New Natixis chief says only aim is to boost value for all shareholders

Credit: REUTERS/Charles Platiau

By Mathieu Rosemain and Maya Nikolaeva

PARIS, Aug 4 (Reuters) - The new chief of Natixis CNAT.PA said his sole objective was to boost value for shareholders of the French bank and promised to announce the results of a strategic review in November.

Shares in Natixis jumped more than 10% at the start of trading on Tuesday, the day after Nicolas Namias was unexpectedly named as CEO replacing Francois Riahi after the group reported its second straight quarterly loss.

However Namias dismissed speculation that Natixis could be taken private by its main owner BCPE and cited a statement from the parent saying it didn't intend to make an offer to buy out other shareholders.

"The group position has been very clear," Namias said. "And my position is clear. My mandate as CEO of Natixis is just to create value for all my shareholders, all of them. It's my sole mandate."

He gave little detail of what that value creation might consist of before the strategic review due to be published in three months' time, but played down the chances of the review leading to an exit from equity derivatives.

"We are doing a review of the equity derivatives business," he said. "Having said that, I come here with an idea of developing the four businesses ... including CIB (corporate and investment banking)."

The four group divisions also include asset management, insurance and payments processing.

BPCE, of which Namias was chief financial officer until Monday, owns about 70% of Natixis.

As a former head of strategy for Natixis, Namias coordinated M&A operations for the group and helped put together the company's 2017-2020 strategic plan.

Shares of Natixis were up 5.4% at 2.188 euros by 1042 GMT but remained well below a 2020 high of 4.411 euros set in February.

KBW, which raised its rating on the stock to "market perform" from "underperform", pointed to potential structural change with a possible sale of some activities to BPCE.

At Jefferies analysts said in a note to clients: "The worst is over ... We think (second-quarter) revenues mark the trough, with particularly weak revenues in equities and asset management."

BREAKINGVIEWS-Natixis CEO exit eases open door to M&AID:nL8N2F620K

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Maya Nikolaeva Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten Editing by David Goodman and David Holmes)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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