A solid foundation of knowledge and experience

When I joined the Maatschappij voor Bedrijfsobjecten N.V. on August 1, 1990, I was not aware that I would become part of theING Real Estate Finance group. In the morning, I’d cycle from my apartment in the Bijlmer to my office on the Amsterdam Zuidas to start working as a (junior) account manager. During that period, I financed all kinds of commercial buildings, ranging from small retail units in a shopping center to complete real estate portfolios. I also completed my training to become a real estate agent. My history in my father’s real estate agency became very useful. Shortly after I joined the MBO, I met an accountant who specialized in Chinese restaurants. Soon I had enriched the MBO’s real estate financing portfolio with a good part of the Chinese-Indian catering industry. Despite all the prestigious real estate projects, I really enjoyed this one. During the period that I was active there, the MBO merged with Postbank Vastgoed, which in turn merged with Nationale Nederlanden Vastgoed to form the well-known ING Real State. Gradually, I was surrounded by “corporates”. It became time for me to go!

Credit Analysis

In 1998, I moved to Graphic Lease B.V., a subsidiary of ING Lease. As an account manager, it was my job to properly substantiate the credit proposals for printing companies and graphic finishing companies, because risk management looked at them very critically. I wrote my credit opinions very detailed and specific. This (analytical ability) was the basis of my current success.

An Anglo-Saxon excursion

After nine years, I left ING Lease and joined Key Equipment Finance, an American leasing company with a small office in Utrecht, as an account executive. The international target area brought me a completely new dynamic. Initially, I was surprised by the high residual value positions that people dared to take on the machines in question.

At Key Equipment Finance, leasing was unmistakably based on an Anglo-Saxon approach. An Anglo-Saxon lessor sees himself much more as the owner of the object that he makes available to the lessee. The Anglo-Saxon lessor will also take into account a real residual value of the machine, while the continental European lessor sees itself much more as a financier (who certainly does not want a residual value risk).

I quickly learned that these high residual value positions translated into correspondingly low lease prices. In the relatively short period that I enjoyed working for Key Equipment Finance, I achieved my goals with ease on a steep learning curve.

Lease control since 2010

Stimulated by the credit crisis, I went to the Chamber of Commerce three years later (in 2010) to set up Leasecontrol. I expected to be dwarfed by “competitors” and larger banks and financing institutions. After all, what is a competitor? Everyone is busy with themselves, with cultivating their own garden. Wrongly.

I also feared knowledge erosion. That wasn’t necessary. You increase your knowledge as you go. As a self-employed person, your antennas are always wide open.

Another belief that I challenged was that I had to activate as many contacts in my network as possible by advertising. I noticed that personal contact suits me better.

In the role of independent financial intermediary, I have since served many customers while growing more and more with “my” SME.


My thoughts go back to my teenage years. To the “self-made man” that my father was. To my brother and I, who delivered the newspaper on our school bikes before dawn in the morning. When winters were still winters. To the afternoons when we filled the same bicycle bags with my father’s brochures to send out flyers. How my mother bought us a checked C&A suit a few years later because my father had holiday work for us: he sent us to all his retired insurance customers to make them a buyout offer regarding the weekly premium of a few cents. How the following summer holidays we were out to work in blue overalls to transform the wasteland behind his new business premises into a parking lot. How a few years later I was seated at the table with his clients to arrange the mortgage of the house that my father had sold to them. All that before I even left school. And unknowingly, unnoticed and certainly unintentionally… my father thus set me up for “the big job”. I had become completely unsuitable for a career at one of the big banks. Because “SME” was deeply imbedded within me.

Heart for SMEs

SMEs consist largely of family businesses and, in my opinion, could also be called the family segment of the business community. I know from experience that this segment is always under great pressure. The staff, including the family, are asked to do their utmost and every euro is spent. Given the small scale of these companies, there is little to no budget for supporting products or services that do not directly contribute to profits. Consider training, quality, ISO certification, consultancy, market research and marketing. These are just examples. Large companies often employ professionals for this purpose. Many SMEs cannot afford that. However, there is an occasional need for support in these areas.

The number of bank branches in the Netherlands has fallen by 93% (!) between 2000 and 2023, making it more difficult for SMEs to obtain credit. I see it as my caring task to show the entrepreneur the way to financing with my knowledge and experience of the network of financiers that is necessary for a successful loan application.

The SME mindset that my father gave me appears to have settled firmly under my skin. The circle is complete. What honeyed memories I keep of my father.

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