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Fortis chief steps down

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Latest update : 2008-07-11

Jean-Paul Votron, chief executive officer of Belgian-Dutch bank Fortis, stepped down Friday amid problems related to the US subprime crisis, the bank announced.

"The board of directors of Fortis and Jean-Paul Votron have decided, by mutual agreement and in the interest of the group, to terminate the mandate of Jean-Paul Votron as Fortis CEO," said a statement.

"Herman Verwilst, currently Fortis deputy chief executive officer and executive member of the board, has agreed to take over the group CEO function."

The board of the bank met Friday as the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times reported that Votron faced growing anger from shareholders over the bank's plan to add eight billion euros (12.5 billion dollars) to its capital reserves.

The restructuring plan, which includes an immediate cash call for 1.5 billion euros, sparked a massive fall in Fortis shares after it was unveiled late last month.

Fortis shares were trading at about 30 euros in July 2007 but are now at 10 euros, hit by concerns over the bank's role in the 24-billion-euro takeover of ABN Amro and its exposure to the US subprime home loan crisis.

Votron became one of the first European bank chiefs to lose his job since the subprime crisis erupted last year.
 

Date created : 2008-07-11

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