Expert Investors

Expert Investors

Arno Otto (1973) is Managing Director Digital at RTL Netherlands. With 5 TV channels, 2 radio stations and a top-10 digital presence, RTL Netherlands is the leading entertainment network in the Dutch market. Prior to joining RTL he was a Commercial Director Europe for AdLINK Group, MD of VNU’s MediaNet and for DoubleClick both in its early launching years. Arno studied business and economics, is co-author of the book ‘Internet Advertising & Marketing’ (2000) and was president of the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) in its launching year.
Maarten van den Biggelaar (1955)
is a media entrepreneur since 1980, when he founded the successful business monthly Quote in the Netherlands. He changed the Dutch magazine arena by introducing a number of successful (often licenses of foreign) titles like Elle, Santé, Red and Fiscalert. In 2006, he sold his publishing firm to Hachette Filippachi Media (HFM) and became CEO of HFM Nederland. Maarten was founder of Planet Internet, once one of the biggest ISPs of the Netherlands, and TV music channel The Box. Currently he is owner of Bigglab.com, a company that develops a number of products itself and invests in other companies. He is also still involved in HFM in the role of creative director.
Erik Hoekstra (1963) has more than 20 years of media experience working in a variety of marketing, publishing and general management positions in B2B and directory markets. For the last 10 years he has been involved in the creation of many new online products. He has been instrumental in transforming VNU Media, where Erik was both CEO and shareholder, from a traditional B2B print publisher to a 100% online company. VNU Media is a leading online media company in The Netherlands and owns a portfolio of job boards and IT related websites. VNU Media was recently sold to the Persgroep. Erik is currently CEO of the Telefoongids (DTG), the online and offline directory services company in The Netherlands.
Jop Pollmann (1967) is an entrepreneur active in the mobile and clothing industry. Until recently, he was chairman of the Supervisory Board of Momac, market leader in building mobile websites for media companies in the Dutch market.
Jop has worked for VNU Marketing Information Europe from 1996 to 2003, ending up as COO. After that he was managing director of Abacus Europe, a division of Doubleclick and Commercial Director of ANP, the largest Dutch Press Agency. Jop has a Law degree from the University of Amsterdam.
Rob van den Bergh (1950) has been working for VNU, a large Dutch publishing company, from 1980
to 2005, the last 13 years as a member of the Board of Directors and CEO. Rob is currently chairman of the Supervisory Board of N.V. Deli Maatschappij and a member of the Supervisory Boards of TomTom N.V., Ahold N.V., Nationale Goede Doelen Loterijen N.V. and Pon Holdings B.V. He is also chairman of the Supervisory Board of Isala Klinieken Foundation, a member of the investment committee of NPM Capital N.V. and a member of the Advisory Board of CVC Capital Partners.
Tito Alai (1965) is involved in various initiatives in Africa after his departure as Group Chief Commercial Officer for the Zain Group. Tito’s early career was at Unilever where he joined as a management trainee, fulfilled various functions and ended as International brand development manager for the low-income segment globally. After Unilever, he joined African Lakes PLC to build their Pan African internet business Africa Online. After that he headed European Film Category marketing at Eastman Kodak Company, where he was responsible for the Kodak brand and marketing communications across 90 Countries in Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe. Tito joined MSI Cellular in 2002 to build its commercial functions and capabilities and drove the rebranding of the entire group as Celtel in January 2004. Tito holds a bachelor of commerce of the University of Nairobi and gained an MBA at Kingston University in Surrey.
Until 2012, Bert Wiggers (1960) has been a director at @Leisure Group, the Benelux market leader and one of the largest players in the European market for accommodation rentals, including holiday homes, holiday parks and hotels. Prior to that, Bert has been working for VNU and Sanoma for 22 years. He was co-founder of Ilse media Group, an online publishing company also operating a search engine. He was one of the initiators of the biggest Dutch news sites Nu.nl and the most visited website in the Netherlands Startpagina.nl. From 2007 to 2009 Bert was responsible for the internet strategy of daughter companies of Sanoma Magazines International in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia in his role as New Media Director at Sanoma Magazines International.
Matthias Boswinkel (1959) brings a wealth of expertise in (sponsored) magazine publishing. He currently is director and owner of Studio Room, a renowned Dutch design studio focusing on magazines and their online extensions. Studio Room works for Dutch companies and institutes like Albert Heijn, Rijksmuseum, Triodos Bank and some major publishing houses. Before, Matthias worked at Sanoma Uitgevers/VNU Tijdschriften in both editorial and business departments. Among others, he was editor in chief of the largest Dutch women’s magazines. Matthias Boswinkel studied Dutch language and literature.

Peter Tordoir (1952) is managing director of Keesing, a publisher of entertainment publications in Holland, Belgium and France. He was involved in many publishing activities all over Europe and before that he worked several years in New York for publishing company VNU/Claritas, specialized in marketing research information and analysis services.
Dirk Kam (1953) has been active in Africa since 1979. He is a Social impact investor, a.o. founder of Mesics Foundation, a charity promoting self reliance in African countries. He is currently Director of Barefoot Power Africa, a company offering affordable micro solar solutions. Prior to this, Dirk was MD of Kam Staal (suppliers of steel to industry).
With seven TV channels, a growing and successful digital unit, a division that ventures into new consumer markets and a developing live entertainment department, RTL Nederland is the leading all round media and entertainment company in the Netherlands. At the helm of this company is the 42-year-old Bert Habets, who has been the Chief Executive Officer for the past four and a half years.
Derk Sauer (1952) started his journalistic career in 1970 as a Belfast correspondent for Dutch Broadcasting Company - VPRO. He was co-founder of a TV production company and producer of many documentaries before being appointed editor in chief of one of the leading weekly publications in Holland Nieuwe Revu in 1982. In 1990 Derk opened a joint venture in USSR together with Union of Journalism of Soviet Union. He was an editor-in-chief and a publisher of “Moscow Magazine”, the first glossy magazine in USSR. Apart from it Derk Sauer launched a newspaper called “Moscow Guardian”. In 1992 Derk Sauer and Annemarie van Gaal founded the company Independent Press and launched “The Moscow Times” newspaper. After being CEO of Independent Media up till 2012, growing it into Russia’s leading magazine and newspaper publishing house and selling it to Sanoma Media Magazines in 2004, Derk is currently CEO at RBK, a Russian publishing house staffing 2,500 people offering news for the B2B market, but also owning a TV station and dating sites.
Derk Haank (1953) was appointed CEO of Springer Science+Business Media in February 2004 and still holds this function. After obtaining a degree in economics and business administration and spending a few years as a researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Mr Haank began his career in publishing in 1986 at Elsevier Science, where he held various management positions, spending part of this time based in the UK. He was appointed CEO of Misset, Elsevier’s B-to-B division, in 1991. From 1998 to 2004, Mr Haank was CEO of Elsevier Science and was also an Executive Board member at Reed Elsevier. In the little spare time he has, he is a passionate reader and loves sports.
Maureen Meeng (1966) has been involved in business start-ups, both multi-national and private enterprises and she enjoys the challenge of entrepreneurial opportunities. She’s interested in all kind of media, having had experience behind the scene as well as in front of the camera. She started her career at publishing company VNU. In 1996 she was posted to the Czech Republic and in January 1999 she moved to Romania to establish and head the joint venture Sanoma-Hearst Romania. In 2002 she started Re:ply, a Publishing and Communication Agency. In 2010 Maureen and her family decided to pursue their dream of living in Africa and moved to Dar es Salaam. After working with Made in Africa TV LTD she set up her own company in Nairobi, focusing on Media Production, Consultancy & Investment. Maureen holds a masters degree in business administration from the University of Groningen.
Rob Schölvinck (1949) is active as a lawyer/notary in Haarlem, the Netherlands.
Stefan Rijkaart van Cappellen (1974) started in digital publishing projects for two large Dutch financial companies. After this he founded various successful internet companies with his brothers. This resulted in internet concepts varying from financial websites like beurs.nl, to the Dutch golf association gvn.nl and the largest Dutch weather website buienradar.nl. Today, after having sold these concepts, Stefan owns through his company again various weather websites including Europe and other regions including Africa such as http://sat24.com/af.

In 1994 Bas Rasker (1970) started two niche tour operators, SnowTrex and SunTrex, which were later rebranded as Jiba. In the following years, Bas continued to build this brand and in 2006 sold it to the Sundio Group. In 2004 he acquired Vakantiereiswijzer and used this platform to launch Zoover. From 2007, Bas has been actively involved in the management of Zoover, where his focus is marketing and commerce strategies. In 2009 he acquired weeronline.nl and has since built it into one of the largest Dutch weather portals. In 2011, Bas and two partners launched two private equity funds; a technology-focused fund, which, in partnership with AgentschapNL, invests in early stage innovative companies; and a larger fund focused on e-commerce opportunities. Bas studied Industrial Engineering at Enschede.