New board approved as insurer pulls out of banking

Troubled Benelux insurer Fortis last night secured shareholder support for its new directors and its plan to pull out of banking to concentrate on insurance.

The general meeting approved the appointments of Belgian financial and political heavyweight Etienne Davignon, Louis Cheung Chi Yan, executive director and group president of Chinese insurer Ping An, and Karel De Boeck, the company’s chief risk officer who becomes vice-chairman.

The company also said: “Fortis holding (Fortis SA/NV and Fortis N.V.) will, after the conclusion of the deal with BNP Paribas, include only:

  • international insurance activities,
  • a 66% stake in a structured credit portfolio entity and
  • financial assets and liabilities of various financing vehicles.

“Fortis holding is therefore no longer involved in any banking activities, and once the deal with BNP Paribas is concluded, will concern only international insurance activities,” the company said.

The international insurance activities are located in UK, France, Hong Kong, Luxembourg (Non-Life), Germany, Turkey, Russia, and Ukraine, and in joint ventures in Luxembourg (Life), Portugal, China, Malaysia, India and Thailand.