Meet the team

Sam Desimpel, Founder.


From a business perspective, Sam gained his first five years of professional experience in business development and communications at internet platforms including Bobex, eBay and IntroNiche in the Benelux. He has also worked for two years as a freelance strategic marketing advisor at the advertising agency McCann. From an investment perspective, Sam manages a liquid portfolio on behalf of his family office and helps to monitor and screen various investments.

Sam sits in a personal capacity on various boards of administration and investments committees. Next to that, Sam is a general partner in various limited partnerships ranging from US small cap private equity, social impact to real estate.

Sam graduated from the Catholic University of Leuven with a degree in Law and also holds an Executive Master’s Degree in Marketing and Advertising from the Solvay Business School. Sam founded in early 2012.

Languages: NL, EN, FR, DE


Xavier de Villepin


Xavier de Villepin started his career at the Financial Times in London as researcher and financial analyst for The Banker magazine. After his experience in London, Xavier moved back to Brussels and worked two years and a half at Bank Degroof as an institutional relationship manager. He took care of different types of clients such as universities, pension funds, foundations and managed their portfolio’s.

Xavier then decided to become an entrepreneur, and joined In parallel with, Xavier works as a Business Analyst for a boutique consultancy firm, Igneos. He participates in commercial projects for, among others, Planet Parfum, Luminus, Mobistar.

Xavier holds a bachelor degree in civil engineering (EPL – UCL), a master degree in business engineering (LSM – UCL), and followed a master in International Management CEMS (Bocconi – Milan). Xavier joined in December 2013.

Languages: FR, EN, NL, IT


Emma Fau


Emma has over 20 years of professional experience in Brussels, with 14 years experience in carrying out political advocacy work on behalf of the private equity and venture capital industry before the EU Institutions and other international organisations.

In October 2012 Emma became an entrepreneur and currently works for several organisations including Business Angels Europe (BAE), the European confederation of angel investing and represents the interest of Business angels before the EU Institutions.

Emma graduated from University of Zaragoza with a degree in Law and afterwards obtained a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) at the European University in Brussels. Emma joined in November 2013.

Languages: ES, EN, FR


Marie Weijler


Marie has extensive work experience as a paralegal specialised in private law, but switched to financial services.

In 2013, Marie graduated from Leiden University with a degree in law. She spent one year in Paris as an exchange student at Sciences Po, taking French-taught electives in international trade and business. Afterwards, she lived one year in Lima where she studied Spanish at Peru’s top university.

Marie joined in October 2015. She initially combined her work for with a master program at the Catholic University of Leuven. She graduated in July 2016 and soon afterwards she was promoted to Business Development Manager.

Languages: NL, EN, FR


Joel Sandhu


Joel’s experience has focused on creating and maintaining relationships. His work has spanned several different sectors including events and the food industry.

Joel is a Mathematics graduate with a special interest in financial mathematics and statistics. Originally from Wales he is now living in Belgium and joined Principal in 2017.

Languages: EN, FR

joel(at) bvba

Place Marcel Broodthaers 8

B-1060 Brussels, Belgium   |   +32 2 892 39 13