SocGen’s Markets Unit Heads Said to Leave Amid Overhaul

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Societe Generale's Didier Valet
Didier Valet, who runs the French bank’s securities unit, is taking direct control of markets as the company integrates Newedge activities, an internal memo from earlier this month shows. Photographer: Jean-Claude Coutausse/Bloomberg

Societe Generale SA’s Gian Luca Fetta, global head of foreign exchange, is among bankers leaving the firm amid an overhaul of its markets unit, according to people with knowledge of the review.

The French bank is eliminating senior positions in a reorganization that started in London last week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan is private. The people didn’t give details on how many roles are at stake.

A spokesman for Societe Generale in London declined to comment.

Societe Generale, like Deutsche Bank AG and Credit Suisse Group AG, is reshaping its markets activities in the face of toughening regulation and record-low interest rates. Societe Generale last year took full control of Newedge to expand electronic trading and clearing operations as regulators push to increase transparency in the marketplace.

Didier Valet, who runs the French bank’s securities unit, is taking direct control of markets as the company integrates Newedge activities, an internal memo from earlier this month shows. Newedge employed about 700 in the U.K. as of September and hundreds more work at the derivatives broker in the U.S. and Paris.

‘Major Challenges’

“These activities are facing major challenges this year, from reorganization to regulatory projects to implement,” Valet wrote in the letter to staff.

Societe Generale’s global-markets business posted 4.6 billion euros ($4.9 billion) in sales in 2014, down about 5 percent from the previous year, while costs fell 9.6 percent.

Separately, Phil Hartley, global head of emerging-markets rates trading, and Benoit Anne, global head of emerging-markets strategy, are among employees who resigned Tuesday, according to one person.

Fetta could not be reached at his office. Hartley and Anne did not return phone calls.

Societe Generale rose 0.9 percent to 45.62 euros in Paris trading by 4:55 p.m., valuing the bank 36.7 billion euros. The shares have gained 30 percent this year.

The bank employs more than 3,000 staff in the U.K., including about 2,200 in corporate and investment banking, with staff at the global markets unit trading and selling equities, bonds, currencies, commodities and other more complex securities.

Societe Generale is changing governance at its Global Banking and Investor Services division, which includes corporate and investment banking, wealth management and brokerage operations, as the French company seeks “to continue to grow and develop further,” according to Valet’s letter to staff.

Christophe Mianne, who leads the unit “in tandem” with Valet, will oversee coverage, corporate finance and private banking, the memo shows. Mianne will also be in charge of the Asia-Pacific region while Valet assumes direct supervision of American activities, the memo shows.

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