Luc Gijsens, CEO of KBC's International Markets Business Unit – who is shortly due to retire – looks back on this latest development:
'When I started my career in 1977 at the former Kredietbank – one of the predecessors of what is now KBC – I was offered a position in the dealing room not long after joining the company. The environment back then bears little resemblance to the technology and high skills that characterise today's dealing room. The speed at which continuous news flows are processed, the volume of transactions passing through each day, the quantity and complexity of products and services offered ensure that KBC and its professional clients can count on an accurate, reliable and high-value financial service at all times. The fact that this can be done from Belgium undeniably adds value for KBC's Belgian client base. I'm extremely proud at the end of my career to be able to leave behind this cutting-edge dealing room, which is not only the beating heart, but also the signboard of KBC's financial expertise.'
Bartel Puelinckx, CEO of KBC Securities, adds:
'With a Belgian market share of some 75%, KBC Securities is by far the market leader in equity capital market transactions, such as IPOs and capital increases. The dealing room plays a central role in this regard. The premises also form the natural biotope for KBC Securities, not only for its sales and brokerage activities but also for its equities research department. With 135 Benelux shares in scope, its analyst team covers most of the Belgian and a major part of the Dutch equity market and, consequently, is the reference in its domain. KBC Securities clearly commits to this equity research, which is considered a crucial source of information for many national and international investors.'
The new dealing room has 164 dealer desks from where the global financial markets are followed continuously on 570 monitors showing specialised financial information. They are connected to more than
1 000 twin-circuit power points and 20 kilometres of cabling. Skype connections has replaced virtually all landline phones.
Besides the dealers, KBC Securities and dealing room staff, many back-office and support services and activities have also relocated to the Havenlaan 2 premises. Indeed, the decision to construct a new Brussels dealing room there was the a logical one after the sale of the company's Havenlaan 12 building, where the dealing room had been located. A total of 600 colleagues will be housed in the new premises. The entire renovation and move took hardly half a year.
KBC's ongoing commitment to sustainability has also been reflected in the design of the new dealing room, with LED lighting being combined with lots of natural light and the IT infrastructure being energy efficient. Water-cooled desks create a pleasant work environment. When the old dealing room was being dismantled, as much equipment and material as possible was recovered and recycled. Old desk frames were fitted with new desktops and the old panels were recycled into furniture panels by a specialised firm. Office equipment that was in good condition and still usable, but not required in the new dealing room, was donated to schools and not-for-profit organisations. Any remaining pieces of metal, textiles and plastic from the old furniture will be recycled.