Investment reports

SocGen set to choose investment bank boss Krupa as CEO, reports Le Figaro

PARIS -Slawomir Krupa is set to become the new chief executive of Societe Generale, after his current position as director of the investment bank, Le Figaro reported on Friday, citing several sources.

Krupa will be tasked with overhauling France’s third-largest listed bank amid global recession risks. A board meeting on the nomination will be held on Friday, the newspaper added.

The bank was not immediately available to respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Krupa has been with SocGen since 1996, longer than any of its rivals for the job. His last role, since January 2021, was that of Head of Global Banking and Investor Solutions.

He joined SocGen as an inspector and rose through the ranks, with jobs in Europe and the United States. From 2016 to 2021, he led the Americas branch of SocGen, in charge of Global Banking and Investor Solutions activities for the region.

Krupa has in-depth knowledge of Socgen’s investment banking activities, having spent part of his career outside France, notably in New York.

Several unidentified sources said Krupa was the “overwhelming favourite” to run the country’s third-largest bank, according to the newspaper.

“His candidacy was preferred to that of Sébastien Proto… by the nominating committee,” he added, referring to another internal candidate cited as being well placed for the position in view of the nomination.

Krupa had been seen as one of the favorites for the job after the surprise announcement in May of the departure of Frederic Oudea, who led the bank for more than a decade.

Oudéa is one of the longest-serving CEOs in European banking, while his rivals have gone through multiple leadership changes.

However, like its European rivals, SocGen has also struggled to restore profitability since the financial crisis. Its shares have more than halved since the 2008 crisis.

Oudea will become non-executive chairman of French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi. He was in favor of finding an internal candidate.

Under Oudea’s leadership, SocGen streamlined its operations to increase returns and financial solvency, including selling operations in Central and Eastern Europe and refocusing its corporate and investment banking.

But he also faced challenges. In 2018, he paid $1.3 billion in fines for wrongdoing, including bribing Libyan officials.

Earlier this year, Socgen became the first major Western bank to announce its departure from Russia, writing off 3.1 billion euros ($3 billion).

($1 = 1.0261 euros)