services from each bank were retained. The creation of the BNP Paribas brand, capitalising on the two traditions, with a new logo, and a new brand signature the bank for a changing world created a strong international profile.

The world was indeed changing, and BNP Paribas was well aware of the fact. The Bank s senior management was wary of making new acquisitions at any price and waited patiently to find the right partners and to develop a balanced business model. Several takeovers, notably under the aegis of Baudouin Prot after he was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2003, marked a step change in the size of the group: 2001: BNP Paribas acquired the total capital of its US subsidiary, Bank of the West, based in the western United States and in Hawaii; 2002: German company Consors was absorbed into Cortal, bringing extra specialist financial expertise; 2005: Türk Ekonomi Bankasi (TEB) joined the group; 2006: BNP Paribas took over Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), the number six Italian bank, thus opening a second domestic market in Europe; 2009: The acquisition of Fortis Banque in Belgium and its subsidiary, Banque Générale du Luxembourg (BGL) in Luxembourg added two more domestic markets to the Group.

New chapters complement older history

During the 2000s, the group s family tree expand as new entities joined, bringing their own rich history. In the story of Fortis we can read the entire history of Belgian industrialisation. The BNP Paribas Group s Belgian subsidiary started life as the Algemeene Nederlandsche Maatschappij, founded by royal decree in 1822, and designed to promote industry even before Belgium became a country. It continued as the national bank under the name Société Générale de Belgique following independence in 1830, and later absorbed the Compagnie Générale d Épargne et de Retraite (CGER), founded in 1865. Banque Générale du Luxembourg, set up by Société Générale de Belgique in 1919, adds its own chapter, telling of the development of financial services in the Grand Duchy.

Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), founded in Rome in 1913, has always been a loyal partner to the Italian economy and its renowned expertise in financing the Italian film industry goes back to 1935.

Bank of the West took root in the American West in 1874, and First Hawaiian Bank began offering its services in 1856.

Turkish Economy Bank (TEB), a pioneer in private banking in Turkey, is the descendant of a regional bank established in 1927.

The BNP Paribas Group came through the global economic crisis, which shook the world s financial system during 2008-2009, not only unscathed but stronger. This is largely due to

24 T H E H I S T O R Y O F B N P PA R I B A S I N T H E G U L F S TAT E S