Wilbert A. Thiel, chief executive officer of ABN Amro's U.S. securities subsidiary since May, wants to consolidate the growth the company had under his predecessor.
"I want to keep the ship moving forward," said Mr. Thiel, adding that he particularly wants to continue expanding in the international equities and futures markets.
Mr. Thiel arrived at ABN Amro Inc., the North American investment banking and brokerage affiliate of Dutch giant ABN Amro Holding, through its 1997 acquisition of the Chicago Corp. During a 30-year career there, he had held a variety of posts, including president, treasurer, chief operating officer, and director.
In May, Mr. Thiel succeeded John A. Wing as chairman and chief executive officer of ABN Amro Inc., while retaining the title of president. He said he expects to hire a treasurer and chief operating officer soon, probably from within the firm.
Mr. Wing left the company to become a full-time executive director of the new Center for the Study of Law and Financial Markets at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He too is a veteran of Chicago Corp.
Before its acquisition by ABN Amro, the world's 14th-largest banking company, Chicago Corp. focused on equities and futures sales and trading. Another U.S. Amro unit, ABN Amro Securities Inc., focused on a range of debt products.
ABN Amro Holding put the two securities companies together to form ABN Amro Chicago Corp. Last winter it was renamed ABN Amro Inc.
The unit has expanded its activities to focus more on debt and equity underwriting in Europe and emerging markets, with offices in London and Sydney.
It has also expanded its futures trading desks in New York and London, and opened another in Singapore. Executives plan to open a futures trading desk in Hong Kong in a couple of months, upon regulatory approval.
"What we've tried to do in the sectors is capitalize on the different strengths that both sides had before the merger," Mr. Thiel said. Chicago Corp. focused on health care, financial services, and consumer goods, while ABN Amro Securities focused on chemicals, oil and gas, utilities, and metals and mining.
At the time of the merger Chicago Corp. had about 1,000 employees, and ABN Amro Securities had about 300. Since then the combined companies' staff has grown to about 1,800.
Mr. Thiel said he hopes to sharpen the brokerage's technology within the year and build its service executing trades for other broker-dealers.
ABN Amro's chairman, Jan Kalff, told reporters at the International Monetary Conference last month that he is not interested in further U.S. acquisitions at this time, citing the high prices of similar transactions this year.
Mr. Thiel concurred but said Amro executives would keep their ears open for opportunities. "It would probably have to be someone seeking us out and not the other way around," he said.
He added that his group is still digesting its merger of a year and a half ago.