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Hugo van der Zee

Partner Emeritus, Of Counsel

Switzerland, The Netherlands

“Working closely with small and mid-size companies and as an investor, I see daily the value that an experienced adviser “sitting next to the entrepreneur” can bring to a venture. Leveraging my experience and insights, I help entrepreneurs focus where it matters most and partner in their success. This is highly gratifying.”

Companies need more than just ideas and enthusiasm, they need strategy, structure, people and culture to focus their efforts, be it to drive innovation, capture new markets or dominate existing ones. Hugo is adept at helping CEOs and their teams focus where it matters most. Notably, even focused efforts do not alone deliver solutions. Hugo understands that the great enabler of good strategy – is pragmatism and moving quickly. And leveraging one’s network to great effect. Hugo opens doors where others see only walls.

Hugo studied civil and corporate law at the University of Nijmegen and tax law at the University of Leiden. He attended various curriculums, a.o. at IMD (Lausanne, Switzerland). Hugo’s initial professional career was in tax and legal advisory, with Deloitte The Netherlands.​

In 1994, Hugo’s career changed into an entrepreneurial- and managing one. He became chairman of Deloitte & Touche tax and legal affairs for the Central European region (15 countries). From mid 1997, Hugo was chairman of Deloitte & Touche Amsterdam (The Netherlands). In 1999, Deloitte seconded Hugo to the World Economic Forum, where he became the founder of the Technology Pioneers Programme at the annual meeting in Davos.​

After Davos, Hugo focused on advising companies on accelerating growth with Sage Partners. As an advisor, angel, investor and community leader, Hugo has a particular interest in social ventures. He likes BIG ideas that drive social change.

Hugo has been on various Boards such as the Dutch Red Cross; Round Table; the Dutch-Czech Chamber of Commerce and many more. He was also a candidate for the European Parliament on behalf of a cross-political initiative focusing on a strong Europe taking social responsibility for all. Hugo lives with his wife Marianne in the Swiss Alps.

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