Professor Jaap Koelewijn leaves Nyenrode after a riot surrounding an investment fund


After NRCrevealed last year that duped US investors are trying to have ING prosecuted for missing an international investment fraud via ING accounts, Nyenrode professor Jaap Koelewijn shed light on the issue on radio station BNR. Koelewijn did not consider the investors’ case against ING promising. “Primarily they have to go to the perpetrators,” he said referring to the two Dutch main suspects. “They cheated them.”

Remarkably, Koelewijn then established close business relationships with Michel G., one of the two main suspects. Koelewijn himself became director and billboard of Eurofonds, an investment fund that invests in Irish rental properties. He also became chairman of the supervisory board of Topfund.

Both investment funds come from G.’s sleeve, as revealed the FD last week. Koelewijn also agreed that G. could not work under his own stained name.

G. has already been sentenced to imprisonment for investment fraud. However, Koelewijn – one of the country’s best-known experts on corporate governance – was forgiving towards him. Koelewijn told the FD that G. is “not proud” of what he had done. And: “Someone with regret deserves a second chance.”

Also read the story about the investment fraud of Michel G.

Koelewijn himself does not get that second chance. Nyenrode Business University has announced that Koelewijn and the university have decided “in consultation” that he “will end his position as professor at Nyenrode”.

The internet page of the ex-professor has already been removed. Where Koelewijn still speaks on Linkedin of ‘(temporary) withdrawal’ from a number of functions, Nyenrode does not allow that space. “Jaap Koelewijn will not return as a professor.” The university to which Koelewijn has been affiliated for one day a week since 2007 argues that the publications about its business activities are the direct cause for the break.

Also read this background piece on part-time ‘practical professors’ such as Koelewijn

Koelewijns Linkedin profile shows that he has also resigned his duties as a board member of the pension fund of the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) and will not become chairman of the supervisory board of investor SynVest.

Koelewijn (64) studied economics at the Free University and obtained his doctorate on banking supervision. He subsequently worked for asset manager Mees Pierson and as head of investigation at the AFM. As a professor of corporate finance at Nyenrode, Koelewijn became known as one of the experts in the field of investment policy and good corporate governance. He became a columnist for it FD and has appeared frequently in the media, including as an expert in the field of integrity in the financial sector.

The fact that Koelewijn focused on good corporate governance and integrity means that he is now being judged extra hard for the state of affairs at Topfund and Eurofonds.

Koelewijn says by phone that he has inserted a radio silence and refers to crisis spokesman Charles Huijskens. He says that his client is “severely affected”. He states that Koelewijn ‘made a wrong assessment’, but that there is nothing wrong with the investment funds themselves: no fraud has been committed or money has been diverted. Moreover, the funds were deliberately set up in such a way that G. – who is leaving on 1 October – could not access the money.

He already seemed to realize last week that Koelewijn would have a hard time. Then he wrote on Linkedin: “Against the public” where there is smoke, there is fire “is only to fight like the foolish hero Don Quixote.”

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