Projective acquires Dutch management consultancy Mastermind

04 October 2021 3 min. read

Projective has closed its first acquisition in the Netherlands, and its second under the wings of financial investor Gimv. The bolt-on of Mastermind adds a renowned 30-strong management consultancy to its footprint.

“Our ambition is to become a one-stop-shop for change and project delivery within the financial services industry. With the addition of Mastermind, we are taking a next step in this direction,” said Stefan Dierckx, CEO of Projective Group.

Since its humble beginnings in 2006, when Projective launched in Belgium, the firm has grown into a consulting group with 450 experts across working from offices in six European countries: Brussels, Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt, Paris and Zurich.

Projective acquires Dutch management consultancy MastermindMastermind joins three others brands under the group’s roof: Projective, specialists in delivering change and innovation; Exellys, a young tech talent incubator; and DTSquared, a data consultancy. Meanwhile, the group also can leverage several partners within a broader ecosystem, including The Glue, and Smartfin.

The addition of Mastermind, which will continue to operate under its own brand as “it enjoys a strong brand in the Dutch market”, boosts Projective’s presence in the Netherlands, in particular in management consultancy services. “They bring complimentary experience and an excellent track record in organisational acceleration, strategic advice and digital transformation,” said Corjan Mol, the Managing Director of Projective in the Netherlands. 

From a sector perspective, Mastermind (founded in 2007) adds a network in the pensions segment of the financial services space, which adds to Projective’s already strong presence in the Dutch banking, insurance and wealth management segments. “Mastermind adds a powerful new piece to the Projective Group puzzle,” said Mol.

The deal comes at a time of major change for the Dutch pensions industry. With over €1,500 billion of assets of management, the Netherlands has the sixth largest pension asset base in the world. And despite being rated the globe’s best performing pensions system by Mercer, the government has agreed to introduce major changes to the way pensions are determined and managed (with the aim of improving the system’s long-term sustainability). 

One of the main changes is the transition from a ‘defined benefits’ system to one where employers and employees are more flexible in deciding on the desired pension setup. Mol: “The overhaul of the system means that pension providers will require expertise and support in order to successfully adapt and change. Mastermind will help us in being at the forefront of this transition.”

Meanwhile, for Mastermind, the joining of forces will enable the boutique Dutch consultancy to “offer our existing clients more value and broaden our own customer base”, said Managing Partner Koos Haakma. “This also enables our employees to accelerate their personal growth and grants them access to new areas of expertise.”

The deal comes one month after the acquisition of DTSquared in the UK, and nearly two years following the purchase of Exellys in Belgium. In the coming period, more deals are expected. By the end of 2023, Projective aims to become an 800-strong firm, with inorganic growth an accelerator to organic growth plans.

Several other small to mid-sized firms are “on the radar” of Projective Group’s leadership team. “We want to bolster the group with capabilities in payments and cybersecurity, among others,” said CEO Stefan Dierckx.