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Get to know our board members

Michel Akkermans, through his investment company Pamica NV, is Executive Chairman and reference shareholder of Approach. Michel is a serial entrepreneur, private investor, adviser and board member, serving on the boards of public and private companies and private equity funds. Learn more about his activities.

He was co-founder, chairman and CEO of Clear2Pay, a finance technology company focusing on global payment solutions, before it was acquired by FIS (Nasdaq: FIS) in 2014. Before Clear2Pay, Michel was founder, CEO and chairman of FICS, a fintech company specialising in online banking and compliance reporting. In 1999, FICS merged with Security First Technologies, creating the leader in Internet banking - S1 Corporation (Nasdaq: SONE), with Michel as its chairman. He also was executive chairman of Data4S, a data analytics specialist, focusing on anti‑money laundering applications. 

Michel holds an MSc in electronic engineering and computer sciences and a degree in economics and finance from the University of Leuven in Belgium. 

David Vanderoost is Chief Executive Officer of Approach.

David joined Approach in 2011 and was appointed a Board member in 2012 and CEO in 2015.

Prior to his leadership position at Approach, David worked for various global Management Consulting companies, including KPMG and Accenture. He was involved in various complex, cross-border IT transformation programmes in various industries, such as the Financial Services, Public Sector, Retail and Telecoms.

As a former security consultant for Proximus/Telindus and deputy CISO of Carrefour Group, David also has a strong background in cybersecurity.

Passionate about cryptography and electronics, David wrote his Master’s Thesis on smartcard security and side-channel attacks.

David holds an MSc in Electromechanical Engineering and an Executive Master’s degree in ICT Audit & Security. David is a certified ICT professional: ICT Auditor (CISA certification from the ISACA), Security Auditor (ISO 27001 Lead Auditor) and ITIL (best practices in IT Service Management).

Bart Preneel is Director of Approach.

Bart is a full professor in cryptography, information security and privacy at the KU Leuven, where he heads the COSIC Research group. He has been visiting professor at 5 universities in Europe and has been research fellow at the UC California at Berkeley. He has served as president of the International Association for Cryptologic Research from 2008-2013 and he has coordinated several large EU projects in cybersecurity.  

Bart is co-founder and chairman of LSEC – Leaders in Security, board member of the Cyber Security Coalition Belgium and of the start-up NextAuth; he is advisory board member of Nym Technologies and Tioga Capital Partners.

Bart holds a PhD and MSc in Civil Engineering (Electronics) from the KU Leuven. He received an honorary CISM award from ISACA, the RSA Award for Excellence in the Field of Mathematics (2014) and was nominated as IT Person of the Year 2021 by Computable.

Frank Staut is Director of Approach.

Currently, Frank is a managing partner at InvestLink, a private investment company which invests mainly in IT and tech companies. Frank holds several board positions.

Prior to starting InvestLink, Frank co-founded SecureLink and was CTO. SecureLink started in 2003 and over the years grew quite significantly, both organically as well as via acquisitions. The company started organically in the Netherlands in 2008, did some small acquisitions and as of 2012, attracted external capital to strengthen its growth. In 2016, the organisation did some major acquisitions in multiple countries.

SecureLink was sold to Orange in 2019 and at that time SecureLink Group was a group with more than 650 employees and active in 7 countries. Frank was CTO of SecureLink Group until the end of 2017.

Frank holds an MSc in electricity-electronics.