Duval brings in Henrik Bærentsen as head of MENA corporate venturing

25 January 2019 Consultancy-me.com 4 min. read

Boutique business advisory Duval Union Consulting has brought in entrepreneur Henrik Bærentsen to head up its corporate venturing practice in MENA.

Following the recruitment of Martial Dahan to its Dubai office toward the end of last year, the boutique Belgian-origin management consultancy and digital transformation specialist Duval Union Consulting has made another key regional appointment, with entrepreneur Henrik Bærentsen brought on board as the firm’s new Director of Corporate Venturing for MENA.

With its founding office in the dynamic city of Ghent in the north of Belgium, Duval Union last year expanded its operations abroad, establishing a permanent base in Amsterdam and spreading its energetic, disruptive spirit to Dubai in a joint venture with local luxury fashion success story the Chalhoub Group. Acting as a regional headquarters, the Dubai office serves both clients in the UAE and greater MENA region.

Following the firm’s pattern of recruiting digital entrepreneurs, the latest member of its growing MENA team, Bærentsen, comes to Duval after a period establishing the online eyewear distributor LensesDirect.me, and altogether brings more than a decade of business development and leadership experience garnered in a variety of roles across the UK, Europe, China and the Middle East – the latter where he has been based for the past seven years.Henrik Bærentsen, Director Corporate Venturing - Duval Union ConsultingAt Duval, Bærentsen in his new Director of Corporate Venturing role will be tasked with helping corporate clients define and execute strategies to accelerate their innovation and growth via structural collaboration with start-ups and scale-ups, with the pursuit of innovation now pushing the corporate venturing share of the total capital investment market to record levels of above 20 percent. According to Accenture, nearly two thirds of the Global 500 companies have now made at least one such investment.

Duval Union is not unfamiliar with these trends and the underlying strategy and benefits. Indeed, the consulting firm’s CEO and founder Dado Van Peteghem has co-authored a best-selling book on the subject; ‘Corporate Venturing – Accelerate Growth Through Collaboration with Start-ups’, released in the Middle East last year following the publication of an earlier digital transformation guide written with fellow Duval CEO and founding partner Jo Caudron.

“We’ve been exploring Corporate Venturing for our customers intensively the last 18 months,” confirms Duval Union MENA Managing Director Nick Vinckier, providing insight on the appointment of Bærentsen. “Henrik’s experience, network and DNA matched one hundred percent with what we were looking for and we are very happy with him joining our company as director of our Corporate Venturing pillar.”

For Bærentsen’s part, the new corporate venturing practice director adds; “We understand corporates and start-ups; their needs, their ecosystem and their expectations. By helping corporates define their objectives and identifying the right tools and programmes we ensure a successful journey and hence helping them look outside their own walls for inspiration, innovation and for the future.” A recent Strategy& report ranked the UAE ahead of the global average on its Scale-up Readiness Index.