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AMSTERDAM, Sept 13 ABN Amro said on
Tuesday that CEO Gerrit Zalm, the former Dutch finance minister
who led the bank in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis,
will resign next year.
Zalm "has announced that he does not wish to complete his
term of office," which was due to end in May 2018, the bank said
in a statement, without giving details. The bank said it would
release information on Zalm's exact departure date and the
search for a replacement as it becomes available.
Zalm was the Netherlands' finance minister for much of the
1990s, and is considered one of the architects of the euro.
He took the top job at ABN Amro at a difficult moment. The
bank, once a major international player, had been acquired in
2007 in an 71.9 billion euro ($80.74 billion) hostile takeover
and was in the process being sliced up between Royal Bank of
Scotland, Santander and the now defunct Fortis of
The Dutch state stepped in to nationalise the rump ABN and
Fortis operations in the Netherlands as they hurtled toward an
insolvency in October 2008 that would have crippled the
country's banking system. Zalm, now 64, was asked to oversee the
merger of the two operations.
In November the Dutch state sold a 30 percent stake as ABN
Amro returned to the stock market, advertising itself as a
stable, well-capitalised bank focused on the Netherlands, albeit
with limited growth opportunities.
Many observers thought Zalm would step down shortly after
the listing, but through the company's second quarter earnings
this year he either deflected questions about his future or
indicated he intended to serve out his term.
In July, daily newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad reported
that Zalm intended to depart early and that board member Chris
Vogelzang would likely be named later this year as his successor
. The bank declined to comment.
($1 = 0.8905 euros)
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Louise