“Our CIB has a very entrepreneurial spirit, which is also the explanation of our development in retail banking”
Daniel Bouton, chairman and CEO of Société Générale, discusses in detail his bank’s culture and strategy with Euromoney’s editor, Clive Horwood.
This bank has a specific genetic make-up, which combines the merits of three cultures. The original is a successful retail bank and then commercial bank, the classic European success story.
The second comes from the audit business. About 15 years after Société Générale was created in 1864, the central audit body was set up, which has helped innovate in all departments of the bank for decades. The third is the trading culture, which began in the mid 1980s, with a few top recruitments initiated by my predecessors. This has a very important index culture, partly coming from volatility trading and partly from extremely sophisticated mathematical trading. It’s a culture in which purely directional and proprietary is not the basis of the firm, and one which requires us to focus heavily on the best IT systems. And it’s the blend of all three that creates the present Société Générale, a marriage of the particular brand of intelligence and innovation required to run a successful trading business with the detail and rigour of retail, plus a very strong entrepreneurial spirit.