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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

Asia has been the focus this year. BNP opened an office in Hong Kong two years ago and is now the largest third-party clearer on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.. Last year, it opened a representative office in Beijing and this year a full office in Mumbai. It has a small presence in Tokyo, but a long-standing presence in Australla and New Zealand.

As a result, Asia Pacific now accounts for about 15 percent of its staff today, which has gone from 5,400 in 2008 to 7,200 in 2011.

Not just staff, but management, he says, is going global. Sure, Colle is French. But it helps now to have different cultural and language skills, if you want to help BNP Paribas succeed, globally.

Take Chile.

Or Spain.

Really, take both.

One of its strongest country managers was its executive running Spain. So he got a region to run. And that region is defined as … Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

The cultural affinity and the language affinity across those nations made it almost a “no brainer.” But there is also product affinity. Custody of securities is handled much the same in Latin America, as in Spain and Portugal.

“Chilean local institutions, asset managers in particular, were quite attracted by our global products,’’ he said. But also, “they felt attracted by the fact that they were talking to people who were all Spanish speakers. The connectivity was strong and immediate. And we found out that they didn’t have to have global custody booked in Chile; That could be booked in Spain. And, as a result, we’ve started winning mandates from Chile.’’

That foundation, in turn, helped when it came time to roll into Brazil. Its office was launched in November and by September, its operating platform was in place.

“Brazil is done,’’ Colle said “Now we are selling Brazil.’’

Along the way, though, Colle has organized the company along four business lines, wherever it operates.

Clearing and custody services

Asset management and fund services

Corporate trust services

Foreign exchange, lending and financing services

And six global client segments, as well. “So if we administer the fund of an insurance company in Germany, we can put the expertise of the client segment, insurance, and the region and the country, Germany, within northern Europe,” on the case. “Nothing falls through the cracks,’’ he said.

When BNP Paribas Securities Services goes after a new market or piece of business, it sends in SWAT teams to get set up. In this case, the example is Hong Kong.

“What we did is we negotiated with the Hong Kong authorities, the Exchange, the Regulator, and said, “Guys, it would be good for your market, to do like in Europe and the U.S., third-party clearing,’’