Fortis (finance)

Fortis (finance)

Infobox Company
name = Fortis SA/NV (B) / Fortis N.V. (NL)

type = Public (Euronext|FORA, Euronext|FORB, LuxSE|FOR)
genre =
foundation = 1990
founder =
location_city =
location_country =
location =
locations =
area_served = Brussels, Belgium and Utrecht, the Netherlands
key_people = Filip Dierckx (CEO since 27 September 2008)
industry = Financial services
products = Commercial bank Investment bank Insurance
services =
market c

revenue = 120.5 billion (2007)cite web|url= |title=Fortis Annual Report 2007 |year=2007 |publisher=Fortis |accessdate=2008-09-29]
operating_income =
net_income = €4.074 billion (2007)
assets =
equity =
owner =
num_employees = 56,866 (2006)
parent =
divisions =
subsid =
homepage = []
footnotes =
intl = yes

Fortis (Euronext|FORA, Euronext|FORB, LuxSE|FOR) is a banking, insurance, and investment management company, and is the 20th largest business in the world by revenue. [cite web |url= |title=Fortune Global 500 2007: Fortis |publisher=CNN Money |year=2007 |accessdate=2008-09-29] The Benelux countries are Fortis' home base and its strength. Fortis' banking operations include network (retail), commercial, and merchant banking; its insurance products include life, health, and property/casualty lines. Products are sold through independent agents and brokers, financial planners, and through Fortis Bank branches. It is listed on the Euronext Brussels, Euronext Amsterdam, and Luxembourg stock exchanges.


The precursors of Fortis financed the Louisiana Purchase. Its primary bank, Societe Generale, played a large role in the industrialization of Belgium and the Netherlands.

In addition to acquiring a retail bank in Poland, Fortis acquired 89.3% of the shares of Turkey's fifth largest privately owned bank Dışbank from Doğan Group on 11 April 2005. Considering the outstanding public shares, the total bid is approximately €985 million. From 28 November 2005 on, the network of 173 branches of Dışbank were rebranded Fortis.

As of 2006 its profits were €4.56 billion according to Forbes magazine with a market value of €45.74 billion.

Fortis acquired Dryden Wealth Management from Prudential Financial on 4 October 2005.

Fortis Insurance UK has its own in-house worldwide medical emergency service, Assistance International. Fortis is the shirt sponsor of the R.S.C. Anderlecht and Feyenoord Rotterdam football clubs. Fortis is also the main sponsor of the Turkish Football Cup and the Luxembourg National Division.

Fortis was part of the consortium with Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) and Banco Santander, that announced on October 8, 2007, that an offer for 86% of outstanding ABN AMRO stock had been accepted, making way for the largest ever bank takeover in history. [1] On November 1 2007, an extraordinary shareholder meeting was held to change ABN AMRO's management. Mark Fisher from RBS took over as CEO. At that meeting the consortium stated that 97% of all shares were in their hands.

Fortis will use the ABN AMRO brand name for Fortis's retail banking operations in the Netherlands. On July 11, 2008, the CEO of Fortis, Jean Votron, stepped down after the ABN Amro deal had depleted Fortis' capital. The total value of Fortis, as reflected by its stock value, was at that time a third of what it had been before the acquisition, and just under the value it had paid for ABN Amro's Benelux activities alone. [cite web |url= |title=Fortis chief executive out; chairman now faces shareholder anger |publisher=International Herald Tribune |date=2008-07-13 |accessdate=2008-09-29]

On September 27, 2008 Filip Dierckx was named as the new CEO of Fortis [cite web |url= |title=Fortis names new CEO after shares plunge |publisher=Daily Harald |date=2008-09-28 |accessdate=2008-09-29] [cite web |url= |title=Fortis nominates Filip Dierckx as new CEO |publisher=Euronext |date=2008-09-26 |accessdate=2008-09-29] , to be approved by a shareholder meeting, after the shares of Fortis dropped 35% in one week timecite web |url= |title=Belgian, Dutch Regulators Seek to Boost Confidence in Fortis | |date=2008-09-28 |accessdate=2008-09-29] . Fortis also was subject of discussion on an emergency meeting of the Dutch and Belgian minister of finance and financial regulators, and rumours about partial or total takeovers are spreadcite web |url= |title=Talks on future of Fortis to run into Sunday |publisher=International Harald Tribune |date=2008-09-27 |accessdate=2008-09-29] . Since the begin of 2008, about 3% of the deposits stalled at the bank were withdrawn [cite web |url= |title=FACTBOX-Finances at Belgian-Dutch group Fortis |publisher=Reuters |date=2008-09-27 |accessdate=2008-09-29] The involved parties stated that there was no reason at all to believe a bankruptcy is at hand.

Fortis was partially nationalised on September 28, 2008, with Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg investing a total of €11.2 billion (US$16.3 billion) in the bank. Belgium will purchase 49% of Fortis's Belgian banking division, with the Netherlands doing the same for the Dutch banking division. Luxembourg has agreed to a loan convertible into a 49% share of Fortis's Luxembourg banking division. [cite news |url= |title=Fortis Gets EU11.2 Billion Rescue From Governments |publisher=Bloomberg |date=2008-09-29 |accessdate=2008-09-29 |first=Martijn |last=van der Starre |coauthors=Meera Louis]

Divestment of Dutch assets

The Belgian newspaper "De Tijd" reported on October 3, 2008, that the Dutch government will purchase the Dutch banking and insurance division of Fortis for €16.8 billion ($23.3 billion). [ [ Fortis wordt ontmanteld] nl] A press release by the Dutch ministry of finance states that the Dutch government will become holder of Fortis Bank Nederland, Fortis Verzekeringen Nederland and Fortis Corporate Insurance, including the part of ABN Amro held by Fortis. [ [ Nederlandse staat neemt Fortis Bank Nederland, Fortis Verzekeringen Nederland, Fortis Corporate Insurance en het Fortis-deel van ABN AMRO Holding volledig over] nl] This was later confirmed in a press conference by both Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and Dutch Minister of Finance Wouter Bos. [ [ Fortis in Nederlandse handen] nl]

Takeover by BNP Paribas

On Sunday evening October 5, 2008, "De Tijd" reported that French bank BNP Paribas will take a majority stake in Fortis, with the Belgian and Luxembourg governments reduced to minority shareholders with blocking power in exchange for shares in BNP Paribas. [cite web|url='Overname_Fortis_Bank_door_BNP_rond'|title='Overname Fortis Bank door BNP Paribas rond'|publisher=De Tijd|date=2008-10-05|accessdate=2008-10-05 nl ] The deal does not include the main holding company, but does include the insurance and banking subsidiaries, except for Fortis Insurance International. [cite web|url=|title=BNP Paribas koopt ook Fortis Insurance|publisher=De Standaard|date=2008-10-05|accessdate=2008-10-05 nl ] [cite web|url='Overname_Fortis_Bank_door_BNP_rond'|title='Overname Fortis Bank door BNP Paribas rond'|publisher=De Tijd|date=2008-10-05|accessdate=2008-10-05 nl ]

Dutch and Belgian shareholders' associations have requested a review of the takeover. [cite web|url=|title=Verzet tegen overname van Fortis groeit|publisher=De Tijd|date=2008-10-08|accessdate=2008-10-08 nl] [cite web|url=|title=Fortis shareholders may ask for vote|publisher=International Herald Tribune|date=2008-10-08|accessdate=2008-10-08 en]

Remaining parts

On October 6 CBFA, the financial services regulatory authority for Belgium, announced that trade in Fortis shares was put on hold and permission the resume trading will be given after Fortis has published enough information about the remaining assets within Fortis. [cite web|url=|title='Handel_in_Fortis_blijft_opgeschort'|publisher=De Tijd|date=2008-10-08|accessdate=2008-10-08 nl]


* MeesPierson N.V. was acquired in 1996 from ABN AMRO, giving Fortis an instant presence in investment banking
* Algemene Spaar- en Lijfrentekas / Caisse Générale d'Epargne et de Retraite (ASLK/CGER) acquired in 1999 by Fortis
* Générale de Banque / General Bank (Generale Bank/Générale de Banque) was acquired in 1999 by Fortis
* Krediet aan de Nijverheid / Crédit à l'Industrie, (now called Fintro)
* In October 2006 Fortis signed a joint venture with An Post (Irish postal service) to provide financial related services through the An Post network of offices.
* In October 2006 Fortis acquired 100% of Polish retail bank, Dominet, which is full service retail bank with 806 employees and over 125 branches and franchises and is also in strong position in the car finance segment such as car loans.
* Pacific Century Insurance Holdings was acquired in 2007, now called Fortis Insurance Company (Asia) Limited
* On October 8 2007 a consortium of three European banks, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Fortis and Banco Santander, announced the acquisition of ABN AMRO.

See also

* List of Belgian companies
* List of Dutch companies
* ABN Amro
* European Financial Services Roundtable


External links

* []
* [ Yahoo! - Fortis Company Profile]
* [ Fortis: Pride comes before a fall?]
* [ Dutch shareholders ask regulator to probe Fortis]
* [ Fortis ABN Amro sell-off in trouble]
* [ More Setbacks For Fortis]

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