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Société Générale: ‘Smart’ French bank plots two-pronged approach

Builds out onshore presence in markets; Focuses on project finance, lending in banking

Société Générale is aiming to succeed in both the banking and markets businesses in Asia following a rethink of its entire organization and strategy, according to management in the region. The strategies appear quite different in style. In markets, Société Générale is aiming for a cutting-edge modern trading house with onshore presence in the key markets, and a broad-based flow business built on top of its traditionally strong structured products and derivatives capabilities. In banking, by contrast, the model resembles an update of a more old-fashioned style of traditional banking with the focus on lending, project finance and selective client advisory rather than large volumes of primary markets underwriting and headline-grabbing M&A.

Andrew Wardle, Société Générale

"We are aligning globally to create a cross-asset platform"

Andrew Wardle, Société Générale

Take the markets business first. "We have almost completed what we are calling an evolution of the bank," says Andrew Wardle, head of global markets Asia. "We had a geographically centred model in Asia, with Australia, Japan and emerging Asia operating as autonomous businesses, whereas now we are aligning globally to create a cross-asset platform."

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