SocGen’s board opts for safety with Krupa as chief executive
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SocGen’s board opts for safety with Krupa as chief executive

Societe Generale’s choice of Slawomir Krupa to succeed Frédéric Oudéa suggests an approach of riding out the storm and continuing elements of Oudéa’s recent strategy, rather than any radical change.

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Slawomir Krupa

In choosing Slawomir Krupa as its next chief executive, Societe Generale’s board has favoured someone with intimate knowledge of the bank’s risks and a proven ability to manage its international regulatory relations.

These qualities will be particularly advantageous for the Paris-based lender as Europe enters an exceptionally dangerous environment – with a recession on the horizon, rampant inflation and rapidly rising interest rates.

Higher credit costs are coming, increased political intervention is possible and more volatility is certain in financial markets, where SocGen’s exposures are notoriously difficult to understand thanks to its weight in structured finance and derivatives.

While Krupa’s career began in the bank’s internal audit department, he has led SocGen’s corporate and investment bank (known as global banking and investor solutions) for the past year and a half.

He has emphasised a shift away from the markets side, particularly structured products. He also won praise for his time running the Americas business between 2016 and 2021, beefing up the compliance function in coordination with the Fed, after scandals over Libor manipulation and a bribery case in Libya.