FINANCIAL & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, TOKYO
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Working for the welfare of impoverished children in the favelas of Sao Paolo, how a Dutchman falls in love with Japan in Ireland, or why honesty really is the best policy.
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Willem. Friso. Kraai (“crow”). By any name, he is still The Agency’s very own Renaissance man. Willem hails from the idyllic forest town of Doorn, The Netherlands, where he spent his youth – symbolically, we think – building tunnels and tree houses with his brothers amongst the wild deer and rabbits. His life travels have taken him from Amsterdam to Sao Paolo to Galway (where he met his Fukuoka native wife) to Shanghai to Singapore to, finally, Tokyo in 2017. Along the way he somehow managed to attend both law school and medical school, as well as build three businesses from scratch, and he still runs his own recruitment firm back in the old country. While working at Sotheby’s and studying tax law at the University of Amsterdam, he was invited by a friend to join a boutique recruitment company, and before long one of the majors poached him to work in their Asian theater. Ultimately, though, for one who came up in the industry old-school style, with nothing but a phone, phonebook, notepad, and a barge load of integrity and passion for the work, our rack was the perfect place to hang his hat. “I am not joining a company,” he says, “but a group of people with a vision to build an honest and trustworthy environment, to inspire each other to become better.” Having practically grown up in an auction house, Willem is an art aficionado and collector who annually attends The European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht. When not spending time with his family and friends or traveling, he likes to run, swim, ski, golf, and watch his beloved Ajax FC on the box. Give him a “caw” to learn more about this most sophisticated of birds.