Belgian fashion group FNG has a new CEO: co-founder Manu Bracke succeeds Dieter Penninckx, who is forced to quit due to medical reasons. His responsibilities are now divided between Bracke, who also remains COO, and CFO Nathasja Van Bael.
There will be no problem to the group's continuity, a press release emphasises: Bracke has been COO since the company's foundation in 2003 and he will maintain that role. However, Bracke now does get an additional title and some of Penninckx' responsabilities on top of his own.
FNG's management has gone through several changes in the last few months: CFO Van Bael has only been at the company since last month. In December, president Eric Verbaere and CFO Nico Bondroit had quit the company: Roald Borré became the group's new president, while Geert Jacobs assumed the role of CFO ad interim.
Aggressive acquisition strategy
In 2003, Bracke founded FNG together with Penninckx and the latter's wife Anja Maes. Penninckx was the driving force behind a very aggressive acquisition strategy, that made FNG an international, listed fashion group with a strong presence in the Netherlands and Scandinavia. In the current climate, with Penninckx stepping down and the corona crisis raging, this strategy is likely to be discontinued.
FNG opened its first multi-brand stores in 2005, named "Fred & Ginger". Three years later, it laid the foundation of its acquisition strategy as it obtained a listing on the Brussels stock exchange. Notable steps in the strategy were the purchases of CKS (2009), Claudia Sträter (2012), Steps (2014), Miss Etam (2016), Brantano (also 2016) and Swedish Ellos (2019).