Recent Submissions

  • Early alzheimer disease round table project: Preparedness of the Belgian health system

    Van Dyck, Walter; Vandenberghe, Rik; Salmon, Eric; Hanseeuw, Bernard; De Lepeleire, Jan; Govaerts, Laurenz (2022)
    Disease modifying therapies (DMT) in the field of Alzheimer’s disease becoming accessible will require a transformation of Belgian health care practice. Early diagnosis is a crucial first step for these therapies as the maximal benefit outcome is expected if treatment is started as early as possible. This health policy-preparing paper resulting from a Belgian Early AD Round Table, complemented by an anonymized memory clinics survey and a computer simulation, was geared to investigate the Belgian healthcare system infrastructural preparedness to receive a DMT in the field of Alzheimer disease, which represents a high unmet clinical and societal need. Key summary recommendations include; • Conducting an awareness campaign towards the broader public as of a DMT becoming available; • Increasing GP awareness of implementation guidelines of the early-AD care and diagnostic pathway stressing multi-professional collaboration on diagnostic strategies; • To expedite patient diagnosis and treatment by considering reimbursement of CSF analysis, regardless of their use in symptomatic treatment or –even more so– DMT-available contexts; • CSF analysis cost-effectiveness is shown to require transversal budget impact analysis considering societal costs; • In the long run, to redesign the Belgian Memory Clinics Convention to act as the guardian of a national uniform quality AD health service offering; • To organically grow the present memory clinic-based loco-regional approach to AD treatment, which would result into a higher number of memory clinics acting upon a revised DMT-based health service offering; • To invest cost-effectively in the competence and skills of the informal caregiver; • To set up industry-independent societally funded national AD & dementia registries characterized as care registries and diagnosis/syndrome-specific quality of care registries. Please also consult the recommendations following the public presentation of these study results under Chapter 7 – Conclusions and Recommendations.
  • An energy system model to study the impact of combining renewable electricity and gas policies

    Roach, Martin; Meeus, Leonardo (2021)
    Energy system models are needed to help policy makers design renewable energy policies that combine support for renewable electricity with support for renewable gas. In this paper, we advance a stylized model that includes demand for electricity, heating, and hydrogen in industry that is supplied by competing technologies. We first show that the status quo in most countries, which is a combination of carbon pricing with support for renewable electricity, only supports green gases indirectly and in a limited way. When we then add direct support for renewable gas to the model, we have two main findings. First, a Renewable Energy Sources - Gas (RES-G) target is more effective in supporting biomethane than in supporting green hydrogen. Second, there are strong interaction effects between a RES-E target and a RES-G target that can be both complementary and substitutive.
  • The DNA of a digital financial leader. How to develop a digital transformation strategy for the finance function and what are the main characteristics of a digital finance leader

    Stouthuysen, Kristof; Decorte, Thomas; Heyvaert, Carl-Erik (2022)
    With the continuous development and adoption of new technologies and trends – such as cloud computing, robotics, blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI) – and the availability of vast amounts of data, people’s roles in the finance function are undeniably changing. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call for many finance leaders to start investing in the digitalisation of their department. Indeed, today’s finance leaders have the opportunity to act as a catalyst for reshaping the business strategy and deploying AI technologies to digitally revolutionise the finance function and enhance their value creation and value protection role. The digital journey, however, encompasses more than the mere adoption of several technologies: it involves many challenges that go beyond the obvious technical aspects, such as organisational and cultural difficulties. As the finance function must not lag behind in the digital era, a crucial task awaits finance leaders: they must reinvent themselves and their department in order to successfully embark on this digitalisation journey. We believe our synthesis of how to formulate a digital transformation strategy, along with the 9 must-have characteristics of a true digital finance leader, can equip these leaders to successfully tackle the upcoming challenges of digitalisation! Our Centre for Financial Leadership and Digital Transformation has the ambition to reach out to all finance leaders to help them embark on a successful digital transformation journey and become true digital finance leaders. In our first workshop, the Centre tackled the question: ‘What should the finance leader of the future look like?’ The insights of that workshop were gathered and analysed and resulted in this white paper. A must-read for each finance leader whose aim is to inspire, support, and empower his/her department to embrace the digitalisation of the finance function.
  • Total reward statements: How to maximise the potential? Insights into the added value of total reward statements in reward communication

    Van Steerthem, Angie; Baeten, Xavier; Van Hove, Marthe (2021)
    The whitepaper ‘Total Reward Statements: how to maximise the potential?’ is based on a quantitative and qualitative research project by the Centre for Excellence in Strategic Rewards. It offers an overview of the different aspects of the Total Reward Statement (TRS), based on the quantitative and qualitative results of a large-scale survey (N=193). Looking at the situation as is, 30% of our respondents offer a TRS to the entire workforce or to a part of the workforce. 82% of that group is (very) satisfied with the firm’s TRS. The main reasons for them to offer a TRS are to create employee awareness about the reward offering, to enhance appreciation of the reward package, and to shift the focus away from purely financial reward components to non-financial components as well. As an additional advantage, the TRS has a positive impact on attracting new recruits, retaining talents and engaging employees. Today, the majority of the TRSs are self-developed, are offered once a year, and are integrated in an online platform. The most popular reward components in a TRS seem to be base pay, bonus, company car, contribution to the pension plan, cost allowances, car allowance, home-work travel allowance, premium paid for hospitalisation insurance, disability insurance, guaranteed income insurance, long-term incentives and subscription to public transport. Possible drawbacks to implementing a TRS could be the time and monetary investment in the tool, the difficulties in data management, the fact that the TRS is a snapshot with a focus on the past, and the question concerning how far you can go with transparency. As for communicating about the TRS, it remains crucial to communicate regularly and creatively. As for the future, companies that are looking into implementing a TRS indicate that collaborating with a specialist provider is the preferred way to go. They would still opt for a periodical offering of the TRS and keep an online focus. Almost all of the respondents indicate that communication is unmistakeably one of the most important aspects in the TRS process. Based on examples from practice, there are 7 characteristics of a great TRS: • making the reward overview as visual as possible • keeping it short and impactful • adding tailored tips and information • showing a multi-year evolution • complementing it with a glossary • including the fairness aspect • providing the possibility to click through to receive additional information
  • What to reward executives for? A taxonomy of performance metrics in executive incentives supplemented by an overview of business practice

    Baeten, Xavier; Van Hove, Marthe (2021)
    Executive target setting and linking it to incentive systems, proves to be a complex process. Moreover, boards are under increasing pressure to use a balanced set of (strategic) performance metrics, and to look beyond financial indicators. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are defined as critical indicators demonstrating a company’s progress towards its key business objectives. The challenge many boards and companies are facing, is two-folded. On the one hand, there is an increased focus on the use of non-financial performance metrics to be included as a driver in executive incentive systems. On the other hand, companies are also having difficulties to find the right set of financial KPIs and often tend to use “easy-to-measure” data while the real challenge is about finding the more critical KPIs, taking into account shareholder structures, business cycles, level in organisational hierarchy, but also being aware of the drawbacks caused by at least some financial KPIs. Vlerick Business School’s Executive Remuneration Research Centre has developed this paper in order to inspire practitioners looking for the ‘right’ financial and non-financial KPIs, both underlying short-term incentives and long-term incentives. It does so by providing a taxonomy of different indicators that can be used. On top of this, the reader will be inspired by the inclusion of a large set of real-life examples (more than 100!) found in remuneration reports of Stoxx Europe 600 companies as a key source of inspiration, grouped by type of KPI. The objective of the paper is not to be prescribing by providing the ultimate set of KPIs, which would be a mission impossible as this is highly dependent on each firm’s specific situation. Rather, the objective is to take a broad and non-prescribing perspective by providing an encompassing overview and inventarisation of performance metrics used in executive remuneration. As such, it offers a guide to improve the choice of key performance indicators by summarizing examples and inspiring practices. Needless to stress that KPIs need to be deduced from the firm’s strategy and the objectives the firm wants to achieve.
  • The future of renewable gases. Our take on the role of renewable gases in the energy transition

    Broeckx, Saskia; Roach, Martin; Meeus, Leonardo (2021)
    The European Green Deal aims to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050. This vision of a net-zero carbon future has prompted the European Commission to up its emission reduction target: by 2030, greenhouse gases should be cut by at least 55% compared to 1990. This target was approved by the European Council in December 2020 but is still to be translated into European legislation. Meeting this target requires decarbonisation of all carbon-intensive energy consumption sectors, i.e. industry, buildings and transport. Quite understandably, the gas sector is concerned about its future. Natural gas is, after all, a carbon-based energy source, which, in the absence of carbon capture and storage, contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Initially, many thought the energy transition would be an all-electric one. Those who still think so are now in the minority. Electrification is not always feasible, technically or economically. In some cases, full decarbonisation will require the use of alternative clean energy carriers, such as renewable and low-carbon gases, like hydrogen and biomethane. The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, along with other legislation, is currently being reviewed to update it in line with the new 2030 emission reduction target. This Directive already includes targets for electricity generation from renewable sources, so it is expected that similar targets will be set for renewable gases. Given that technology and infrastructure investments have a lifetime of typically 20 to 60 years, the gas sector has no time to lose. This is why the Fluxys Chair was founded in January 2018. Fluxys is the independent transmission system operator that owns and operates Belgium’s high-pressure natural gas transmission grid, its natural gas storage infrastructure and the liquefied natural gas terminal in Zeebrugge. Through academic research by Professor Leonardo Meeus and doctoral researcher Martin Roach with the Vlerick Energy Centre, the company is seeking to anticipate any upcoming Belgian and EU legislation in order to make informed investment decisions. How can the existing natural gas infrastructure be repurposed for the transport of decarbonised gases? How can we harness the full potential and opportunities of renewable gases? What context is needed to decarbonise the gas sector so that it can play a role in the future integrated energy system? Two years on, it is time to take stock of what we know and what we do not yet know. The white paper ‘The future of renewable gases’ outlines the context of our research, as well as providing background information.
  • Addressable ads are shaping the future of TV Marketing. Combining the benefits of digital advertising with the power of the big screen

    De Schaepdrijver, Leen; Baecke, Philippe; Tackx, Koen; Coeymans, Jeroen; Lauwers, Lode; Van Driessche, Bert (2021)
    Combining the benefits of digital advertising with the power of the big screen With the rise of digital media and big data, the media landscape has gone through turbulent times. Technology is developing more rapidly than ever, and we are now able to collect and process data in volumes and formats that we never could before. Digital companies were the first to jump on this train of technological revolution and are now harnessing the power of data. Where the TV landscape had barely changed during the past decades, it is now feeling the heat of digitisation. Digital channels are offering interesting alternatives to linear TV in terms of content and experience, and digital advertising has been growing exponentially during the last decade. In turn, TV has reacted with digital initiatives of its own, blurring the distinction between traditional media and digital media. Nonetheless, there is still a long road ahead before they get to par with the tech giants and truly adopt a technology- and data-driven way of working. It is safe to say that digitisation has shaken the entire TV ecosystem to its foundations. Various factors are threatening the comfortable position that TV advertising has been in for the last few decades. Both consumers and marketers are changing their behaviour and expectations, and digital advertising is taking advantage of this new vacuum by answering their needs. When looking for opportunities to try and combat the dominance of big tech, ‘addressable advertising’ might be the answer. This innovative advertising technique on TV brings together the benefits of TV advertising and those of digital advertising. Combining the best of both worlds, addressable advertising makes it possible to target specific households via their set top box with TV ads, whilst at the same time offering opportunities to improve campaign measurement. However, there are still some challenges ahead such as scale, standardisation, cost and general inertia. And as addressable advertising is highly data-driven, this advertising technique is also closely linked to the challenging topic of privacy and ethics. In order to get access to data, companies will have to give their customers enough value in return for their data.
  • The issues that shape strategy

    Meeus, Leonardo (2020)
    Companies do not only compete in markets; they also compete on social and political issues. Depending on the business opportunities or threats they identify related to an issue, companies will behave as veterans that defend the status quo in an industry, as reformers that will work with the authorities to change the rules of the game, or as heroes that help solve an issue. In this article, we identify the typical elements of success for each of these three generic nonmarket strategies. We do this based on a framework that focuses on the framing of issues, the alliances that can be mobilized around an issue, and the arenas that can be used to make a move.
  • Least-cost distribution network tariff design in theory and practice

    Schittekatte, Tim; Meeus, Leonardo (2018)
    In this paper a game-theoretical model with self-interest pursuing consumers is introduced to assess how to design a least-cost distribution tariff under two constraints that regulators typically face. The first constraint is related to difficulties regarding the implementation of cost-reflective tariffs. In practice, so-called cost-reflective tariffs are only a proxy for the actual cost driver(s) in distribution grids. The second constraint has to do with fairness. There is a fear that active consumers investing in distributed energy resources (DER) might benefit at the expense of passive consumers. We find that both constraints have a significant impact on the least-cost network tariff design, and the results depend on the state of the grid. If most of the grid investments still have to be made, passive and active consumers can both benefit from cost-reflective tariffs, while this is not the case for passive consumers if the costs are mostly sunk.
  • Reliability Options: Can they deliver on their promises?

    Bhagwat, Pradyumna; Meeus, Leonardo (2019)
    Capacity mechanisms have been controversial in theory as well as practice. Lessons from experience with different capacity mechanisms led to the development of the reliability options. This mechanism promises two advantages over other types of capacity mechanisms. Firstly, it ensures the availability of capacity contracted via the capacity mechanism during scarcity. Secondly, the reliability option mechanism limits any energy market distortion due to its implementation and provides the consumer a hedge from high prices. We assess the ability of reliability options in delivering the two promises by analysing the reliability option designs in Italy and Ireland. We find that they deliver on the first promise but only partly on the second.
  • Flexibility markets : Q&A with project pioneers

    Schittekatte, Tim; Meeus, Leonardo (2019)
    Flexibility markets are recognised as a promising tool to make better use of existing distribution grids and thereby also reduce the need for grid investments. In this paper, we analyse four pioneering projects implementing flexibility markets: Piclo Flex, Enera, GOPACS and NODES. Based on a literature review, we develop a six-question framework and we then analyse the projects with that framework. The questions are: (1) Is the flexibility market integrated in the existing sequence of EU electricity markets; (2) Is the flexibility market operator a third party; (3) Are there reservation payments; (4) Are the products standardised; (5) Is there TSO-DSO cooperation for the organisation of the flexibility market; (6) Is there DSO-DSO cooperation for the organisation of the flexibility market. We find that all the considered flexibility markets are operated by a third party. All projects also engage with multiple DSOs in order to become the standardised platform provider. Important differences between the projects are the extent to which the flexibility markets are integrated into other markets, the use of reservation payments, the use of standardised products and the way TSO-DSO cooperation has been implemented.
  • The welfare and price effects of sector coupling with power-to-gas

    Roach, Martin; Meeus, Leonardo (2019)
    Electricity markets with high installed capacities of Variable Renewable Energy Sources (VRES) experience periods of supply and demand mismatch, resulting in near-zero and even negative prices, or energy spilling due to surplus. The participation of emerging Power-to-X solutions in a sector coupling paradigm, such as Power-to-Gas (PTG), has been envisioned to provide a source of demand flexibility to the power sector and decarbonize the gas sector. We advance a long-run equilibrium model to study the PTG investment decision from the point of view of a perfectly competitive electricity and gas system where each sector’s market is cleared separately but coupled by PTG. Under scenarios combining PTG technology costs and electricity RES targets, we study whether or not there is a convergence in the optimal deployment of PTG capacity and what is the welfare distribution across both sectors. We observe that PTG can play an important price-setting role in the electricity market, but PTG revenues from arbitrage opportunities erodes as more PTG capacity is installed. We find that the electricity and gas sector have aligned incentives to cooperate around PTG, and instead find an issue of misaligned incentives related to the PTG actor. Although not the focus of our analysis, in some scenarios we find that the welfare optimal PTG capacity results in a loss for the PTG actor, which reveals some intuition that subsidizing PTG can make sense to reduce the cost of RES subsidies. A sensitivity analysis is conducted to contextualize these findings for system specificities.
  • Electric vehicles and DSOs: working towards a joint future?

    Broeckx, Saskia; Ramos, Ariana; Meeus, Leonardo (2020)
    The discussion on the network integration of electric vehicles is reminiscent of that on the integration of intermittent renewables, such as solar and wind energy and other alternative sources, about ten years ago. Whenever radically new technologies gain traction, they may have a significant impact on the existing system. But whereas ten years ago any calls for early impact assessment were met with scepticism, the sector now seems to have learned its lesson. Although demand for electric vehicles is growing, mainstream adoption is still far from being achieved. Nevertheless, DSOs and regulators are already seriously considering the challenges ahead. After all, the mobility landscape may change faster than currently expected and they feel it is better to be prepared than to be caught out. On 12 December 2019, the DSO Chair organised a workshop to discuss challenges and issues related to the demand-side integration of electric vehicles into the electricity distribution network. Prior to the workshop we interviewed key stakeholders and participants, as well as several experts, to gather background information as a basis for discussion. This white paper provides a round-up of the findings and insights as well as suggesting areas for further exploration.
  • Guaranteed income insurance and occupational disability: an Employee perspective

    Baeten, Xavier; De Ruyck, Bettina (2018)
    This research report is the result of a collaboration between AG Insurance and Vlerick Business School with the objective of gaining insights into employees’ personal experiences and expectations about occupational disability, and the employer’s role in this respect.
  • Seven things that brilliant product managers do (and how to learn them)

    Tackx, Koen (2019)
    When you were eight years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you have a dream job in mind? It’s rare to meet a product manager who says that it has always been their dream job. Yet when you get to it, being a product manager is one of the most exciting and rewarding professional roles you could ever embrace. It’s a role where you can take ownership, gain the respect of your colleagues and peers – and lay the foundation for a successful career.
  • Open banking: opening the gates - Framework for an open banking strategy

    Cumps, Bjorn; Muylle, Steve; Standaert, Willem (2019)
    The European regulations on open banking, which will enter into force on 14 September, will not cause any big bang on the Belgian financial market. Customers must first become aware of the many benefits that open banking has to offer. What is more, the law is limited to current accounts and payments. What is certain, however, is that open banking can drastically reconfigure the landscape of the financial sector. There are already indications that the hitherto relatively closed banks with a dominant market position are beginning to transform into open ecosystem players that embrace digital innovation.
  • Is destiny worth the distance? On private equity in emerging markets

    Darolles, Serge; Ain Tommar, Sara; Jurczenko, Emmanuel (2018)
    We study the performance determinants of private equity investing in emerging markets (EM) compared to developed markets (DM) using a novel dataset. Using a multilevel linear model specification, our results suggest that performance in emerging markets in highly dependent on geographical and cultural proximity. The effect is significantly higher for GPs investing in both markets compared to pure DM- and EM-players respectively. Cross-cultural and geographical effects are enhanced when the GP investment teams are also culturally close using different measures. Our results also show that the realized returns are highly dependent on the investment period, the investment style and the GP’s experience on each market.
  • On the performance of listed private equity

    Ain Tommar, Sara (2018)
    Listed private equity (LPE) refers to publicly-traded investment companies whose activity is to invest in privately-held companies or in traditional private equity funds. The recent years have witnessed a slew of such listings and many investors were offered exposure to traditional private equity investments (TPE) through LPE. While listed private equity and traditional private equity have the same investment universe, we argue that the performance of the latter does not pertain to LPE. We build a representative dataset of the LPE universe and compare their performance to TPE. We examine whether belonging to indices and having minimum liquidity requirements is linked to performance. Our results suggest that listing significantly deteriorates absolute performance measures but is positively and significantly related to better investment multiples.
  • Energy Storage. Our take on business model and regulation

    Broeckx, Saskia; Ramos, Ariana; Fernandez, Luisa; Meeus, Leonardo (2019)
    The electricity landscape is in a state of flux, not least due to the increasing integration of renewable energy sources and distributed generation. This has sparked growing interest in energy storage, arguably an important part of the renewable energy mix. How can energy storage be used and integrated into existing power systems, in both residential and industrial environments? This is the key question the STORY project aims to address. Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, STORY is a five-year research project analysing new energy storage technologies and their benefits. It features six demonstration case studies and involves 18 partner institutions in seven European countries. One of these partner institutions is Vlerick Business School. In a context where several different actors can use storage assets, it is essential to identify business models and regulation that will make energy storage sustainable, which is exactly where our expertise lies. We have taken the lead on the business cases supporting the rollout of electricity storage at the distribution level of the grid; more specifically, on those business cases revolving around the challenges of storage deployment and the interaction between the business models and the enabling market and regulatory context.

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