Interview with Jan Kalisvaart, Managing Partner of WIL Group member Mandaat in the Netherlands.

Jan started as Managing Partner of Mandate at the beginning of April. Here we get to know him!


How do you know Mandate?

“I have known Mandate by name for years and in 2020 I also spoke to Diederik van den Biggelaar once by telephone in response to an introduction. I have also encountered the 'blue of Mandate' several times in recent years in conversations with both customers and clients. However, I only came into close contact when I received a call from Daan Steenbergen of Capita Selecta asking if I was open to a conversation. The rest is history. ”

Why did you choose Mandate?

“From the moment I started talking, I immediately noticed how enthusiastic, open and personal the conversations were. That was reinforced when I really got to know the men and women of JBR and Mandaat. Gradually it became increasingly clear to me that with the new combination of Mandaat and JBR there is a unique opportunity to do beautiful and important projects for existing and new customers.

The combination of strategy, corporate finance, restructuring and interim executives is truly distinctive and makes it possible to make a difference, up to and including the level of implementation. If you see and experience that and become your Managing Partner of Mandate, the choice is no longer so difficult.”

What is your vision / mission for the future?

“With Mandaat we primarily focus on organizations where change is necessary and where the experience of an experienced Interim Manager can make the difference. We will primarily focus on the roles of the interim CFO and CFRO, but we will also continue to focus on functional interim management in the areas of Commerce, HRM, Operations and Procurement.

In other words, where change is necessary and support is needed from one of these functional areas of expertise, Mandaat can help. In the form of crisis management and restructuring, but also as a driver of strategy implementation!

Not only in the Netherlands, but certainly also abroad as 'Flexpats' . These are interim managers who work abroad for the short or long term and who act as a bridge between the (Dutch) head office and the local company.

All of this ties in very well with JBR Interim Executives, where Harm Tunteler focuses on the final responsible roles within organizations with a team of experienced interim CEOs.

Have you made a good start at Mandaat?

“Absolutely, although of course you never manage to remember all the details in such a short time. Getting to know all Interim Managers will also take some time. Fortunately, the great thing is that the interim world is not new to me. I have already received congratulations from many acquaintances via LinkedIn and WhatsApp.

The warm welcome and the way in which Janco Duvekot and Diederik van den Biggelaar present themselves as former Managing Partners also make it very easy for me to quickly familiarize myself with things. What also helps is that both men remain involved in Mandate as Associate Partner and I also always have the opportunity to fall back on Harm Tunteler from JBR Interim Executives and the other colleagues from JBR and Mandaat. ”

The demand for interim management is on the rise again, have you noticed this too?

“In any case, the need is increasing and it is 'certain' that the demand will come! Many organizations are under great pressure and have been affected in one way or another by Covid-19 in the past year. This can be direct, but also indirectly and delayed, because, for example, their customers have been hit hard, especially in the 2nd wave. Everyone knows the examples of dropped or significantly changed demand. Unexpected and extreme growth can also pose major challenges. Not only financially, but also, for example, in the field of leadership, purchasing or production planning. At this point, we are seeing, slowly but surely, that awareness is growing. These challenges cannot always be solved with our own people and this will inevitably lead to an increase in demand. ”

How is the database of interim managers structured? Do you prefer to work with the same people?

“The motto of Mandaat and JBR Interim Executives is and remains that we don't have to search for a customer's question, but we already know the best people! You will not find us on LinkedIn with searches for an Interim Manager.

We have a high-quality group of connected Interim Managers, of whom we know their strengths and where they can make a difference.

Of course we are always interested in getting in touch with new people, so that we can continue to provide our customers with the best match. Experienced people are always welcome.”

What is your personal motto and can you tell us more about it?

“I believe in the strength of the team. This certainly also applies to an Interim Manager who comes to help an organisation for a period of 6-12 months. If that person is not able to mobilise the people and explain 'the why', then the chance that the end goal will be achieved is very small in my opinion. Of course, sometimes a shock effect is needed and / or firm action is required, but it is precisely then that connection is crucial.

Equally important to me is confidence in the individual's unique qualities. That is why I do not believe in disqualifying people (something that unfortunately happens a lot), but in giving (and receiving) sincere and clear feedback. It is no longer about right or wrong, but about the right man or woman in the right place and at the right time.”

Have you been an interim CFO yourself?

“Via the Dutch Railways / NedTrain in 2001 to Bestfoods Benelux as Finance Director. From there to PWC and via a management buyout to Partner of ConQuaestor to join the board there in 2011.

Continued in 2015 as an independent interim manager, including the role of interim general and Financial Director of Nevi. Made the step to Managing Partner of Mandate via the CFO Center. I am ultimately responsible and first point of contact for all interim questions in the Netherlands.”

And finally, how are things at home?

"In person? Not very exciting now that we are all housebound by Covid, but certainly happy and always busy. I regularly try to sit on the racing bike and in the winter on the spinning bike. I enjoy doing 'odd jobs' in and around the house. We like to go on holiday to the sun, but also at home in Hilversum with our two girls there is always something to do.

Despite that, I am very much looking forward to being able to do more activities again, to go out for something to eat or to drink a beer on the terrace!”

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