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Francois-Xavier d’Aligny

Head of institutional coverage for German-speaking clients, Société Générale

Francois-Xavier d'Aligny is a Frenchmen who spent 21 years working for Deutsche Bank before recently moving to Société Générale. So besides the obvious professional motives for taking up this new challenge was he perhaps swayed by feelings of patriotism?

Not a bit of it, he says: "I have no problem saying I'm a French citizen. But I'm also very Firmly a European. I'm very much motivated by the idea of being one of numerous people who are trying to build the whole European process."

This is not, perhaps, a particularly startling line for an investment banker who has spent much of his life setting up cross-border deals. But in d'Aligny's case the averred lack of national pride in his new job does somehow ring true. Besides his 21 years with Deutsche, his cosmopolitan outlook has presumably been extended by marriage to an Austrian he met during a stint advising the French embassy in Vienna in the 1970s. His three children are trilingual, speaking English to each other, French to their father and German to their mother - they can also get by in Spanish.

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