Frank Vlayen was appointed Group Managing Partner in 2015, succeeding Waterland’s founder Rob Thielen. After 8 years in this position, Frank Vlayen will in May 2023 pass the baton to Cedric Van Cauwenberghe, who has been with the firm since 2006 and will succeed Frank as Group Managing Partner. Cedric has been elected unanimously by all Waterland Partners.
Under Frank’s leadership, Waterland grew into the leading pan-European buy-and-build investor, more than tripling its funds under management to over € 10 billion whilst consistently delivering top returns to its investors. During this same period, Waterland significantly increased its team to more than 150 professionals and expanded its geographical footprint to 12 offices in 10 European countries.
Cedric joined Waterland in 2006 with a strong background as an entrepreneur, investor, and management consultant. He was promoted to Partner in 2012 and subsequently to Managing Partner in 2018. In his new role as Group Managing Partner, he will be responsible for the day-to-day management of Waterland and chair its Investment Committee. Cedric will also be responsible for Investor Relations as well as continue to lead transactions in the Belgian market.
Frank Vlayen commented: “Since Cedric joined Waterland back in 2006, we have had the pleasure to work closely together. I am therefore well placed to recognize his talents and leadership qualities, and the strong contribution he made to the investments, growth, and success of Waterland. I am convinced that Cedric will continue Waterland’s success and look forward to seeing the next growth phase for Waterland under his leadership. I personally really enjoyed my journey as Group Managing Partner and am looking forward to continuing as Managing Partner with a focus on investments and portfolio companies.”
Cedric Van Cauwenberghe said: “Firstly, I would like to highlight the exceptional job that Frank has done in growing the firm to its leading position in the European mid-market. His track record is truly unique and speaks for itself. During the next year, Frank and I will work closely together to ensure a smooth leadership transition. I am also thankful and humbled by the full backing I received from my Partners. After almost two decades with the firm, I feel well equipped and excited to lead the next chapter in Waterland’s history. We will continue to strengthen our position as leading mid-market buy & build investor in Europe, stay focused on delivering top returns to our LPs and safeguard our firm’s unique culture, deeply rooted in entrepreneurship, pro-activeness, and humility.”
Waterland is an independent European private equity investment group that supports entrepreneurs in realizing their growth ambitions. Waterland currently manages over € 10 billion of investor commitments. Since its founding in 1999, Waterland has grown to more than 150 professionals operating across 12 offices in 10 countries. Waterland is a licensed Alternative Investment Fund Manager under supervision of the Dutch Financial Services Authority (AFM).