Breaking the mold

Breaking the mold

Christian van Megen, Germany

Christian van Megen, Germany

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Breaking the mold

Breaking the mold

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It opens your mind. You get to know other people. You hear their stories.

Christian van Megen

Christian van Megen

Germany

A family legacy can open many doors, but that boundless potential can be paralyzing for some. “It is really easy to get pushed in a direction, lose control and go with the flow,” says Christian van Megen. “You just end up doing everything — or nothing — or something that you might not necessarily want.”

Not that Christian has had that problem. He currently selects and supports his family’s angel investments, manages the family’s construction projects and develops the occasional digital solution. “That is the great thing I can see from what we are doing now — I can see a lot of potential for me to get involved in different activities,” he says.

That potential has been heightened through Christian’s longtime involvement with the EY NextGen Academy. “It opens your mind,” he says. “You get to know other people. You hear their stories, and it really gives you a much better overview of what everyone else is doing and how you could go into those roles as a leader in the family business.”

Christian says the networking is well-complemented by the academic experience that emphasizes entrepreneurial leadership through case studies from leading business schools. “You basically get a handbook of methodologies and how they can be implemented,” he says.

Those methodologies have helped Christian build on his strengths, allowing him to take on roles in the businesses managed by the family office while also pursuing his own ventures. “A lot of the inspiration for what I’m doing now has come from the NextGen Academy,” he says. “We have made some good changes to our family office that really allow us to support our activities on a broader scale.”

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