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One year on, has delisting made Natixis stronger?

Getting rid of Natixis’ minority shareholders has helped the investment bank use the strength of mutual group BPCE’s balance sheet, says divisional leader Nicolas Namias. There are some signs it’s making a positive difference.

The logo of French bank Natixis is seen at one of their office in Paris

It’s now a year since Natixis delisted, becoming 100% owned by mutual group BPCE, one of France’s four global systemically important banks. Has the move improved the corporate and investment bank’s performance during this time?

The delisting was a historic event for Natixis, 15 years after its creation.

A listing was supposed to give Natixis a source of growth capital, until sub-prime losses in 2008 underlined the need for cuts instead. In recent years, European bank share prices have stayed well below book value, making equity raises in public markets an extremely unattractive option. That market reality partly informed why mutual group BPCE decided to delist Natixis, in which it had a 71% share.

Nicolas Namias, Natixis.jpg
Nicolas Namias, Natixis

The decision also followed outsized losses in equity derivatives in 2020, as well as volatility in asset management due to illiquid bond holdings in its former H2O subsidiary.

Following the delisting, asset management and corporate and investment banking are now a division of BPCE overseen by Nicolas Namias, who became CEO of the listed vehicle – which also included insurance and payments – after the 2020 losses.

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