Művész ut 2, 1121 Budapest, Hungary
Keizersgracht 661, 1017 DT Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Mobile Phone: +31-6-22553705
Female, Dutch/Hungarian, born 5 July 1963, married to writer Jaap Scholten, 3 sons
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
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
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
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
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
1990 – 1991 Clifford Chance (London, United Kingdom)
Lawyer, in the Energy Practise Group involved in the privatisation of Scotisch
1987 – 1990 Clifford Chance (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
Lawyer, M § A transactions, public bids and other commercial transactions
De Brauw, Blackstone, Westbroek (The Hague, the Netherlands)
UC Berkeley Venture Capital Executive Program
2011 – 2013
Nyenrode Board program, Nyenrode University
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
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
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
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
Native Dutch, fluent English, German and Hungarian
Horseback riding, skiing, reading and travelling with my family
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.
Please find my biography in two lengths below: a shorter read for the busy visitors, a longer one for my curious visitors.
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 17 investments to date all in HR tech including: Vonq, Crunchr, Pymetrics, Brazen, Rolepoint, Gigwalk, gr8people and Hackerrank.
Currently I serve on the Boards of Vonq, Crunchr, Brazen, Montage and Shiftboard. I am also on the Board of Exact a business software solution provider, delisted and acquired by Apax Partners in 2014.
In 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 I was selected in the top 100 Global Female Staffing leaders. In 2018 I was included in the Global Top 100 Corporate Venture Capitalist Power list.
I am married to the writer Jaap Scholten and we have 3 sons. Travelling with my family and horseback riding are my passions.
I am off Dutch and Hungarian origin. My father is Hungarian and my mother is Dutch. I grew up in The Netherlands. For more than 10 years I have lived in Budapest, Hungary. I am married to the super creative and original author, Jaap Scholten and we have 3 fantastic sons, who are all very different. At the moment they are studying in different places in the world. I feel blessed with my family (my extended family, too) and love to be with them. I am also crazy about horseback riding. Horseback riding is a kind of meditation for me, allows me to connect with nature.
Living in different countries and travelling 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 to people and to contribute to their wellbeing from both a personal and a business perspective.
Looking back, I definitely have a 7 years itch, which means I change my career on an average of every 7 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, my whole family moved to Hungary and 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 Randstad Innovation Fund. I also have several Board seats in large companies and startups. 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 could learn fast as a result. Trainings on several expert topics such as Board programs, venture capital, team coaching and digital strategy have also kept me up to speed.
My insights are based on my experience over the last 25 years and my knowledge on the very fast changing environment, especially in the tech world. I have Board seats at several HR tech startups (Vonq, Crunchr, Brazen and gr8people) and a Board seat at Exact, a cloud business software recently delisted and acquired by Apax (private equity).
I am very passionate about what the right work can do for people. My social contribution to society is focused on giving a small group of people work and education. On the long term, I am looking for an opportunity to give the underprivileged in our society a better chance to get the jobs or to start a business, that elevates them 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.
I am a lawyer by education and my first job was M&A lawyer at Clifford Chance. I learned about M&A transactions, financing documents and corporate contracts. Gained knowledge that prooved to be very useful later on in my career. Clifford Chance offered me the opportunity to work in their offices in Amsterdam and London. I was one of the people to start 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, assessing litigation risks are part of these core skills. I really enjoyed the dynamics of doing transactions. However, attention to detail, a very important trait as a lawyer, has never been my strength, so I was happy to move on.
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. I started Legal FlexForce in The Netherlands as a result, 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 integration of several businesses Monster/TMP Worldwide bought in The Netherlands.
After our move to Hungary, I started the professional recruitment ProfiPower. ProfiPower 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.
The period of entrepreneurship was the most rewarding in my career. I really enjoyed the teams we were able to build. I had the pleasure to work with some very talented people. We built a brand, we had fun, we listened to our clients and we did our utmost best to do the right thing and place people in the jobs which were right for them.
After I sold my second startup, I started off as an angel investor and did some investments, some of them successful, some not so much. There was a steep learning curve. 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. There were some highlights in very exciting businesses which have been built, such as Ourstyle, a Hungarian designers marketplace (no longer exists), Colabs, a startup accelerator (still thriving) and Zinemath (also still running and doing well).
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 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). which is 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.
We have done 10 investments so far: Brazen, Checkster, Crunchr, Gigwalk, gr8people, HackerRank, Pymetrcis, Rolepoint, Vonq and Wade&Wendy. Our portfolio company Twago was fully acquired by Randstad in 2016.
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.
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?
I was on the Board of the NS (the Dutch National Railways) for 3 years, a Dutch State owned company responsible for most of the train traffic in The Netherlands and involved in concessions in several European countries. To be political sensitive, was a challenge for me.
I very much enjoy being on the Board of some of the RIF portfolio companies: Vonq, gr8people, chrunchr and Brazen. I bring the industry knowledge and the know-how of building a business.
My latest addition is a Board seat at Exact, a cloud business software. The company has been delisted last year and is now fully owned by the private equity firm Apax. There is a lot in common between Fintech and HRtech. The lines between HR, Legal and Fintech are getting blurred making it possible to introduce very interesting new business models to the market.
I flourish when I can contribute to making an organization more professional and supporting its expansion/ digitalization.
I enjoy speaking in public, especially on the topics of HR tech and corporate venturing. I also like being part of the jury of startup competitions, which I have also done many times in the past and I am always amazed by people and their ideas.
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 worked or work with 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.
If you have read all the text, you probably qualify as a friend. 🙂