Full speed ahead with MandA.be, the Belgian counterpart of MenA.nl.

Last modified: 18 December 2023 13:26
A conversation with the new Community Manager of the Belgian M&A Community.

Photo by Vincent Gorissen

She herself comes from the M&A legal field, having worked, among others, at Simont Braun – Corporate, M&A, and Capital Markets. Charlotte Declercq walked the walk, seasoned in the world of mergers and acquisitions. While in the Netherlands, the Amsterdam Zuidas serves as the center for dealmakers and lawyers, in our neighboring Belgium, it’s mainly the Brussels business district.

Charlotte Declercq on her role as Community Manager: “I was looking for more engagement with people in their jobs. In this role, it’s crucial to connect people. And that challenge is exactly what I aspire to.”

Since she took on the role in September, her work has been all about networking. Networking to establish the M&A Community in Belgium, following the Dutch example. Connecting Minds, Unlocking Values, Empowering Deals. And: Making Alliances & Accelerating Growth. Many English terms, but with a clear reason.

“The language of the M&A Community in Belgium is English,” says Charlotte Declercq. “This tradition also has to do with our bilingual society. Practically, Dutch and French are not an option. Solely Flemish is not viable either; we want to reflect the Belgian market, bring everyone together, create value. And that goes beyond the language barrier.”

‘The strength of your M&A Community is known to us’

“That’s why our new website MandA.be, scheduled to go online at the end of this year/beginning of next year, will be in English,” continues Charlotte Declercq. “Just like the deal database, which we hope to launch in 2024. With background stories on significant mergers and acquisitions and interviews with prominent dealmakers. Quality content, providing information that members and partners truly benefit from. Following the Dutch example. Because the strength and impact of your M&A Community are also known to us.”

In the run-up to the launch of the new website MandA.be, Ansarada has stepped forward as the main sponsor, and PwC has become the Platinum Partner.

A flying start, but first, there’s, of course, the event of the year, the 6th edition of the M&A Awards Belgium. On Wednesday, November 23, the winners will be announced in Palais 10 of the Brussels Expo. Seven categories, a six-member jury led by Lieve Creten, and that new Community Manager.

M&A events for the Belgian market

Charlotte Declercq: “I kick off with the most important event of the year. That’s super exciting, to be present at the Awards edition 2023 in my new role. And, of course, there are new events coming up. I am open to ideas and, for example, looking at the cycling M&A professionals that you gather annually in the Netherlands. That would be really something for our Belgian Community.”

So many similarities with the Netherlands, but there are also differences. “The mentality and culture are different here,” says Charlotte Declercq. “Belgians are less quick to approach, don’t just walk up to someone, share deals less than the Dutch tend to do. And in Belgium, we consider good food important, definitely a challenge during events and round tables.”

The initial reactions to the plans for the Belgian M&A website are enthusiastic, as the Community Manager knows. “This is new in the Belgian market, but – as mentioned – we know the success story in the Netherlands, and that receives purely positive feedback. We are going to establish the counterpart. Yes, following the Dutch example, but definitely in our own style. To meet the needs of the Belgian market. A wonderful challenge, I’m looking forward to it!”

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