Jeanne Specht Grijp New Finance & Business Director at Rewilding Europe

Rewilding Europe welcomes Jeanne as our new Finance & Business Director in October 2019. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics, having studied Private Wealth Management at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands.

Jeanne started her professional career at KPMG, where she worked for five years as a financial auditor. This was followed by seven years as a finance manager at an educational institute. After becoming a mother of two, Jeanne chose to become self-employed, carrying out financial assignments as a project and change manager at f.e. SNS, Athlon and Delta Lloyd for over ten years.

In September 2009, Jeanne had the opportunity to provide support to a wealthy individual. A great part of their family business was sold, which led to the development of a single family and investment office in June 2011. As finance director, Jeanne was responsible for finance & control, personal and financial risk management, investment management, human resources and relationship management. In April 2012 she also became an executive board member of the Talud foundation.

Passion for nature

Jeanne’s parents lived for many years in South Africa, and this is where her brother and sister were born. In May 1963 her family returned to the Netherlands – Jeanne was born in Haarlem in that same year. Growing up in the North Holland Dune Reserve instilled in her a deep-seated passion for nature. Based on an appreciation of Ubuntu (an African philosophy), Jeanne was raised with an awareness that a universal bond of sharing connects all humanity and the environment. She loves hiking through the woods and mountains.

Inspirational journey

It was Jeanne’s love of hiking which inspired Jeanne to walk “het Pieterpad” in September 2017 – a 500-kilometre trek from Pieterburen in Groningen to Sint-Pietersberg in Maastricht – averaging around 20 kilometres per day for 26 days. Every day someone else walked with her on her journey – from close business relations to good friends to her son and daughter. It was a time of beautiful walks through nature and little villages, lots of fun, special conversations and mutual inspiration.

During these Pieterpad walks the concept of LifeTree was born, established later with a business partner in 2018. The vision of LifeTree is based on the values of Ubuntu and the wholeness of existence, with a focus on supporting lifelong learning, social inclusiveness and sustainable life initiatives, and overcoming relevant strategic and financial challenges.

Valuable contribution

Jeanne is a people person with a financial background and a social and sustainable business mindset. Her extensive experience will allow her to make a valuable contribution to the mission of Rewilding Europe. Together with Managing Director Frans Schepers, she is responsible for the overall management and development of the initiative as statutory director, and co-leads strategic planning and budgeting.

In addition to her work with Rewilding Europe, Jeanne is involved on a voluntary basis with education and peace projects for The Learning Journey (South Africa) and Impact Matters (the Netherlands). She is an endorser and friend of the Earth Charter, a global movement promoting the transition towards a just, sustainable and peaceful world.

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