Natixis Taking ‘Necessary Steps’ to Recoup Ex-CEO’s Severance

Natixis SA says it is stepping up its attempts to recoup the severance package of former Chief Executive Officer Francois Riahi, after he refused to return the money despite the bank’s call to do so.

Riahi was awarded a package of 2.4 million euros ($2.9 million) in August 2020 after leaving the lender. Natixis has been trying to reclaim the amount since February, after an error in the calculation of the payout was found.

“Natixis has taken the necessary steps to retrieve the payment in accordance with the board’s deliberations on February 11”, Nicolas de Tavernost, head of the bank’s compensation committee, said at the bank’s annual general meeting on Friday.

The payment, which drew criticism from the bank’s unions, also led a shareholder to ask French prosecutors to investigate Natixis over a potential misuse of corporate assets late last year. The plaintiff asked the board to provide details on the severance calculation but said it didn’t provide any details.

Riahi left Natixis after two years atop the French bank, whose shares fell by two thirds during his tenure. He presided over a foray into complex products, which backfired after the lender lost nearly $300 million in Korea, and oversaw steep losses on dividend trades and structured products amid the pandemic.

Riahi has since left the banking industry to become CEO of Financiere LOV, the holding company of French production and leisure firm LOV Group.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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