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At JBR we love a challenge'

December 5, 2022

Article from Brookz 500 - 2023 edition

At consultancy JBR, corporate finance consultants, strategists and researchers work closely together in project teams. This working method is highly valued by clients.

"By digging a layer deeper, we can really add value.

Senior consultants corporate finance Gustian van der Linde and Alexander Beyleveldt and business analyst Niklas Kaiser make a tidy impression. There is frequent laughter during the conversation in the stately office building in the center of Zeist. It characterizes the informal working atmosphere at the independent consulting firm for strategy, corporate finance and restructuring.

Van der Linde and Beyleveldt made a conscious choice to join JBR, having previously worked in debt advisory at Orchard Finance and financial due diligence at RSM, respectively. Kaiser joined JBR immediately after completing his studies in strategic management. All three are enthusiastic about their work at JBR.

 

No typical deals

JBR advises and assists companies in sectors where the stakes are high - maritime & offshore, energy, industry, healthcare, food & agri and IT. The companies involved range in value from twenty to hundreds of millions of euros. 'They are not typical deals that come in here,' says Beyleveldt. 'It is often complex, with not only a financial but also a strategic side. Regularly assignments turn out differently, for example because a valuation turns into a sale assignment.'

Van der Linde: "The strategy branch is highly integrated with us, which is quite unique. It may be that a client is sitting with a strategy issue and a sales or purchase mandate arises from that. But it has also happened that we advised a client who came to us with a sales mandate to grow first, after which we even did a few more acquisitions for him.' Clients appreciate the efficient and flexible way of working together within teams at JBR, Van der Linde believes. 'In a large office, the members of a team change quite often, but with us everyone is there from beginning to end.'

 

Sharing knowledge

Internally, JBR values knowledge sharing. JBR employees regularly give presentations and training sessions to each other. Kaiser: 'Because we are a small office, your input is really heard and appreciated during such meetings. And because those training sessions are internal, we can relate the topics discussed to cases we are working on, which makes it extra interesting.'

New employees are assigned a mentor who shows them around the organization. With your mentor you make a plan for your first 100 days and at the end you have an evaluation meeting together. This works very well, thinks Van der Linde. "I started at the same time as three other new colleagues and for a number of weeks boot camp training was organized for us every Friday afternoon. That was a nice way to get settled in quickly.

 

At JBR we love a challenge'
Gustian van der Linde, Alexander Beyleveldt and Niklas Kaiser

 

'Because we are a small firm, your input is truly heard and valued'

 

Steep learning curve

That the atmosphere among themselves is good at JBR, cannot really be any different, because application procedures here are a 'team effort'. Beyleveldt: "The first introductory interview is not with a partner, but with one of the consultants. Then you can immediately ask what a working day with us looks like. The second meeting is also with a consultant. Only the last interview you have with one of the partners, but by then you have actually already got the approval of the team.'

The learning curve for new employees at JBR is steep, Kaiser believes. "As a new employee, you participate in projects from the very first day and are actively involved in discussions. You are immediately part of a team. The colleagues make sure you have enough challenges and experience many new things.' Van der Linde: 'The same applies to me as a lateral entrant. It's a steep learning curve, but you can always ring the bell. Assertiveness is rewarded here, there is always someone in the office who wants to help you. That way of working together really appeals to me.'

 

Digging deeper

JBR 's integrated working method means that project teams regularly involve someone from the research team in addition to corporate finance and strategy. If JBR does not have knowledge about a niche or particular region in-house, external industry experts from their network are involved who can talk about recent developments from the field. 'We will always verify market reports with our own research,' says Kaiser. 'By digging a layer deeper, we can really add value.'

That the combination of sector knowledge and an efficient working team is appreciated is evidenced by the long-standing relationships JBR has built with many clients. Van der Linde: "We recently represented the selling party in an acquisition in the maritime sector. The buyer in this deal, an investor, was so impressed that he has since hired us twice as buy-side advisors for new acquisitions.'

Thanks to Global M&A Partners (GMAP), an international network of corporate finance consultancies of which JBR is the Benelux partner, JBR 's field of work is becoming increasingly international. Through the GMAP network, there is active cooperation with partners in Peru, Argentina and Brazil, among others. It means that employees of JBR travel regularly. For example, Beyleveldt will soon be getting on a plane to South America again, he says.

In any case, the work at JBR is never boring, complex at times. In Zeist, they love a challenge.