Tuesday 15 October 2019

Leysen to stand down as KBC Group chair

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Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

KBC Bank Group chairman Thomas Leysen will stand down at the Belgium-headquartered bank's next annual shareholders meeting in May 2020. He has been chairman of the board of directors of KBC Group, KBC Bank and KBC Insurance for eight years.

The Belgian businessman is also the chairman of Mediahuis - the Belgo-Dutch media group currently in the process of buying Independent News & Media (INM) in Ireland.

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Mr Leysen said he's stepping down after he had been able to contribute in the wake of the financial crisis to shaping a focused strategy, to accelerate digital transformation and to ensuring the right people are in the right place and to the promotion of sustainability thinking. During that period KBC also opted to retain its presence here and include Ireland among the bank's "core countries".

"With KBC in strong shape now, it seems to me that now is a good time for the group and for me to prepare for passing on the baton. I will work together with my colleagues on the board to ensure a smooth transition to a new chairman," he said.

Philippe Vlerick, vice chairman of the board of KBC Group, added: "Thomas has been and continues to be an impressive chairman. Whilst we regret his decision, we respect his wishes and his motivation. We will now work with the nomination committee and the board to ensure an optimal succession".

Meanwhile, shareholders in INM, which owns the Irish Independent, will vote this Wednesday on whether to accept a €145.6m takeover offer from Mr Leysen's Mediahuis.

Irish Independent

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