What an Integrated Network Team Looks Like

Since the integration of corporate and investment banking at Société Générale, Mathilde Guerin, global head of GBIS Network Management, Société Générale, is responsible for a broader network management function covering investment banking, securities services, private banking and more recently Newedge Prime Service

By None
Since the integration of corporate and investment banking at Société Générale, Mathilde Guerin, global head of GBIS Network Management, Société Générale, is responsible for a broader network management function covering investment banking, securities services, private banking and more recently Newedge Prime Services.

Her team is the result of a merger of the investment banking network management and securities services network management a year ago, followed by the integration of Newedge in March this year. Société Générale’s Global Banking and Investor Solutions (GBIS) network management now covers all post-trade providers – custodians, cash clearers, and listed derivatives clearing. The team is responsible for selecting providers for GBIS, and supporting the various business lines with any development projects. In addition, due to the requirements of regulations, the team also monitors providers, including prime brokers, global custodians and sub-custodians, as well as transfer agents, to meet the requirements of AIFMD.

“We are also supporting back offices, if there are any operational issues with these providers. If they have escalated any issues, we help to sort them out,” says Mathilde Guerin. “We are implementing SLAs with those providers and we also have more administrative roles with them, including account opening, account closure, and invoice payment reconciliation”.

The wider GBIS network team is in the process of rationalising its networks, in order to simplify its structure. Currently, the various GBIS entities have networks of different providers, with some ending up with five or six different networks. For example, the investment banking unit has operations in Europe, Asia and America, which may not be rationalised for various reasons.

“Work is ongoing to rationalise the network where it makes sense to select a group of providers, perhaps two if necessary, and where it makes sense from a business and cost perspective, and from a risk perspective,” says Guerin.

The bank began its network rationalisation last year, and launched RFPs. “We are tackling the largest discrepancies, or where it makes the most sense to rationalise, but it will take years to achieve something that is 100% optimum. I would say we have about two more years to achieve the 80%, which is the most interesting piece for the Group.

“We are covering over 75 markets and this means integrating over 200 relationships. In some cases I can have two or three different relationships in a country, because one cannot cover all services required, for example. So it’s getting the full knowledge of whether the rationalisation would make sense – we cannot undo all countries at once.

“The approach to rationalisation is to deal with markets on a volume basis, and assess how large those markets are for the group.

“In terms of market complexity, there are some markets where making a change is relatively easy, so this would not be a huge project. However, because back offices are very busy with other tasks, and doing a migration is time consuming, we had a very pragmatic approach of looking at the largest markets for the group, and comparing that with the simplicity of the market. For example, changing in India is a nightmare.

“So this is not the first market we would look at. Even if this has been done, there are markets where change has been simpler. We have rationalised three markets in Asia – RFPs were completed last year, and migration took place this year. We also covered Indonesia, Malaysia and India, and in Europe we have made one consolidation in Turkey and another in Greece.”

«