Boots on the ground

Roel Van Ranst


Roel Van Ranst is Director Industry and holds a degree in Economics (2001) and an MBA from Flanders Business School (2005). After a career start at EY, he moved to corporate finance, where he managed several transactions. Between 2008 and 2014, Roel was responsible for the Buy&Build acquisition strategy of Senior Living Group, now Korean, with an annual turnover of more than EUR 3 billion. After a successful exit, he joined Agio Capital as Director Industry.

When did you join AGIO Capital and how did you get in touch with us?
I joined Agio Capital late in the summer of 2019. At that time, I was a bit in between jobs and got back in touch with Philippe Van den Broecke. We knew each other from a previous deal where we sat on opposite sides of the table. We vividly remembered our tough negotiations and decided then that it would be better for our clients to work together than against.

Why did you join us?
Agio Legal is an independent law firm that acts as our business partner. But it is an unusual firm: the team of lawyers realised at some point that more could be done with their growing network of contacts than just legal advice: corporate strategic advice, corporate finance missions, commercial partnerships, etc. But they also realised that these services required different skills and competences. Add a layer of internationalisation towards China (where we have offices) but also elsewhere, and you get a pretty unique cocktail. I think these elements created the fertile soil in which Agio Capital’s seed was planted and grew into an ecosystem capable of delivering a full-service package.

What do you like about your work? What is your favourite part?
It has been said before by some of my colleagues, but I have the luxury of constantly meeting interesting people who are trying to build better businesses. That is not only inspiring, but it is also very satisfying to be able to help those clients and companies with unique projects. Contrary to what people may think, our consultancy business is much more about soft skills than hard skills: the best deals are those where the trust between the parties is high because they understand that they need each other to make the deal work. It is then our mission to set that in stone.

What are your hobbies? What do you do in your spare time?
I used to be an avid cyclist, but a few years ago I discovered golf. And the saying is true, once you get hooked, there is no escape. So every chance I get, I pull out the bag. I have also started reading again. I tend to put book recommendations on my LinkedIn page. So go check it out!

And finally, why is AGIO different from the rest?
It is rather politically incorrect to say that we are the best in every field, so I will stick to the following: we have a unique style, a unique approach, a unique range of services, a unique ecosystem, a unique office, a unique team, etc. Not to mention the fact that we are also passionate about what we do. You can probably almost “feel” our enthusiasm when you talk to us.