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Van Lanschot Nv Business Information, Profile, and History

Postbus 1021
's Hertogenbosch

Company Perspectives

Van Lanschot provides personal services where other institutions can no longer do so due to their size. The personal relationship with clients is at the core of Van Lanschot's business. Independence, flexibility and confidentiality are important pillars for how we want to do business. Our co-entrepreneurial approach has proved to be the most important link to our corporate clients. With 32 branches in the Netherlands, Van Lanschot is represented in most large cities. This network enables us to offer a comprehensive package of banking and insurance services throughout the country.

History of Van Lanschot Nv

Van Lanschot NV is The Netherlands' oldest independent private bank, with a history dating back to 1737, and is also one of the country's largest private bankers, with total assets of more than EUR 18 billion, and net profits of more than EUR 152 million in 2005. Van Lanschot offers highly personalized financial services and a range of financial products, including assets management, securities brokerage, insurance, and other products. Van Lanschot also offers corporate banking services, as well as banking services tailored to the institutional investment community, including associations, religious organizations, insurance companies, and the like. Van Lanschot has avoided the Internet banking market, and instead focuses its operations on its branch network, which includes 33 branches in The Netherlands, eight branches in Belgium (including one branch in Brussels), and offices and subsidiaries in Switzerland, Curacao, Jersey, and Hong Kong. In The Netherlands, Van Lanschot caters to a relatively broad market, for a private banker; the bank's average customer deposits just EUR 100,000, and the company accepts initial accounts as low as EUR 50,000 for promising young customers. In Belgium and elsewhere, however, Van Lanschot limits its operations to the high net-worth category. In the mid-2000s, Van Lanschot has achieved strong growth, in part through the purchase of rival CenE Bankiers in 2004. Listed on the Euronext Stock Exchange since 1999, Van Lanschot's major shareholders include Friesland Bank, NIB Capital, Delta Lloyd, and La Dou du Midi. The founding Van Lanschot family also remain significant shareholders in the bank.

Trading House in the 18th Century

Cornelius Van Lanschot established a trading firm in 's Hertogenbosch, near Amsterdam, in 1737. The Van Lanschot family remained focused on the commercial trade, shipping goods to and from The Netherlands' colonial possessions, until well into the 19th century. The Netherlands' waning influence in the international trade market, however, encouraged the Van Lanschot family to develop interests in the relatively new commercial banking sector in The Netherlands. By the end of the second half of the century, the Van Lanschot family's operational focus had shifted completely to banking.

The Van Lanschot banking business was originally set up to provide private banking services to the Van Lanschot family fortune, including the family's investments in The Netherlands' rapidly growing industrial sector. Even as the bank began to develop a larger client base, the bank itself remained quite small, with just the single building in 's Hertogenbosch, and a focus on that city and its surrounding region.

This focus began to broaden following World War II, especially after 1954, when Van Lanschot began opening its first branches. The bank's expansion initially targeted the country's southern regions. Into the 1960s, however, the bank also had begun to establish operations in the country's financial and political centers in The Hague in Amsterdam. In 1960, for example, the bank acquired majority control in Amsterdam's Vermeer & Co., adding banking facilities in that city. By 1966, the bank had formed a partnership with a prominent Hague bank, Staal & Co.

During the 1970s, Van Lanschot turned toward acquisitions to build further scale, and into the 1980s the bank made a series of small acquisitions, adding a presence in a number of new local markets. The expansion of the group's client base allowed the bank to offer a wider ranger of financial services, in turn attracting a growing number of clients. The company continued its organic growth as well, expanding into the country's central region with the opening of a number of new branches during the 1980s.

To fuel the bank's expansion, the Van Lanschot family turned to outside investors during the early 1970s. In 1973, the bank sold 25 percent of its shares to National Westminster, which remained a major shareholder in the bank into the late 1980s. In 1978, Van Lanschot sold a further 25 percent to Rabobank. In the mid-1980s, Rabobank and Westminster joined together to acquire an additional 30 percent of Van Lanschot, in a transaction completed in 1986. The Van Lanschot family, including the bank's management, together with Delta Lloyd, nonetheless retained control of 20 percent of the bank.

National Westminster bought out Rabobank's stake in the bank in 1990, strengthening its own position to 79 percent. The British bank then sought to take over Van Lanschot entirely, and merge the bank into its own operations. The Van Lanschot family resisted this effort; finally, unable to agree on a common strategy, the two sides agreed to separate. In 1994, National Westminster sold its stake in Van Lanschot to a consortium of Dutch financial groups, including ABN AMRO Group and ING Group. As part of that sale, the Van Lanschot family agreed to list the bank on the stock exchange before the end of the decade. Van Lanschot completed its initial public offering in 1999.

Leading Independent Private Banking Firm into the 20th Century

Although Van Lanschot remained focused, in large part, on its domestic market, building up its branch network to 33 offices in The Netherlands by the mid-2000s, the bank began developing its international private banking market. The bank's first step in this direction came in 1989, when it launched a subsidiary in Luxembourg. Into the 1990s, the bank turned its attention to the neighboring Belgian market, opening its first branches in the Flemish-speaking region. By 2006, the bank had opened eight branches in Belgium, including an office in Brussels. In contrast to its Dutch operations, which developed a larger client base, the bank's foreign subsidiaries targeted especially the high net-worth category.

In response to the needs of its growing clientele, the bank also added offshore banking services, launching subsidiaries in Jersey and Curacao. Van Lanschot also opened a subsidiary in Switzerland, with branches in Geneva and Zurich. Van Lanschot next turned to the Asian market, opening its first representative office in that region, in Hong Kong, in 2003. By then, Van Lanschot had grown into The Netherlands' sixth largest private banker, with nearly EUR 11 billion in total assets.

Van Lanschot boosted its profile still higher in 2004. In that year, the bank paid an estimated EUR 250 million to acquire rival CenE Bankiers, formerly the affinity wealth management division of the ING Group. Van Lanschot began integrating CenE's network into its own operations. By the end of 2005, that process had, in large part, been completed. As part of the integration process, CenE was refocused in order to target exclusively the healthcare market.

At the time of its public offering, Van Lanschot had taken on a new group of institutional shareholders, including Friesland Bank, which acquired nearly 20 percent of Van Lanschot. The two banks entered into a shareholding agreement at that time. In 2005, the banks formed a new agreement, in which Friesland Bank confirmed its intention to respect Van Lanschot's independence. As part of that agreement, Friesland Bank agreed to limit its shareholding to a maximum of 29 percent, and agreed not to help another shareholder gain more than 20 percent of Van Lanschot. In this way, Van Lanschot guaranteed its continued independence.

By the end of 2005, Van Lanschot had raised its total assets past EUR 18 billion. Into 2006, the bank affirmed its commitment to further growth when it acquired an entire team of highly experienced private banking specialists from MeesPierson, the wealth division of the Fortis bancassurance group. The new nine-member team joined Van Lanschot's Amsterdam office at the beginning of April 2006, targeting the high-end bracket. After more than 250 years, the Van Lanschot name remained one of the most prominent in The Netherlands' financial market.

Principal Subsidiaries

CenE Bankiers N.V.; Efima Hypotheken B.V.; F. van Lanschot Bankiers (België) N.V.; F. van Lanschot Bankiers (Luxembourg) S.A.; F. van Lanschot Bankiers (Schweiz) AG; F. van Lanschot Bankiers N.V.; F. van Lanschot Beheer B.V.; F. van Lanschot International Trust Company B.V.; F. van Lanschot Overseas NVTE Curaçao; F. van Lanschot Participaties B.V.; F. van Lanschot Trust Company Ltd. (Jersey); Family Ohce B.V.; Van Lanschot Asset Management B.V.; Van Lanschot Assurantiën B.V.

Principal Competitors

Fortis N.V.; Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten N.V.; SNS Reaal Groep N.V.; Eureko B.V.; SNS Bank Nederland N.V.; Nederlandse Waterschapsbank N.V.; NIBC Bank N.V.; Achmea Bank Holding N.V.; Kas Bank N.V; ABN AMRO Bank N.V.; Friesland Bank N.V.; Delta Lloyd Bank N.V.


  • Key Dates
  • 1737 Cornelius Van Lanschot founds a trading company in 's Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands; by the late 19th century, Van Lanschot has converted to a private bank.
  • 1954 Van Lanschot begins expansion beyond the 's Hertogenbosch area.
  • 1960 Van Lanschot acquires a majority stake in Vermeer & Co. te Amsterdam.
  • 1966 A partnership is formed with Staal & Co. in The Hague.
  • 1974 National Westminster acquires a 25 percent stake.
  • 1978 Rabobank acquires a 25 percent stake.
  • 1986 Rabobank and National Westminster each acquire an additional 15 percent stake.
  • 1989 Van Lanschot launches a subsidiary in Luxembourg.
  • 1990 National Westminster buys out Rabobank's share.
  • 1994 National Westminster agrees to sell its control of Van Lanschot to an institutional investor consortium.
  • 1999 Van Lanschot goes public on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
  • 2003 Van Lanschot opens a representative office in Hong Kong.
  • 2004 CenE Bankiers is acquired from the ING Group.
  • 2006 A team of private bankers is added from MeesPierson, part of Fortis.

Additional topics

Company HistoryFinance: Banks & Credit

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