BBE Chief Victor van der Kwast Uses Life Experience to Guide His Hand in Finance

Victor van der Kwast’s long career could be seen as leading to this place, this time, and this role: chief executive Byblos Bank Europe.

CEO: Victor van der Kwast

CEO: Victor van der Kwast

It’s his most recent contributions to the banking industry; he was appointed to the role in 2020. Van der Kwast’s own journey of transformation and change crossed with that of BBE. He has lived and worked in Asia, the US, the Middle East, and Europe; this has given him the ability to accept challenges and change without fear.

He enjoys the complexity of new environments and thrives in the pursuit of opportunity, expansion, and new solutions. His achievement has been reaching peak efficiency, creating a better, digital bank, without losing the all-important personal link to clients and staff.

Victor Van der Kwast describes himself as “a banker in principle, but an entrepreneur in practise”. And, like a true entrepreneur, he has mastered various subjects, from multitasking in a managerial role to successfully launching a start-up. He uses his accumulated knowledge in fields of business, IT, treasury, compliance, corporate, FI, and sales to lead his team. He cherishes dialogue and loves to learn from anyone: IT technicians, designers, compliance officers, risk analysts.

The chief executive remembers to always observe, listen, and avoid jumping to conclusions. In his business and managerial roles, Van der Kwast combines client engagement with product and service experience. His talent is for staying practical and pragmatic while delivering client needs. This makes him capable of giving honest advice and abstaining from a potentially profitable transaction to avoid a corporate execution risk. His advice has been appreciated by clients who recognise its worth, even though they had the opportunity to go to any other bank.

BBE cherishes relationships based on trust, loyalty, service, and excellence. It has used its longstanding skill at creating meaningful connections in its new strategy, and added digitalisation to a classic banking process to improve efficiency, simplicity, and practicality.

The CEO asks his staff to use that approach in all business endeavours. “After all, this is what private and corporate banking is about,” he says. “Learn to listen and engage with your client. That is something that can’t be digitally replaced.”

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