François M. de Visscher, a native of Belgium, has been an active advisor to business owning families for over 30 years, mostly in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. In 1990, he founded de Visscher & Co., one of the world’s leading independent financial consulting firms for family and closely-held companies. Over the last 25 years, he and his team have advised over 300 family companies and family offices worldwide on issues of liquidity, growth capital business and family governance. Prior to opening his own firm he was a partner at Smith Barney, where he founded and ran Wall Street’s first Family Business Group. Experiencing the growing desire of Single Family Offices for direct co-investments with other families, de Visscher & Co. developed in 2010 “Family Capital Partners” as a network of Single Family Offices to make direct co-investments with other families. (“Families Investing in Families®”.).
Mr. de Visscher is a director and shareholder of his own family’s global enterprise, N.V. Bekaert S.A. Headquartered in Belgium; Bekaert was founded by his great-grandfather in 1880. Today, the Bekaert Group has sales of $5.0 Billion in over 120 countries manufacturing and marketing a wide variety of steel wire and related products. Today the Bekaert Group is controlled by the Bekaert Family across four generations.
Mr. de Visscher is Honorary Consul of Belgium in the United States and serves as Chairman of The Society of Friends of Belgium in America.
Among his contributions to the field, Mr. de Visscher served as a director and president of the Family Firm Institute, (Boston, MA). He is the past Chairman of the European Family Office Conference, and a contributor to many publications, including The Wall Street Journal, LA Times, NY Times and many others. He has been a full-time contributing editor of Family Business Magazine. In 2003, Mr. de Visscher received the Richard Beckhard Practice Award from the Family Firm Institute in recognition of his many contributions to the field of family businesses.
Mr. de Visscher is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of CPA’s. Mr. de Visscher holds a Bachelor of Economics honors degree from Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) and MBA from Rutgers University.
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