Societe Generale

France’s Societe Generale (SocGen), listed at the Paris Stock Exchange under the symbol GLE, is one of the key players on the financial services’ market in Europe. The group is headquartered in the city of Nanterre, west of Paris. The three main arms of SG are: Corporate and Investment Banking, Retail Banking and Specialized Financial Services (developed mainly in France and Eastern Europe) and Global Investment Management and Services. Société Générale is one of the oldest banks in France. Founded in 1864 by a group of industrialists and financiers (as General Society to Support the Development of Commerce and Industry in France), the group has offices in eighty countries around the world and over 120,000 employees.

Retail banking is one of the main profit motors of Societe Generale Group which, over the past few years has been following a strategy of external growth. This strategy has materialized in a series of acquisitions carried out in Madagascar, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. The Bulgarian division of Societe Generale, Societe Generale Expressbank AD, for example, offers a set of specially-tailored services including: checking and savings accounts, credit and debit cards, online banking and insurance services, consumer and investment loans, real estate financing, money transfers and payments, etc. SG Expressbank is also a reliable partner to institutional and corporate clients, offering investment loans for the purchase of equipment or real property, attractive leasing schemes and capital financing.

Societe Generale’s Corporate and Investment Banking business offers its customers high-quality banking solutions including strategic advisory, market analyses and research, merger and acquisition management, equity and asset management, debt restructuring and advisory, etc.

The bank’s Global Investment Management business offers premium equity advisory services and investment solutions, including a wide range of flow products and services - equity, futures, convertible bonds, listed products such as exchange traded funds and notes, warrants, certificates, financing services like swaps, CFDs and brokerage.

If Hungarian tycoon George Soros is the man who broke the British pound in 1990, Jérôme Kerviel can rightfully be named the man who broke SG. On January 24, 2008, the bank’s management came up with a statement that a junior futures trader at Societe Generale had fraudulently lost the bank`s 4.9 billion euro, the largest such loss in history. This trader was later identified as Kerviel. At the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2007 and the early 2008, he orchestrated a series of fake transactions that went out of control and as a result the shares of Societe Generale lost as much as 600 percentage points of their value at the world stock exchanges.

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