PRINCIPAL Longevity Conference

22 November 2018 | Antwerp, Belgium

Could you imagine a society where families with four generations of active adults becomes the norm and not the exception? Should current improvements in living standards and healthcare solutions continue, this hypothesis could come true and we may face an economic and sociologic shift never before witnessed in human history.

What will be the economic implications of this? What will happen when being fit at 100 years old will be the norm, and not the exception? This conference sought to discuss not just the obvious pitfalls such as the pension funds shortfall, but also the positive investment opportunities across all asset classes.


This one-day event was for private investors and family office representatives and tackled strategies for long-term investment in the age of longevity.

For those who were in a position to stay a bit longer, additional social events included an informal welcome drink on the eve of the event and a visit of Katoen Natie’s private art collection.

The event promoted meaningful interaction in a relaxing atmosphere with a balanced blend of conferencing, networking but also foresaw the opportunity for delegates to work if they needed to. The programme included extended Q&A sessions, opportunities to set up one-on-one meetings, receptions and a seated dinner.

Where & When?

The conference took place Thursday, 22 November 2018 at the Elzenveld Hotel in Antwerp, Belgium. There were additional networking opportunities on Wednesday 21 and Friday 23 November.

Who? The speakers:

Paul Donovan:

Global chief economist at UBS Wealth Management.

Paul Donovan joined UBS Wealth Management in August 2016, and is the Global Chief Economist. He is a member of the Global Investment Committee, a UBS Opinion Leader, a sponsor of UBS Speak Up and a UBS Pride Ally. Paul is responsible for developing and presenting the UBS economic outlook, marketing the UBS view on economics, policy and politics around the world. He regularly appears in the print and broadcast media. Paul started at UBS Investment Bank as an intern in 1992, and was Global Economist.

Paul has an MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University. He is an Honorary Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford, sitting on its investment committee, and is a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Circle of Oxford. He holds an MSc in Financial Economics from the University of London. Paul is also a co-founder of the Peter Culverhouse Memorial Trust (a cancer research and patient care charity). He is an amateur heavyweight boxer, and keen skier.

Paul co-authored “From Red to Green? How the financial credit crunch could bankrupt the environment” with Julie Hudson, published in August 2011. “Food Policy and the Environmental Credit Crunch: From Soup to Nuts”, also co-authored with Julie, was published in September 2013. Paul contributed to “How the world really works: the economy”, a children’s guide to economics published in May 2014. His book “The Truth About Inflation” was published in April 2015. 

Simon Bloom:

Author of ‘Passing the Buck: How to avoid the third generation wealth trap,’ Psychologist, active investor and counsellor to numerous family offices.

Simon Bloom is a Family Enterprise Consultant, author, speaker and CEO and founder of Simon Bloom Consultancy (SBC). He works with family enterprises to help multi-generational families with the organisational, relational and personal aspects of their lives. From both personal and professional experience, Simon understands the complex nature of family enterprises and the challenges facing the different generations within them.

Simon has recently written his first book based on insight from his work with family enterprises. ‘Passing The Buck – How To Avoid the 3rd Generation Wealth Trap’. The book explores issues facing the family office and skills and strategies to ensure enterprises thrive beyond the 3rd generation. 

Jim Mellon:

Self-made billionaire, author, currently investing in the next generation of healthcare.

Jim Mellon is a British entrepreneur and investor with a wide range of interests. Through his private investment company, Burnbrae Group, he has substantial real estate holdings in Germany and the Isle of Man, as well as holdings in private and public companies.

Jim’s investment philosophy is underpinned by his ability to recognise emerging trends that give rise to new industries or major shifts in markets.

These trends which often turn into “money fountains” have included the financial crisis of 2008-2009, as foreseen in the first book Jim co-authored entitled Wake Up!, and subsequently in the new science and technologies detailed in Cracking the Code and Fast Forward.  Jim’s next money fountain is the field of longevity and is outlined in the book Juvenescence.

Jim and his partners have now set up Juvenescence, a company developing therapies for ageing and the diseases of ageing, to capitalise on this money fountain.

Jim sits on the Board of Trustees of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, he is also a trustee of Biogerontology Research Foundation and Lifeboat Foundation and is an Honorary Fellow of Oriel College at the University of Oxford. Jim was recently honoured by the American Federation for Aging Research with the George E. and Marie J. Doty Award for his support of ageing research. 

Georg Mende:

Partner at Northgate Capital.

Georg Mende serves as a Partner of the firm. He joined the firm in 2010 and brings over 15 years of experience analyzing and negotiating investment and partnership opportunities as well as supporting company leaders in realizing their growth and business transformation goals.

Prior to joining Northgate, Georg spent the first 8 years of his career rising through the consulting ranks at McKinsey & Company, where he led corporate finance, business transformation, and strategy engagements for financial institutions, private equity firms, principal investors including family offices and sovereign wealth funds, and government entities. During this time, he critically evaluated investment, M&A and JV opportunities with transaction values of up to $2B USD across the EMEA region covering a broad range of sectors including financial services, infrastructure, real estate, metals, education, automotive, and logistics.

Georg has also served as an advisor to the IFC Asset Management Company and the Office of Tony Blair on topics related to Investment Management and Economic Development.

He is a German national and speaks German, English, Spanish, French and Italian. Georg holds a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and an MPA in International Development from Harvard University. 

Philippe Winssinger:

Chairman of the board of ImmoFinRE Capital Partners.

Philippe Winssinger chairs the investment committee. He is one of the most respected Chartered Surveyors in Europe, notably having been the valuer of the largest Belgian SICAFI (REITS equivalent) from 1995 to 2009 and has been Chairman of DTZ Belux from 1980 to  2009. Philippe participated in the creation of DTZ since inception to create one of the largest International property Adviser with an office network in Europe, Asia and America. Philippe has also chaired RICS Belux between 2004 and 2009, the Belux arm of the largest professional organization of Surveyors worldwide. Philippe teach at the Louvain School of Management in the Executive Master in Real Estate Program. Philippe created ImmoFin’s first fund in 2007 and is Chairman of the board of ImmoFinRE Capital Partners. 

Gijs van Thiel:

Managing partner at 747 Capital.

Gijs van Thiel co-founded 747 Capital and is a Managing Partner of the firm. His responsibilities include new product development and he is actively involved in portfolio management, due diligence and manager selection. He is a member of the Investment Committee and holds various board seats.

Prior to 747 Capital, Gijs was founder and General Partner of Triad Media Ventures, a $50 million venture capital fund that made direct investments in US companies. In addition, he was Director of Financial Services for Icon International, a member of Omnicom Group. He started his career at the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency, a diplomatic function, in New York.

Gijs received a M.B.A. from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a B.A. from Webster University. 

Etienne de Callataÿ:

Economist, guest lecturer at the University of Namur & economic advisor, chairman of the board at Orcadia Asset Management.

Etienne de Callataÿ is Founder and Chairman of the Board of Orcadia Asset Management.  Having studied economics at the University of Namur and the London School of Economics, he worked for the National Bank of Belgium, the IFM and the office of the Belgian Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaune, before becoming Chief Economist for the private bank Banque Degroof where he was in charge of the Financial Analysis Department for 16 years as well as member of the Board and Executive Management Team.

He also lectures at the University of Namur, Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL). 

Main mandates:

  • President of the Royal Belgian Society for Political Economy.
  • Trustee of Les Petits Riens (non-profit organisation).
  • Member of Academic Advisory Board for the Belgian Federal Reform of Pensions.
  • Senior Fellow of Itinera Institute (think tank).

Jannick B. Pedersen:

Founder & CEO at More Futures A/S

A futurist and macro economist, Jannick B. Pedersen works as a speaker and consultant in the fields of personal effectiveness, leadership, exponential technologies and longevity. He holds a M.Sc.Econ degree from Copenhagen University, and has worked for the United Nations, several research bodies and private sector organisations.

He is a serial entrepreneur with several exits behind him. He moonlights as an impact investor with more than 70 investments in start-ups – including which is the world’s largest e-book publisher, providing more than 50 million free downloads of textbooks to university students worldwide. His new book “Anti-Age” will be available in English in early 2019. His last book “Face the Future” (also available on Amazon), has been downloaded more than 100.000 times.  

Luc Sterkman:

CEO at Caelus Health B.V.

Luc Sterkman obtained his medical degree (MD) in 1988 at the Free University in Amsterdam. He has broad experience in the fields of general management, business development and R&D. From 1992-2002 he was COO and later CEO of U-Gene Research, that was successfully sold to Kendle USA (NASDAQ – KNDL). From 2002 to 2004, he was a member of the board of the biotech company OctoPlus and from 2005 to 2010 he was general manager at the pharmaceutical company Disphar International BV (part of the Nordic Group). From 2011-2016 he served as COO of Newtricious, a company focusing on innovative nutrition and functional foods.

As the CEO of Caelus Health, since January 2016, he is responsible for building and directing the company through the next phase of growth and further expanding its pipeline of new microbiota-based products in the field of cardio-metabolic disease. 

Who? The delegates:

  • Family office representatives (single- (SFO) & multi-family offices (MFO))
  • Private investors
  • Thought leaders
  • Selected service providers or asset managers

The conference was attended by 80 delegates hailing with a predominance from the Benelux countries. We aim to safeguard our network and the confidentiality of our members’ data.  Should you wish to understand a little better the catchment of our conference guest list, please call your contact.


The Principal Longevity Conference was kindly supported by Wellington Management International Ltd and Chiron Financial SAS:

Tracing our history to 1928, Wellington Management is one of the largest independent investment management firms in the world. We are a private firm whose sole business is investment management, and we serve as investment adviser for institutional clients in over 60 countries. Our most distinctive strength is our commitment to rigorous, proprietary research — the foundation upon which our investment approaches are built. Our commitment to investment excellence is evidenced by our significant presence and long-term track records in nearly all sectors of the global securities markets.

Chiron Financial is an investment banking firm that arranges private placements of debt and equity as well as mergers, acquisitions and sales for middle market companies. They raise growth capital, and assist with refinancing, financial restructuring, and other special situations. They are industry-agnostic, and have tremendous experience in energy (oil and gas in particular), agriculture, building products, basic materials, health care, real estate, retailing, light and heavy manufacturing, and non-profits.

Stay informed with news about our next conference

‘Better,’ our 2019 conference, will take place Thursday 21 November 2019 in Belgium at a venue to be confirmed.

‘Better.’ Buy better, sell better, invest better.  

The event will present ideas about how you can become a better investor. We are already lining up great speakers who will share their unique insights in prospection, due diligence, deal negotiation, time management and selling techniques, all based on the latest research.  The event will also look at how things are actually better than we think.  Do you wonder whether everything is going downhill in this world? I can’t blame you.  However in many fields, things are a lot better than we think.  We are not going to prevent climate change for example, but expert speakers will explain why and how we can still avoid its worst effects.

Last, but not least, look forward to plenty of breaks where we can meet, catch-up and discuss ideas.

We hope this conference will even be ‘better’ than our first. So please contact Tatiana to reserve your seats.


Tel: +32 484 64 78 16

Privacy is an exclusive, confidential and private network and this philosophy will apply to our event. Marketing opportunities will be limited to sponsors who can bring meaningful content and expertise on the longevity subject.