The 2012/10/30 at 10:00
Alexandre T. Analis
With accountancy and management qualifications, David Ayault joined Natixis Factor in April 1996 as a Contract Manager. He then became SME and Key Accounts Manager (2002-2007), Operations Manager (2007-2010) and Regional Operations Manager (2010-2011). Since November 2011he has been Key Accounts and International Manager.
Commerce International: How do you think the image of factoring has evolved in the last decade?
David Ayault: "Up to fifteen years ago, factoring was almost exclusively advised as a solution for businesses finding themselves in great financial difficulties. As a result, factoring suffered from a negative image, that of the 'antechamber of voluntary liquidation'... Subsequently, key accounts became interested in this means of financing and boosted the market. Their needs were increasingly great and the sector's major players managed to offer alternative solutions to classic factoring."
What were these alternative solutions?
D.A.: "First of all there was the development of confidential factoring: we shifted from contracts for the simplified purchase of invoices to a more structured model where we purchase the sum of the client's balance. It has also been necessary to deal with the needs of big companies. The modes of cession were different and it has been necessary to regularly adapt to the specifications of each client rather than offering a standard service. With contracts for significant turnover volumes and sums over 100 million euros in debt, we have taken recourse to syndication since 2006. This solution consists in bringing together various factoring companies for a single client with the share of risk spread between all the factors by an agent or leader."
What advantages prompt businesses to turn to factoring?
D.A.: "In the last five years, businesses have noticed the utility of factoring for their financing and for their cash-flow management. Big companies can mobilise up to 80 % of their receivables to obtain liquidity. This allows them, for example, to invest pending the relay of their habitual banking partners, to take up external growth opportunities, to pay suppliers, to reimburse the current accounts of partners, to increase their cash flow... Our clients seek financing, outsourced receivables management (chasing up debts and receiving payments), regular reports on management indicators, credit risk coverage to ensure healthy development all over the world... Natixis Factor in particular offers credit insurance solutions for export, namely in partnership with Coface, also a subsidiary of the BPCE Group."
Who exactly are your clients?
D.A.: "Last year, Natixis Factor purchased around seven million invoices for a total factoring turnover of 25 billion euros. With a 15 % market share, 500 employees and 7,000 client companies, Natixis Factor is the number three banking factor. We are multi-networked, multi-segmented, multi-branded. Multi-networked as over 90 % of our input comes from the BPCE Group (with dedicated brands for Banque Populaire, Caisse d’Epargne and Natixis clients) and the rest from brokers. Multi-segmented as we offer adapted services: from services for professionals to key accounts."
How do you view the state of the factoring market in France and what are your future development projects?
D.A.: "The factoring market in France achieved a turnover, last year, of 175 billion euros, in other words a 13 % rise compared with 2010. Factoring has become the number two financing means for businesses, behind overdrafts. In this context, the ambition of Natixis Factor is to speed up, with the support of its network, development in France but especially overseas by focusing on two axes: export, by financing the debts of overseas clients (mainly European, but also in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia...), and supporting the financing of receivables for clients with overseas subsidiaries."
More detailed information is available on the following web site: www.factor.natixis.com