KBC Asset Management with CEO Johan Lema: ‘Everyone Invested’ Strategy Has Taken Belgian Firm to Prominence

Banking and insurance group KBC has a big, sprawling family: 41,000 employees and 12 million clients spread across Belgium, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria.

CEO: Johan Lema

CEO: Johan Lema

The man at the helm is chief executive Johan Lema, who has years of experience in the financial sector, including strategy, merger and acquisitions, sales, banking, asset management, and private equity.

KBC Asset Management NV (KBC AM) acts as the group’s investment arm, working with retail and institutional clients, developing products for intra-group distribution, and providing investment fund sales and advisory support.

KBC AM’s motto of “Everyone invested all the time” starts with the 293 employees at the Brussels-based office. The company prioritises the health, wellbeing, and work-life balance of its employees as the surest path to business success. The talented team pulls together to ensure proper asset allocation in managed funds and portfolios.

KBC AM strives for maximum investor participation by lowering threshold requirements and focusing on digitalisation. The KBC virtual assistant, dubbed KATE, helps clients to navigate investment options on digital channels, which account for more than half of KBC investment plan sales. KBC AM was the first Belgian asset manager to launch a fund with an investment strategy is driven by AI software. As of the end of 2021, it reports €236bn in AUM.

Lema started his professional career in 1996 with the former Kredietbank, which later became KBC Group. He has previously held the roles of business development manager at KBC Asset Management and senior investment manager at KBC Private Equity.

In 2004, he moved to the strategy and expansion department, becoming head of Group Corporate Development in 2006, responsible for managing KBC Group’s expansion in Central Europe. In 2008, he was appointed to the position of GM of Group Strategy and Corporate Development. In 2010, he was appointed CEO of KBC Asset Management Group international. In 2012, he joined the management committee of Business Unit Belgium, with responsibility for customer support retail, and private banking and business clients.

In September 2017, he was appointed CEO of KBC Asset Management Group international. Johan Lema holds various mandates in investment management subsidiaries of the KBC Group, and is the president of BEAMA, the Belgian Asset Managers Association, and a member of FEBELFIN, the Belgian financial sector federation.


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