In Memoriam | Karl van de Paer (EHL 2005)

On Saturday 25 March, after a week of work hard play hard at age 33 Karl departed this life and set sail for his next adventure. His passing is one of injustice, of pain and of disbelief. Though this past week has seen many dark hours, reflecting and reminiscing Karl evokes many thoughts, feelings and memories. Karl’s modus operando was that of a bon vivant; a man with a distinct love for people, food & wine, and the aesthetic of things.

To the intimate, he was a devoted son, husband, father, cousin and friend. To the many he was an adventure racer, an energizer bunny and a visionary. He was not a man who would beat about the bush, he knew what he wanted, where he wanted to go and how he would go about achieving it. No dream was too far off. Operating at 200 km/hour was his thing, keeping up with Karl was no easy feat and not for the light hearted. He had a positive attitude and constantly embraced life with unparalleled enthusiasm, he had an ability to light up a room and bring people together that was unique to him. His charm, honesty and openness were contagious to all those who he met.

By the age of 29, Karl had a collection of trophies from multiple institutions; starting as a professional Chef, an hotelier (EHL), moving onto becoming an economist and financier from the Stockholm School of Economics and finally culminating his academic career as an MBA holder from the Columbia Business School. In just a few years between New York, Amsterdam and Zurich he lined up experiences at some of the biggest and most impressive employers in consulting, investment banking and private equity such as McKinsey, Evercore Partners and recently Gilde Buy Out Partners, while taking on diverse roles from Vice President to Partner (no less).

While his academic achievements and career were a testament to his drive, success and ambition. Being merely an astute professional wasn’t fulfilling enough, Karl’s most cherished triumph was the creation of his family from his union with Aysha. In Aysha he found an accomplice, a sparring partner and a confident, someone who would dream big with him and not only let him fly but help him fly. Ultimately, being papa to five-year old Charlie and a soon to be baby boy was the realisation of Karl’s greatest wish, that of being surrounded by a community, a community he would call family.  

A leaving note, to our favourite Karli boy, Mr President as we used to call him, accomplished professional and family man… wherever you are party hard and party well until we meet again dear friend.