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Argenta Bank- en Verzekeringsgroep (Argenta Group) provides retail financial services for families in Belgium and the Netherlands, through Argenta Spaarbank (banking) and Argenta Assuranties (insurance).
Founded in 1956, Argenta is today Belgian’s fifth largest banking institution by customer deposits, with over 1.7 million customers. Its product offering, focused on simplicity and long-term relationships of trust with its family clients, is built on four pillars: savings, lending, insurance and investments. The group operates in Belgium through an extensive network of local self-employed tied agents.
Mission and Vision
Argenta wants to assist families and individuals in living financially healthy lives, in a simple, honest and close-at-hand way.
Argenta wants to achieve this mission with respect for the core values that have marked Argenta’s strategy and corporate culture from the outset:
- Simple, ‘no frills’
- Clean & honest
- Human and close-at-hand
- Enterprising and independent
- Future-oriented and secure
Argenta wants to be a strong and independent bank-insurer with an excellent customer service and lasting relationships with its shareholders, self-employed distribution partners, employees and suppliers.
Argenta wants to be a secure and stable bank-insurer with a sound risk and investment policy focused on sustainability. Secure and stable means, in addition to strong capital and liquidity ratios, that the current rapid digitization goes hand-in-hand with the necessary protection of personal and other data.
In Belgium, Argenta wants to be human and close-at-hand through its self-employed distribution partners but also digitally with a range of retail banking and insurance products tailored to individuals and families.
In the Netherlands, distribution takes place digitally and through independent distribution channels, with a focus on savings and housing loans.
In Luxembourg, Argenta manages investment funds.
Towards customers - financially healthy living
Argenta wants to assist individuals and families in living financially healthy lives both today and in the long term. Each customer is entitled to a basic package of services consisting of internet banking and a high degree of self-service. Payment services and securities custody are free. Additionally Argenta offers simple, honest and attractive mortgage lending, savings and insurance solutions that give excellent value for money.
Towards Argenta employees - healthy growth
Argenta wants to be an inspiring environment for its employees. Argenta encourages and supports them in developing their skills and in their personal growth. Each Argenta employee is encouraged to pursue four core competencies: collaboration, customer and result-oriented working, and self-development.
For a healthy and sustainable organization
Argenta wants to implement this strategy through an efficient, lightweight and flexible business organization with a continuous focus on process excellence.
Digitization makes up a substantial part of this business model. Digitally reliable solutions represent at once a challenge and an opportunity to better fulfil our mission. This must not, though, prevent Argenta from remaining accessible, human and close-at-hand.
We want to be sustainable in everything we do. At Argenta, caring is at the heart of the organisation. It connects us and offers individuality. By consciously embedding it, we are aiming for satisfied customers, happy employees and healthy business results in the long term. Taking responsibility is an integral part of our long-term vision. This vision is elaborated in the Sustainability Policy below.
1. Investar nv
- A mixed financial holding: core Belgian founding family shareholder with a long term investment view and independent from other financial groups
2. Argen-Co cv
- Issuer of cooperative capital held by around 67,000 cooperative shareholders (employees and clients)
- The by-laws of Argen-Co were amended in 2015 in order to enhance independence from Argenta (i.e. Board of Directors)
3. Argenta Bank- en Verzekeringsgroep nv
- A mixed financial holding: performs group control functions ( Internal Audit, Compliance, Risk Management) and provides group services: Human Resources, Facilities, etc.
5. A bank pool with Argenta Spaarbank nv as the main entity, and
- Dutch Branch Argenta Spaarbank Bijkantoor Nederland
- Luxembourg funds management subsidiary Argenta Asset Management sa whose activity is limited to funds management
- Belgium funds management subsidiary Arvestar Asset Management sa whose activity is limited to funds management
- Argenta Spaarbank is the debt issuing entity of the group
1956 - Foundation of Argenta
Argenta was founded by Karel Van Rompuy as a company specializing in offering personal loans. Until today, the Van Rompuy family is still the majority shareholder.
1966 - Argenta Spaarbank
The establishment of Argenta Spaarbank nv enables Argenta to offer saving accounts. This moment also marks the start of the distribution network of independent agents.
1974 - Argenta Assuranties
Argenta Assuranties nv was established, enabling Argenta to offer life and fire insurances. Bankassurance was a fact.
1997 - Argenta Netherlands
Argenta starts selling mortgage loans in the Netherlands.
2010 - Argen-co
Argenta Coöperatieve cv was founded, and launched in 2010 and 2011 a public issue of shares to 67.000 clients and office holders. This gave Argen-co a 15% stake in Argenta.
2016 - 60 years of Argenta
Argenta celebrates its 60th anniversary, Argenta is remaining true to its historical and strong cultural values of simplicity, transparency, honesty and sustainability.
Marc Lauwers joined Argenta in September 2016 as Chief Executive Officer. He is a member of the Board and the chair of the Executive Committees of Argenta Spaarbank nv, Argenta Assuranties nv and Argenta Bank- en Verzekeringsgroep nv. His responsibilities comprise Internal Audit, Human Resources, Legal Affairs, Transformation, Argenta Branch Netherlands and Argenta Asset Management Luxembourg.
Marc Lauwers started his professional career at Bacob – later Artesia, Dexia and Belfius – where he held various positions. In 2006 he became a member of the management board at Belfius Bank where he served as vice president until 2013. In this position he was responsible for retail and commercial banking.
In April 2013 he joined wealth management firm KBL European Private Bankers as Group COO and Deputy Group CEO and was part of the Executive Committee.
Geert Ameloot joined Argenta in June 2011 as Chief Financial Officer. He is a member of the Board and of the Executive Committees of Argenta Spaarbank nv, Argenta Assuranties nv and Argenta Bank- en Verzekeringsgroep nv. His responsibilities comprise the finance functions Accounting & Reporting, Treasury & Investment, Financial Management and Procurement & Facilities.
He began his professional career in 1989 with New Holland in audit and commercial finance roles. He joined General Electric’s Power Controls division in 1992 in a financial reporting role and took on a pan-European programs finance role in 1994.
Geert joined GE Capital in 1998 as CFO of GE Capital Fleet Services in Germany and Switzerland, becoming subsequently CFO of GE Money Bank in Switzerland in 2000. Between 2004 and 2011, he worked in GE Corporate Treasury as the Managing Director European Funding Operation, ensuring the short term funding of GE’s European entities as well as supporting GE’s fixed income investor relations and central bank relations activities in Europe.
Gert Wauters joined Argenta in July 2010 as Chief Risk Officer. He is a member of the Board and of the Executive Committees of Argenta Spaarbank nv, Argenta Assuranties nv and Argenta Bank- en Verzekeringsgroep nv. His responsibilities comprise: Risk & Validation, Compliance & Integrity, Actuarial Services, Credit Risk Retail, Operational Risk Management and Supervisory Office.
He began his professional career in 1989 in Bacob Bank’s international department, where he developed the bank’s funding programs. Later he became head of structured products, switching in 1993 to head of Asset and Liability Management. In 1996 he became director of capital markets.
In 2003 he became a director of risk management, first at the level of Dexia Bank Belgium in charge of credit risk and in 2006 at the level of Dexia Group as head of market risk and thereafter as head of transversal risk.
Ann Brands became Argenta’s Chief Operations Officer (COO) in November 2016. She is a member of the Board and of the Executive Committees of Argenta Spaarbank nv and Argenta Assuranties nv. Her responsibilities as COO comprise Banking, Savings & Investing, Lending, Insurance, Client Management and Process Excellence.
Ann has been active in the financial sector since 1987, first at Aegon Belgium, followed by Delphi Insurance. In 1999 she joined KBC where she went on to occupy various positions, from Head of Claims Department Antwerp to Head of process management Non Life Claims and later to Expert Project manager PMO (Program management office). In 2012 she joined Fidea Insurance. As General Manager IT & Organisation, she was responsible for long term strategy and budget, contract negotiations, infrastructure, software maintenance, project portfolio, process organization and business intelligence.
Inge Ampe joined Argenta in October 2018 as Chief Commercial Officer. She is a member of the Board and the Executive Committees of Argenta Spaarbank nv and Argenta Assuranties nv. Her responsibilities comprise the steering of the commercial network, responsibility for the digital commercial strategy and for strategic and commercial marketing.
Inge began her professional career in 1994 at Bank Brussel Lambert (BBL). She took on a number of commercial roles in both Retail and corporate banking. In 2001, after BBL was taken over by ING, she moved to Amsterdam to join the Wholesale staff at the ING group HQ. Later on she became the Head of Marketing at ING Belgium. At her last ING job she was responsible for the daily banking tribe in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Brigitte Buyle joined Argenta in April 2020 as CIO. She is member of the Board and the Executive Committees of Argenta Spaarbank nv and Argenta Assuranties nv. These mandates are currently still subject to approval by the regulator. Her responsibilities as CIO comprise the IT infrastructure, architecture and applications, as well as their functioning and security.
Brigitte began her professional career as a Systems Engineer at IBM. She held various positions within IBM, to finally become a member of the Belgium board of directors in 2014 and IBM Vice President Industry Solutions & Business Development Benelux.
Between 2016 and 2020, she was part of the Executive Committee of Ethias as Chief Information Officer (CIO) and board member of NRB.
Board of Directors
Marc van Heel has been appointed as chairman of the board of directors of Argenta by the general meeting of shareholders on April 26, 2019.
He has over 30 years of experience in management and director positions in international financial service providers, (including PIMCO, GSAM, BlackRock and JP Morgan) and has worked as a consultant for De Nederlandsche Bank since 2016. He has been a member of the board of directors of Argenta since November 2017 and is also a member of the Risk Committee.
He obtained his degree as Certified European Financial Analyst at the School of Business and Economics of the VU Amsterdam and completed more recently (2016) the executive education program of ‘INSEAD’ (‘International Director Program’).
Argenta considers risk management as one of its core activities, and recognizes professional, comprehensive risk management as an essential prerequisite for achieving sustainable, profitable growth.
The strategy and long-term policy of all entities within the group are determined by the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the parent company Argenta Bank- en Verzekeringsgroep nv. The two main subsidiaries, Argenta Spaarbank nv and its sister entity Argenta Assuranties nv, are responsible for operational management within their own areas of competence as established in the Memorandum of Internal Governance.
The Executive Committees of Argenta Spaarbank nv, Argenta Assuranties nv and Argenta Bank en Verzekeringsgroep nv are integrated, with a number of members in common: Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Risk Officer (CRO).
The Board of Directors has installed a structure of committees and subcommittees to address the risks which the group faces. The main committees are
- the Risk Committee of the Board of Directors,
- the Group Risk Committee addressing alternately economic capital, model oversight and operational risk (Orco),
- the Kreco addressing retail credit risk,
- the ALCO addressing asset & liability management and market risk, and
- the VRC addressing insurance risk.