Kabanga Michel Kayembe
Pragmatism and optimism
From Lubumbashi to Luxembourg, Kabanga Michel Kayembe, partner at Wavestone, talks about the people and events that have shaped his career.
There aren’t many finance executives out there who dream of being a waffle seller! This man is clearly an idealist. He would like to see more philanthropists out there, along the lines of Bill Gates. He is a big admirer of the founder of the Microsoft empire, who has decided to put his fortune to good use by helping the underprivileged. “Being someone is knowing how to be at the service of others”, he adds. Born in Lubumbashi forty years ago, Michel arrived in Belgium at the age of eleven to go to school and graduated in economics from the FUCaM in Mons before completing a Master’s in finance at the University of Liege. In 1996 he started his career as a consultant before leaving four years later to join Atraxis, a subsidiary of Sabena. Following its financial difficulties, this adventure came to an abrupt end.
A chance encounter
When on holiday in the Congo at the age of seventeen, he had a chance encounter with the woman who was later to become his wife. They lost sight of each other for a few years before coming across each other again on a station platform in Brussels. They have been inseparable since. Devoted to his four children and an adventurous entrepreneur, Michel is quick to emphasise the two sides of his profile, which he compares to the fictional character Batman. But while he may look up to the hero, he has never actually considered the possibility of actually becoming a caped crusader in real life!
A business vision
In 2001, Arthur Andersen asked him to join the Business Risk Consulting Advisory in Luxembourg. Two years later, the company merged with Ernst & Young and Michel joined an asset management company as an internal auditor. “I considered the experience as a stepping stone towards the world of portfolio management, private banking and above all, fund administration” he remembers. In 2004 he came back to consulting. But when the former partners of Deloitte Consulting France came up with the idea of creating Ineum Consulting Luxembourg, he didn’t think twice. In 2011, the company merged with Kurt Salmon Associates and five years later rebranded into Wavestone. We have to adapt and readjust our service offerings and ourselves as well: this is probably the most exciting and challenging part of the consulting journey.
Facts & Figures
Place of birth: Lubumbashi, République Démocratique du Congo (RDC)
Languages: French, English, Spanish (intermediaire level)
Hobbies: Reading, cinema
Cities: Paris, Luxembourg, Genève, Cape Town
Restaurants: Patin d’or (Luxembourg), El Mektoub (Genève), La Novita (Genève)
Places: Dudelange (Luxembourg), Place St Pierre (Rome)
Books: The Bible
Artist: Gustav Klimt, The tree of life