ABN AMRO - a leading international bank - will enter two boats in the next Volvo Ocean Race

ABN AMRO – a leading international bank – will enter two boats in the next Volvo Ocean Race, starting in Galicia, Spain in November 2005. Both boats will be designed by Argentinian Juan Kouyoumdjian. Killian Bushe, the Irishman living in Sweden who constructed illbruck – winner of the 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race – will build both boats. It will be a three-year project, with a budget of approximately EUR 20 million.

ABN AMRO is selecting the best team possible and will work closely with the Dutchman Roy Heiner, who sailed in this event in 1997-98 and 2001-02. Relying on Heiner’s knowledge and expertise of the sailing world, a project plan has been written and the preparations have started. At this moment, ABN AMRO is selecting a skipper.

The ABN AMRO strategy to success is to build and race two boats. Experience gained from the first boat will be used in designing and building the second boat, giving it an optimal start. Ultimately both boats will take part in the race.

ABN AMRO considers its participation in this top sporting event an ideal opportunity to further strengthen its international brand awareness. Besides this, qualities essential in this race, such as professionalism, flexibility, teamwork and innovation match the bank’s corporate culture.

Following last year’s re-branding campaign of its major subsidiaries – Banco Real, LaSalle Bank, Standard Federal Bank, Delbrück Bethmann Maffei, Alfred Berg, Hoare Govett, Banque de Neuflize en Banque OBC – ABN AMRO wants to further reinforce its brand worldwide.

“The Volvo Ocean Race, which visits almost all of the continents, emerged as an ideal candidate, especially considering the range of commercial opportunities offered by participating,” said Tom de Swaan, Member of the Managing Board of ABN AMRO and responsible for this project.

Speaking in Holland, Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Glenn Bourke, said: “Today’s announcement of two fully funded raceboats from ABN AMRO, in addition to Pedro Campos with his Telefonica team from Galicia, confirms that the Volvo Ocean Race is in good shape. We are 300 per cent up in terms of entries, compared with this period in the previous race. With 20 months still to go before the start of the event, we believe the signs are all positive from the corporate community.”