Krupa must manage expectations at SocGen
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Krupa must manage expectations at SocGen

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Investors and staff at Societe Generale are slowly starting to understand chief executive Slawomir Krupa’s brutally honest approach to the bank’s many challenges. Taking them with him as he embarks on his restructuring plan may prove a more delicate task.

When staff at Societe Generale want to be supportive of their chief executive of almost one year, they say that – much like investors in the bank’s stock – they must be patient with Slawomir Krupa. They just need to wait and see if Krupa’s strategy of promising very little for the bank’s investors can ultimately achieve a better stock valuation by boosting credibility and reducing its cost of equity.

“We need to give him a chance” is the general message.

It is a strategy that has some justification, according to Jerry del Missier, a former Barclays executive now running financial sector investment firm Copper Street Capital.

“Bank CEOs should not get fired up because their stock price went up from being dishonest with the market,” he says. “The proof will be in the pudding in two years’ time.”

For many inside SocGen, Krupa’s low-bar approach so far has brought resigned acceptance. When they are being less forgiving, people at the bank say that his style is not just honest but brutally honest. This may be warranted, but it isn’t helping morale or fostering a sense of togetherness.

It is also in marked contrast to predecessor Frédéric Oudéa, who stepped down in May last year.



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EMEA editor
Dominic O’Neill is EMEA editor. He joined Euromoney in 2007 to cover emerging markets, focusing on central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and later on Latin America. Based in London, he has covered developed market banking since 2015.
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