People Moves

ABN AMRO CEO To Step Down Early

Amisha Mehta Deputy Editor 14 September 2016

ABN AMRO CEO To Step Down Early

A renowned figure in the Dutch banking and political worlds intends to step down from the helm of ABN AMRO.

ABN AMRO Group NV's chief executive, Gerrit Zalm, has decided to step down next year before his term ends following the bank's break-up, merger and initial public offering.

Zalm became CEO of ABN AMRO in 2009 after a disastrous takeover by a group including Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Fortis led to the bank being bailed out by the Dutch government. 

He was appointed by the government to restructure and stabilise the newly nationalised bank following the merger of ABN and Fortis Netherlands. Since April 2010, he has been chairman of the managing board of ABN AMRO Group NV.

Zalm does not wish to complete his term of office, which expires in May 2018, the bank said today in a statement, adding that the supervisory board had begun the succession process and will make further announcements in due course.

Before joining the bank, Zalm was minister of finance in the two "purple" cabinets in the Netherlands (socialist, democrat and right-wing; from 1994-2002), chairman of the VVD Liberal Party in the Lower House (2002) and minister of finance (2003-2007).

The news comes shortly after ABN AMRO announced plans to cut as many as 1,375 jobs as part of its drive to make €200 million ($224.4 million) of cost savings in support and control activities. The bank is targeting a cost/income ratio range of 56-60 per cent by next year.

ABN AMRO raised €3.3 billion in an IPO late last year. The lender is still majority state-owned. It posted a private banking profit of €96 million for the first half of 2016, a decline of 40 per cent year-on-year, as operating income fell 3 per cent to €660 million.

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