From public service to private banking
Daniel Bouton is something of an enigma, even to his most senior lieutenants. “He’s always listening, and often doesn’t say much,” says one Société Générale executive. Or he’ll give the impression he is thinking in one direction and then goes off in completely the opposite one.”
Another says: “He always asks all the right questions. But he can be pretty blunt at times.”
An investment banker who has worked closely with Société Générale as a client goes further: “Before you see him with an idea, he’ll make sure all his senior people have spoken to you beforehand, and briefed him, so you know you’re in for a hard time once you get in the room.”
Bouton was educated at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, gaining a degree in political science, before moving on to the prestigious École Nationale d’Administration.
Bouton began his career as an auditor for the French government at the ministry of finance in 1973; in 1976 he joined the budget department, rising to become its head from 1988 to 1991.