Former ING CEO Godfried van der Lugt passes away

08 November 2023 ... min read

Godfried van der Lugt, one of the founding fathers of ING, passed away on 3 November 2023 at the age of 83.

Godfried van der Lugt joined ING’s predecessor Postbank after a career at banks in Germany, Switzerland and the UK and a position as CEO of the Nederlandse Crediet Bank. In 1986 he was appointed chairman of the Executive Board of the Postbank, which had just been privatised. As chairman, he oversaw the merger of Postbank with the Dutch NMB in 1989. Two years later, he played a critical role in merging the newly-created NMB Postbank Group with insurer Nationale-Nederlanden to become Internationale Nederlanden Group, or ING, as we are known today.

Godfried was appointed ING’s fourth CEO in 1998. After stepping down from this role in 2001, he joined the Supervisory Board where he was a member until 2011.

As CEO, Godfried led ING through good and difficult times, including the Asian and Russian financial crises of the late ‘90s. With his extensive experience in the financial industry, he was a renowned and well-respected banker locally and internationally. He stimulated ING’s expansion through several acquisitions of banks and insurance companies, including Belgian bank BBL, US insurer Equitable of Iowa, Germany’s BHF Bank and our participation in Allgemeine Deutsche Direktbank (DiBa), which was the country’s leading direct bank at the time.

Godfried realized the importance of effective distribution for financial services and how the rapid emergence of new technologies was fundamentally changing that. Building on Postbank’s expertise in mail and telephone banking, he stimulated the further development of direct banking and worldwide expansion of ING Direct, combining bank and insurance products.

ING has greatly benefited from his expertise. In addition to being an experienced banker, he was a strong leader and skilled communicator, not only with an eye for balancing the interests of all stakeholders but also with an eye for design. He was personally involved in creating ING’s well-known lion logo.

“It is a sad moment for all of us,” said CEO Steven van Rijswijk. “We have lost a man who stood at the basis of ING and played a vital role in the development of our company. We owe him a lot. He was one of our lions.”

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