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Crédit Agricole and Société Générale create asset management group

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Crédit Agricole and Société Générale have signed a final agreement to combine their asset management operations.

Crédit Agricole and Société Générale have signed a final agreement to combine their asset management operations.

With EUR591bn of assets under management, the combined entity will be ranked fourth in Europe and eighth worldwide.

It aims to be the leading provider of savings solutions to the retail banking networks of the Crédit Agricole and Société Générale groups, as well as a multi-expert asset manager with an investment offering adapted to the requirements of institutional clients.

The new company will have a presence in over 37 countries and a strong position in high-growth regions, particularly Asia.

Since the announcement of the project on 26 January, teams from each entity have been finalising work on due diligence and the consultation process with employee representatives.

They have also been working on the shape of the new combined group: establishing how the new company will function with all the networks, creating a dedicated structure designed for the Société Générale network and defining the relationship between the new entity and the other businesses within the two groups.

The new entity (CAAM-SGAM) still includes 100 per cent of the activities of the CAAM group, to which Société Générale is bringing its fundamental investment activities, 20 per cent of TCW and its joint-venture in India. However, on account of local regulatory constraints and agreements with partners, SGAM’s joint-ventures in China and Korea will not be contributed. In this context, 75 per cent of the new entity will be held by Crédit Agricole and 25 per cent by Société Générale.

As originally agreed, Société Générale will appoint one third of the directors of the board of the new entity and, under group governance, will control the equivalent of one third of voting rights. Yves Perrier (pictured), the current chief executive of CAAM, will become chief executive of the new group.

The operation remains subject to approval from the relevant regulatory authorities. As a result, the transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of this year.

The next few months will be used to define the organisation of the new entity to enable it to be fully operational for the 2010 fiscal year.

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