About Ilonka

“I am passionate about building and supporting companies who are conquering new territory and/or are going through a digital transformation”

Curriculum vitae

Contact:
Művész ut 2, 1121 Budapest, Hungary
Keizersgracht 661, 1017 DT Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Mobile Phone: +31-6-22553705
E-mail: ilonka@jankovich.net

CV Download

Personal Data:

Female, Dutch/Hungarian, born 5 July 1963, married to writer Jaap Scholten, 3 sons

Experience Summary:

10 years Merger § Acquisition lawyer at international law firm and own law firm

Started 2 recruitment companies which became market leader and were sold to listed companies

18 years experience as General Manager at privately held companies and at multinational listed companies

International working experience: the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Romania, Hungary and United States

2,5 year of experience as corporate venture capital professional

Several (profit and non profit) Board positions

Work Experience:

2013 – Present

Randstad (Diemen, The Netherlands)
Managing Partner Randstad Innovation Fund, responsible for the 50 m Euro
corporate fund of Randstad investing in HR technology companies in Europe and the Unites States

2011 – Present

Brainpower (Budapest, Hungary)
Managing Director and angel investor in start ups including start up Hub
www.colabs.hu

2004 – 2011

Randstad Hungary (Budapest, Hungary), ProfiPower (Budapest, Hungary)

2011 Randstad Hungary (Budapest, Hungary)
General Manager, managed integration process of Hungarian subsidiary of Randstad, maintaining market leadership, gaining market share, implementing HR solutions including in house and RPO solutions, based on EBITDA margin Randstad Hungary was the best performing company worldwide within the Randstad group in 2011

2004 – 2010 ProfiPower (Budapest, Hungary)
Managing Director and owner, ProfiPower became the leading recruitment firm in Hungary in 4 years, specialised in permanent and temporary graduate recruitment in the field of Finance, Sales & Marketing, Engineering and IT. ProfiPower was acquired at the end of 2010 by Randstad.

1997 – 2003

Legal FlexForce, TMP Worldwide, currently the Hudson Group (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

2001 – 2003 TMP Worldwide (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Managing Director, responsible for managing and integrating the specialised
recruitment businesses acquired by TMP Worldwide in the Netherlands

1997 – 2001 Legal FlexForce (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Managing Director and owner, Legal FlexForce was the leading permanent and
temporary recruitment firm in the Netherlands specialised in lawyers, with offices
in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Eindhoven, sold in 2001 to TMP Worldwide, part of
Monster.com

1993 – 1997

Law firm Vrisekoop Majoor Van Spaendonck Brainich Jankovich
(Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Partner, running a commercial law practice, specialised in M § A transactions for
medium sized companies

1987 – 1993

Clifford Chance

1991 – 1992 Clifford Chance (Budapest, Hungary)
Lawyer, starting the Budapest office of Clifford Chance, involved in start up
operations, transactions and privatisation of gas industry (advisor of Hungarian
government)

1990 – 1991 Clifford Chance (London, United Kingdom)
Lawyer, in the Energy Practise Group involved in the privatisation of Scotisch
Hydro Electricity

1987 – 1990 Clifford Chance (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Lawyer, M § A transactions, public bids and other commercial transactions

Summer 1986

De Brauw, Blackstone, Westbroek (The Hague, the Netherlands)
Trainee

Education:

2014

UC Berkeley Venture Capital Executive Program

2011 – 2013

Nyenrode Board program, Nyenrode University

2011 – 2013

Transactional Analysis training at Intact, coaching and organisational development

1997 – 2011

Range of management and human resources training courses and seminars

1987 – 1997

Range of law courses and seminars

1986 – 1987

Postgraduate studies, economics /company commercial law, Grotius Academy, the Netherlands

1982 – 1986

Masters Degree in Civil Law, University of Leiden, the Netherlands

1981 – 1982

Finishing School in Marden, United Kingdom and Paris, France

Board positions:

2015 – Present

Member of the Supervisory Board of Exact, Exact is an IT company delisted from the AEX and acquired by Apax Partners in 2014

2014 – Present

Member of the Supervisory Board of Vonq/Qandidate, Vonq/Qandidate is an investment of the Randstad Innovation Fund

2013 – Present

Member of the Supervisory Board of the Dutch National Railways (NS), member of the remuneration and selection committee

2003 – Present

Board Member of the Westerheide Kft, the Jankovich family estate in Hungary, including agricultural, forestry, orchard and cattle activities

2004 – 2011

Vice-Chairman of the American International School of Budapest, Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee responsible for strategic planning

2003 – 2012

Board Member of the Dutch Hungarian Chamber of Commerce responsible for external relations

Languages:

Native Dutch, fluent English, German and Hungarian

Interests:

Horseback riding, skiing, reading and travelling with my family

Strengths:

Building result oriented teams with great spirit, coaching and motivating people, strategic thinking, entrepreneurial and Blue Ocean approach to challenges and opportunities

I am a lawyer by trade, turned to entrepreneur by passion. I built and sold two HR agencies, the first one to Monster/TMP Worldwide and then the next one to Randstad. Currently, I am co-managing the Randstad’s 50M EUR corporate fund investing in HR technology companies, meanwhile I am on the Board of several companies.

Recently I founded Taptrove Ventures, a fund backing startups in the Worktech space which boost productivity, enable a distributed workforce and enhance professional journeys.

Please find my biography in two lengths below: a shorter read for the busy visitors, a longer one for my curious visitors.

#short

I am of Dutch and Hungarian origin. In the beginning of my career, I was for 10 years a M&A lawyer at Clifford Chance and I had my own law firm. After that I founded the legal recruitment firm Legal FlexForce based in The Netherlands, sold in 2001 to Monster. In 2003 I moved with my family to Hungary and started a recruitment business in Hungary. ProfiPower became the market leader and was sold to Randstad in 2010. I am an angel investor.

In 2013 the corporate venture firm of Randstad; Randstad Innovation Fund was started. I am managing the fund together with Paul Jacquin. The Fund has done 20 investments to date all in HR tech including: Vonq, Crunchr, Pymetrics, Brazen, Rolepoint, gr8people and Hackerrank.

Currently I serve on the Boards of Crunchr, Brazen, Shiftboard and Zapinfo. I am also on the Board of Exact a business software solution provider, acquired by KKR in 2018.

This year  I co-founded together with Paul Jacquin Taptrove Ventures, an independent venture fund. Taptrove Ventures will back data-driven ventures that revolutionise the workplace. It will invest in Wortech startups that provide solutions to enable a distributed workforce and improve professional journeys.

I am passionate about supporting companies to grow and setting the right strategic (digital) agenda.

In 2015-2020 I was selected in the top 100 Global Female Staffing leaders. In 2018-2020 I am a part of the Global Top 100 Corporate Venture Capitalist Power list. In 2020 I entered the top 100 list of HRtech influencers. I am on the Investment Committee of the Challenge for Youth Fund with the goal to get 200.000 young men and women in Africa to work.

#long

I am of Dutch and Hungarian origin. My father is Hungarian and my mother is Dutch. I grew up in the Netherlands but for more than 15 years I have lived in Budapest, Hungary. I am married to the super creative and original author Jaap Scholten and we have three fantastic sons, who are all very different choosing their own paths in life and getting along very well. At the moment they are either studying and working in different places in the Netherlands. I feel blessed with my family (my extended family, too) and love to be with them. I am also crazy about horseback riding, which is a kind of meditation for me and allows me to connect with nature.

Travelling and living in different countries is in my blood. I speak Dutch, English, Hungarian and German, and travel for my current activities extensively especially to London, Berlin, New York and San Francisco. I love to connect with people and contribute to their well-being, from both a personal and a business perspective.

Looking back, I definitely have a 7-year itch, meaning I change my career on an average of every seven years. I started my career as a lawyer, and worked in that profession for 10 years. During my legal career I founded the legal recruitment business Legal FlexForce in the Netherlands (acquired by Monster/TMP).

Adventure lured, as a family we  moved to Hungary, where I started the professional recruitment business ProfiPower (acquired by Randstad). In the past few years I have been active as an angel investor and as a corporate venture capitalist for the Randstad Innovation Fund. I also have several board seats at large companies and start-ups. I am an expert in HR tech and starting to become an expert in digital strategy setting.

Moving to different areas in my career has been very exciting. I have been lucky that companies, people and clients have accepted me as a newcomer, so I have been able to learn quickly as a result. Training in several expert topics such as board programs (at Nyenrode), venture capital and product management (both at Berkeley), team coaching, and digital strategy, have also kept me up to speed.

My insights are based on my experience over the last 30 years and my knowledge in an extremely fast-changing environment, especially in the tech world. I have board seats at several HR tech start-ups (Crunchr, ShiftboardBrazen and Zapinfo) and a board seat at Exact, a cloud business software company recently delisted and acquired by KKR (private equity).

I am passionate about what the right work can do for people. My contribution to society is focused on giving a people work and education. I am actively involved as a member of the investment committee in the Fund for Youth Employment (https://fundforyouthemployment.nl/)which aims to create work for 200 000 young women and men in Africa.  I strongly belief in giving  the underprivileged in our society a better chance to get jobs or to start a business, and elevate themselves from their situation. It should be possible to do that at scale, especially due to online education becoming more and more affordable and the support of some of the great technologies emerging.

Lawyer

I am a lawyer by education and my first job was as an M&A lawyer at Clifford Chance. I learned about M&A transactions, financing documents and corporate contracts. I gained knowledge that proved to be invaluable later in my career. Clifford Chance offered me the opportunity to work in their offices in Amsterdam and London, and I was one of the people to launch the Clifford Chance Budapest office. Having worked 6 years for Clifford, I started my own law firm in Amsterdam: Vrisekoop, Majoor, Van Spaendonck, Brainich, Jankovich.

This period brought me a lot of skills. Drafting or reviewing any documentation, and assessing litigation risks, are part of these core skills. I really enjoyed the dynamics of making transactions. However attention to detail, a very important trait as a lawyer, has never been my strength, so I was happy to move on.

Entrepreneur

I realized that motherhood and being a partner at a lawfirm was not easy to combine, so I wondered why was not there some high-level project work available for lawyers who want to work part time. As a result I started Legal FlexForce in the Netherlands, which became the largest (permanent and contracting) legal recruiter on the continent. Legal FlexForce was sold to Monster/TMP Worldwide in 2001. After the sale I became the country manager of TMP and I was responsible for the integrating of several businesses Monster/TMP Worldwide bought in the Netherlands.

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After our move to Hungary, I started the professional recruitment ProfiPower, which became the leading recruitment firm in Hungary and was acquired by Randstad in 2010.  After the acquisition I became the country manager for Randstad in Hungary and I successfully integrated my own business with Randstad’s.

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This period of entrepreneurship was the most rewarding in my career. I really enjoyed the teams we were able to build. I had the pleasure of working with some very talented people. We built a brand, we had fun, we listened to our clients, and we did our utmost to do the right thing, and place people in the jobs which were right for them.

Investor

After I sold my second start-up, I set out as an angel investor and made some investments – some of them successful, some not so much. There was a steep learning curve, and as a minority investor you can give advice but not set the agenda. The failure rate is high, something that I found difficult to accept.

I realized how difficult it is to pick the right investments, and that I missed working in a team. My knowledge lies in the HR industry. In this industry HR tech has emerged in the last few years so the idea was born to start an innovation fund for Randstad. Together with Paul Jacquin we started the Randstad Innovation Fund (RIF), focused on HR tech. (Minority) investments in HR technologies ensure future, innovative solutions to make processes more efficient and bring fresh answers to HR challenges. Our goal is to create an ecosystem where Randstad’s expertise complements entrepreneurial spirit and technological excellence.

RIF logo

We have done 20 investments so far: Brazen, Checkster,  Twago, ChecksterCrunchr, Gigwalk, gr8people, HackerRank, Pymetrcis, Rolepoint, Cornerjob, Montage VonqWade&Wendy, Coffreo, Goodwall, Shiftboard, Ally, Validates ID, Alice and Zapinfo. We excited 5 investments Twago, Rolepoint, Vonq, Cornerjob and Montage. .

At this point in my life I feel that all is coming together. I can combine my transaction knowledge with my expertise in the industry, and be involved in the digital strategy setting of small and large companies since I also have board positions.

Board positions

The Nyenrode executive New Board program taught me a lot about what the role is of a non executive board member. Now that I have been on boards for several years I cannot tell you how different each board seat is. It is about listening and asking the right questions – but when do you interfere or leave a board because it does not fit your values?

For three years I was on the board of the NS (the Dutch National Railways), a Dutch state-owned company responsible for most of the train traffic in the Netherlands and involved in concessions in several European countries. It was an interesting and challenging time, as with a state-owned company politics need to be balanced with business rationale.

I very much enjoyed – and still enjoy – being on the boards of some of the RIF portfolio companies: Vonq, gr8people, crunchr, Brazen, Shiftboard, Montage, and Zapinfo. I bring the industry knowledge and the know-how of building a business.

I also have a board seat at Exact, a cloud business software company that was delisted five years ago and was acquired by the private equity firm Apax. Last year KKR became the new owner, and I stayed on the board. There is a lot in common between fintech and HR tech. The lines between HR, legal and fintech are becoming blurred, making it possible to introduce intriguing new business models to the market.

Speaking or being part of the jury

I enjoy speaking in public, especially on the topics of HR tech and venture capital. I also like being part of the jury on start-up competitions, which I have also done many times – and I am always amazed by people and their ideas.

The blur of private and business life and the role of friends

The difference between business and private life to me has always been blurred. Working is a way to make myself useful and to achieve certain goals. Perhaps sometimes I am far too focused on the goals, so I try to enjoy the path more and more.

I have very old friends from my childhood and many dear family members, but I also consider many people I have worked with, or still do, as my friend.

Now that the children need me less, I want to spend more time with friends – as I love to hear their personal stories.

And if you have just read all of this, you probably qualify as a friend. 🙂