An agronomist by training, in 2002 he joined Caisse Régionale du Crédit Agricole Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur. After a varied career in the group, where he became Human Resources Manager, this "customer relations devotee" as he calls himself, came to Monaco as Manager of Crédit Agricole Monaco.
Tell us a little about Crédit Agricole Monaco
It has a staff of 22 people dedicated to the Corporate (business) and Private Banking markets.
Traditionally our clientele is made up of French and Italian business leaders and Monegasque families that have lived here for a long time. We have over 50 nationalities, and therefore a highly diversified clientele.
What do they seek?
Customers now want a trusting relationship, close partnerships, and global private/business investment advice. For tax and regulatory reasons, in the past it was easier to work separately - Private Banking on one side and Corporate on the other. That is over now. Customers now want all services and expertise under the same roof, to save precious time. Our universal banking model helps us meet that need: we offer them numerous distribution channels and also great expertise in private areas (legal, tax, property) and corporate areas. That is why we set up our corporate business centre within the same branch, in rue Princesse Charlotte.
Are team skills and training very important?
We have invested in major training efforts on compliance, legal and tax aspects. As a branch of Caisse Régionale Provence Côte d’Azur, we rely on a nearby network of expertise.
If a customer wants to meet one of our experts, a meeting can be arranged in less than 48 hours, and it can even be done remotely.
Our private advisors are part of the relationship, with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills. They are the privileged interface for access to the network of Group experts, which is the fundamental evolution of the model.
I want to emphasise the quality of my staff in terms of customer advice and relations, as the context - under the various Italian tax scudi – has been very difficult in recent years. It is thanks to their interpersonal and professional skills that customers have chosen to stay with us.
It is up to us to develop this great business capital.
What do you think of the Financial Centre’s current evolution?
On-shore fully matches Crédit Agricole group genes.
The regulatory development of compliance can be viewed as a constraint, but I believe it is an opportunity. The Principality of Monaco has very sound communication on the subject, with a solid economy and a budget surplus. Customers are very highly reassured by this environment.
Offering them the solidity of a bank (Crédit Agricole has very high equity capital) and the solidity of the Financial Centre is a key competitive advantage in the present context.
You have been in Monaco for a few months now. Is the Principality consistent with the idea you had of it?
I had much certainty about Monaco, and I have realised I needed to go beyond it. The Financial Centre is extremely secure, with numerous – and increasingly more - controls. It is also economically ultra-dynamic, with a nearness of institutionals and political players that is hard to find in France. Our different contacts - such as the AMAF, CCAF, CCIN and SICCFIN, for example - are highly accessible and dialogue is always possible.
Real communication has been established at the Financial Centre level with the common desire of all players – this is very positive. We want to support the turn that Monaco is now taking: supporting local areas is endogenous, it is the core competence of the Crédit Agricole Group – and the project is an extremely motivating one!