NETHERLANDS - Merchant bank Kempen & Co. has appointed Jean Frijns, the former head of investments at ABP, as chairman of the supervisory board. 

He replaces Pieter Winsemius who left last week to take up a position as minister in the Dutch government.

Frijns has been a member of the bank's supervisory board since June 2005. He was chosen to replace Winsemius as other board members were exempt from becoming chairmen due to their positions on other boards of the company, a Kempen spokeswoman told IPE.

Winsemius was asked to join the government after two ministers stepped down last week over a devastating report into a fire at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport in which 11 immigrants died.

Kempen's supervisory board is now made up of Jean Frijns, Fritz Frohlich, Abel Slippens and Onno Wentges.

The appointment was completely unrelated to the ongoing takeover of Kempen by the private bank Van Lanschot, the spokeswoman said.

Frijns, who left ABP last year, is also chairman of the Tabaksblat corporate governance committee.