April 26, 2017

Our Team

Finwise was founded in 2016 and provides independent corporate finance advisory.

Our team brings you a rare combination of experienced financial experts with a successful track record gained within the industry.  Our approach is practical, common sense and result driven. We offer professionalism and maintain the highest ethical standards.

Key people:

Patrick Soetens – Managing Partner/Founder

Patrick Soetens has more than 20 years of experience within the financial services sector in Europe.

Patrick started his career in 1994 at a leading Belgian bank and moved to the bank’s Irish office at the end of 1997. This was the start of an international career within financial markets, corporate credit and portfolio management.

In 2008 he was hired by online bank Keytrade Bank and he moved to Geneva for the setup and launch of a greenfield Swiss bank subsidiary. He was its Managing Director until 2016 when he decided to return to Belgium with his family.

He set up Finwise in August 2016.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Commerce & Finance and a Master in Corporate Finance.

Ferdi Renier, Partner – Corporate Finance





Ferdi Renier brings over 30 years of experience within the financial sector gained at Generale Bank, Fortis, Merrill Lynch, QATIII Group and Baker Tilly Belgium.   For over 12 years he worked within M&A at Fortis and became the bank’s Co-Head of M&A assisting Fortis clients with capital raising, acquisitions and selling companies.

He subsequently switched to the Private Banking and Wealth Management side both at Fortis Bank and Merrill Lynch and worked at a successful private equity fund.  More recently he was an advisor for the corporate finance department of Baker Tilly Belgium.

David Donkers,  Partner – Corporate Finance





David has a broad General, Operational and Financial Management experience within public quoted blue-chip companies as well as his own start-ups. 

He started his career with KPMG PEAT MARWICK and moved to DHL WORLDWIDE EXPRESS afterwards. He then joined FUJITSU CONSULTING in 1999 as European Finance Director partially from his base in London.  He then became CFO of SAP BeLux, the world leader in corporate software and solutions.   In 2007 David started his entrepreneurial chapter by founding IT-Jobbank.be (later BE-ICT) which he successfully  divested in 2013. 

He subsequently joined SDM-Valorum (before Valorum), Belgium’s biggest independent Corporate Finance House in the capacity of partner.  Mid 2017 David became owner of the holding company Cable Invest and CEO of DAGO NV, one of the local market leaders in structured cabling.

René Spiliers – Partner – Corporate Finance

René Spiliers built a career of over 30 years in the financial sector, specialising in investment banking and wealth management. During his career, he held executive positions at Van Lanschot Belgium, Bank Degroof Petercam and ABN Amro Bank Belgium. From 2012 to 2014 he took up a directorship within a start-up involved in smart daylighting technology. He has  also been active for quite some time in student housing as an independent entrepreneur, and as from 2019, he’ll be contributing to a university hospital as an external board member.

Jan Vorstermans – Partner 





Jan Vorstermans is the former Chief Operating Officer of Telenet.  He started his career at Telenet as a member of Telenet’s Executive Team in 2003 as Senior Vice President Technology, Engineering and Network Operations.  In 2013 he decided to seek for a new challenge and use his experience to assist young entrepreneurs in their start-up phase via his own company.  He is a specialist in Venture Capital and Early stage companies and has strong expertise in ICT & Digital Transformation topics.

Thierry Smets – Senior Adviser





Thierry Smets was Chief Executive Officer of Puilaetco Dewaay Private Bankers between 2011 and Feb 2018.  He joined Puilaetco as Member of the Executive Board in 2004 in charge of Operations and was previously active in management positions within KBL epb group in Luxembourg and Switzerland.

Marc Strijbos – Senior Adviser (Life Sciences & Healthcare)





Marc brings international expertise in the Life Sciences – and related markets.

His experience includes commercial and financial management, leadership of R&D activities, M&A, plant management and creation of joint-ventures and new establishments to support global expansion. After more than 20 years in senior management with multinationals active in Life Sciences, Fine Chemicals, Medical Devices and related Distribution, he settled in 2007 in Belgium to start his advisory company. Since than numerous assignments were completed, including merger & acquisition due diligence projects, commercial strategy development, and interim roles as COO and CEO for global groups. These included businesses in Diagnostics and Imaging technologies.

His focus is on supporting start-up and mature companies in the above mentioned fields and, in conjunction with Finwise, offering financial expertise and fundraising capabilities. Depending on the requirements, additional experts from his network can be added to the project team – ensuring a fast and holistic approach.

Marc holds a bachelors degree in Microbiology and attended the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College, USA as well as various advanced courses at the University of Virginia, The Mahler Institute in New Jersey and at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland.