Societe Generale Said to Close Energy Research Unit in Paris

  • Analysts Bros, Coghe said to leave the bank this week
  • Energy research closure part of broader cost cutting program

Societe Generale SA, France’s second-largest bank, shut its energy and commodities research unit in Paris this week, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Thierry Bros, who covered European gas and LNG, and Paolo Coghe a European power, coal and emissions analyst, were among the people who are leaving, said the people who asked not to be identified because the details are private. SocGen will continue to cover global oil markets from New York.

Societe Generale said in April that it’s planning to cut 125 jobs in France, with the deepest reductions at its trading operations, as tougher regulation is squeezing profitability. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea also deepened cost cuts by another 220 million euros ($246 million) in the global banking and investor solutions units by the end of next year in addition to already announced savings of 900 million euros and 850 million euros, respectively.

Corentin Henry, a spokesman for the bank in Paris, declined to comment.

Societe Generale is one of the last banks trading European power and gas after institutions from Bank of America Corp. to Deutsche Bank AG exited the markets amid increasing capital requirements and regulatory burdens. Noble Group Ltd. also plans to quit power and natural gas trading in Europe by the end of the year.

Coghe will start a company called Acousmatics, that will provide advisory services to traders and companies, he said Tuesday by e-mail. Bros also works as a visiting professor at Sciences Po in Paris. He will continue work with the institution, he said by telephone.

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