Message from the Chair

Dear stakeholders,

Reflecting on 2022, I’m proud of what we achieved amid tumultuous developments affecting our clients, staff and society as a whole. The war in Ukraine, the aftermath of the pandemic, the energy crisis in Europe, inflation and unfavourable market conditions are all leaving their mark. It’s in times like these that we can really show the value of Van Lanschot Kempen: our uniquely personal approach, which allows us to stay close to our clients, combined with our entrepreneurial spirit and specialist expertise.

It was my first full year as Chair of the Management Board and I’m extremely grateful for the energy and grit I feel in the company, as well as for the trust that private and institutional clients continue to place in us.

I see it as a compliment to our teams that clients continued to entrust us with their assets, resulting in net inflows of €13.7 billion in assets under management from both existing and new clients – a good result given market circumstances in 2022. It’s important to make sure we maintain this momentum going forward. And we’re confident we can do so by delivering on our strategy, guiding our clients and offering personal service and advice.

The value of access, speed and solutions

The year was marked by a deep and broad decline across almost every asset class, a unique situation that had an impact on the wealth of every investor. Our clients remained invested, with a focus on their long term objectives. Whether they looked to de-risk and diversify or to find new investment opportunities, they expect us – as their wealth manager – to act as a guide. In my conversations with our clients, they consistently indicate the three things that they appreciate from Van Lanschot Kempen: access, speed and solutions – the lines in our company are short, so there’s immediate access to expertise and solutions. Many of these, we’re able to create in-house in our own “investment engine”.

Our strategy

In the reporting year, we completed our transformation into a specialist, independent wealth manager. In follow-up, we presented enhanced financial targets and growth ambitions at our Capital Markets Day in May. We continue to look for sustainable and profitable growth, both organically and through bolt-on acquisitions, with a capital-light balance sheet.

I’m pleased that we were able to announce a next step towards further growth in Belgium, our second home market: Van Lanschot Kempen is acquiring the remaining 30% stake in Mercier Vanderlinden. Following the transaction, Mercier Vanderlinden’s partners will become shareholders in Van Lanschot Kempen – emphasising their trust in, and commitment to, the collaboration. An important and visible milestone in Belgium.

We also started moving towards a single brand, Van Lanschot Kempen, emphasising our combined expertise, network, talented teams and skills. We continue to put these to work for our clients, with the aim of preserving and creating wealth in a sustainable way. Throughout the company, we do this with four shared values as our compass: personal - specialised - entrepreneurial - decisive. We are committed to applying these in practice.

Sustainable entrepreneurs

In February, we introduced new carbon reduction targets, which you can read more about in the section on “Reducing our carbon footprint”. We’re committed to being there for our clients in the long term – and that means guiding them through the enormous transitions that society faces when it comes to energy, food and materials. The key to this is dialogue and an active approach: discussing how clients can make a positive impact with their money, engaging with the companies we invest in, and co-creating sustainable solutions and investment strategies with our institutional clients.

Our ambition is for environmental and social factors to be an integral part of every decision-making process. At our annual stakeholder dialogue meeting in November, we discussed our targets and ambitions with clients, shareholders, employees and other stakeholders representing four generations. We explicitly sought input from Generation Z, many of whom are highly driven to make a positive impact. Keeping up this dialogue is key to striking a balance between financial returns and societal returns.

A place people love to work

Our 2022 employee engagement score – at 88% – is testament to the fact that Van Lanschot Kempen is a company people enjoy working with and for. While the labour market remained tight, we were able to attract new talent – in part thanks to our investments in our employer brand. Retention also remained very strong: our employees are highly committed. Post-pandemic, we increased our investment in the well-being and connectivity of our staff.

We also stepped up our efforts on inclusion and diversity – integrating diversity factors into our recruitment and through-flow processes. We succeeded in reducing the gender pay gap to 2.7%. We’re making progress here but we’ve still got work to do, and this will remain a key focus area for us.

Anchoring ownership across the company

We introduced a share plan for all employees, as well as a partnership plan for senior staff, as a way to encourage retention, entrepreneurship and alignment of employees’ interests with those of our shareholders. You can read more about both of these in the section on “Engaging our employees”. I’m proud to say that more than 70% of our employees are now also shareholders in the company, which shows how committed people are to Van Lanschot Kempen.

Shareholder returns

Our clients deserve a strong capital position, well in excess of the regulatory requirements. In May 2022, we committed to return additional capital in excess of a 17.5% CET 1 ratio to our shareholders, subject to regulatory approval. Thanks to our strong capital position and our profits in 2021, we were able to pay out €3.50 per share to our investors during the reporting year in dividends and capital returns.

Our priorities in 2023

In 2023, we will continue to focus on executing our strategy for sustainable and profitable growth. We will keep looking for bolt-on acquisitions, while aiming to maintain the momentum we have on organic growth in private wealth management, investment management and investment banking. We kicked off the year by announcing a strategic partnership with Robeco and the acquisition of their online investment platform. The platform’s integration into Evi van Lanschot and welcoming its staff and clients will certainly be high on our list of priorities.

Although our balance sheet has been significantly de-risked over recent years, we have invested heavily in risk management and compliance. Given the current environment, continued focus on risk management and compliance with regulatory requirements requires our ongoing attention and dedication.

We need to keep up our strong presence in the labour market, and further align talent development and recruitment with inclusion and diversity. As we want to provide the best and most personal service to our clients, enabling our teams to reach their fullest potential is key.

This year will undoubtedly bring further turmoil, while the key sustainability transitions continue to pick up pace. With our fantastic team and the right focus, I have every confidence we can continue to be the guide that our clients need – together.

Maarten Edixhoven, Chair of the Management Board, 23 February 2023

Download our annual reports

Would you like to know more about specific subjects that featured in 2022? Download our reports regarding our financial year 2022. If you are looking for more information on our performance in previous years, you can find historic reports in our archive.

More about our financial results