Aertssen Group from Stabroek in the Belgian province of Antwerp, was awarded the title ‘Onderneming van het Jaar ®’ 2021 last week. CEO Greg Aertssen received the prestigious award from Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon, under the watchful eye of a limited audience. The 27th edition of the award, organized by EY in collaboration with De Tijd and BNP Paribas Fortis, was originally planned in December, but was postponed due to the corona measures.
A professional jury, with representatives from the top of the Belgian business community and academia, chose Aertssen Group over the other finalists Cegeka, Destiny and Heylen Group. Aertssen Group succeeds Stow, last year’s laureate. The jury chose Aertssen as the winner because of the company’s impressive growth and financial results, its entrepreneurship and international development, innovation culture and corporate governance.
Michèle Sioen, chairwoman of the jury, explains the choice for Aertssen Group: “Aertssen Group simply meets all the criteria that a ‘Company of the Year®’ must meet. Not only has the company been able to grow nicely for years, it also manages to present a solid balance sheet and can count on sound management with external directors. Reinventing itself has almost become a must for many companies in the current corona times, but for Aertssen it is almost a trademark: time and again this family business succeeds in turning setbacks into new opportunities.”
From sole proprietorship to multidisciplinary, internationally active player: in a nutshell, that is the path that Aertssen Group has traveled in sixty years. The group arose in the middle of the last century out of necessity when polder farmer Marcel Aertssen had to make way for the expansion of the Antwerp port.
Yves Aertssen, Co-CEO Aertssen Group: “This award is a special recognition. As a family we are very honored, but above all very proud of our employees and the journey we have traveled together.” Greg Aertssen, CEO Aertssen Group, emphasizes: “Several polder farmers were forced to relocate for the expansion of the Port of Antwerp, but the answer from our family was clear: stay, and build and grow with the port.”
Even today, the port is an important field of activity. The Aertssen team, among other things, prepares sites for construction, supports major chemical players in the construction of new construction or making large petrochemical installations more sustainable, and transports outsized loads such as wind turbine parts. On a site of 22 hectares in the port of Antwerp, Aertssen Group also takes care of the storage and modification of large agricultural and construction machines.
The family character is and remains an important engine in the growth of the company. Today eight members of the second and third generation Aertssen are active in the organisation. They are assisted by a range of external managers. There are currently more than 100 vacancies to perpetuate sustainable growth.
Raf Aertssen, director of Aertssen Group: “A lot is possible together. That has been proven once again. Together with our employees who put in 200% every day. Make decisions every day, consult, satisfy customers and plan for the future. With this recognition as ‘Company of the Year’, we can be proud of our journey.”
Luc Aertssen, director of Aertssen Group: “This recognition is a tribute to all our employees over the years and fills our family with a sense of pride and gratitude.”
Saskia Aertssen, director Aertssen Group: “We are proud and grateful for the sustainable growth that we have achieved together with our employees in recent years. It is the result of hard work, and it has to be said: our employees are all very driven and passionate!”
Source Aertssen Group