Aloys Van de Vyvère - President of Petrofina
Born in 1871. Doctor of law, graduate in philosophy. Lloyd's advisor in 1918. Founding member of Petrofina (1920). First Chairman of the Board of Directors of Purfina; he was the one who negotiated the agreement with the Puritan Oil Cy in 1920. A lawyer, he worked as a lawyer in Ghent from 1909 to 1911 and embarked on a political career. Elected MP in 1911, he was called three months later to enter government. He was a minister without interruption until 1918, notably Treasurer for the duration of the First World War (he exercised his functions at Sainte-Adresse near Le Havre). Prime Minister (1925) and Minister of Agriculture in the Jaspar - Vandervelde government, 1925-1926. He abandoned politics in 1932. Appointed president of Petrofina in 1946, he modified, in connection with Laurent Wolters, the strategy by choosing to invest much less in France and more in the Anglo-Saxon world; he is a close friend of Charles Gates Dawes (former Vice President of the United States, famous for the plan that bears his name). Under his chairmanship, the Group has grown in Canada and the United States, in Great Britain and the Netherlands, in Egypt, Angola, Congo, etc. He is an Anglo-Saxon: he was an ardent defender the use of Flemish, especially in the world of education; he opposed several French initiatives targeting Belgium, such as the proposed customs union proposed during the War by French Minister of Commerce, Clémentel. He was also governor of the National Industry Credit Company and president of the Antwerp Company. Despite his age, he was also called to play a role in the independence process of the Belgian Congo. Died in Paris on October 22, 1961.