Holds a Master of Law Degree from the University of Leuven (Belgium).
Started his career in the maritime business in Hamburg, London and Tokyo. From 1983 till 1988, he managed the Transcor group, which he built into an international oil and coal trading company with activities in Europe, America and Asia. In 1989, he managed the restructuring of the General Trading Cy, a subsidiary of the Société Générale de Belgique. He joined Umicore in 1993 as member of the Executive Committee, and successively managed several industrial divisions. He became Executive Vice President of the company in 1998. Between 2000 and November 2008 he was Chief Executive Officer of the group. During this mandate, he transformed the former Union Minière, a non-ferrous company in an international materials-technology group called Umicore. Chairman of Umicore since 2008. As from October 2011, he became Chairman of the KBC Group. He is also Chairman of Mediahuis, a media company which is a leading publisher of newspapers in Belgium and The Netherlands ; member of the Trilateral Commission and of the European Table of Industrialists ; from 2008 till 2011 he was Chairman of the Federation of Belgian Enterprises. In the cultural sphere, he is Chairman of the Rubenianum Fund and Chairman of the Heritage Fund of the King Baudouin Foundation. Since 2016 he also chairs the King Baudouin Foundation.
In the BoD of KBC Group; Chairman, Non-executive director; Independent director; Chairman of the Nomination Committee; Chairman of the Remuneration Committee
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