Van Twickelostraat 13
7411 SC Deventer
Last May, Sebastiaan Klunder joined the Nederlands Instituut voor Register Valuators (freely translated: Dutch Institute of Chartered Valuators; abbreviated as NiRV) as a member after successfully completing the final examination. He followed the course to become a valuation expert at the University of Groningen Business School.
The Register Valuator (RV) is the specialist when it comes to a substantiated and clear valuation of a company. An RV is called in as a party- or independent expert for, among other things, company acquisitions, business conflicts, divorces, bankruptcies, and loss calculations. There are currently more than 300 RVs affiliated with the NiRV. They are therefore subject to the disciplinary rules of the institute and must attain regular training courses to ensure that the level of knowledge of the RV is guaranteed after the course.
Sebastiaan, what does the Register Valuator course entail?
There are several studies to become a Register Valuator in the Netherlands. I followed a Merger & Acquisition course, which included the Valuation component, called Executive Master of Mergers & Acquisitions and Valuations. The course lasted about 18 months and during that time all parts of the Merger & Acquisition profession were covered, such as strategy, modelling, valuation, legal aspects and integration. But also specific components, such as distress and restructuring. Besides valuation, what I enjoyed most was the deal phase, which is the structuring and elaboration of the acquisition process, including the assessment of contracts and negotiations. Thanks to the course, I now have sufficient theoretical background to be able to guide and supervise mergers and acquisitions in practice.
Why did you choose to follow this programme alongside your busy job at Catapult?
I wanted to gain more in-depth theoretical knowledge of the topics I deal with in practice. Besides substantive knowledge about mergers and acquisitions, I was particularly interested in valuation issues: what exactly drives the value of a company? I feel that I became more independent thanks to this course.
What are the elements within the study that are most valuable for your professional activities?
It is a tough course, you have to read a lot and execute a practical assignment before or during almost every session. Because of the practical approach of the cases, these were very instructive. Often the cases fitted with my daily work seamlessly and I was able to apply a lot of knowledge and insights immediately. That gave me a rush every time. Several guest lecturers gave me a look behind the ‘Private Equity scenes’, parties with whom we Catapulters are often in contact. This has already helped me several times in predicting and understanding certain choices. The networking aspect is an important aspect of the course that should not be underestimated. Through the course, I got to know many people working in the field. In the meantime, I have been in business contact with several fellow students and guest lecturers. I think that, as we develop further, these contacts will become more and more valuable.
The course is quite tough, how have you been able to combine it with your job at Catapult?
Planning and communicating, those are the two keywords. In busy periods, we have to work hard at Catapult. But when the course needed some extra attention, my desk was literally and figuratively swept clean, and I could fully focus on studying. My colleagues at Catapult knew that this was the only way for me to excel on both fronts. By planning and communicating well, there was not a single time that work and study came into conflict with each other. Of course, I also had to study a lot in the evenings and weekends, but that’s just part of life when you are studying alongside a busy job.
Are you finished now, or are you already thinking about a new study?
As a Register Valuator, you will have to regularly attend education courses, especially those for which you receive required accreditation points. At the moment, I am not thinking about a new study, but I do plan to follow courses to gain knowledge related to aspects of my work that I find interesting.
Finally, we ask Boudewijn Wellink and Kenneth Derksen what achieving the title of Register Valuator by Sebastiaan means for Catapult:
It is clever that Sebastiaan has completed this course with flying colours, especially as he worked on several intensive projects at Catapult. It is admirable how Sebastiaan combined his work and study so well in the past two years. With this additional expertise, he can support our clients with complex issues even better. Professional business valuations are becoming increasingly relevant and have a strategic function. In a world with a lot of uncertainty, providing insight into value creation and related risks is more important than ever before.