March 31, 2017 in Antwerp


Left to right

Bottom row: Guy De Knop, Annette Vermeiren, Freddy Deman, Annick Trienpont
2nd row: Vic Ghysels, Jean-Pierre Mellen, Jan Vermeire, Leo Janssen, Marc Smits
3rd row: Carlo De Bruyne, Josse Borremans, Paul Vermeiren, Roland Le Grelle, Jean-Louis Appelmans, Ronald Potvin
4th row: Philip Vermeulen, Eric Vandoninck, Wim Vercruyssen, Carl Minten, Geert Costers, Theo Peeters
Top row: Guido Vissers, Ignace Vanden Bulcke, Guy Pas
As Anne Leclercq had traffic problems, she arrived too late for the group photo, but she is in the middle picture (with the red dress), sitting next to Roland Le Grelle.

CAA Belgium Reunion


From Marc Smits:

The Chase Manhattan Bank NA was very present in the Belgian banking world in the 1970s and 1980s.


Several young Belgian university graduates were recruited in this period. Most of these persons kept informal contacts with each other. Most retired over the last five years, and some requested to have a yearly formal contact. Therefore we organized a reunion on March 31, 2017. All participants requested an 'encore' and as such we will consider to organize a new session in 2018/2019.



Following is information from Freddy Deman about Chase's Belgian activities: 

It all started when the Chase Manhattan Bank NA, In a first step in the early 1970s,  purchased, from its Belgian correspondent bank, Bank Brussel Lambert N.V., 50% of the shares of Banque de Commerce S.A.(*). At the end of the 1970s the remainder of shares were bought so that Chase became owner of more than 99% of Banque de Commerce S.A.


Francis Mason was the first Chase officer to be appointed CEO of the bank. He was later succeeded by a.o. Bill Rowan, Dominique Clavel and Joseph Robinet. At the beginning of the 1980s the bank changed its name in Chase Banque de Commerce S.A. and a Chase branch was also established.


From the early 1970s Chase Manhattan planned to integrate this Belgian entity in its worldwide banking group and launched several ambitious programs to reorganize the existing bank and improve the profitability. In this context, a specific Chase Training program (investment and corporate banking) was set up to attract successful university graduates and high potential members of staff.


This program was initially set up in Belgium (a blueprint of the London program) and from 1977 onwards candidates were sent to the London and New York CTPs. After graduating, most of these candidates remained working in the banking sector or pursued careers in the public and/or private sector. Over time, their Chase experience morphed into an informal network, but as several of them retired in the past five years, some thought it might be useful to set up an ad hoc Chase Alumni reunion. As a result a first reunion took place in 2016 and all 22 participants requested a follow up. 


A second reunion was organized for 31st March 2017 starting at 12.30. After the reception in the garden of Salons Schoeters lunch was served and the last attendees were kindly asked to leave at 16.45 as a wedding party was booked for 17.00. Most of the attendees were graduates from the CTP-programs and worked for the Chase organization in Europe, Africa, Asia and the USA.


Josse Borremans and Freddy Deman were present, and we had speeches by Guy Pas and Anne Leclercq on their successful professional career. Later Freddy Deman gave a good presentation on the Chase Alumni Association. 


Again all participants requested an 'encore' and as such we will consider to organize a new session in 2018/2019.


(*) Banque de Commerce S.A. was established in 1747 as Banque De Wolf in the City of Antwerp.  The bank was mainly active to finance trade and governments in Europe, but the bank was also a money provider for the newly established United States at the end of the 18th century.  Nobody knows whether these drafts were ever paid back, but Banque De Wolf continued to prosper in the 19th century.


The bank went public on the Antwerp Stock Exchange and changed its name in Banque de Commerce S.A.


In the early 20th century Barclays Bank started to buy shares of Banque de Commerce S.A. and later on Banque de Commerce S.A. became partly owned by Barclays Bank.  After World War II, Barclays Bank divested on the European continent and sold its shares in Banque de Commerce S.A. to Banque de Bruxelles S.A.  In the sixties, Banque de Bruxelles merged with Banque Lambert and the newly created bank was named Bank Brussel Lambert N.V.