What's our KBC story?

May 2021 is a notable milestone in our story which is the 10th anniversary. The 10th anniversary represents much more than a simple item in the list of dates we want to remember. It captures ten years of stories we collected together in Brno. We asked some of our colleagues who celebrate the same anniversary as KBC about their stories. How do they feel about it now and then?

Let us begin with Jana who shares her thoughts as a colleague who celebrates 10 years on board in 2021 and her perspective as Head of one of the HR teams.

I was very happy that my Team Leader listened to me during our meetings, let's call them F2F. And he once heard that I would like to enjoy two months off from work and then return. And guess what? I started the era of unpaid holiday. What a family I have! They let me take a break, enjoy some time off doing something else, and then welcomed me back with open arms.

Once my Team Leader asked me what is my dream job. I was honest admitting that it's the HR field. If I would not live it, I would hardly believe that my dream can come true so quickly after I said that out loud for the first time. HR vacancy opened in KBC and my Team Leader recommended me. My career in HR of KBC started in 2013. From HR Generalist Junior with absolutely no experience until today being the Head of HR Partners, Employee Relations & Policies with more than 1 000 people in Brno.

In our family, you dream big, and you live even greater. I have had an incredible opportunity to get to know a lot of those 1 000 people. During the recruitment, I was responsible for, through performance process, including some HR related issues solving, common projects we cooperated on together, to the occasions when I sometimes had to say goodbye to some of my family members. Well, some of them returned to the family.

What makes KBC my family? We share the common values for sure, I feel the support that I can pay back with my personal commitment. I see the possibility to speak up, grab the empowerment and do things, start them and develop, learn from mistakes without blame, but see the focus on continuous improvement. I wouldn't be working for HR team if people wouldn't be the biggest asset of each family I recognize.

I very much value my colleagues every single day, even in the difficult times such as facing pandemic. Anniversaries remind me what we have done so much together in 10 years. My dear KBC, thank you for having me and wishing you all the best for the 10th anniversary and many more years of success to come. I hope that we will spend at least another decade together.

Besides Shared Service Center, there are thirty other jubilees. We asked few of them the same question: What's your KBC story?

Nicolas Geerts, Product Manager Business Solutions in IPA CoE / Shared Services BSCC ART

I joined Kredietbank, which became KBC Bank after the merger with Cera and ABB, in 1996. So, I have a double celebration this year, 25 years with KBC, of which 10 years in Brno. I accepted an offer in 2011 to join a few other Belgian colleagues and set up the High Care Payments domain (now Group Payments Solutions) in Brno. The plan was to stay a few years and then return to Belgium. But here we are, still enjoying working at Shared Service Center Brno, still enjoying life in South Moravia. Ready for another 25 years!

Summarizing the past 10 years? Pioneers in 2011, installing the work stations during the evening and the weekend as we didn't have an ICT support team yet, seeing lots of colleagues come and go, many different roles within the payments and business solutions domains, seeing the SSC grow and succeed... As with so many Belgian guys, falling in love with a Czech lady, of course within the KBC walls. And, still, the proud father of the first KBC SSC Brno baby, born almost 7 years ago. Thank you, KBC!

Jitka De Wolfová, Financial Analyst in Group Support Finance

I joined KBC in 2011, starting in Accounts Payable BE team - I believe the very first team in the SSC. After two years within AP, I moved to the newly established Account Management team. During those four years a lot happened. I met my partner for life, found a new home, gave birth to my first child, and got pregnant with my second one. Before leaving for parental leave, KBC allowed me to work part-time, so I didn't lose touch with all my colleagues and work.

After returning from parental leave and learning that I had to choose another path, because of some organizational changes in my team, I landed in the Group Support Finance team where you can still find me today.

And what changed? A lot! Not only size-wise, business and expertise, but I have been lucky enough to witness many love stories among my colleagues, be part of some amazing weddings, and see my colleagues - now friends - raise amazing offspring. That's special!

Jaroslav Procházka, Team Leader in Corporate Credits BE

I started in the autumn of 2011 and my first steps led to Brussels for a half-year intensive training in the Financial Markets Middle Office team. I worked as an officer for four years and then I was promoted to Team Leader. It was quite difficult to change the role from colleague/friend to boss/friend. Luckily, I got great support from the whole team and also thanks to the nice relations with our Middle Office colleagues in Brussels, we all together built a very stable and strong team.

I didn't think that I would leave the team, but my manager needed me as a Team Leader for a new onboarded team. So I became the leader in Corporate Credits for Western Europe Branches in September 2018. The onboarding was really challenging, including leading a group of people that were under constant pressure. Thanks to them, the onboarding was successful and we proved that we were able to process the business of the corporate credits from different countries. Since we extended the portfolio of services, I led another new team.

When I look back, I see so many changes: from 80 people that I have all known to more than 1 000 people; switch from a grey and not so cozy office to a modern-era office. Personally, I developed from a young fresh graduate guy to 35-year old man with not only work-related experience. The sentence "people are our biggest asset" is not only a phrase. I must say that I have a lot of friends from KBC, some of them with another career path elsewhere. I will be always thankful that I could meet all those great people and grow up (a little bit) as a person.

Jitka Haluzová, Team Leader in Order & Trade

When KBC opened its doors in the Czech Republic in 2011, I was one of those lucky people who could start their career journey in the first team of AP/AR. There were just around ten people in Brno those days, but other teams joined soon and the number of people grew day by day.

In 2012, I became a Team Leader and spent another two and half years with the great people in AP/AR team. Then I had a "vacation" called maternity leave and took care of my two daughters for four years. I came back looking for a role that I would be able to perform with two small children. Again, I was surprised how open and supportive KBC was. I got an offer to join Securities Services domain as a leader of the small Order & Trade team. Believe me, I was afraid - so many things changed when I was gone. There were no Securities Services for example. But I took the opportunity and although it is not always easy, I'm glad that I did it. Big thanks to my colleagues, my team and my manager, for their support and friendship!

Ondrej Štuller, Expert in Surf Studio and Innovations

My KBC story started in Back Office Financial Markets on 3 October 2011 when fourteen of back and middle office people turned up for the induction day and after only a couple of hours at work were put on taxis and shipped to Vienna airport for a three month training in Brussels. Good old times…

It’s going to be ten years soon and I will enjoy my second extra 'My day', but that is not the reason I’ve stayed with KBC for so long. I liked my jobs almost at all times, and when I got close to being too long in one place, I got an opportunity to change, and to grow. I think I’ve seen most of what we do in Brno at one time or other, and some consider me a fixture. But you know, the feeling that I’ve been here since the very beginning, that I’ve helped build the SSC and have grown with it and it’s people, has become very important to me. I have many memories in the past ten years that I’m very fond of: from all crazy trainings in Belgium and back office (to this day KBC traders occasionally message me for help… I was well known in the dealing room 😉), to joining OEX and process management, to meeting Johan Thijs and Erik Luts on stage in Leuven, to becoming the face of Simplify! and finally also of the Surf Studio. You can see, it’s been a long and winding road that went up and down. Thankfully it’s gone mostly up for me, I don’t mind that.