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University of Groningen Business School

Lifelong learning
Business School Executive masters Executive Master of M&A and Valuation

Meet one of our part-time Executive Master of M&A and Valuation students: Richard de Ruiter

Richard Ruiter

Name: Richard de Ruiter

Current degree programme : Executive Master of M&A and Valuation at the University of Groningen Business School (UGBS) / Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

Previous degree programme : Master’s in Business Administration – Business Development at the University of Groningen (UG)

Position : Senior Project Manager Acquisition Finance & Structured Lending at ING

Richard de Ruiter is currently following the Executive Master of M&A and Valuation. He started in September 2018 and will complete the degree programme by the end of 2019. Richard is 40 years old and lives together with his wife and two children of ages 5 and 3 in Zwolle. He is a sporty and energetic person and likes to travel with his family. You notice this energy not only in this interview, but also in the fact that he knows how to combine having a young family, a demanding job and taking on a degree programme.

What are your responsibilities at work?

I work at the ING Acquisition Finance Business department. My department deals with acquisition financing such as leveraged buy-outs, management buy-outs (buy-ins), strategic acquisitions and recaps up to a €6 million senior debt. I have my own network of private equity parties and corporate finance offices, but I also receive leads from the 140 business advisors who serve more than 500,000 SMEs in the Netherlands. ING has a national operating area and the department is therefore split into a North and a South team. The head office is located in Amsterdam, with hubs in Zwolle and Eindhoven. Amsterdam is home to the most important stakeholders such as risk management, legal and private equity parties. In addition to the larger, more complex transactions, I am – as a cooperative foreman of ‘Team North’ - also involved in coaching and guiding, as well as the approval process. We are end-to-end responsible, which means in practice that we – as deal captain – are responsible for credit application, assessment of financial information, due diligence reports and purchase agreements, the preparation of the quotation and deeds up to the closing at the notary. ING’s culture is characterized by being no-nonsense, professional, reliable and commercial. The pace is tremendous, but there is also room for fun, which I find important in a healthy working environment.

What prompted you to take the Executive Master of M&A and Valuation?

I wanted to broaden and deepen my knowledge. This Master’s has a lot in common with my current position in the field of valuation. However, I always operate from the buyer’s point of view and only deal with the final phase of the acquisition process. That’s why I thought it would be interesting to look at a transaction from an investor’s or seller’s point of view, in which the valuation and future returns of a company take centre stage.

This Executive Master is largely characterised by case-focused learning. How have you experienced this so far?

I chose the Executive Master of M&A and Valuation at the UGBS/VU precisely because of this approach.

There is a lot of interaction with fellow students and there are many top speakers from the business community and private equity parties. The programme has a strong link with practice, which makes it very interesting. In addition, the structure really appeals to me because the entire deal process is covered in chronological order; from strategy, accounting & modelling, valuation methods and techniques to closing.

You’ve been studying since September. Have you already been able to apply the knowledge you gained in the first half of your studies?

I certainly have! In my current position, I have already benefitted fully from this programme. I notice this in the discussions with clients and private equity parties, but also internally with my colleagues. I can now start a discussion from a much broader perspective, and I have become a much better professional in terms of content.

What’s it like for you to combine your studies with your family and work?

The degree programme is an in-depth investment, which means that I will be off the radar now and then for my family and friends for a year. It is quite intense, but if you plan it well it does work. Moreover, it is a precise time period and it also gives me an incredible amount of energy. The group process with my fellow students is a great asset; it is valuable and a lot of fun. These are people I’m going to run into after finishing the programme.

How do you see your future? And does the programme help you with that?

For me, the degree programme is a great way to take a next step within ING, but it also helps to be of added value for an investor, a corporate finance firm or an accountancy firm outside ING. I am grateful that ING supports me in this and that I can discuss my ambition and career planning in an open dialogue.

I obviously don’t know what the future holds for me, but with this degree programme I have clearly broadened my choices. I have grown personally, and have learned a lot in terms of content and I’ve met people I will continue to see for the rest of my life.

Last modified:28 February 2020 11.08 a.m.