A debate evening with two prominent figures from Belgian banking and insurance


A debate evening enriched by the presence of two prominent figures from Belgian banking and insurance: Jozef De Mey, President of Ageas, and Jos Clijsters, President of Belfius Banking and Insurance.

On Wednesday evening, 30 April, a riveting debate took place between two of the top men in the banking and insurance sectors: Jozef De Mey, Chairman of Ageas and Jos Clijsters, Chairman of Belfius. The debate, with Michaël Van Droogenbroeck (financial journalist with Flemish public broadcaster VRT) acting as moderator, was on the theme ‘Banking and insureance: how are they different?’

Bart De Smet, CEO Ageas, introduced and closed the debate.

Although there are many similarities between the banking and the insurance sector, the differences became very clear in the course of the evening. A bank typically borrows money on a short-term basis and lends it out on a very long-term basis, whereas an insurer looks for liabilities with a life that matches the life of its assets. Numerous interesting questions were also raised by many members who were attending an Ageas Club event for the first time.

Jozef De Mey 

Jozef De Mey has been the (non-executive) Chairman of the Ageas Management Board since February 2009.

He holds a degree in mathematical science from the University of Ghent and a degree in actuarial science from the University of Louvain (KUL).

He began his career at the Insurance Supervisory Office in 1967, a body which at that time was overseen by the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

From 1969 to 1971 he worked for Kredietbank Belgium. In 1971 he joined John Hancock, a financial services company, where he held several positions until he joined Fortis in 1990. At Fortis he was Director General of Fortis International and CEO of Fortis AG, joining Fortis’s Executive Committee in September 2000 as Head of Belgian and international insurance activities. In 2007 he was appointed Chief Investment Officer on the Executive Committee. He left Fortis in December 2007, while continuing to hold a series of non-executive positions in several operating companies belonging to the Fortis Group. In February 2009 he was appointed non-executive Chairman of Fortis’s Management Board.

Jos Clijsters

Jos Clijsters has been Chairman of Belfius Banking and Insurance’s Board of Management since the 1st of January, 2014.

He is also Administrator of the Katholieke Hogeschool Leuven (KU Leuven Association).

He holds a degree in applied economic science (TEW, Marketing) from the Catholic University of Leuven, and in General Management from Fontainebleau, and has participated in various other international management seminars.

He began his professional career in 1974 at Unilever, in the consumer marketing dry foods department. In 1981 he joined Générale de Banque (which became Fortis, and later BNP Paribas Fortis) where he managed marketing development at all levels. In 2005 he became a member of Fortis Bank’s Executive Committee, as well as its the Board of Management, when he also became global head of retail activities.

On 1 January 2008 he decided to give up his executive responsibilities and concentrate on his management role. He was Chairman of the Supervisory Boards of both Fortis Bank Polska SA and Fortis Bank Turkey up until 2009. He joined the Dexia Group in January 2011 as an adviser to the Management Board, and from 5 September 2011 to 31 December 2013 he was Chairman of the Management Board and Director of Belfius Bank.