This was the year that Jan Brand, a graduate engineer himself, placed his first fellow engineerin a temporary position.

With this first step, Jan Brand distinguishes himself as a pioneer in the development of the temporary employment sector. Over the years this would become an international industry and an indispensable stabilising factor in local and international labour markets. This first placement, made when the company was operating under the name of Multec, also marks the beginning of Brunel's colourful history. Typical of these early years was the emphasis on placing highly qualified, technical specialists. Even now Brunel is still known for this focus. The first office was established in Delft, the same city where Jan Brand attended university and a city that attracts many young engineers.

Mosaic Secundary Multec
Mosaic Primary House in Delft


Rapid growth

The business of temporary placement of engineers experiences rapid growth. Companies are quick to realise how flexibility can enhance their processes. Newly graduated engineers know that working on a range of different projects for various companies will accelerate their own careers. This winning formula leads to new company offices. The Multec flag is soon waving in every Dutch city with a technical university or polytechnic. This operation runs with almost military precision: as soon as one office grows and flourishes, another one is in the works.


First foreign office: Belgium

The development of Brunel enters a new phase with the opening of its first office in a foreign city: Antwerp, Belgium. Brunel still remains true to the formula that has made the company so successful until then: small, highly motivated sales teams and the placement of highly qualified candidates in technical settings. At the same time, the company is aware that the formula for each new region requires adaptation to cultural differences as well as variations in labour market structure and legislation. As a result, Belgium will become a relatively small but solid business unit within Brunel.
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Mosaic Primary Beach Volley



The history of Brunel is being characterised by growth, new steps and expansion. Recognising the old saying 'Let a thousand flowers bloom', many measures are taken to stimulate the company's growth even more. Brunel becomes a springboard for young, enterprising people. Ingenuity and creativity play key roles in this success. Besides Multec, new activities such as Grace BV are launched. New foreign adventures are planned. It becomes evident everywhere that the rise of the temporary employment industry is not just a Dutch phenomenon but an international one.


Introducing a single corporate name: Brunel

In 1989 it becomes necessary to develop a single corporate name for all of the company's Dutch and international activities. The name chosen is Brunel. Although many anecdotes and half-truths have developed over the years in regard to the origins of this name, the official explanation is that it was derived from the name of the British engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859). This engineer is perhaps best known for his design of a series of bridges for the Great Western Railway. Brunel was renowned for the use of new, unconventional techniques and creating works that had previously been considered technically impossible. His technical genius paved the way for a new era in engineering. Isambard Kingdom Brunel is still acclaimed as the greatest engineer in British history.

Non-engineering activities

During its first fifteen years, Brunel focused specifically on placing technical professionals. In 1989, these activities are extended with the founding of Euromatch, a business unit that places highly qualified specialists in non-engineering fields. The principle of  'specialists placing specialists' is already deeply embedded in Brunel's DNA. With the introduction of these new fields of activity, Brunel remains true to this principle. The addition of each new professional field leads to the formation of a new biotope fostering the acquisition of professional expertise and knowledge of the market. During a later phase, Euromatch will lead to the formation of new independently operating companies: Brunel ICT, Brunel Legal, Brunel Finance and Brunel Insurance & Banking.

Mosaic Secundary Oil rig
Mosaic Primary Brunel Boat Providing Professionals


The founding of Brunel Energy

The use of flexible labour varies according to region and industrial sector. One of the sectors in which flexible labour has long been intensively deployed is the international oil and gas sector. In 1995, Brunel decides to set up a separate business unit for this sector namely Brunel Energy. From that point on, Brunel Energy is one of Brunel's fastest growing entities. The company does an efficient job in developing an international database. To strengthen the network, certain acquisitions  are made including that of a company in Scotland. Brunel is now able to provide major international oil and gas companies with highly qualified technical personnel. The success of Brunel Energy is a beautiful example of the enterprising spirit of Brunel and the people it places. Brunel Energy, a relatively small company conquering the world with its daring, perseverance and ingenuity.


Overseas office in Toronto, Canada

After having opened its own office in Houston, Texas in 1994, Brunel enlarges the foundation for its global network of offices in 1996 by acquiring two companies in Toronto, Canada. The demand for the temporary placement of high-grade technical specialists is growing in Canada, and Brunel has the ideal system to exploit this market. The establishment of an office in Canada will serve two purposes: to capture a permanent position in the local temporary employment market and to create an important base of operations for Brunel Energy that serves the international oil and gas sector. Brunel Canada has been displaying steady growth since 1996 and is still a permanent part of Brunel's international network of offices.

Brunel starts operations in Asia

Brunel's international expansion continues undiminished. Its activities, particularly the services that Brunel Energy provides to the international oil and gas sector, necessitate establishing offices in the Eastern Hemisphere. This step to the other side of the world marks a new phase in Brunel's existence. The acquisition of Oil Tools in Singapore provides the first location, but this is just the first of many offices that will be opened in Asia and Australia over the next few years. Even so, the Singapore entity still plays a leading role in the operations in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Brunel Germany

In the international labour market, Germany has always been a different story. Several factors converge to put Germany far behind other countries in developing a flexible labour market. This is exactly why many major temporary employment companies have avoided operating in Germany. Brunel, however, has its own view of the future. Unlike other companies, it sees long-term opportunities here. The first of many offices opened here in 1996. Brunel becomes well established in all the major industrial segments. Profits generated by Brunel's Germany activities steadily rise; Brunel Germany will become an important strategic cornerstone for Brunel as an international group.

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Mosaic Primary Group Photo Brunel Teach Employees


First quotation Amsterdam stock exchange

Twenty years after its founding, Brunel has now become a significant player in the growing temporary employment sector. Time for the next step. A listing on the stock exchange provides Brunel with international status and a solid financial basis, underlying its growth strategy for the future. The economy is flourishing. The stock exchange is eager for new entrants. Investors see Brunel as a company with great potential. Since its introduction, the value of Brunel stock has fluctuated according to the whims of the stock market. After the euphoric economic conditions of its first years on the stock exchange, less favourable years follow as a result of the economic recession that begins in 2000. Due to reasons such as the business's continuous growth of turnover and profitability, Brunel is now listed on the Next Prime Segment and the Amsterdam Small Cap Index (AscX).

Brunel Sunergy

In 1997, Brunel sponsors the prestigious Whitbread Race. The longest globe-circling regatta that began in 1996 becomes an international media spectacle the following year. Anyone unacquainted with Brunel before has heard of it now. The listing on the stock exchange and the flood of publicity surrounding Brunel Sunergy transform Brunel's image as a relatively unknown company to an imposing presence. The decision to associate Brunel with sailing is no accident. Jan Brand, the company's founder (and the major shareholder since the company has been listed) is crazy about the sport himself. Besides this, sailing the ocean is a perfect symbol for Brunel's international ambitions.

Mosaic Secundary Wokers By Night On Rig
Mosaic Primary Brunel Boat Sunergy



The first years of the 21st century focus on restructuring the company. Its rapid growth in size necessitates a reassessment of its organisational and management model. The emerging economic recession also affects Brunel. A series of far-reaching measures have to be taken to ensure that Brunel can look forward to a healthy future.

On 29 September 2000, Jan Arie van Barneveld is appointed CEO of Brunel. He then becomes responsible for leading Brunel into a new phase of its development.


Global strategy

Brunel's main objective is a continued increase in turnover and profit. The point of departure is autonomous growth, supplemented in special cases by selective acquisitions. An international strategy is established based on three cornerstones  - Brunel Netherlands, Brunel Germany and Brunel Energy (serving the international oil and gas industry)  - with Brunel Belgium and Brunel Canada as smaller business units. With respect to corporate identity, it is decided to switch from a multibranding approach to a mono-branding policy. All business units will start operating under the name of Brunel. An important part of this strategy is the continued expansion of the international network of offices with individual locations. In conclusion, a decision is made to develop a global backbone in the field of IT, control and reporting systems, and the design of administrative processes. Sales organisations worldwide can then fall back on an effectively organised back office. 'Operational Excellence' makes its debut and will become a permanent element in Brunel's business vocabulary.


It’s a people business

The placement of professional specialists will always require the personal touch. Due to the emergence of international job boards, having a candidate database is no longer a unique selling point. The account managers are what make the difference. Their expertise, experience and mind-set are the deciding factors in a candidate's relationship with Brunel. For Brunel, the quality of the account manager has always been a priority, and its importance receives additional emphasis as part of the new strategy. The training and development of new and existing employees is stressed even more. Talent and management development programmes are developed at national and international levels. In 2002, Brunel's training and development activities are brought together in the form of the Brunel Academy.


Working for the leading oil companies

Whilst the European markets are still struggling with the aftermath of the economic recession, Brunel Energy is growing by leaps and bounds. Its annual growth in turnover is around thirty percent. All the leading oil and gas companies are calling on Brunel for temporary technical personnel. The number of offices is increasing rapidly as well. Yet another development is occurring in the oil and gas sector. Whereas the deployment of personnel used to be a local matter, the big companies are now tending to appoint partners who can provide a worldwide service. Brunel qualifies as one of the first to satisfy this demand. Large-scaled long-term commitments are new incentives to the development of Brunel Energy.

Mosaic Secundary Oil Platform In Ocean
Mosaic Primary Brunel Boat Statue of Liberty


Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race

Brunel has always been associated with sailing. The challenge, the excitement, the teamwork all are elements found in Brunel's company culture. Brunel sponsors the Australian team the absolute underdog. It's a race with both highs and lows. Once again, Brunel receives a lot of good publicity for a relatively low cost campaign. The arrival of the Brunel boat at the various stopovers is used to generate on-site publicity aimed at local clients, employees and the press. The arrival in Melbourne is a high point. After all, the Brunel team is Australian, and Brunel has just landed a number of large assignments in Australia.


The new Amsterdam corporate office

As of 2010, Brunel is a business with an annual turnover of EUR 730 million, an EBIT of EUR 45 million, and an international network of 90 offices in 32 countries. This is its story to date, but it's not the end of the story. Brunel's ambitions remain as high as ever. Many more markets are yet to be won, and the international labour market is the arena. The Brunel team, now 8.000 strong, is ready to take on the challenge.  Expectations remain high. The latest form of service is known as Brunel Global Professionals. This internationally operating activity offers new and unprecedented opportunities for matching motivated, ambitious professionals with national and international leading companies. On 19 March 2010, Brunel's new corporate office was officially opened by Jan Brand, founder and major shareholder, and Jan Arie van Barneveld, CEO of Brunel International.

Mosaic Secundary Brunel HQ People At Reception Talking
Mosaic Primary Stock Exchange Gong Ceremonie


NYSE Liffe

On 5 April 2011 trading in options on the shares of Brunel International N.V. started on NYSE Liffe, the Europe-based derivatives business of NYSE Euronext.


Brunel International N.V. main sponsor of a Dutch team in the Volvo Ocean Race

On 3 December 2013 Brunel International N.V. announced it will be the main sponsor of a Dutch team in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race.

Our story - Brunel Sailing - Medium


Jilko Andringa appointed CEO

In the fall of 2017, Jilko Andringa is appointed CEO at Brunel. On 1 March 2018, he takes over the role previously held by Jan Arie van Barneveld.
With over 20 years' international experience in our field, Jilko is ready to begin a new phase with Brunel.