Strong management performance and group growth
Philippe Masset, CEO: "Our balance sheet for 2017 is positive. The Private Banking and Institutional Asset Management management teams once again distinguished themselves positively: they provided our clients with above-average returns in both stocks and bonds. Our funds have been awarded numerous prizes. In addition, we have expanded our service offering within our various entities internationally. I want to thank our employees for their expertise and commitment."
In 2017, net income was €468 million, up from €436 million in 2016. This result reflects the good performance of the asset management, merchant banking and asset services activities, which offset lower interest margins in a context of negative interest rates.
In 2017, Degroof Petercam recorded gross operating income of €129 million compared to €122 million in 2016. After exceptional items, mainly related to integration costs and after tax, consolidated net profit for 2017 amounted to €86 million, an increase of almost 50% compared to 2016.
As of December 31, 2017, assets under management amounted to €54.8 billion compared to €52.3 billion at the end of 2016. This increase is due to significant new assets generated by the distribution of our funds and by market effects. Assets managed on behalf of third party holders rose sharply, to almost €9 billion.
Outstanding loans drawn as of December 31, 2017 was €1.9 billion for a balance sheet of €8.3 billion and cash deposits of €6.7 billion. The capital ratio (CET1) reached 17.1% and the liquidity ratio (LCR) 271%, far exceeding regulatory requirements and reflecting the solidity of the balance sheet.
Compared with 2016, the number of employees has increased slightly to 1,371 (FTE).
New external director: Guido Vanherpe
Guido Vanherpe has been appointed Independent Director of the Board of Directors. He will also be a member of the Audit Committee and the Risk Committee.
Guido Vanherpe (1963) is CEO of The Lorraine Bakery Group, which was named Company of the Year in 2012. He graduated in Applied Economics (University of Antwerp) and then obtained a Masters in Marketing (Aix-en-Provence) and an MBA from Indiana University. He started his career at Procter & Gamble and Unilever, before becoming sales and marketing manager at La Lorraine in 1993, before becoming CEO in 1995.
Ludwig Criel, Chairman Degroof Petercam: "With all my fellow directors, I welcome Guido. We look forward to continuing the growth of Degroof Petercam with him, the management, our employees and our customers, both locally and internationally. His experience of international family businesses with local roots will be of great value to us. "
Guido Vanherpe, Independent Director Degroof Petercam: "Degroof Petercam is a Belgian company with international ambitions, combining long-term vision, entrepreneurship and high quality investment expertise. As an entrepreneur, I am highly motivated by the idea of being part of the board of directors and putting my expertise at the service of business development. "
New executive director: François Wohrer
François Wohrer has been appointed Executive Director. François Wohrer (1965) has been CEO of Degroof Petercam France since 2015. Between 2011 and 2015, François was CEO of BBVA-France, the French subsidiary of Spain's second largest bank. Prior to that, he acted as Mergers & Acquisitions manager-partner at DC Advisory (formerly Close Brothers). From 1997 to 2009, he was managing director at the investment bank at UBS, in London and Paris. François began his career in 1991 in Washington DC at the World Bank. He is a graduate of the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris and holds a master's degree in economics from the London School of Economics.
Outlook for 2018
For 2018, the outlook is positive for both the economy and the stock markets, particularly in Europe. Economic growth seems to be maintaining a relatively steady pace in the different geographical areas, and the baseline scenario factors in the continuation of this trend.
Philippe Masset: "Degroof Petercam will rely firmly on its unique and rich business model that includes Private Banking, Investment Banking, Asset Management and Asset Services in order to continue its development. The positive commercial momentum established in 2017 gives us confidence for 2018. We are therefore going to capitalise on the progress made, the full potential of which we should see this year. We are always on the look-out for new talent to bolster our teams, especially in Flanders where we want to grow considerably. We are continuing to invest in talent, expertise and digitisation to actively and sustainably manage our clients' assets. "