The Hartenlust Group is an independent, self-funded investment company founded by Xeno Grimmelt and Jelle Elzinga – two friends who met at Nyenrode University over two decades ago. Their career paths have since then gone separate ways, both attaining specific knowledge in diverse professional fields. They’ve made a long treasured ambition come true founding the Hartenlust Group – where their passion for growth, creativity and entrepreneurship is at the heart of every action. With the Hartenlust Group, we focus on the development of medium-sized companies. By sharing our capital, acquired expertise and extensive network, we ensure the development of your business to result in optimal performance – or as we like to say; next level performance. Our entrepreneurial and corporate backgrounds combined cover both ends of a wide spectrum of expertise, allowing us to understand and to foresee the operational challenges in the process of expanding your company’s potential to its utmost.
The Hartenlust Group principles are essential to the development of your business and contribute to the achievement of your goals. Our support and engagement ensures stable growth, initiates innovation and opens the way to new business opportunities.
Your company can only be taken to the next level when you have taken the next step as a business professional. Our experience allows us to guide and to assist you and your team in this profound process.
Our investments aren’t merely measured in numbers and figures. We actively create new business opportunities by sharing our network and our expertise in a wide variety of areas. A future-proof vision and focussed execution are essential but it is the timely awareness of pitfalls and opportunities that often makes the difference.
It is our mission to utilize your company’s full potential to achieve next level performance. We establish this by developing a future-proof vision and focussed execution by refining business models, attracting extraordinary talent and smoothening out business processes.
Our fields of expertise and diverse characters form a balanced mix of complementary qualities.
After attaining his Master of Business Administration from Nyenrode University Xeno took on a traineeship at Pon Holdings, one of the largest family-owned businesses in the Netherlands and abroad. After 10 years of MD roles, he became CEO for various business groups (€1-3Bn in revenue) like Automotive Wholesale, M.A.N. Western Europe and the self-built global Bicycles division. Xeno has over 20 years of experience in international trade, consumer marketing & sales, supply chain management and business strategy development. He has led various acquisitions and integrations of multiple international privately owned companies and has successfully delisted a small cap German AG as chairman of its supervisory board. Dealing with the dynamics of a company that seeks to achieve their next level of growth and performance is a process that Xeno understands profoundly. Xeno is a creative strategic thinker who loves to challenge entrepreneurs and their teams. After many years on a senior executive level in an international corporate environment, the urge for entrepreneurship brought Xeno in 2014 to found the Hartenlust Group. His adventurous mind-set is reflected in his leisure travels – from encountering mountain gorillas in Uganda to exploring the salt lake deserts in the Andes – of course preferably with his wife and daughters.
Paul graduated from the Amsterdam Business School (UvA) in Business Economics and Finance & Control. He has followed various executive programs throughout his corporate career at INSEAD (Alumni), Nyenrode Business University and Harvard Business School. After his Masters and trainee program at an international bank, Paul worked within Royal Ahold for over 12 years as the treasurer and CFO at several of their operating companies in retail and food services. Following that, Paul joined Pon Holdings and as the CFO, was responsible for the Automotive activities (>4 bln), which included being a board member of Volkswagen Pon Financial Services as well as of Pon’s Polish activities. The last four years before he left Pon, Paul also became MD at the Ponooc family venture fund that has well-known portfolio companies like Swapfiets and Lagerwey. After being active for almost 30 years in listed and family-owned corporations, Paul has built up his broad experience as a (non)executive, with many accomplishments in Finance, M&A, restructuring and business development within corporate and venture environments. Having a keen ambition to pursue his professional career in investing in and guiding companies, joining Hartenlust was a logical next step. Yet even more appealing was the chance to reunite with his business friend Xeno, having once been colleagues for many years at Pon. Paul has two grown-up children and enjoys living on the Spaarne in Haarlem. He regularly escapes the city to indulge in his passions; cycling, skiing and travelling.
Emma started working as an assistant accountant at Deloitte & Touche the day after she graduated. Seven years later, she wanted to experience the job from another perspective and joined a housing corporation, where she was head of the administration and handled internal affairs. In 1999, she became responsible for the administration of Martinair partyservice. After this, she decided to take a short sabbatical, but quickly went back to work at Van Ooijen accountants. Here she became a team leader and relationship manager. Emma met Jelle while she worked at Van Ooijen, where Emma stayed until 2012, simultaneously maintaining her freelance accountancy activities with her own accountancy office; Het Administratie Atelier. Due to several changes and circumstances, she developed an interest in the healthcare sector, and took on the function of financial controller at healthcare institution PartiCura. Today, Emma balances the heart of the Hartenlust Group. To unwind after work, she and her partner enjoy the outdoors on their mountain bikes, on a horseback or in a kayak. Indoors, she pratices yoga, boxing and personal training.