In 1972 Alex Mulder, born on October 22nd, 1946 in Amsterdam, started temporary employment agency Unique which, with the acquisitions of Goudsmit, Start, Content, Creyf’s and others, grew into the listed organization USG People. Nearly 35 years after its founding Alex Mulder stepped down as CEO and became a supervisory board member, until the acquisition by Recruit in 2016. Since stepping down as CEO of USG People in 2006, he has been executive chairman and owner of Amerborgh International N.V., a private equity firm that invests in companies, people and culture with a broad and diverse profile.
Career and vision
Employment agency Unique grew into USG People. In 1997, following the acquisition of Goudsmit N.V., publicly listed United Services Group N.V. was born. In 2002 Start Uitzendbureau became part of the organization. After the acquisition of Solvus N.V. in 2005, which included Content and Creyf’s, the company was renamed USG People N.V. Mulder led the organization for nearly 35 years, holding the position of President and CEO until 2006. From 2006 until the acquisition of USG People by Japanese listed company Recruit in 2016 he was a member of the Supervisory Board. Under his leadership, the company grew into an organization with diverse activities in the field of flexible labor, human resources, education & training and customer-care services, active in eleven European countries with approximately 10,000 permanent employees and over 100,000 people employed annually.
In addition to furthering the commercial objectives of the company, Alex Mulder has always had a keen interest in art, the narratives and people behind it, and in making art accessible to a wider audience. According to Mulder, art is an important motivator in companies. Art helps inspire employees, engage them and challenge them to see things differently. After all, it stimulates mental agility and creative thinking. Art has always played an important role at USG People. Works of art were hung in all offices and both employees and clients received art as end-of-year gifts every year.
After his resignation as CEO at USG People in 2006, Alex Mulder began Amerborgh International, a management firm that undertakes a great variety of activities. Through Amerborgh International, located in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and Schoten Belgium), Mulder invests in companies, people and culture. Amerborgh has investments in the areas of real estate development, asset management, cloud banking, cross-media publishing, human resources, care for the elderly and hospitality, among others.
In addition to commercial businesses, Mulder’s management firm is deeply committed to culture and social cohesion. Amerborgh invests in both the monumental buildings and programming content of De Nieuwe Liefde, Felix Meritis, the Rode Hoed and Het Hem. With these investments, Amerborgh focusses on social, rather than financial return. In these venues, Mulder enables cultural and social programming with an explicit focus on inclusion and diversity. He does this with staff that is not only experienced in the world of art and culture, but particularly keen to reach audiences that are perhaps accommodated less in traditional cultural circuits.
Alex Mulder was born in Amsterdam on 22 October 1946 and grew up in a reformed protestant family with four brothers. In his upbringing, the biblical command ‘to be there for others’ was central. Not just by folding hands, but by actually being there and taking action. With this spirit, as a young entrepreneur on the Amsterdam Keizersgracht in 1972, he started the employment agency Unique. Whereas other temporary employment agencies mainly concentrated on candidates’ diplomas, he put the individual first. It was not just about what someone could do, but especially what he or she wanted to achieve. And also how to make that possible through and for others. This spirit endures in the activities of his management firm Amerborgh International.
2002: By Royal Decree Belgium: Honorary Mark of Officer in the Order of the Crown
2006: By Royal Decree The Netherlands: Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau
2020: Silver Medal of the City of Amsterdam