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KBC Group: Bartel Puelinckx will replace Luc Popelier as KBC Group CFO


With the approval of the Executive Committee and on the advice of the Nomination Committee, the Board of Directors of KBC Group NV has decided to appoint Bartel Puelinckx as new Chief Financial Officer and member of the Executive Committee of KBC Group. He will succeed Luc Popelier, who resigned to take up the position of CEO of Hamburg Commercial Bank (Germany) as of 1 September 2024.

Bartel Puelinckx’s  appointment will take effect on 1 September 2024, subject to approval by the National Bank of Belgium and the European Central Bank.

Luc Popelier has been KBC Group CFO since May 2021 and previously also between 2011 and 2017, and Member of the Executive Committee of KBC Group since 2009. Luc has accepted to take up a unique career opportunity outside KBC Group : “As of 1 September 2024 I will become the new CEO of Hamburg Commercial Bank. Until then I will continue to work for KBC Group with my full dedication and commitment, as I have done in previous decades, to ensure continuity of service to analysts, investors and all other stakeholders.”

Koenraad Debackere, Chairman of the Board of Directors of KBC Group, commented as follows on the change and appointment announced today: ‘On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to sincerely thank Luc Popelier for his deep commitment and dedication to our group in his different roles and at various entities, as well as for his efforts in helping to build and nurture the constructive relationships with the investor and financial analyst community in more recent years.

Bartel Puelinckx,who has acquired extensive international experience in different positions across our Group, is the right successor to Luc and will be able to contribute significantly to the Executive Committee. He is well positioned to further build strong relationships with the investor and financial analyst community in these challenging times. Our customers, staff, shareholders and all other stakeholders can rest assured: the Executive Committee has all the knowledge and talent it needs to confidently address the many changes the financial industry is experiencing and to deal astutely and correctly with the many challenges facing our group.”

Johan Thijs, KBC Group CEOadds:“It is perhaps premature today to look back already on Luc’s years at KBC Group and our cooperation. However, a sincere word of thanks for Luc’s dedication, tireless commitment to our group in his different roles and at various entities as well as for his efforts in building and nurturing the strong relationships with the investor and financial analyst community, is entirely appropriate.”

Johan also welcomes Bartel : “I’m also happy to announce that we have found a worthy successor in Bartel Puelinckx. Bartel has a proven track record within our group, both in Belgium and in several KBC entities abroad and in a variety of roles. He knows the ins and outs of our group. He was also Chief Finance Officer for KBC's Czech subsidiary ČSOB from 2010 to 2014. In 2014 he returned to Belgium where he was appointed Senior General Manager of KBC Group Finance, and became responsible for Group Finance, Group Tax and Financial Insights & Communication (Investor Relations). The world of finance, investors and analysts is certainly not new to him.  His years of experience and extensive contacts with businesses, clients and other stakeholders in Belgium and abroad will stand him in good stead as new CFO.  Together with my colleagues at the Executive Committee I look forward to welcoming him in the KBC Group Executive Committee and working with him as CFO.”

Bartel Puelinckx

After graduating in applied economics from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) and obtaining a law degree from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Bartel started his career in trade finance at Kredietbank (Belgium) in 1992.

In 2002, he was appointed group-wide relationship manager for major multinational business clients. From 2006 to 2010, he worked for K&H, the Hungarian subsidiary of KBC group, where he was responsible for managing corporate banking policy. After being nominated to the Executive Committee of K&H in 2007, he took charge of HR management and credit policy.

He was Chief Finance Officer for KBC's Czech subsidiary ČSOB from 2010 to 2014, where he also headed up Finance Management, Asset & Liability Management, Credit Management and Investor Relations. He also prepared ČSOB's initial public offering (which ultimately did not take place), was a member of the Board of Directors of ČMSS (a subsidiary specialising in mortgage loans) since 2010, and represented ČSOB in that board as main shareholder.

He returned to Belgium in July 2014 where he was appointed Senior General Manager of KBC Group Finance, and became responsible for Group Finance, Group Tax and Financial Insights & Communication (Investor Relations).

In September 2016 he was appointed CEO of KBC Securities NV and since 1 May 2019 Senior General Manager Group Compliance , reporting directly into the KBC Group Chief Risk Officer.

Bartel Puelinckx is married with three children.

For more information, please contact:

Viviane Huybrecht, General Manager, Corporate Communication/Spokesperson, KBC Group
Tel +32 2 429 85 45  - E-mail:


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