Amundi CEO Steps Down After Building Europe’s Top Fund Firm

Amundi SA Chief Executive Officer Yves Perrier is stepping down after more than a decade atop the firm he helped build into the largest asset manager in Europe.

Perrier, 67, will become chairman of the French firm he has led since its creation in a 2010 merger of the asset-management arms of banking giants Credit Agricole SA and Societe Generale SA, according to an earnings statement on Wednesday. He’ll be succeeded as CEO by his deputy Valerie Baudson, who currently heads Amundi’s exchange-traded fund business as well as its thematic investing unit.

Amundi CEO Steps Down After Building Europe’s Top Fund Firm

Amundi has more than doubled its assets under management on Perrier’s watch to 1.73 trillion euros ($2.1 trillion) at the end of last year, according to the statement. The change of leadership, which takes effect on May 10, was announced as the firm reported its highest-ever profit in the fourth quarter and a 14.4 billion-euro influx of client cash that beat the average estimate compiled by Bloomberg.

“In the life of a company, it’s good to make this type of change when things are going well,” Perrier said on a call with journalists. “I have always had two drivers in my life: building something and handing it on. The building is done, now it’s time to hand it on.”

Key Word: Continuity

Shares in Amundi rose as much as 3.9% in Paris in early morning trading Wednesday.

Perrier oversaw Amundi’s initial public offering in 2015, and expanded the firm through acquisitions including the 3.5 billion-euro purchase of Pioneer Investments from UniCredit SpA. It boosted its business in Spain last year with the acquisition of Banco de Sabadell SA’s asset-management business, and has expanded in Asia with a new subsidiary in China.

Amundi CEO Steps Down After Building Europe’s Top Fund Firm

Baudson, who has been with Amundi for more than 13 years, helped build its ETF and index-tracking funds business, two forms of investing that have been hauling in investor money in recent years. Total assets held across Europe’s ETFs reached 1 trillion euros for the first time in 2020, according to data from Morningstar Inc.

The appointment of Baudson “signals a smooth transition as Europe’s largest asset manager executes ambitions to scale up further,” with continued growth in ETFs and investment products using environmental, social and governance criteria, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Sarah Jane Mahmud said.

Reuters reported in November that Amundi was exploring a tentative offer for Lyxor, an asset management business owned by Societe Generale. Perrier declined to comment on the call when asked about Lyxor, which is one of Europe’s largest providers of ETFs.

Baudson’s message to investors was to expect more of the same from Amundi under her leadership.

“I’ll strive to carry on developing the company in line with the strategy that has made it successful since its creation,” she said on the call. “The key word will therefore be, as Yves has said, continuity.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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