SocGen and Alliance Bernstein to launch global equity firm By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Societe Generale is seen at the headquarters in the financial and business district of La Defense near Paris, France, February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) – Societe Generale, France’s third-largest listed bank, and U.S. investment management firm Alliance Bernstein are planning to form a joint venture focused on global equities and equity research, they said on Tuesday.

The venture with Alliance Bernstein comes as SocGen aims to follow larger and more profitable competitors such as BNP Paribas (OTC:) in France and major Wall Street banks such as Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) and JP Morgan.

SocGen plans to take a 51% stake in the company, with an option to take 100% after five years, the French bank said, adding that the company would increase its profits from 2025. The deal is expected to be concluded before the end of 2023.

The joint venture will be managed as a long-term partnership under the Bernstein name and will be headquartered in London.

Robert van Brugge, CEO of Bernstein Research Services, will become CEO of the new entity for an initial term of five years, Stéphane Loiseau, head of SocGen’s cash equities activity, becoming his deputy.

SocGen shares edged up 0.2% in early trading, with Credit Suisse analysts writing in a research note that they viewed the company as “positive”.

Last year, SocGen’s long distance rival BNP Paribas bought the remaining 50% of cash equity research and execution firm Exane, which covers 800 stocks globally, and is now working to expand the footprint of Exane in the United States.

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