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Brunels Jan Brand becomes billionaire as staffing company soars

The 65-year-old Dutchman owns about 63 percent of the Amsterdam-based company, a stake valued at $1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Brand, who stepped down as chairman and chief executive officer in 1999, has collected about $175 million in dividends since the company’s 1997 initial public offering.

“Mr. Brand isn’t constantly preoccupied with how much the company is worth,” Annella Boon, a Brunel spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview. “He just really believes in the business.”

Brand, an engineer, started the staffing company in 1975. The company had more than 13,000 employees working in 109 offices across 40 countries and sales of almost 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion) last year, according to its 2013 annual report.

“Brunel’s specialization is staffing energy businesses,” Yves Franco, an analyst with KBC Group NV, said by phone from Brussels. “It’s particularly that industry, which performed well over the past year, and had a demand for employees. They really had a strong revenue increase there.”

Of the 11 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, seven have buy ratings on the company and four have holds. The average share target price is 51.39 euros.

Brunel closed at 48.19 euros in Amsterdam earlier this week, 2.7 percent down from Tuesday’s record close.


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