ING names head of Belgian business as new CEO

AMSTERDAM Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:54pm IST

NG Belgium Chief Executive Ralph Hamers presents the bank's annual results during a news conference in Brussels February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

NG Belgium Chief Executive Ralph Hamers presents the bank's annual results during a news conference in Brussels February 13, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Related Topics

Stocks

   

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch bank and insurance group ING (ING.AS) picked Ralph Hamers, head of its business in Belgium and Luxembourg, to succeed Jan Hommen as chief executive, a move that emphasises its focus on Europe following divestments in Asia and the Americas.

Like its Dutch rivals ABN Amro and Rabobank, ING has given up much of its extensive international presence and non-core businesses.

ING "cannot play in the champions' league," said Tom Muller, an analyst at Dutch private bank Theodoor Gilissen. "It should stick to what it is. If you're a top-three bank in the Benelux you earn a decent living, you have a good position... If you choose someone who knows this area well, you indicate this is important."

Hamers, a 46-year-old executive with a background in commercial and retail banking, will take over from Dutch business veteran Hommen in October.

Hommen, who turns 70 in April, became chief executive of ING in 2009 after the group was bailed out by the state. He was previously chief financial officer of consumer electronics group Philips (PHG.AS).

Under Hommen, ING has dismantled its once-fashionable bancassurer model and is divesting insurance, investment management and other assets through disposals or stock market listings as it prepares to repay the state.

Last year, pan-Asian insurer AIA Group Ltd (AIG.N) agreed to buy ING's Malaysian insurance operations for $1.73 billion and Hong Kong businessman Richard Li, the younger son of Asia's richest man, agreed to buy ING's Hong Kong, Macau and Thailand insurance units for $2.14 billion.

Now Hamers and Hommen will be kept busy with the planned listing of the group's U.S. operations, further asset sales in Asia and repayment of the rest of the state aid.

SNS Securities analyst Lemer Salah said ING Bank was adopting a different profile, going back to its core market and selling less complex retail products.

"To put uncomplicated products in the market requires knowledge of the home market, and that can only be done by someone with that knowledge," said Salah.

Hamers, who joined ING in 1991 as a relationship manager for structured finance, worked in Romania, was global head of ING's commercial banking network and has been head of ING Belgium and Luxemburg since March 2011.

Earlier this month, ING said it would cut 2,400 jobs in Belgium and the Netherlands, saying the new lay-offs at IT and call centres were needed to lower costs in its retail banks in those countries.

ING shares were up about 0.9 percent at 6.22 euros by 1027 GMT following the announcement. (Writing by Sara Webb; Editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Canada Shooting

Canada Shooting

Attack on parliament, killing of soldier stun Canada's capital.  Full Article 

Earnings Season

Earnings Season

Wipro sees rosier end to year as U.S. clients spend.  Full Article 

Business Climate

Business Climate

Fears for tough penalties grow as India cleans up business  Full Article 

New Email Service

New Email Service

Google launches new email service dubbed "Inbox".  Full Article 

DLF Appeals

DLF Appeals

DLF seeks interim relief from capital market ban  Full Article 

Falling Oil Prices

Falling Oil Prices

Indian consumers respond to softer oil, food prices  Full Article 

Book Keeping

Book Keeping

RBI fires warning shots on companies' lack of FX hedging.  Full Article 

Policy Repo Rate

Policy Repo Rate

Most external members suggested rate cut in RBI's Sept review.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage