“Wonderful Snapshot of a 30-year Career”

A process of advancing insights

09 June 2022

Lawyer Luc Wynant was in the first cohort of DBA students. Three and a half years ago he began with a sharp focus: on the place where the law meets the world of the private equity-backed buyout. We're wondering how far he has come. And what the future might hold?

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A process of advancing insights

When Luc was asked for his first impressions of the DBA programme over three years ago, the lines of his research project were quite clear. Are they today? “The bones of my research question haven't changed. I am looking at contract patterns and techniques in private equity-backed buyouts. But research is an evolutionary process, and I’ve tweaked my research question along the way. It's only logical. You keep getting new insights. Usually on the initial course weeks in the first year, and when talking to fellow students and your promoters especially. It is a process of advancing insights.”

Luc Wynant

A varied and educational journey

So how does Luc reflect on the last three and a half years? Is research still his biggest passion in life? “Absolutely. It's been an intensive but incredibly interesting journey so far. Varied too: everything from attending courses to reading, writing, publishing and presenting innumerable papers, collecting data, and so on. Above all, the academic approach brings new insights. More and deeper understandings.”

Block out the time in your diary

“Admittedly, it's a pretty tough thing to combine with a professional life. My advice? Block out the time for research in your diary. The course weeks in the first year tend to structure it automatically. But after that, it's up to you. And it takes some discipline. Things like data collection take up a lot of time. Especially when you keep discovering new elements and structures. My research involves huge numbers of contracts and documents, and, more particularly, how buyout companies are put together and what the underlying contracts look like. I sift the relevant information from texts, often 50 or more pages long, and then code it. Then I enter it to a database and do the statistical analyses. It is bespoke work, so it is very time intensive.

Luckily, I can rely on permanent support from my two promoters: professor Sophie Manigart and professor Veroniek Collewaert. They complement each other, and they are highly responsive and extremely supportive when it comes to data collection and authoring papers.”


Advice for future DBAers

Luc: “Stay in touch with your fellow students. A new group begins every year. A new set of people from different backgrounds and with different experiences. The shared information exchange produces new insights. Vlerick also holds regular Research Days, at which researchers get the opportunity to present their papers and share their research.

Vlerick is an incredibly inspirational environment anyway. I am doing my research in two areas: Accounting & Finance and Entrepreneurship, Governance and Strategy. I try to participate wherever I can, to know the school inside out.”


The pieces of the puzzle come together

Luc has another year to go. What are his hopes for the future? Is there a radical change of career on the cards for this DBAer? “No, I think not. Depth of knowledge, yes. And I would definitely like to stay involved in research. But what if it's a once in a lifetime experience? Actually, it's a snapshot of my 30-years in law. The pieces of the puzzle are coming together nicely, and it enriches my experience.”

Get in touch!

Eva Cools

Eva Cools

DBA Manager & Research Manager