Posted on Jul 30, 2020 at 6:56 p.m.Updated Jul 30, 2020 7:09 p.m.

Societe Generale is changing its model in asset management. The bank announced on Thursday the signing of a new partnership agreement with Amundi, the European leader in the sector with more than 1,500 billion euros in assets. Concluded for five years, the agreement will enter into force in November 2020, when the previous contract was due to expire.

While Amundi remains the “first partner” of Societe Generale, which will continue to distribute its products through its retail banking and insurance networks, the bank also intends to expand its range. It therefore wishes to be able to offer savings and investment solutions to other players. It is a novelty.

« This partnership constitutes a new step in our strategy of offering investment solutions, which aims to ensure that our retail networks offer our clients a range in open architecture, allowing them to access the best management expertise in France and abroad. international and meet their growing demand for socially responsible investment », Comments Frédéric Oudéa, the boss of Société Générale, quoted in a press release.

Diversification

La Défense bank does not hide its ambitions in savings management, even if it no longer produces its products itself and operates only as a distributor. It wants to be able to improve its offer in order to offer – and therefore sell – more products to its customers, with a wider choice in terms of investment themes (new geographies, new positioning, etc.).

Societe Generale thus hopes to diversify from competing establishments, which favor in-house products, from their own asset management division. ” Open architecture models are traditionally used for private banking and high net worth clients, to guarantee the best deal without worrying about costs », Explains a good connoisseur of the sector.

« We assume the fact of being a simple distributor in asset management, recently explained a source within the bank. On the other hand, we are very demanding with our suppliers in order to have the best products and to gain value for our customers. ».

For Société Générale, switching to open architecture is also a good way to compete between asset managers, and therefore to lower prices. In the midst of a health crisis, including the economic impacts will also be felt in the sector banking, lower costs remain a major issue. New partnerships could be signed and announced in the coming months.

A much awaited renewal

The distribution agreement between the two groups had been in place since the management company went public in 2015, itself the result of the merger between the Crédit Agricole management subsidiary and that of Société Générale in 2009. The manager does not have his own shops, but must rely on the networks of his partners to distribute his products to the general public.

Thanks to the contract with Société Générale, Amundi’s investment products are offered by default to clients of its retail banking and insurance networks, i.e. more than 2,700 branches in France. However, it is these networks that still largely determine the collection of savings in France and in most European countries, unlike the United States and the United Kingdom.

The renewal of this contract, even if it is less exclusive, was therefore eagerly awaited. ” It consolidates Amundi’s position as a benchmark partner for retail networks in Europe », Commented Yves Perrier, CEO of the asset manager.