As a child, Leendert was already impressed by the bookkeeper. ‘He used to brief my parents on the performance of their company and I found this incredibly intriguing. These annual visits helped me to determine my choice of study and career later on.’ And indeed, after gaining his degrees, he entered the field of accountancy. Leendert gained considerable experience at companies such as KPMG which came in very useful when he became an investment manager. ‘I know how financiers and investors look at financial key economic statistics and also how you formulate these statistics.’ Of course, there is sometimes an area of tension. But a past master with figures like Leendert usually sees very quickly where the problem lies. And with his talent for improvisation, he comes up with solutions in no time.
He is also able to put this particular combination of knowledge, experience and skills to effective use at Stratfield. ‘However, before I come up with a financial solution, I still first need to know who the person is and what kind of situation it involves. Shareholders often call with an invitation to come for a cup of coffee. What it really boils down to at that moment is listening and trying to get the question behind the question on the table. People who listen well often only need a few words. Listening may well be my greatest talent. That, and my sense of justice. And, on the basis of this, thinking up the most profitable solution that fully meets the requirements of our clients.’