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  • 2009/07/09
  • 3 min
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Further to the preliminary agreement announced on 26th January 2009, Crédit Agricole S.A. and Société Générale today signed a final agreement to combine their asset management operations.

With €591 billion of assets under management, the combined entity will be ranked 4th in Europe and 8th worldwide . It aims to be:

the leading provider of savings solutions to the retail banking networks of the Crédit Agricole and Société Générale groups. With 50 million retail clients around the world, the new entity will be an undisputed European leader in this field and will be well positioned to form partnerships with other operators,
a multi-expert asset manager with a high-performance investment offering adapted to the requirements of institutional clients and backed by an extensive international network.

The new company will have three major advantages:

a comprehensive investment offering suitable for both retail and institutional clients,
a leading position in operational efficiency. Thanks to economies of scale, combining the two businesses will benefit all clients by creating a highly competitive industrial unit both in terms of the costs of production and the quality of service,
wide geographic coverage, with a presence in over 37 countries and a strong position in high-growth regions, particularly Asia.

Since the announcement of the project, teams from each entity have been finalising work on due diligence and the consultation process with employee representatives inherent in this type of operation, but also working on the shape of the new combined group, in particular:

- establishing how the new company will function with all the networks,
creating a dedicated structure designed for the Société Générale network,
defining the relationship between the new entity and the other businesses within the two groups (in particular, securities services and insurance).

Certain adjustments have been made to the framework of the transaction. The new entity (CAAM-SGAM) still includes 100% of the activities of the CAAM group, to which Société Générale is bringing its fundamental investment activities, 20% of TCW and its joint-venture in India. However, on account of local regulatory constraints and agreements with partners, SGAM's joint-ventures in China and Korea will not be contributed. In this context, 75% of the new entity will be held by Crédit Agricole SA and 25% by Société Générale, taking into account this change in scope, the level of equity capital contributed by the two entities, and the latest operating framework.

As originally agreed, Société Générale will appoint one third of the directors of the board of the new entity and, under group governance, will control the equivalent of one third of voting rights. Yves Perrier, the current CEO of CAAM, will become CEO of the new group.

The operation remains subject to approval from the relevant regulatory authorities. As a result, and as indicated in January, the transaction is expected to close during the 4th quarter of this year.

The next few months will be used to define the organisation of the new entity to enable it to be fully operational for the 2010 fiscal year.