The 2011/11/04 at 10:42
Alexandre T. Analis
Pierre Fourche, 57 years old, has carried out his entire career within the Société Générale group that he joined in 1973. He has been Sales Manager of Société Générale Gestion ever since its creation on 1 January 2010. Former Director of the management actions within Crédit Agricole Asset Management, Christophe Lemarié is Deputy General Manager of Société Générale Gestion.
Commerce International: When and how was Société Générale Gestion born?
Christophe Lemarié: “The entity was born during the creation of Amundi, the fruit of the merger between Société Générale Asset Management (SGAM) and Crédit Agricole Asset Management (CAAM). This merger which took place a year and a half ago aimed to allow the group thus constituted to reach a critical size on an international scale and to diminish costs to better serve our clientele. Today, Amundi represents over 690 billion euros of assets under management, 3,000 institutional clients and 100 million private clients in over 30 countries throughout the world. Société Générale Gestion is a 100 % subsidiary of Amundi, exclusively serving clients within the Société Générale network.”
What role do you play for this clientele?
Pierre Fourche: “Our task is to manage the financial assets entrusted to us by Société Générale clients, whether in the form of management mandates or through collective products such as funds and unit trusts. To this end, Société Générale Gestion has its own management teams and marketing and sales structures entirely integrated to the services offered by Société Générale to its clients. The assets that we manage cover both “open” general-public UCITS funds (shares, rates, monetary…) and management mandates or dedicated funds for individual clients (individuals as well as institutional clients). Today, around 40 billion euros in assets are managed on behalf of Société Générale clients.”
How are management mandates organised?
P. F. : “One of our greatest strengths is our capacity to offer personalised and discretionary management to our clients for the management of their financial assets. Our clients who delegate the management of their financial assets need complete transparency. For we consider discretionary management not as a mere product, but above all a comprehensive service: the client delegates without ever losing control. Clients are free to meet up with their managers to take stock of their situations. At a time when the economic crisis has discernibly strenghtened the suspicion of clients with regard to markets as well as their banks, discretionary management seems a good solution in our eyes as it is transparent and personalised.”
How do you guarantee this transparency?
P. F. : “Clients want to understand how their money is being managed and how much it will yield. This requires absolute transparency between the client and his or her asset management adviser who carries out an asset assessment and then advises on investment via diversification: the real-estate sector, financial markets, risk-free savings… Clients always have the possibility of discussing their restrictions and gauging their desire for risk. In this way, entirely original asset allocation approaches are born. Next, complete transparency is provided for management initiatives: we write to clients every month, we send out personalised management reports for every quarter and of course, clients can directly contact their managers.”
Would you say that diversification is essential in discretionary management?
C. L.: “Absolutely. A client who delegates to us the management of his or her financial assets expects management to be diversified. This means that portfolios are managed actively but in a cool and reasoned manner. We manage equity savings plans (PEAs), direct stock purchase plans upwards of 75,000 euros, securities accounts, life insurance… Diversification consists in approaching different countries, different markets, different sectors of activity. Discretionary management offers management based on conviction: the manager offers the best of the management company to the client, choosing certain strategies over others.”
Finally, why do clients choose Société Générale Gestion for their over its direct rivals?
C. L. : “Our management is high-performance: in 2009 and 2010, the performance of our PEA mandates (“plans d’épargne en actions”) was 6 % higher than that of the CAC 40. This year, it looks like the trend will be the same. Moreover, our clients come to us because they know exactly what they are paying for: they receive their invoices, and details of brokerage fees and all expenses in their management reports. It is very important to keep transparency in expenses. Finally, asset managers at Société Générale Gestion can rely on experts from the mother company Amundi, the number one in asset management in France, the number three in Europe and the number eight worldwide.”
More detailed information on the web sites: www.amundi.com et www.societegeneralegestion.fr