Maarten Scholten, General Counsel
An experienced lawyer and investor.
I had an early ambition to become a diplomat but instead ended up having a successful international career as a lawyer and a senior manager in the energy sector.
I started out in private practice at a Dutch firm that later became part of Allen & Overy (Amsterdam and New York), and thereafter in-house at Schlumberger (London, New York and Paris).
At Schlumberger I first had a number of legal roles, including responsibility for intellectual property and management of the worldwide legal department, following which I ‘branched out’ into finance as the Controller of the Oilfield Services Division and subsequently as President of one of Schlumberger’s Europe, Africa and CIS regional oilfield operations, where I was in charge of over 20,000 staff. My last role at Schlumberger was to serve as Director of Mergers & Acquisitions / Business Development,responsible for the divestiture of Schlumberger’s non-core activities, with combined annual revenues of more than $4 billion, including several private placements, industry transactions and the IPO of Axalto, one of the world’s leading providers of microprocessor cards.
After a 25-year corporate career I embarked together with a business partner on an ambitious project to create a new business model in the oil and gas sector, using the private equity model as our blueprint. We were successful in raising a very large pool of capital and were active across Europe, South America and the Middle East / Mediterranean, but challenging times in the industry and market cycle lead me to return to the corporate world.
I then had the privilege to join Total SA as General Counsel and lead a very professional team of more than 900 lawyers and compliance professionals across more than 100 countries to proactively manage the huge variety of legal, regulatory and compliance matters that a large integrated energy group faces on a daily basis.
During the past several years I also had a number of board roles which have included being a board member of NordEnergie Renewables, a Danish renewable energy investment business; being the Chairman of the Schlumberger Foundation, a charitable foundation where (for example) one core project was to sponsor female PhD students from developing countries; and Ayursundra, a provider of high quality affordable healthcare in India.
A year after leaving Total, I met with Sofia and Alex. After a late afternoon coffee (a “hot chocolate” to be more accurate), I decided to invest in FPC. I was their first investor outside those from the advisory board that was already in place. I am passionate about what we are creating and am excited to support the team in a number of areas including governance, reporting, risk management, and intellectual property, as well as providing the benefit of my experience of sourcing, negotiating, managing and exiting investment opportunities and businesses.
What I learned and loved in my career was to solve issues, and help businesses move forward while balancing risk and rewards. Over the years experience has taught me that a successful business is one where all stakeholders benefit, where there will always be something on the table for all parties, and where there are some important elements that are just not present at the negotiating table.
In addition to my role for Future Positive I serve as a non-executive board member and act as an advisor / consultant for several small / medium size companies in energy, healthcare / medical and industrial sectors.