A Chief Executive with proven Leadership, Integrity and Passion, Jan has the innate vision, drive and determination to strengthen and implement positive change within large, complex organisations. Born in Europe and raised in the Far East, Middle East, Europe and Africa, he blends international management practices with local customs with exceptional success. Having spent over twenty years living and working in the Middle East Jan has seamlessly integrated into the local culture at senior levels. He is skilled in Strategy Formulation and Execution, Structuring Chaos, Performance Excellence and Governance.
Jan’s clear differentiating factor is his ability to ‘think differently’, communicate effectively, and to take calculated risks. Visionary, with a strong relationship-driven and objective-focused approach, Jan continuously balances the interests of his shareholders, board members and clients. With a firm eye on performance, Jan inspires and drives his teams, even under strong pressures, to achieve long- term sustainable corporate growth and value creation.
Jan has held Senior Executive and C-suite positions in leading International and regional organisations, including the Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). A proven expert at building high performing teams and on identifying and developing local and international talent, Jan’s historical divisional reports have included corporate strategy and business planning, human resources, information technology, finance, corporate communications, corporate administration, risk management, internal and external audit and others.
Fluent in English, French and Spanish, Jan obtained an MBA (Summa Cum Laude) from Lausanne and holds both British and Swiss Nationalities. A believer in making a positive impact, Jan is a non-executive board member of several organisations.
In his role with the Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), Jan directed the design and initial foundations of a new International Financial Centre in 18 months, in accordance with International best practices, including the Regulator, Registrar and Courts of Justice. He led the formulation of ADGM’s strategy, financial ecosystem, initial anchor sectors, and recruited experienced resources into senior management roles. Jan further restructured the development process of the jurisdiction’s rules, laws and regulations which facilitated the Centre’s faster access to market than originally anticipated.
Prior to ADGM, Jan spent nine years co-leading the establishment of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) as the founding Chief Operating Officer of the DFSA. Within this role, Jan staffed, structured and led numerous divisions and drove performance excellence through optimising corporate strategy, business planning, operational policies and procedures, risk management, budgeting and governmental funding.
Previously Jan spent eight years with PricewaterhouseCoopers, working with clients at both board and operational levels, providing thought leadership and advice in the fields of corporate strategy, risk and governance on a global level. He delivered culturally effective corporate governance and risk mandates to over 70 clients in the Middle East, including central banks, national banks, monetary authorities, investments companies, family businesses, government entities, investment authorities and others.
Family is the most important part of Jan’s life and he makes a dedicated effort to spend quality time with his Spouse Rita and their children, Alexander and Tamara, as well as his elder daughter Tania, who is currently studying in Switzerland. By marrying an Arab Jan has married his Spouse’s ‘tribe’ and, as such, Arabic culture plays a large role in life at home.
Second to his family comes Jan’s horses and his passion for sports, most notably polo. He is an active playing member of the Desert Palm Polo Club and a former member of Guards Polo Club. He has played for Team Great Britain in the UAE, and most recently reached the Finals in the Dubai Beach Polo 2015 tournament, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai.
His younger sporting years included cross country running, and mountaineering, counting both a Mount Everest Expedition and the Lunana Snowman Expedition, described by The Lonely Planet as the most difficult high altitude trek in the world.