Societe Generale: aligning more closely with business leaders

Laurent Goutard – Head of Societe Generale Retail Banking in France Societe Generale supports companies experiencing growth, helping them develop their business and conquer new markets.

More than 150 years ago, Societe Generale was founded by entrepreneurs with the goal of fostering the development of trade and industry in France. Since then, working alongside businesses has been central to its strategy. Societe Generale seeks to strengthen this longstanding commitment so as to better serve businesses and contribute to the renewal of economic growth in France.

To do so, we try to work as closely as possible with business leaders and stay in tune with their needs, supporting them with our responsiveness, professionalism, flexible solutions and rapid decision-making. As such, we are offering our SME clients, along with their executives and shareholders, a new range of products and services: “Societe Generale Entrepreneurs”. This collection of integrated, dedicated solutions and services brings together our complementary areas of expertise in retail banking, private banking, and corporate & investment banking (CIB).

For example, although banks remain the principal source of financing for French businesses, these companies may need to access financial markets to finance their growth. As a result, disintermediation is increasingly leading entrepreneurs to take advantage of our CIB expertise. Likewise, a sale-transfer transaction will affect the wealth structure of a business leader, who will then need our private banking experts to advise on the best way to invest the income on such a transaction.

With its unique platform in France, Societe Generale is there for entrepreneurs in all of their key moments, with respect to both their businesses and their personal assets, making it easier to prepare for them. All of this is offered through specialised centres located throughout France. In light of this, we have launched six “Societe Generale Entrepreneurs” operating platforms in Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Rennes and Strasbourg. Over the last three years, retail banking has strengthened its local sales teams and invested in training to upgrade the skills of business CRMs, who also receive assistance from experts on international trade. It has been a worthwhile effort, as over the first nine months of 2016 we acquired 3,200 new business clients.

Although Societe Generale supports SMEs, it also works alongside startups and innovative businesses through the 160 business centres it operates in France. Much of this assistance is offered through dedicated points of contact for startups in each area of the French technology sector and partnerships with local incubators in Paris and the rest of France. Because Societe Generale is able to develop synergies between its various businesses, it continues to be the partner of choice for business leaders, offering them access to the expertise of an international universal bank

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