Why This Blog ?

by Steven van Groningen on 11 May, 2010

The first page in a new notebook, the first sentence on a fresh sheet of paper, the first entry on a new blog…

The sentiment is the same. Just to get it over with, I’ll give 10 reasons – not necessarily in any particular order – why I started this blog.

  1. As CEO of a large bank I am often asked for my opinion, so why not provide it in the form of a blog ?
  2. I don’t like being misquoted in the press, I might as well write it down myself.
  3. Writing is helpful in structuring my thoughts.
  4. I like to learn something new and blogging, including the technical part, is new.
  5. Improving communication with the community I am part of. Staff, clients and others.
  6. I care about Romania and hope to contribute to a better discussion on topics I consider important.
  7. I would like to share some of my experience with others.
  8. I want the improve the public image of bankers and banking (yes, I am ambitious)
  9. Writing is helpful in dealing with stress.
  10. I thought it might be fun.

It is a journey, I am not sure what I’ll find on the way, but I expect to have interesting encounters and to visit new places. I’ll write about what I feel writing about. Banking, Romania, work-life balance, CSR will be recurring topics.

Comment if you like, it makes it more interesting for all. Thank you for reading.


{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Adrian Faur May 14, 2010 at 16:35

Hello or I may sau also “salut”.
Please accept all the best from a person that have already switched in the short spare time the banking area…then…welcome


madalina May 15, 2010 at 13:31


congratulations on your initiative! As such, I have never seen a blog initiated by a ceo of a large bank. At least not in Romania, I admit. Though I think being the only blog of a bank ceo makes it unnecessary to differentiate, I find that what is different about the blog is the “why” you started it. This opens a door towards you as a person, about your values. This has been my favorite part of the blog, though I found that the info you provided was structured and worded so that anybody could understand what you meant. But again, any web page can be filled with information, it is how it is structured that makes the difference. I was impressed by the .eu extension. You point out that we are a part of the eu, despite what we see on the news. Wonderful photo!


SvG May 15, 2010 at 13:47

Thank you Madalina, I really appreciate your feedback. I plan to post 1-2 a week, so I hope you’ll be back. Glad you like the photograph, I have so many pictures and have now a good way of sharing some of them, even though they don’t have to do too much with banking.


Valentin May 17, 2010 at 09:10

I wish you good luck with this blog. It will be very interesting to learn more about your ideas and thoughts. As Madalina mentioned, it is the first blog made by a banker, a CEO, an “almost” Romanian from Netherlands.

All the best,


boldfrank May 17, 2010 at 13:18

A banking CEO blog is welcomed, especially in these times! I happen to know you in person and I hope I will see here again the same clear cut opinions that characterise you. Good luck then and many posts!

PS: surprised to see Dragos Roua in your Blogroll….


SvG May 17, 2010 at 22:59

Thank you Boldfrank, that is certainly an encouragement, I’ll do my best to post on a regular basis. I found Dragos Roua’s blog inspiring and thought it would be of interest to some of the visitors. Anyway, the day I stop being interested in personal development will be a sad day.


Jim May 20, 2010 at 13:50

Congratulations on your blog. Definitely a first for our market. I hope you are still not misquoted by the media. Keep it up!
Good luck,


Ruxandra May 21, 2010 at 10:51

Great idea to have this blog! There really are a lot of people that want to hear what you have to say on different topics! Good luck!


SvG May 21, 2010 at 18:48

Thank you Ruxandra, I hope I’ll be able to meet expectations !


Alexandra Popovici May 21, 2010 at 19:12

Fantastic idea! If it was u’r PR the one who gave it to u congratulations!If it was your realistic, rational mind, that’s a good sign that u have the ability to look forward and it’s the proof that u can be trusted! It’s good for people to know that they can read the advice of a specialist!
Please try to be objective, conscient of all this crisis situation and don’t forget that we all have our own needs so try(if possible) to personalize them !
Break a leg! All the best!


Alexandra May 25, 2010 at 07:35

A great idea and very welcoming could I say. I hope that your time will allow to update at least weekly this blog and be close to us ( banking or non banking peoples)

Good luck and all the best for you.


Oana May 30, 2010 at 15:12

Congratulations for the initiative and for the content!
I have faith that you will set a trend and more CEO’s from key sectors will follow as they have a prety good view at micro and macro level. Corporate communication is restrictive and we all need an honest, objective opinion in areas which are not our specialties.
For me is a life lesson as well; I simply ask myself – if Steven, who is so busy, with so many responsabilities, can do so many extra work things and he can do them at a high standard, it means it is possible and me, or many others can push our limits much farther as well.
I admire your efforts, your values, what you stand for in life.
Thank you,


Manuela Voicila June 3, 2010 at 17:29

congratulation on your initiative, I will be definetely one of the people interested in what you have to say. I can only hope you will have the time to have us reading your posts.
I wish you the best of luck, especially on your very ambitios target to have us change our minds about banks and bankers. And I am speaking from a former Raiffeisen client perspective :)

PS. Leica would be another hobby?


SvG June 3, 2010 at 17:33

Thanks for your good wishes. The Leica is getting less attention nowadays because of the time it takes to run the blog. I plan to write about the Leica as well at some point in time


Kurt Srohmayer June 5, 2010 at 17:12

Dear Steven,
Congratulations to this great initiative!
I really think this is an excellent way to learn from some of your experiences and to get to know, your real view on various subjects, without being misquoted by others.
I also like your initiative on the voting “On A Scale From 1 – 10; How Would You Rate the Performance of the Romanian Government in Dealing with the Crisis?”, which shows really an interesting result; however and who knows, the result might even improve over the time, which would be a great success for Romania.
I wish you all the best, a continued success and I am looking forward to your upcoming information’s on your blog.
Best regards,


SvG June 6, 2010 at 09:57

Thanks Kurt, it is good to get encouragement ! Like you, I would love to see the score improving over time. I think we all would like to see that happening. The country has great potential, but we need to see some changes in order to unlock this.


Serban Ciusca June 12, 2010 at 23:23

Congratulations for this new step in comunication! And … for the “Eu” domain extension. I use it also … for Pasiunea.Eu, for personal adress, a.s.o. Probably romanian is the only language where “Eu” have also the sense of “I/ me” ;-)


SvG June 13, 2010 at 23:10

Thank you Serban. Indeed I couldn’t resist the temptation. I feel rather European anyway, but the Romanian language gives is an extra touch. Less time from my passions now ;-)


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