• Financial and investment interdependencies in unquoted Belgian companies: the role of venture capital

      Manigart, Sophie; Baeyens, Katleen; Verschueren, I. (2002)
      Fortis, the leading Benelux financial group, had been a success story of successive mergers of bank and insurance companies, with leadership in corporate social responsibility (CSR). One year after the acquisition of the major Dutch financial conglomerate ABN AMRO, the global financial crisis caused the collapse of the Fortis group. The purpose of this article is to use the case study of Fortis’s recent fall as a basis for reflective considerations on the financial crisis, from stakeholder and ethical perspectives. A selected number of key events of the history of the dramatic crisis at Fortis will be analysed from different ethical frameworks. Special consideration will be given to fairness of communication, shareholder activism and conflicts of interests of CEO’s mergers opportunities. A confrontation between the CSR policy and the reality raises the fundamental questions why the powerful CSR guidelines and ethical principles did not help in the assessment of the risks.