Projective doubles headcount with acquisition of Exellys

27 January 2020 3 min. read

Within a year of returning to independence, Projective has closed the largest acquisition in its fourteen year history, in a move that has doubled its headcount.

In April last year, Projective chief executive Stefan Dierckx revealed the firm’s partner team had re-acquired the firm from Diebold Nixdorf. Under the wings of the German-American technology company, Projective managed to grow 50% in three years, but to realise future growth ambitions, the partner team preferred to restore its destiny to its own hands.

“We dare aim at doubling our current team in the next three years,” said Dierckx upon closing the transaction, only to find his statement becoming reality within the space of just nine months. With the majority acquisition of Mechelen-based Exellys, Projective has added some 150 professionals in Belgium, lifting its pan-European headcount to over three hundred.

The joining of forces enables Projective – a consulting firm specialised in project management and business transformation for financial institutions in Western Europe – to significantly grow its base of consultants and business analysts, while also adding a major layer of young talent to its network.Projective acquires Exellys

Equally important, the firm adds a huge IT talent pool for today and the future to its recruitment operation, explained Corjan Mol, a partner at the firm. “One of the challenges we face is finding the best digital talent. With the collaboration with Exellys, we now have access to Belgium’s leading matchmaker for digital and technology profiles.”

Launching in 2014, Exellys’ traineeship program hires young talent and prepares them for a job through an intensive training and coaching curriculum in technical, management and soft skills. Illustrating the firm’s leading position in Belgium: last year, Exellys managed to speak with over 60% of the roughly 2,000 IT students that graduated from Belgian universities.

Groomed for a challenge, Exellys talents are then deployed at clients, and after a two year period they can either join the client permanently, or return to Exellys’ ranks as a consultant.

To date, Projective has always operated with a more senior resourcing model, a feat on which it prides itself. But, amid a rapidly changing financial services arena and talent landscape, “client are asking us to provide extended propositions, including adding young talent to the mix,” said Nicolas Micheli, a partner at Projective. The move comes at a time when the pool of highly experienced financial services professionals is “also drying up”, he added.

“Projective and Exellys form a strong consulting and talent ecosystem from which all our current and future customers can benefit.”
– Stefan Dierckx

Exellys remains independent

As part of the transaction, exiting company founder Raf Seymus will leave his position as chief executive of Exellys and hand over the reins to Dierckx. Exellys will remain an autonomous company and the day-to-day operations will be run independently from Projective.

Departing leader Seymus said: “After six years I can look back more than satisfied as an entrepreneur. I would like to thank all employees, consultants and customers of Exellys for that strong performance, but especially for the fantastic cooperation.” Meanwhile, Seymus has been appointed a board member at Projective.

Financial details of the 51% stake purchase have not been released. In the mid-term, Projective aims to acquire a further 25% in the company from Dierckx himself and fintech pionieer Jurgen Ingels. The duo bought that stake two years ago as part of a venture capital round.

Outside of Belgium, Projective also has offices in the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom.