The Chief Executive Officer is charged by the Board of Directors with the day-to-day management of the company and leads the Executive Management Committee within the framework established by the Board of Directors and under its ultimate supervision.
through his management company Pilovan), Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since 2013 following 3 years as sales engineer at the company. Master industrial civil engineering (HoGent, Ghent university/KULeuven). Prior to Ekopak, Pieter held various management roles at Hertel. He is also vice-chairman of Watercircle, an interest group for water technology companies in Belgium. Belgian nationality.
Els De Keukelaere
(through her management company EDK Management BV ), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since 2020 . Master in applied economics (UGent, Ghent university), MBA in financial management (Vlerick Management School), Registered Accountant since 2004. Previous career roles include: auditor at KPMG Ghent and chief financial officer of Concordia Insurances (Ghent). Belgian nationality.
Tim De Maet
Chief Operating Officer (COO) since 2020 following 9 years as operation manager with the company. Master industrial engineering chemistry with a specialisation in environmental biotechnology (HoGent, Ghent). Over 15 years of experience in the water solutions industry, including Entaco NV and Micron NV. Belgian nationality.
Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) since the beginning of 2022. Master in Environmental Engineering from the University of Ghent. Prior to joining Ekopak mid-2021, Niels was General Manager of the water division at DEME Environmental Contractors. He has 14 years of experience and held various positions at Epas (Veolia), Suez (Benelux, International).
Joost Van Der Spurt
Chief Technology Officer (CTO) since 2014. Master in Chemical Engineering from the University of Leuven. Eight years of experience in the water industry, focusing on process management, research and development, as well as automation.
Chief Disinfection Officer (CDO) since 2006. Master of Engineering with a specialization in Chemistry and Biochemistry (KULeuven, Campus Ghent). Before joining the Issuer, Anne-Mie worked for four years as a quality manager in R&D at a company specialized in the preparation of ready-to-eat vacuum-packed dishes and meal components.
Ekopak’s business is subject to a number of risks. If one or more of these risks arise, Ekopak may be unable to execute its strategy and implement its business plan.
Risk Management Process
Ekopak’s Executive Management Team is responsible for the identification, the assessment and the prioritization of key risk factors as well as for the development and implementation of programs for risk prevention, risk mitigation and risk coverage.
Therefore, the company has installed a process to manage the key risk factors that it may be confronted with. For each risk category, the Executive Management Teams assesses the likelihood of occurrence as well as the magnitude of impact should they actually occur. Based on this in-depth assessment, the risk categories are plotted on a grid that indicates how these risk categories should be prioritized.
Taking the risk prioritization into account, the Executive Management Team identifies how the related risk can be prevented, how the impact can be mitigated when a risk actually occurs, and whether the impact can be covered by an insurance policy.
Throughout the year, the Executive Management Team reports on a quarterly basis to Ekopak’s Audit Committee, who supervises the company’s entire risk management process.
At least once a year, but in practice on a continuous basis, the Audit Committee conducts an in-depth review of all potential risk factors in concertation with the Executive Management Team. At such occasion, new risk factors may be formally identified and included in the program. Subsequently, the Audit Committee presents the mutually agreed plan to the Board of Directors for formal approval. Upon the Board’s decision in this respect, the Executive Committee is commissioned to implement the corresponding action plan and to report on its status on a regular basis to the Audit Committee.
2021 Risk Management review
For 2021, the identified risk factors were the following :
Risk of Unavailability of Raw Materials. Ekopak’s containerized water purification systems require specific raw materials to operate. While these raw materials are typically broadly available, some of them have become scarce in the past few months. Any interruption in the supply chain may have a negative impact on Ekopak’s operations. Ekopak mitigates this risk factor by implementing a diversified procurement approach and a balanced inventory policy.
Risk of Price Increases of Raw Materials. Along with the risk of supply chain interruptions and stock breaks, the scarcity of specific raw materials leads to price hikes, which negatively affect Ekopak’s business when they would occur. Ekopak mitigates this risk factor by including this potential factor in each contract negotiation, both a clients and suppliers, and by closely monitoring how the agreement is applied in reality.
IT & Cyber Security Risk. Ekopak’s operations highly depend on the proper functioning of its IT systems, whether they are running on on-site hardware or ‘in the cloud’. Any disruption of these IT systems, whether for technical reasons or because of hacking, would have a major negative impact on Ekopak’s operations. Ekopak mitigates this risk factor by creating vigilance and awareness among its staff together with the necessary IT security measures taken. Ekopak has also subscribed a cybersecurity policy.
Credit risk. If one or more key customers would fail to meet its payment obligations towards Ekopak, this would have a major impact on Ekopak’s financial situation. Invoices related to the investment goods of non-WaaS project refer to significant amounts. While the invoice amounts for WaaS-projects are relative lower, they, too, would have a material adverse impact on Ekopak’s mid- and long-term financial situation. Ekopak has developed a sound process for credit collection.
Protection of Know-How. Ekopak’s know-how and technology are not protected by patents or design registrations. Failure to adequately protect know-how could allow clients and, by extension, competitors to copy or reverse-engineer (the functioning of) Ekopak’s water purification solutions. Ekopak carefully selects the most appropriate technology for each specific installation, but is not contractually bound by any specific technology and can adopt new technologies as they come available. The application of technology is extremely “installation-specific”, thus limiting the risk for duplication.
Human Capital Risk. Ekopak might fail to retain existing key management, R&D and/or engineering staff, and/or might fail to attract and train new highly-qualified personnel, which could have a material adverse effect on Ekopak’s business. If key staff would leave the company for a competitor, this would result in a ‘brain drain’ that would also have a material adverse effect on the company’s operations. Ekopak is an attractive employer, mainly based on its reputation as a recently listed growth-driven company and on its ESG-commitment.
Litigation Risk. Ekopak’s operations are subject to stringent environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, which could expose the Company to environmental liability and significant increase compliance costs and litigation. Underperformance of Ekopak’s systems installed at the client’s site, for whatever reasons – whether or not under the control of Ekopak, may also lead to litigation, thus negatively affecting the company’s situation. Ekopak’s strategic transition towards the WaaS business model mitigates this risk, which is -albeit limited in number- mainly related to non-WaaS installations.
Operational Risk. If material failure would occur at Ekopak’s installations at the client’s site, this may involve significant repair costs as well as compensation payments and litigation costs, which could have a material negative effect on the company’s financial situation. Ekopak mitigates this risk by a permanent monitoring system, combined with sufficient stock levels for crucial SKU’s.