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Herman Daems to be proposed as Chairman of the new board of Fortis Bank

Herman Daems, 62, will be proposed as Chairman of the new board of Fortis Bank once the acquisition of 75% of its capital by BNP Paribas has been completed. Herman Daems, after a long and distinguished career as an economist, academic and consultant, became Chairman, in 1999, of the Board of Gimv, one of Belgium's top private equity firms. He has thus played a key role over the last 10 years in the dynamic development of midsize Belgian companies.

This appointment is in line with BNP Paribas' stated commitment to keep Fortis Bank, the N°1bank in Belgium, a truly Belgian bank close to its clients and their interests.

"Fortis Bank has always been a very important player in the development of the Belgian and Luxembourg economies. BNP Paribas' project is to leverage this central role. The merger with Fortis Bank will give rise to a leading bank in Europe for individual, corporate and institutional customers. Its deep roots in the real economy will allow it to play an equally active role in the economic growth in all its domestic markets. BNP Paribas' customers will enjoy the benefits of one of the most comprehensive global financial services groups. Herman Daems, with his considerable experience of Belgian business, will ensure that Fortis Bank remains a key partner for its clients and plays an active role in their future success," said Baudouin Prot, CEO of BNP Paribas.

Commenting on his appointment, Herman Daems stated, "My objectives as Chairman of Fortis Bank will be threefold. First, I want to make sure that Belgium will once again have the advantages of a very successful Fortis Bank that fully serves the financial needs of Belgian citizens and Belgian businesses. Second, I will assist Fortis Bank's executive team in realizing an integration process that creates value for the Belgian economy and for BNP Paribas. Third, I will help management in exploring international opportunities for Belgian financial and business capabilities." About the BNP Paribas Fortis deal, he added, "Thanks to the tremendous commitment of Fortis's employees and the continuing confidence of its customers, Fortis Bank has been able to get through a very difficult time. I am sure that Fortis Bank, as part of BNP Paribas, will find a new and bright future in a truly leading European banking group."

About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas ( is a European leader in global banking and financial services and is one of the 6 strongest banks in the world according to Standard & Poor's. The group is present in 85 countries, with more than 173,000 employees, including 132.700 in Europe. The group holds key positions in three major activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. Present throughout Europe in all of its business lines, the bank's two domestic markets in retail banking are France and Italy. BNP Paribas also has a significant presence in the United States and strong positions in Asia and the emerging markets.