When interim executives are called in it is often for situations that manage to make the headlines, such as the large-scale reorganization of Blokker, the bankruptcy of Imtech in 2015 or the attempted rescue of V&D, where Tunteler himself was active as a restructuring officer. Today, he leads the interim management practice of JBR - called JBR Interim Executives - which is mainly deployed with corporates, medium-sized companies and family businesses.
Companies call upon the JBR branch for a wide range of far-reaching issues. Tunteler: "If the incumbent management itself is unable to implement the changes necessary for continuity, it is indicated that we come on board in the role of temporary CEO, a temporary captain to bring the ship back on the right course, to pilot it through the storm, to calmer waters or a safe haven. So we act as a replacement CEO, or are given a role directly alongside the director as Chief Change Officer or Chief Restructuring Officer, a role as a pilot with the same kind of objective as cited above with the CEO."
Assignments that JBR Interim Executives takes on include guiding necessary change. "So it's not a matter of simply observing or minding the store," says Tunteler. The experienced interim manager emphasizes that there are only about a hundred of these types of strategic assignments per year. While the media usually talks about 'interim jobs', restructuring officer assignments of such size, complexity and sensitivity have nothing to do with traditional interim work in the market, Tunteler says.
JBR Interim Executives supports companies in their strategic direction
According to data from CBS, there are more than 90,000 independent professionals active in the consulting profession, a significant portion of whom focus on interim work. While the media often talk about one interim market, according to Tunteler this market should be divided into three segments. "First, you have the 'one-person' firms, the number of which has exploded in recent years. They focus mainly on operational and tactical assignments." Then there are the interims who move at the management level. "They often do this from agencies, but they too can operate as loners," Tunteler explains.
Finally, there is the absolute top, within which JBR Interim Executives operates. This segment consists of agencies that offer former top executives - CEOs, DGAs or other board members - to executives who need advice or support. "The Netherlands has no more than 100 to 120 good interim executives who operate in the absolute top. The rest should not really bear the name of interim executive," Tunteler states.
Within this segment JBR competes with well-known players in the market such as Custom Management, Boer & Croon Management and the executive search practices of several top headhunters. Tunteler himself has been active in the field for interim executives for many years. Before joining JBR Interim Executives he was for many years managing partner of Custom Management. With JBR, which is originally an organizational consulting and M&A specialist, he now wants to open up the market with a more future-proof approach to the issues within this highest segment.
Tunteler: "The interim executives profession originated in the 1970s. While at its core today it is still what it always was - a temporary executive who can really offer shareholders, commissioners and the board of a company something that these professionals cannot do themselves - a lot has changed within the environment. The lifespan of companies has shortened dramatically, technology is disrupting the landscape and the way of leadership has evolved, to name just a few aspects." And so the profession is also shifting with it, and Tunteler is convinced that he is in the right place at JBR to add the necessary ingredients.
At the heart of the service, according to Tunteler, is a who have more than earned their spurs. Since the Interim Executives practice was launched last September, he has added seven experienced executives to the team. Angelique van der Lugt has a broad commercial background with a solid track record in change management, repositioning and reorganizations, gained amongst others as Managing Director at PowerSlim and Weight Watchers. Johan van Hees is mainly involved in fast, complex changes and can draw on national and international management experience in various companies, such as Free Record Shop and Siebel Juweliers.
Heleen van Gulik - who previously worked as CEO at food companies Lutèce and Enrico, among others - is a specialist in vision & strategy, organizational structuring, building teams, managing change, international business, entering new markets and branding. Cosmas Hoefnagels has his roots in logistics and process improvement - he was Vice President at CLX Logistics Europe and Managing Director at Hays Logistics Belgium and TNT Logistics Belgium - and specializes in managerial and organizational change management, among other things.
Bouwe van Wijk has extensive financial expertise, having been CFO at Inalfa Roof Systems and Bulbs and Flowers. He is adept at formulating and achieving goals together with teams, for example when structure and direction are lacking, as in distressed conditions. André de Goede, finally, is committed as general manager and gained extensive experience throughout Europe and in the United States in mergers and acquisitions, optimization projects, integration projects and negotiating with banks.
What sets JBR Interim Executives apart, besides this team, according to Tunteler, are the way it approaches problems and the strength it can draw from being a full-service player in both consultancy and interim. "We are not an expensive temp agency or executive searcher for temporary managers. For the improvement and change projects we carry out, first of all a good and the right interim executive for the job is needed, but in addition and expertise of a colleague who always looks and thinks along as a sparring partner - the shadow manager - and finally also the expertise of JBR as an agency," says Tunteler.
He indicates that this does not mean that the consultancy work that JBR Corporate Finance usually carries out will be added free of charge, but rather that the Interim Executives can always discuss their personal issues and dilemmas related to an assignment with direct colleagues or experts from one of the other departments at JBR: "A mediator, a one-man-band or an interim agency sec can never promise this, let alone deliver it to a client!"
Now, almost a year since the formation of the interim executives practice, Tunteler is pleased with the progress that has been made: "We have a utilization rate of between 60% and 70%, which means that we are already serving a significant part of the top of the market! Tunteler concludes: "Our strength, that in addition to and after solving the problem given to us, we give the company extra added value, works. Rise and shine, so to speak!"