Magazine article American Banker

Visa Names Banker from Holland to Head European Operations

Magazine article American Banker

Visa Names Banker from Holland to Head European Operations

Article excerpt

Visa International has named Johannes "Hans" I. van der Velde, a Dutch banking veteran, president of its Visa European Union region.

Effective Sept. 1, Mr. van der Velde, 49, will succeed Jean-Jacques Desbons, who is relinquishing the position for health reasons.

Since 1992, Mr. Desbons, 60, has been president of Visa Europe and Visa CEMEA, a region that Visa created last year. In March, Visa announced Mr. Desbons would be stepping down.

In May, the San Francisco-based association named Anne-L. Cobb president of Visa CEMEA, which encompasses Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. With this week's announcement, Visa has filled all leadership positions in its regions.

Peter Ellwood, chairman of the Visa EU and Visa International boards of directors, said Mr. van der Velde, a Rabobank executive in Amsterdam, was selected after a four-month search. He will become a member of Visa Europe's board of directors and will join Visa International's Management Executive Committee.

In seeking Mr. Desbons' replacement in Visa Europe, Visa International president Edmund P. Jensen said the association was looking for someone who had leadership and management skills, a solid banking background, and diplomatic skills.

Mr. van der Velde fills these requirements, Mr. Jensen said. "He's had lots of experience multinationally. He speaks four or five languages fluently. In addition, Rabobank is interesting in that it is a cooperative bank. He has been faced with, at least conceptually, many of the same kinds of management issues we have in a bank association.

"It's really important for a global association like Visa for all of the management around the world to work together in partnership," Mr. Jensen added.

Currently, Mr. van der Welde is senior executive vice president of operations at the corporate bank of $175 billion-asset Rabobank. …

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