Since 2017, asset manager Delen Private Bank has had an office in Leuven. Not long after, a partnership with M was established. Relationship manager Chris Punie explains why the bank considers this so important.
Art connects. That is something very beautiful, which we want to continue to support
Chris Punie: “Delen Private Bank is committed to heritage and art. It is part of who we are. Many of our offices are housed in historic buildings. We renovate them, but retain their original character. We want to preserve and protect that heritage.”
“All our offices are decorated by Marie-Alix and Anne-Sophie, the wife and daughter of Jacques Delen, the chairman of our board of directors. They have a style of their own: homely, warm, familiar, yet original. The idea is that colleagues and customers immediately feel at ease when they enter our premises. You may be here to do your banking, but you are also here to visit.”
“Heritage and art play an important role in the design. Marie-Alix and Anne-Sophie use many vintage design pieces from the 1950s and 1960s. These form the perfect backdrop for works from our bank’s art collection – we specialise in Belgian abstract artists such as Paul Van Hoeydonck, Mark Verstockt, Guy Vandenbranden, Camiel Van Breedam, Luc Peire, Gilbert De Cock... The impetus for this collection was given at the time by a former board member, Filips De Ferm. Together with his wife Ingrid, he now runs the Fibac art centre in Berchem, or in full “Filips & Ingrid Belgian Art Center.”
“Delen Private Bank also has a partnership with BRAFA, the most important art and antiques fair in Belgium. Our stand there is furnished in the same way as our offices. This individuality is carried through everywhere. Customers immediately recognise the Delen style.”
“When we opened the Leuven office, it seemed only logical to us to take approach M. At Delen, we have the rule that both parties must gain from a partnership. One plus one must become three. That is certainly the case here. Many of our customers are art lovers. Thanks to M, we can pamper them and invite them to exclusive openings or tours. At the exhibition ‘HOUSE OF CARD’ by Thomas Demand or ‘Busy! Work”, for example, we were able to do so. We, in turn, let M invite M-art patrons to BRAFA. I am also an M-art patron, by the way.”
“Corona is, of course, a big game changer. Because we still wanted to maintain contact with our customers, we organised the Delen Digital Talks, a kind of online events. These were about banking and legal issues, but also about art. For example, we had a virtual visit to the Warhol exhibition in Liège. Soon, there will be such an online event about the Lamb of God. We also offered those Digital Talks to the M-art patrons.”
“Another aspect of our partnership with M is sponsorship: we support restoration projects. The first time, this was in connection with the collection presentation ‘The Language of the Body’. For ‘Busy! Work!’ we were able to have 27 prints restored. These included several masterpieces, such as the ground plan of the siege of Leuven in 1635, a very important piece of heritage. Part of our contribution also went towards the purchase of conservation material for the print room of M. The better you can preserve something, the less you will have to restore it.”
“Our partnership with M runs for three years. We have just made our third contribution, but we can safely say that we are very fond of M. Art plays a connecting role: it appeals to people of all ages, from all backgrounds. That is something very beautiful, which we want to continue to support.”
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