The Paribas Nederland general management was strengthened by an executive board of five people, chaired by Christian Hollander with Jan Willem Termijtelen as Vice-Chairman. A branch management team was also set up, with Pieter de Blieck in charge. All the functional departments, together with the computer department, were brought together under the management of André Raad, who was sent by Paris to help straighten out the situation. The commercial policy was reformulated to focus on corporate clients and on cooperation with the other entities of the Group. To this end the Bank set up an Export Finance department and an international Corporates department. In order to reposition itself on the international capital market the bank also set up an Institutional Clients department. Last but not least, the bank started to build up its international trade finance business, especially serving the oil sector, out of the Rotterdam branch.
This reorientation of commercial policy represented both a change in strategy and at the same time a return to the Paribas Group s traditional merchant banking and investment banking vocation. However, the bank was still suffering from inadequacies in the administrative departments and from its legacy financing and lending operations.
The 1985 business plan
Early in 1985, the bank reached the conclusion that the situation had not really been turned around. Portfolio quality had improved, but profitability remained low and the bank had to manage far too much marginal business such as consumer credit and insurance. Moreover, it was proving difficult to bring overhead costs under control and the bank was repeatedly making losses on interest rate and currency arbitrage. In fact the 1985 budget which the Dutch subsidiary presented to the parent headquarters was rejected. Paris instructed Amsterdam to draw up a three-year business plan with the central aim of restoring profitability.
The plan was tabled in April 1985. It addressed both the commercial strategy and internal reorganisation measures. Unsurprisingly, the proposed commercial strategy focused on multinational companies and Dutch exporting firms, while the export and international trade finance business lines were given specific priority. The plan clearly indicated the need to close any account that was unsufficiently profitable. As regards internal measures, the plan envisaged closing around ten branches and improving the bank s accounting and IT tools. The Board also called for the closure of the consumer credit business (Alcredis) and the insurance business (Asparibas).
In the end the number of branches was reduced from 26 to 18.
The financial situation of Paribas Nederland required a fresh capital increase of 35 million guilders, which duly took place in 1986. The Group also granted the subsidiary a subordinated loan of 30 million guilders.
The Bank s governance in 1993
The governance of the bank in 1993 comprised the Executive Board, a Supervisory Board, and a Coordination Committee.
Executive Board The Executive Board exercised its functions on a collective basis and for some decisions needed the agreement of the Supervisory Board. It was made up of Chairman Benoît Monsaingeon plus Robert Costermans (Head of Operations) and André Rapati (Head of Risk Management).
Supervisory Board The six-member Supervisory Board was responsible for monitoring the way Management worked and for overseeing the business, exercising an advisory function in relation to the Executive Board. It was chaired by Denis Schneiter.
Coordination Committee Working under the Supervisory Board, the Coordination Committee served as a link with the Paribas Group. Accordingly, the Group s various businesses were all represented on the Committee. It was chaired by Denis Schneiter and had ten members.
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