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Our customers have blind faith in us

November 29, 2021

Article of Brookz 500 - 2022 edition

At JBR, they see themselves as one big happy family, with the customer's best interests obviously coming first.


As colleagues we support each other, there is a lot of sparring between us and we also hold the closing dinners for our clients here at the office.

In Zeist they make no bones about it. JBR aims to be the point of contact for issues in the area of corporate finance for both (Dutch) SME entrepreneurs and captains of industry. I don't want to shortchange the other disciplines that we have in house", smiles managing partner. Ronald van Rijnbut corporate finance is the mainstay of our business and the reason why this firm has grown so much. According to Van Rijn this is partly because JBR is part of Global M&A, an international alliance of consulting firms in the field of corporate finance. More than half of the assignments we bring in therefore probably come from abroad,' Van Rijn outlines the situation.
JBR is an independent consultancy firm, employing around 40 people, that has been in existence since 1984 and is active in the field of corporate finance, answering strategic questions and helping to carry out restructurings. The roots of JBR are in Rotterdam, where the firm was founded by the founders of the consultancy: Jeltsma, Van Biert and Randoe, of which only the B - of Kees van Biert - is still connected to JBR. The clients of JBR are mostly from the higher segment of the SME sector, with an annual turnover of EUR 10 million or more. But also multinationals and internationally operating (family) businesses have come to know JBR well.

Our customers have blind faith in us


Togetherness at JBR

What makes JBR unique compared to other consulting firms? Van Rijn: "In addition to our sector knowledge, it is ultimately our people who make the difference. There is a lot of solidarity with us. And a deep-rooted awareness that we have to do it together. People work hard here, young people are welcomed in our office. And if they can't work at home under ideal conditions, to emphasize that solidarity we cook together and talk a lot. We also hold the closing dinners for our clients here at the office. Because in the end it's all about our customers.

Although JBR has been away from Rotterdam since the early 1990s, the consultancy still does many deals in the maritime and offshore sectors. The port of Rotterdam has never been out of sight. Colleague Rick ter Maat, partner at JBR since 2021 and sector expert for the maritime and offshore sector within the firm, adds: 'Since we have been in Zeist, we have done more deals in the port of Rotterdam than when JBR was still in Rotterdam. Perhaps precisely because we can assess things much better from a distance.'

According to Ter Maat, another important reason that JBR still receives regular calls from the Port of Rotterdam is that the maritime sector has quite a few challenges. Ter Maat: 'We even have a major client in the maritime sector, whose name I unfortunately cannot mention, for whom we really do everything. Actually we are the internal M&A department of the company. If we tell them to buy a certain company in the sector, they do it. They have blind faith in JBR.'

Other sectors in which the consultancy firm has also built up the necessary expertise/sector knowledge and where it serves a large number of clients are energy and environment (energy and environment) food and agri (food and agriculture) and healthcare (healthcare).

We want to be the logical choice for an entrepreneur because of our knowledge of the sector.

World Deals from JBR

According to Van Rijn and Ter Maat, the most eye-catching deal for JBR in 2021 was the sale of container terminal Rotterdam Short Sea Terminals (RST) by the Dutch C. Steinweg Group to two large international investors: the British Blue Ocean Capital and the American Crestline Capital. Ter Maat: 'That was a deal in which we are pretty sure we also got the maximum valuation for the company.'

Another noteworthy transaction at JBR was the sale of a majority stake in De Poli Tankers, a Dutch shipping company for the chemical and gas market, to the French maritime services provider Sogestran Group. Van Rijn: 'That was a very complex deal in which we assisted De Poli and in which we also interfered intensively with the financing, which was quite complicated.

What Van Rijn and Ter Maat have noticed in the merger and acquisition market, and what is a trend that will probably continue in 2022, is that renewables are once again in a state of flux. The first sustainability-linked bonds have already been spotted in the shipping industry, for example. That whole sustainability story is also an important driver, both for the M&A market and on the financing side', say Van Rijn and Ter Maat.

Both partners therefore see the future for JBR in a bright light. Because of our focus and sector knowledge, there are a number of (sales) mandates that only come to us. We want to be the logical choice for an entrepreneur or captain of industry because of our knowledge of the sector. That knowledge and focus should ensure that the phone rings precisely with us.'