being Joris he himself took a deep dive in to the logic and the very reason of existence of our style of investing and ever since, he has been a clear advocate of our ESG policy which we drive actively in all of our portfolio companies. Joris is a shaper with a solid sense of realism, taking an idea such as 'reducing energy consumption' and converting it into actionable initiatives that we can focus on. Also, through the TYBAP program (and often his personal selection of candidates), Joris has launched multiple high-potential students on their career path. As they say: "success breeds success". Whoever can get the chance of working with Joris will accelerate.
To what extent does the talent make the difference to clients?
One thing rings true: dealing with complex investment cases (what we are known for) is not for the faint-hearted so allow us to tell you why Joris is exceptional in dealing in such context with clients (or stakeholders). On multiple occasions (and aside from his sharp analytics skills) Joris has been instrumental in creating a partnership-mindset on a deal through a particular combination of his unlimited passion for science, with jaw-dropping stories of complex dissections of some sort of Latin-named creature (a type of fish I think) or examinations of specialty aluminium alloy in a lab setting, and his down-to-earth amicable ‘I-would-like-to-drink-a-beer-with-that-guy” approach to future co-shareholders, management team members or sellers.
Why does the talent deserve this nomination?
It is with great joy and confidence that we can recommend Joris. We forget sometimes that Joris is ‘only’ three years on the job, yet he is able to navigate the team through complex situations ranging from zooming in on the 2-3 key topics that matter, to leading meetings with difficult personalities, to convincing key stakeholders to agree on a rational course of action using both analytics as well as cheer persuasive interpersonal strength. Joris is a very promising PE professional with a great future ahead!
Any references or recommendations from clients or (colleagues)?
Ruud Geurts (CFO Fri-Jado)
Jack Blomfield (MD William Blair)
AJ Reus (VP William Blair)
Erik van den Brande (CEO Ocean Nutrition)
Hicham Beija (BusDev director PDG)
Filip Herremans (CEO Intreso)
Arnoud Oltmans (Partner Deloitte)
Bram Caudri (Partner Houthoff)
Gerard de Kool (DMF)
Fredrik Jonker (Partner Marktlink)
Willem De Loore (Director PwC)
Michael Heene (Partner DLA)
Gregg Moons (Senior Associate DLA)
Joey Kabalt (CFO Ocean Nutrition)
Koen Clukkers (Partner Deloitte)
Bart Schenk (Tikehau)
Harmen Geerts (Managing Partner Torqx)
Lennert Spek (Managing Partner Torqx)
Rik Leunissen (Partner Torqx)
Laurent Blumberg (Investment Director Torqx)