Our People

Experience has taught us that the ability to successfully complete transactions often lies in attention to detail. A combination of negotiating skills, empathy, networking and professional skills are key success factors in transactions of this type and also crucial to our ability to increase enterprise value in the short term and the long term.

Our organisation consists of three areas of responsibility. Firstly the Partners, who are responsible for the negotiations during the entire transaction, secondly the Associates, who are responsible for research and documentation and finally, the Support department, which is responsible for providing support.

We operate in small, flexible and effective teams in which the responsible partner personally coordinates the transaction from start to finish with the support of an associate. This guarantees our complete involvement and commitment.

Our M&A team is multilingual and is one of the most experienced and stable teams in the industry. All team members have extensive director-level management experience in business, which is complemented by specific training in the area of mergers and acquisitions. Not only are we fully versed in the theory, we are also intimately aware of the pitfalls and know exactly which approach to adopt in practice.

Our Team

Wim van Acht

Wim has worked at Blacktrace since 2016.

Before joining Blacktrace, Wim worked in corporate finance for 15 years after he held positions as Commercial Director at Arcadis and manager in Utility companies. He has been involved in various transactions in Business Services (staffing, certification), Technology (medtech, ICT, cleantech), Engineering (technical, environmental), Logistics (E-fulfillment) and Utilities (water, energy).

Wim holds degrees from the University of Wageningen and INSEAD business school (International Executive Program) and IN-NED (Insead Non-Executive Directors Program).

Esther Bos

Esther has worked at Blacktrace since 2020.

Before joining Blacktrace, Esther worked in legal for 15 years. She has been involved in various transactions in Consumer Products, Medical Care and Financial Services.

Esther holds a degree from the University of Utrecht (Law).

Wies Cornelius

Wies has worked at Blacktrace since 2011.

Before Wies joined Blacktrace, she worked for an international trading company and a dental practice. Wies organizes all office activities.

Jaap Smits

Jaap has worked for Blacktrace since 2011.

Before joining Blacktrace, Jaap worked in corporate finance after he held the position of Managing Director of Schadébo, a group of trading and manufacturing companies. He has been involved in various transactions such as Hurks, Redmore Group and PlusPort. He focuses primarily on the Consumer Products, Business Services, TMT and Industry sectors.

Jaap holds degrees from the Hogere Textiel School Enschede (cum laude), Erasmus University Rotterdam (Business Administration) and RSM Erasmus University Rotterdam (Register Valuation).

Koen Straatman

Koen has worked for Blacktrace since 2019.

As an M&A specialist, Koen focuses on execution and support during all phases of the merger and acquisition transaction process. Koen focuses primarily on the Consumer Products, Financial Services and TMT.

Koen is a graduate from the Radboud University Nijmegen (Economics and Business) and from the University of Tilburg with a Master in Finance (cum laude).  In addition, Koen has filled several board and committee positions at a student association during his studies.

Aaron van Veen

Aaron has worked for Blacktrace since 2020.

As an M&A specialist, Aaron supports in execution across all phases of the merger and acquisition transaction process. Aaron grew up in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and focuses within Blacktrace and World M&A Alliance on supporting clients on cross border transactions.

Aaron graduated from Maastricht University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, and from Warwick Business School with a Master’s degree in Finance. Additionally, Aaron has been an active member in the major finance and investment societies during his studies.

Gijs van de Wetering

Gijs has worked for Blacktrace since 2017.

As an M&A specialist, Gijs focuses on execution and support during all phases of the merger and acquisition transaction process. He has been involved in various transactions such as Berghege, Abovo Media and Acknowledge. Gijs focuses primarily on the Business Services, Industry and Medical Care sectors.

Gijs is a graduate from the University of Tilburg (Economics and Business Economics) with a Master in Finance (cum laude). In addition, Gijs has been chairman of a student investment association and has been active in several committees during his studies.