Dirk De Corte holds a degree in English language and literature and Literary Sciences from the University of Ghent, Belgium. During his fourteen years in international banking (with BNP and ING, where he was one of the Directors Structured Finance), Dirk was involved in various transactions with major international corporations. After his stay in banking, Dirk moved into the arts world. He was Managing Director of NTGent for seven years, one of the larger professional theatres in Belgium, which he transformed into a vibrant art house. In this capacity he was vice-chairman of the Employers’ Association of the Flemish Performing Arts.
Dirk left the arts world to become Senior Associate with Executive Learning Partnership, an international and committed network of experienced executive development professionals. He designed delivered several customised ‘action learning’ programmes, aimed at the development of strategy and leadership in large corporations. He is currently Managing Partner of Improvement where he is designing and facilitating executive programmes for mid caps focusing on leadership, change management and behaviour styles. He is a certified trainer and coach in DISC-behaviour style, Emotional Intelligence, as well as Situational Leadership(TM). He is also Senior Advisor Creative Industries for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, where he coaches mid-caps in former Eastern Europe. He combines these activities with his Associate Professorship at the University of Antwerp, where he lectures in financial management for the arts and the creatives industries, with special focus on behavioural finance aspects in the arts. In this capacity he co-authored Cultuurmanagement, De Regels van de Kunst, a comprehensive handbook on managing the arts, which was published by Lannoo, autumn 2011.
He frequently advises profit and non profit companies (arts and others), as well as government related entities, on issues regarding financial management and general and strategic management and is a much solicited facilitator of workshops on management as well as board level.
Dirk was a freelance radio reporter for more than ten years for Belgian national radio, where he gave live soccer commentary. He also held the position of Treasurer at the International Amateur Theatre Association, an NGO patronized by the Monegasque royal family, where he successfully completed a management change programme transferring the association’s secretariat from Copenhagen to Tallinn in the early post-communist days. This earned him a Knight’s Medal of Supreme Cultural Merit of the Principality of Monaco. He is still actively involved in his own semi-professional theatre company, de WAANzin, which was granted the title of Cultural Ambassador of Flanders in the late nineties.
Presently, he holds a number of board mandates in profit as well as not for profit companies. He is a frequent speaker on a variety of subjects (finance, the arts, entrepreneurship, communication styles, strategic management) at national and international fora. An ardent Club Brugge-fan, he is married to Anne and father to Freek, Fien and Toon.
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