Roel Van Ranst
Roel Van Ranst is Director Industry and holds a degree in Economics (2001) and an MBA from Flanders Business School (2005). After a career start at EY, he moved to corporate finance, where he assisted in multiple transactions. Between 2008 and 2014, Roel was responsible for the Buy&Build acquisition strategy of Senior Living Group, now Korean, which has more than 3 Billion euros in revenue annually. After a successful exit, he joined Agio Capital as Director Industry.
When did you join AGIO Capital, and how did you get in touch with us?
I joined Agio Capital, late in the summer of 2019. At the time, I was somewhat in between jobs and came in contact again with Philippe Van den Broecke. We knew each other from a past deal where we were on opposite sides of the table. We vividly remembered our hard-ball negotiation and consequently decided that it would be better for our clients to collaborate than to oppose.
Why did you join us?
Agio, in its origin, is a law firm. But it’s an unusual one: its team of attorneys realized at a certain point in time that more could be done with their growing network of contacts than only legal advice: business strategic advice, corporate finance missions, commercial partnerships, etc. But they also realized that those services required a different set of skills and competencies. Add to that a layer of internationalization toward China (where we hold offices) but also elsewhere, and you get quite a unique cocktail. I think that those elements created the fertile soil in which Agio Capital’s seed was planted and grew into an ecosystem that can deliver a full-service package.
What do you like about your job? What’s your favorite part?
It’s been said before by some of my colleagues, but I have the luxury of constantly meeting interesting people trying to build better businesses. That is not only inspiring but being able to assist those clients and companies in once-in-a-lifetime projects is very satisfying. Contrary to what people may think, our consultancy business is a lot more about soft skills than it is about hard skills: the best deals are those deals where confidence is high between parties because they understand they need each other to make the deal work. It’s then our mission to set that in stone.
What are your future ambitions?
I would like to see Agio Capital, and the other Agio-members, develop into a leading partner of choice for its clients. There is still a lot of unpaved roads ahead, but I’m sure we will succeed as a team!
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?
I used to be an avid cyclist, but I discovered golf a couple of years ago. And the saying is true, once you get hooked, there’s no escape. So at every opportunity that I get, I take out the bag. I also started reading again. I have a tendency to post book recommendations on my LinkedIn page. So go and have a look!
And last, why is AGIO different from the rest?
It’s rather politically incorrect to say that we are the best at every level, so I’ll stick with the following: we have a unique style, a unique approach, a unique service offering, a unique ecosystem, a unique office, a unique team… Not to say we’re also passionate about what we do. You can probably almost “feel” our enthusiasm when you talk to us.