Francis Alexander

(27/07/1951 - 06/02/2021)

Francis completed his studies at the University of Antwerp in applied economics. His career as a steel trader started rather by chance. His first assignment was a trainee job with the Cargill group in New York. In 1977, he joined the Ferex family and met his old schoolmate Carlo Pannemans who had already substantial experience in steel. In 1983, Francis began a six-year period managing Ferex Düsseldorf which gave him the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the steel business in the EEC. Later, Francis and Carlo joined their former boss at Ferex to jointly take over a very small trader in Antwerp called Promatex. The growth of Promatex exceeded all expectations, particularly in the African market, and they established Ferromex which focused its activities on Asia. In 2002, Promatex took over Compansid, a company operating in Latin America, and then started the merger to create the SteelFORCE Group in 2006, which went on to become active in 90 countries across Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia, handling 2.3 million tons of steel.

Francis’ mottoes were:

Long live steel
Vive l’acier
Viva el acero
Lang leve staal

Mr. Francis Alexander passed away on February 6th 2021.

“Chairman and one of the founding fathers of Steelforce,  a business father for many of us.
A luggage full of knowhow and experience, bringing new dynamics to his colleagues, his customers and suppliers.
That’s what inspiring fathers are standing for.

Cosmopolitan, a man for all seasons : winter in Liepajas, summer In Sao Paolo, five stars in Shanghai, hostel in Bucharest. Wire rods and rebars in Turkey, coils and plates in China. “Wherever I can find and sell the steel, that’s my home” Dining with the banker, brainstorming with the shipper, gala at Irepas.  Passe Partout, all fit one.
That’s what trading is standing for.

Unabated ambition, : “I sell steel till I die” or “Viva el acero!”, his words…
But he also had the wisdom to prepare the future, to transform the company, well armed for the next generations. To make Steelforce ready, when tomorrow is not another day.
That’s what entrepreneurship is standing for.

He left his legacy, his treasure in our hands now.
May his soul rest in peace and guide Steelforce forever…”

Kurt Crollet / Ronny Willemsens / Jerome Waterkeyn / Guido Hemeleers


“A lightening rod he was. Wherever he decided to travel he created something that was not before his trip. Gave it all. “

Michael Setterdahl


Comments are closed.