Stepping out of crisis

previous icon In the wake of the shake-up that was the 2008 financial crisis, Optima witnessed a lot of change in the industry. As sweeping new regulations came into play and the position of the major banks looked uncertain, they spied an opportunity to expand. “Since the crisis of 2008, there has been a lot of uncertainty. The major banks have lost their position as trusted partners for their clients. We tried to fill in that position by offering our proven concept for success: personal financial planning. The fact that we expanded our portfolio of solutions with an array of banking products resulted in Optima being able to offer their clients a 360-degree approach including banking products. By any means, a unique position in the market today.”

Making this change was not always a simple process. “In the first month, it was not easy,” says Viaene. “Before, banks considered us an outside threat to their client relationship and we revelled in that role. And then at some point, following the acquisition of a bank, we become a bank ourselves. It resulted in some uneasiness within the organisation to put it mildly.”

However, he does not doubt that the decision was the right one. “Since then, we have worked hard at establishing our identity - what we really want to do and how we want to be perceived in the market - and over time all the people within Optima have become convinced that this was the right thing to do. In that respect I think 2013 will be a very good year for us and I am even more positive for the future, that this strategic option was the right one to choose.”

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Stepping out of crisis

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