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Private banking

Expert and flexible portfolio management solutions adapted to clients’ need

As investors are increasingly attentive towards their portfolios’ performance and to the quality of service they receive, Societe Generale Private Banking (SGPB) offers an innovative management approach that is close to its clients’ needs and leverages on all the skills of Societe Generale Group.

“For the management of their portfolio, clients want more frequent dialogue with their manager in order to fully understand the nature of their exposure and risks” explains Olivier Gérard. The performance level they want to reach is set within a defined risk framework in order to preserve their global wealth. “This is why our management solutions are defined according to our wealth analysis which we carry out beforehand” he explains.

SGPB’s management solutions can be accessed through a variety of mandates according to the client’s willingness to interact with their manager: discretionary portfolio management that meets the client’s investment goals and constraints and the managed advisory service where the client is involved in each investment decision while taking advantage of an expert’s advice. SGPB has also set up an offering called Prime Market Access, (available only under specific conditions) which is reserved for clients who are familiar with the markets. This gives them a direct and secure access to a dedicated team of experts. This is a high value and truly unique offering in the private banking sector.

“Throughout our network our clients can also access our specialised management solutions through our Moorea range of funds launched two years ago. At the end of 2013 we had more than €500 million with high-growth strategies” explains Olivier Gérard.

HIGH PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS1

“After several years of market turmoil following the 2008 financial crisis in 2013, and according to our clients’ investment profiles, our management teams were positioned on risk assets in an uncertain environment and generated good results” says Olivier Gérard.
Within the discretionary management offering for instance, balanced euro portfolios generated an average net performance of 9% at the end of 2013, while dynamic portfolios with a larger share of risky assets, reached on average a net yield of 16% over the same period, over-performing their benchmark indexes2. Several questions remain unanswered, in particular concerning the pace and drivers of growth in emerging markets, and concerning central banks’ supportive policies.

For these reasons we must remain alert and nimble and take advantage of opportunities that arise while being ready to quickly adjust our exposure on riskier assets if the environment deteriorates.

INCREASING THE FREQUENCY OF REPORTS AND IMPROVING OUR CLIENTS’ UNDERSTANDING

“In this context, the tactical approach, which means adapting our investment strategy in the short term to take the immediate market situation into account, will play a major role and we aim to have frequent discussions with our clients to explain our views” says Olivier Gérard. Another essential topic is the quality of the reports and information sent to clients.

“We are also working on providing all private investors with monthly reports that will explain in greater detail the decisions made by managers and the portfolios’ positions. We are also thinking of providing reporting documents more frequently” says Olivier Gérard.

ALL THE SKILLS OF A STRONG INTERNATIONAL BANKING GROUP

Our whole management approach is supported by strong interactions between SGPB’s dedicated teams and Societe Generale Group experts. SGPB thus has dedicated investment strategy teams. Each member of this team is specialised in an asset class and will leverage on all the resources of Societe Generale Group’s investment bank to provide a central scenario that will help to define a strategic allocation for each asset class.

“In 2014 our economic scenario is based on accelerating growth in developed countries, which translates into a preference for equities in managers’ portfolios.

Within this asset class we will look at cyclical sectors such as industrials, energy stocks and technology stocks in the US and the banking sector in Europe. In the fixed income markets we also look at Eurozone issuers, favouring high yield and bearing in mind our exposure to long-term rates. We also intend to steer clear of emerging markets” says Olivier Gerard.

According to the various risk constraints, the 170 SGPB managers spread over 8 geographic zones, will select the best products to materialise this allocation, whether through direct investments or through specialised funds. For fixed income investments for instance, SGPB closely follows 500 debt issuers, a unique feature that makes us stand out in the private banking sector.

Managers can also access a selection of funds managed by Lyxor Asset Management teams, a Societe Generale subsidiary. Finally, they can leverage on the Group’s global expertise in derivative products, an area in which it is a global leader, to devise structured products.

“These products are a feature of our portfolio management DNA and contribute, if the portfolio management profile permits it, to performance while limiting exposure to market risks” says Olivier Gérard.

1 Past performance should not be seen as an indication of future performance.
2 Source: Societe Generale - 2013.

OLIVIER GÉRARD HEAD OF SGPB PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT AND INVESTMENT STRATEGY