Fortitude 2016 Annual Report

Validating Fortitude

There is a saying that a friend in need is a friend indeed.

Romans Surnačovs
ABLV Bank Chief Operating Officer
2016 Annual Report Editor

Overcoming obstacles is not only a test for a team’s professionalism, but also for team members’ ability to cooperate and stay loyal to their company during hard times. This is also a test for managers in regard to their ability to set clear tasks and motivate subordinates. Together, all these factors reflect the fortitude of the company and predetermine its long-term development.

Last year we lived under the sign of compliance, and, for almost all of us, this meant a lot of hard work on top of our daily duties. In the process, we strengthened and restructured our internal control functions and carefully reviewed our client base.

Meanwhile, despite the huge amount of extra work and associated costs, we were continually developing all of ABLV’s business lines. Our success in this regard is reflected in the facts that in 2016 the bank’s profits reached an all-time high, while return on equity peaked at 27.2%, a result that has hardly been characteristic of the industry in recent years. In addition, we paid EUR 22 million in taxes into Latvia’s state budget. Clients’ assets under management and investments exceeded EUR 1.54 billion. As for profits per employee, we are among the most productive organisations in the country — it is safe to say that we have recruited the most competent specialists. Once again, we earned public recognition as one of the country’s best employers, while an independent poll revealed that the loyalty of our employees exceeds average European figures many times over.

We continue to offer clients new products, some of which are unique on the local market. We put a lot of effort into arranging the issue of clients’ debt securities: we were instrumental in the issue of EUR 44 million of corporate bonds. In addition, we serviced complex CTF transactions (commodity trade financing) and issued new commercial loans worth a total of EUR 153 million. With future generations in mind, we launched some products for our clients’ children.

Among ABLV Group companies, it is the Pillar Group that is about to face the greatest challenges in relation to the recent launch of building infrastructure under its large-scale New Hanza project. Meanwhile, our subsidiary bank in Luxembourg is actively developing its operations. Having attracted sufficient clients to break even, it is continually expanding the range and quality of its services.

As always, we have been active supporters of social projects aimed at helping to make the world a fairer, friendlier and kinder place. It goes without saying that the biggest private bank in the country should take responsibility for the development of Latvia’s business environment and the welfare of our clients, which is what we are doing. The bank’s management is a proactive participant in various professional organisations and in the development of legislative initiatives, presenting the industry’s case clearly and articulately to legislators and society. In close collaboration with our long-term philanthropic partner, ABLV Charitable Foundation, we organised a special charity campaign to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the foundation, and raised over EUR 1 million for the benefit of various charitable causes.

The bank’s management and major shareholders have always said that the key to the company’s fortitude and visible achievements is its team. Our team harnesses the combined power of over 800 people. That is why the cover of this year’s annual report features little bronze bulls: the commemorative awards we give to our employees who have worked for the group for 10 and 20 years respectively. By the end of 2016, 329 employees had received the figurines with a deeply symbolic message “Labor Omnia Vincit” meaning “Work conquers all”.

Table of Contents

Creative team: Arnis Artemovičs, Ernests Bernis, Jānis Bunte, Anna Celma, Ilmārs Jargans, Jekaterina Koļesina, Sergejs Mazurs, Jūlija Surikova, Romans Surnačovs
Project managers: Anna Celma, Jekaterina Koļesina, Jūlija Surikova
Interviews: Tatjana Fasta, Romans Golubevs, Ilmārs Jargans, Degi Karajevs, Jekaterina Koļesina, Līva Melbārzde, Sergejs Pavlovs
Text authors: Vinsents Alamartins, Leonīds Aļšanskis, Jānis Bunte, Anna Celma, Timurs Čžou, Māris Kannenieks, Jekaterina Koļesina, Mihails Ponomarenko, Aivars Rauska, Dace Rūķīte-Kariņa, Romans Surnačovs, Marks Špungins, Zanda Zilgalve
Financial report: Aija Daugavvanaga, Agnese Lūse, Sandra Majore
Photography: Uldis Bertāns, Anna Celma, Jānis Deinats, Krišjānis Eihmanis, Sergejs Grečka, Kristofers Karlauskis, Valts Kleins, Jekaterina Koļesina, Inga Kundziņa, Māris Ločmelis, Kristīne Madjare, Antons Marčenko, Aigars Rečs, Gatis Rozenfelds, Andrejs Strokins, Evija Trifanova, Jānis Varts, Nils Vilnis, Adobe Stock, iStock, FTA, LETA
Translators: Nataļja Malašonoka, Svetlana Vasiļjeva, Baltic Media Ltd, SIA
Proofreader: Jānis Frišvalds
Design: Uldis Bertāns, Valters Horsts, Aivis Lizums, LETA

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