Member Spotlight: Kempen & Co

04 Nov Member Spotlight: Kempen & Co

Financial innovation comes in many forms and is not limited to young companies. Kempen & Co is a Dutch merchant bank with offices in the United Kingdom and the United States employing approximately 500 professionals worldwide. The bank was founded more than a century ago in Amsterdam in 1903. Throughout the years Kempen & Co obtained a reputable position as a highly involved advisor on Mergers & Acquisitions, Equity Financing and Securities Research, Sales and Trading . It is a world-class player in specialist fields such as European Real Estate, Life Sciences & Healthcare (incl. BioTech) Benelux Corporates and Financial Institutions (FI) & FinTech. The focus on FI & FinTech was added in June of this year led by Managing Director Cees-Jan (CJ) Welkzijn and Lennart den Blanken as Executive Director. 

CJ Welkzijn, Managing Director FI & Fintech, is an experienced banker specialised in advising Financial Institutions at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Morgan Stanley. In addition he worked on a FinTech-venture making him not only an entrepreneur but a genuine FinTech-banker.

Just having returned from Las Vegas to visit Money20/20, CJ tells us why the new FinTech focus at Kempen en Co is the right move: “Traditionally, Kempen & Co provide its Benelux clients with classic investment banking services. However in recent years Kempen & Co discovered that the market needed boutique investment banks specialised in certain industry segments versus the more generic services that competitors offer, a development that we have seen in the US market already.  The focus is no longer Benelux, but global. First, this specialist position was established for the Commercial Real Estate sector, followed by focusing on the Biotech sector at a very early stage and which has now grown into the more mature Life Sciences & health care sector. Subsequently, it became clear that the Netherlands has created a very fertile environment for financial innovation driven by advanced technology. Therefore, in June 2016 it was decided to add a new specialisation to the firm addressing the growth opportunities in the global financial industry. The team is expanding rapidly and at the moment, the FI & FinTech team is 8 men strong.”

Currently, the Kempen & Co FI & FinTech team advises on M&A and financing deals of EUR 20 million or more. This is mainly concerning maturing FinTech startups that are seeking: a way to the capital markets by issuing shares, any other form of private equity financing, mergers or acquisitions. The latter can involve other FinTech companies or incumbents.  Kempen &Co also relies on its Sales and Trading department where a broad network of private and institutional investors is serviced daily.

CJ: “After a deal is done, we really find it important to maintain close relationships with our clients. But in case of FinTech clients, even without a deal, they are still part of our network and we are happy to nurture their growth by for example referring them to family offices or alternative investors. We all benefit if we help the FinTech sector to grow and mature. Within all the developments that are going on, we see that the companies providing payments solutions are most mature and they are flourishing in the Netherlands. Technology can change many things for banking products and provides new perspectives on regulatory structures. Innovative approaches and inspiration can come from all around the world and any type of industry. Therefore, as a recently founded department within the bank we travel as much as we can to learn from international cases. In the end we want to help creating an accessible, cross-border investment landscape that lets Dutch FinTech grow into a global size.“

Kempen & Co and CJ Welkzijn are an active member of Holland Fintech and frequently participate and organise events together. This Friday, November 4, Kempen en Co. and Holland Fintech are hosting a matchmaking event with ten German companies and Holland FinTech-members and investors. For all upcoming events, follow our updates on our website and Twitter.