Loïc Chollet-Vergé has been the manager at Caisse d’Epargne Côte d’Azur’s Monaco branch since early 2018. The Institut Polytechnique and University of Berkeley graduate and engineer joined Natixis, where he remained for twelve years, after working as a consultant at Arthur Andersen. We asked him about his vision of Monaco and his plans, after one year in Monaco.
What is your impression of Monaco and the financial centre?
I’ve been particularly impressed by the dynamism, the will to devise new services, to invest, and the closeness we can create with our customers, as well as with all institutional players. The Monegasque state has the ability to inspire the creation of companies built on innovative ideas, and new development projects.
How would you define Caisse d’Epargne’s expertise in Monaco?
Supporting companies and the entire property ecosystem.
Our striking power is that of the BPCE Group, the second largest French banking group. We rely on the complementary know how within the Group, such as that of Natixis - the international corporate and investment bank, Crédit Foncier – the property specialist, and Coface – the expert in international credit insurance for business, which we own a 42% stake of. But our ‘trademark’ is the spirit of closeness that we work with, located to perfection in a geographical area that we control. All our decisions are made locally, and we have a long-term perspective.
We assist companies globally, from simple loan needs to the most sophisticated projects, such as financing a shareholder re-composition, or corporate finance consulting, on to specific solutions such as factoring, leasing etc.
As for the property sector, we support the entire value chain: property traders, developers and end-buyers.
What is your position on Private Equity?
Caisse d’Epargne invests in Group Funds, or partner funds specialised by business sector, which can then acquire a stake of our customers to speed up their development: Alliance Entreprendre, Seventure and Mirova, dedicated to responsible investment, Ventech, Turenne Capital etc. Over euro 35 million has been invested in the Côte d’Azur-Monaco area for business development in this way.
Our own funds are specialist property market funds. We have short-term, 3 year products, mainly intended for developers or property traders. And long-term products, where we position ourselves as a partner in the equity of a property project without being a majority shareholder.
In addition, among the projects underway we are working to create with partners two Private Equity funds on the Côte d’Azur and in Monaco.
Monaco is highly involved in energy transition and sustainable development. What is Caisse d’Epargne’s position on this?
We invest greatly in Corporate Social Responsibility and Green Finance. For the former, in 2018 we won the "Trophée Plan Climat 06" award which highlights concrete environmental actions implemented by companies. Internally, we are very mindful of our carbon consumption, we organise car pooling and we promote teleworking.
We also support our customers in energy transition financing, with over euro 25 million in the Côte d’Azur-Monaco area. Caisse d’Epargne has for example assisted photovoltaic projects, and self-sustaining energy projects, a fleet of ‘green buses’ etc.
Our subsidiary ENERGECO has also helped to finance 3200 megawatts of electricity, saving 370 tons of CO2 emissions.
Through Natixis Investment Manager, Caisse d’Epargne has offered its Côte d’Azur-Monaco area customers socially responsible investment solutions in over €47M in Green-certified funds.
For 2020, the BPCE Group’s objective is to increase responsible savings by 50% and have euro 10 billion green financing at its disposal. In 2016, BPCE issued its first ‘green bond’ for €300 M with a 7 year maturity. We plan to issue 2 new bonds by 2020, to finance ‘green’ projects.
On this matter, the Sovereign Prince’s involvement is an opportunity that will extend Monaco’s influence internationally.