Grant Thornton appoints Koert Verbruggen as CEO for Belgium

14 December 2018 3 min. read
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The Belgian country organisation of Grant Thornton has appointed Koert Verbruggen as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Verbruggen took over at the helm on the 1st of November, when he succeeded Paul De Weerdt. 

Paul De Weerdt, who as part of the transition has taken on the role of Chairman for Grant Thornton Belgium, said that he is confident that Verbruggen has what it takes to step into his shoes. “As an expert in strategic and change management, Koert will undoubtedly fulfil the challenge brilliantly.” Antwerp-based partner De Weerdt has been with Grant Thornton for over twenty years, having previously worked for Deloitte.

The new CEO leads a team of around 160 professionals in Belgium, across offices in Antwerp, Brussels, Gent, Doornik, Hasselt, Turnhout and Jumet. The firm provides audit, accountancy, tax & legal and consulting services to clients across all major industries.

Verbruggen brings over two decades of experience mainly in financial services to Grant Thornton. Over the past two years, he worked as an independent consultant, helping banking and insurance companies with business transformation. Prior to that, he held management positions at Delta Lloyd Bank, Crédit Mutuel, Deutsche Bank, Crédit Lyonnais and KBC Bank.

Grant Thornton appoints Koert Verbruggen as CEO for BelgiumAt Grant Thornton, Verbruggen will seek to leverage his experience to help the firm expand its position in Belgium’s professional services landscape, where Grant Thornton competes with the likes of the Big Four, BDO, Baker Tilly and RSM.

Koert Verbruggen now faces the challenge of ensuring that the Belgian representative of Grant Thornton International evolves further to become a full-service advisor to which every client - business leader, SME, multinational or government institution - can turn to for personalised and pragmatic advice. And this at fees that the firm says are greatly appreciated by its clients. 

“Our sector is going through a major upheaval and is changing rapidly,” said Verbruggen. To stay head of the curve, the CEO highlights that “new insights and a different focus” will be of crucial importance. Asked about how he believes he can deliver on the ambition, alongside a strong focus on client delivery and innovation, he pointed out the role of people. “Our business is a 100% people business. Team spirit, diversity and close cooperation will be central in our approach.”

On his key HR goal, he added; “We want to guarantee everyone the best possible work-life balance. By doing so, we aim to assume our social responsibility in a practical manner, our objective being not to experience any burn-out or bore-out in our company. Such a corporate culture is the best guarantee to offer our clients personalised solutions that can make an impact.” 

Earlier this year in Belgium's consulting space, Grant Thornton rival BDO acquired two digital consultancy companies.