Today we share our deep grief at the loss of dear Frederik. He was more than a colleague, he was a great friend to all of us who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him in Brussels, and we will miss him enormously.
We first met Frederik almost exactly seven years ago in 2007. He came to his interview with impeccable credentials: a law degree, Sciences Po in Paris, College of Europe in Bruges, and an internship in the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Enterprise. Thanks to his French mother and German father, he was perfectly trilingual and a true European. But what struck us most about Fred were his energy, his openness, and his positive attitude. All of these great qualities came through in spades from the day he joined us until the day he tragically left us.
Frederik grew to become a highly accomplished professional. He was intellectually curious and always open to new ideas. He would look for solutions and find a way forward. The many warm tributes from so many of his clients are testimony to the respect they held him in for his political acumen and strategic counsel.
But Frederik was more than an excellent consultant. He built relationships with his clients which became friendships. So many of the messages refer to Fred as ‘a true friend’, ‘a comrade in arms’.
Frederik was dedicated to the European ideal and to democratic principles. He was so much looking forward to the European Parliament elections in May and was tirelessly encouraging young people to go out and vote.
Frederik also reached out well beyond the boundaries of Europe. He was a great traveler and sought out opportunities to connect with colleagues and clients around our firm’s global network. In 2010 Fred expressed an interest in visiting Asia and spent a week in Hong Kong and a week in Tokyo where he made many new friends and initiated the idea of hosting an intern from China. Mandy, that first intern, is still with us in Brussels today.
In 2011 Fred requested a transfer to the United States, and we were delighted that we could arrange for him to join our sister company VOX Global in Washington D.C. Fred threw himself into life inside the Beltway, won over lots of new friends, and came back politically energized and brimming with fresh ideas. Since then he has reached out to colleagues all over the FH network: US, Canada, Middle East, Russia and Asia-Pac as well as Europe. The extraordinary tributes we have had from clients, alumni and colleagues across the globe speak volumes about Fred’s ability to relate to people across culture, language, race and religion.
Fred will also be remembered for his tremendous sense of humour. He always found an amusing side to every situation, sometimes dark humour, but always a wicked sense of fun and a twinkle in his eye. We can all still hear his laughter ringing around us in the office.
Needless to say, Fred was at the heart and soul of our office activities and our infamous Christmas parties. One of our party themes was “famous couples”, and his appearance as the handsome, dashing Rhett Butler with our colleague Michelle Gibbons as his Scarlett O’Hara was legendary.
And so, as we stand here today to pay our last respects, we remember Frederik: a highly respected professional, a passionate European, an energetic internationalist and above all a wonderfully warm friend and humorous human being who lived his life to the full. FleishmanHillard Brussels today is a better place thanks to him.
May Frederik Rest in Peace.
Brussels, 27 February 2014
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