Meet the team

Sam Desimpel, Founder.

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Sam founded in early 2012 in response to his business and investment interests.  From a business perspective, Sam started in business development and communications roles 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. In addition, Sam is a general partner in various limited partnerships ranging from US small cap private equity, social impact to real estate and is vertical lead for private funds.

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.

Languages: NL, EN, FR, DE


Xavier de Villepin


Xavier de Villepin started his career as a researcher and analyst at the Financial Times and The Banker magazine in London followed by a stint as an institutional manager at Bank Degroof in Belgium where he took care of different types of clients such as universities, pension funds, foundations and managed their portfolios.

Xavier then joined in December 2013 where he focuses on members in Belgium and Luxembourg.  In parallel with, Xavier works as a senior consultant for a boutique consultancy firm, Igneos. He participates in commercial and strategic projects for, among others, Planet Parfum, Luminus, Orange, Vaillant.

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

Languages: FR, EN, NL, IT


Emma Fau


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

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 and connects us with the EU entrepreneur community as well as liaising with members interested in Spanish markets.

Languages: ES, EN, FR


Lucy Mori

Lucy Mori 2018

Lucy Mori joined in 2018 to manage back-office operations and provide general management support.  She has worked extensively with SMEs and start-ups in the UK, France and Belgium in the real estate, tech, retail and professional services sectors. Previous roles include UK Country Manager Sephora (LVMH), Development Director Le Bon Marche (LVMH), Senior Associate Chapman Taylor, Didcot Garden Town Development Manager, Managing Director Makower Architects, Designer Harrods, Consultant KLMORI.

Lucy is a qualified architect, is a graduate of Cambridge University and has an MBA from INSEAD.

Languages: EN, FR


Shiran Nusbaum

Shiran is a venture adviser specialising in tech and real estate. He was formerly the co-founder of a digital health startup and sourced technology for corporations such as Intel. He focuses mainly on tech co-investments and VC funds.

Shiran graduated from the University of Tel Aviv with a bachelor’s degree and a double major in economics and philosophy.

Languages:  EN, HE


Joel Sandhu


Joel’s experience has focused on creating and maintaining relationships and he is the account manager for many members based in the UK. His work has spanned several different sectors including real estate, 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 where he leads on real estate and infrastructure deals.

Languages: EN, FR

joel(at) bvba

Place Marcel Broodthaers 8

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