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2012 Top International Operations Executives

The More Things Change, The More They Stand Out
 |  DIANA CHAN: Shaking Things Up, In European Clearing |  CHRIS REMONDI: Increasing Information, Reducing Risk |  NEERAJ SAHAI: Marrying Large-Scale Technology With Boutique Service |  KEVIN MILNE: Making an Exchange Succeed By Working With Rivals |  THOMAS ZEEB: Gold Standard in Securities Processing |  CHRISTOPHER JAYNES: Cutting Out the Custodian Bank |  PATRICK COLLE: Going Global, But Not Everywhere |  TONY FREEMAN: Targeting Two-Day Settlement

PATRICK COLLE: Going Global, But Not Everywhere

December 20, 2011
By Tom Steinert-Threlkeld

For Patrick Colle, international is not enough.

For BNP Paribas Securities Services to be successful, he believes it has to be global.

But not necessarily at the top of the heap in every continent.

Patrick Colle, CEO, Securities Services, BNP Paribas

Let’s start, however, with the ambition. Because Colle, only in his second year as chief executive of the wholly-owned subsidiary of what by some measures is the world’s largest bank, has plenty of that.

Way back in 2008, before the credit crisis erupted, BNP Paribas Securities Services had $5.0 trillion of assets under custody, $1.0 billion under administration and administered close to 6,000 funds. It had a local presence in 25 countries and coverage of 92 markets, all told.

Now, at the end of 2011, the operation has $7.0 trillion of assets under custody, $1.2 billion under administration and administers 6,619 funds. The firm has local presence in 32 countries and operates in more than 100 markets. Globally, the firm now ranks as one of the top give providers of securities services.

But Colle thinks the business is just getting started.

:You’ve got to have a global footprint,’’ he said at the SWIFT International Business Operations Seminar in Toronto. “Doesn’t mean you need to be everywhere, but you need to be present at least in all the key regions.”

For BNP Paribas, that means more of Asia, more of Latin America, Brazil in particular. But … not necessarily North America. Not at least in the conventional sense.

Colle sees no need to go head to head with State Street, BNY Mellon and Citigroup to win new clients. But giving white glove service on all fronts to customers it wins and continues to serve in Europe, Asia, South America and elsewhere? That’s worth fighting for.

“Our strategy is to provide global solutions to our clients,’’ he said. “It is clear that we need to be able to provide our European clients, and more and more Asian clients that are becoming global, solutions that comprise not only Asia, where we are covered, Europe, where we are covered, but also the U.S., because they have U.S. funds, right?”

An asset manager in the United Kingdom, for instance, will place assets in “a bunch of U.S. funds.” They likely also have a bunch of Asia funds. For BNP Paribas, the point is to support them wherever they are. But to do so from a position of strength.

Which started with its roots in France. But in the past five years, the firm has gone from a “very national business” to a European business to a multicontinental business. And now, Colle has sights set on going from international and intercontinental, to global.