For more than twenty-seven years, Vandycke & Partners is regarded as the reference in the field of executive search and recruitment for the healthcare and life sciences industry in Belgium. Its sister company, Mediconsult, is specialised in clinical research outsourcing. Following this acquisition, Pauwels Consulting will be one of the largest providers of executive search, recruitment and project sourcing for the life sciences industry in Belgium. The group now has more than 490 employees in the field of life sciences, engineering and IT.
Pauwels Consulting, Vandycke & Partners and Mediconsult have reached an agreement to combine their activities. As of today, Vandycke & Partners and Mediconsult will function as autonomous companies within the Pauwels Consulting group. We had a meeting with Bert Pauwels, founder and general manager of Pauwels Consulting, and Michel Vandycke, founder and CEO of Vandycke & Partners and Mediconsult.
Michel: My name is Michel Vandycke. During the first half of my career, I implemented a variety of commercial and HR management roles. During the second half of my career, I focused on executive search and clinical research outsourcing. In 1990 I founded Vandycke & Partners, followed in 2004 by the foundation of Mediconsult. Today, I transfer both companies to Bert.
Bert: My name is Bert Pauwels. I am still in the first half of my career. (Laughs.) In 1999, I founded Pauwels Consulting. Initially, we focussed on IT. However, since 2004 and 2005, we also specialise in engineering and life sciences. I am involved in the daily management of the company. Today, I am very pleased to take over the Vandycke & Partners and Mediconsult activities.
Could you please explain the activities of your companies?
Michel: Vandycke & Partners is specialised in executive search. We search for management profiles for life sciences clients in Belgium and abroad. Mediconsult is specialised in project/contract staffing and outsourcing and has approximately seventy consultants mainly working on clinical, medical, marketing and regulatory projects.
Bert: Pauwels Consulting is specialised in project sourcing, business process outsourcing, recruitment and projects related to engineering, life sciences and IT. We work for various companies in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.
“Our services are perfectly complementary. This was an important condition.”
Bert: Since our cooperation with 3D-investments, we explicitly focus our attention on organic growth and growth by means of strategic acquisitions. As such, we have taken over P.I.T.-Advisor, a Belgian IT service provider, only five months ago. This type of acquisition allows us to assist our clients in many more fields, which strengthens our market position.
Not long ago, I was informed that Michel was looking for a takeover candidate for Vandycke & Partners and Mediconsult. We immediately felt highly attracted by the perfect organisation. For many years, Vandycke & Partners is regarded as the reference par excellence in the field of executive search and recruitment for the healthcare and life sciences industry in Belgium. Mediconsult is a strong player in the field of clinical research outsourcing. These services are perfectly complementary to our own services.
Michel: Indeed. Our services are perfectly complementary. This was an important condition when selecting the right takeover candidate. Furthermore, we were looking for a company with a young, dynamic CEO who adheres to the same values as Vandycke & Partners and Mediconsult.
“Our clients are very loyal clients, most likely based on the fact that we do not hesitate to go the extra mile.”
How would you describe these values, Michel?
Michel: At Vandycke & Partners, we do all we can for our clients. In our view, complex assignments simply do not exist. We always continue our search until we have found the perfect candidate for our client. Our clients are very loyal clients, most likely based on the fact that we do not hesitate to go the extra mile.
When meeting Bert and thus Pauwels Consulting, I immediately recognised this client-oriented mentality as well as their focus on quality and we instantly had this personal click. This could perhaps be the most important topic in acquisition projects such as this one.
What will be the advantages of this cooperation for your clients?
Bert: As stated, the services provided by our organisations are perfectly complementary. This means that Pauwels Consulting clients can now also be assisted with regard to executive search and project sourcing with clinical profiles.
Michel: On the other hand, the Vandycke & Partners and Mediconsult clients will now be able to find other life sciences, engineering and IT consultants quicker. Pauwels Consulting is a strong player with a powerful network and a large sales and recruitment team. This can only benefit our clients even more.
Bert: Knowledge-sharing and career opportunities! The larger our consultant’s group, the more knowledge-sharing and cross-fertilization will apply. At Pauwels Consulting, we devote great attention to knowledge-sharing and we are always eager to offer our consultants the very best and most challenging career opportunities. This acquisition will most certainly contribute to that.
Michel: My thoughts exactly. Our employees will now be part of a larger group. This will undoubtedly present new growth opportunities. Moreover, they will now have a young CEO supported by a young, experienced and dynamic management team. I am convinced this cooperation will ensure new dynamics, which will be positive for all parties involved. “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
Gentlemen, are you willing to share a thought with our readers?
Bert: Absolutely. People who know me, are very well aware of me citing the following quote: “When you want to go fast, go alone. When you want to go far, go together.” Early on in my career, I realised that it is much easier to establish great results if you surround yourself with great people.
This is also the reason why I devote a lot of attention to strategic acquisitions. The better and stronger our team, the better we can assist our clients. I cannot wait to continue straight ahead, now supported by the Vandycke & Partners and Mediconsult team!
Michel: My preferred quote is “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Actually, this is the title of a Billie Ocean song. The number dates back to 1985, but, actually, I have acted accordingly throughout my entire professional career.
In executive search and outsourcing, it is remarkably simple to achieve success, but to continue to be successful in the long haul and under difficult circumstances, you must be strong. You need to have the proper focus and must be willing to go the extra mile for your clients. I am convinced that both our teams will continue to follow this philosophy.