Guy Poupet will replace Patrick Gelin as BRD Chairman and CEO

Publish date: 15-12-2009
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The general Meeting of Shareholders (AGA) in BRD-Groupe Societe Generale, Romania's second largest bank, yesterday chose Guy Marie Charles Poupet as CEO and Chairman of the Board, writes a press release. Poupet was appointed for a four-year term, starting January 1st 2010, after Patrick Gelin stepped down from office. Poupet will thus cumulate the positions of CEO and Chairman of the Board. Guy Poupet, aged 57, is working with Groupe Societe Generale since 1975.

He started as inspector, then in 1983 was promoted to top management positions with the group's branches in Argentina (deputy CEO of Banco Supervielle), Senegal (CEO of Societe Generale the Banque en Senegal), the Czech Republic (vice-president and deputy CEO of Komercni Banka) and Egypt (vice-president and CEO of National Societe Generale Bank).

"BRD is a performant bank. (...) My coming here won't cause big changes, as I will continue what has been started. I hope this will keep us as one of the leading banks in the market," Poupet told a press conference yesterday.In his turn, Patrick Gelin said the management of the bank will have to enforce a policy adapted to the conditions of year 2010, which nobody can predict now.

"There will be changes. Even during my term the bank did change, it permanently adapted to situations, but I can guarantee - and Guy said it earlier - that there is no radical change provided by the BRD management for the next years," Gelin pointed out. In this context, Patrick Gelin strongly denied the bank would resort to layoffs, given the current economic situation. "I said it on several occasions, in management and council (meetings): the bank won't lay off personnel, nor will it enforce social schemes, given the economic situation."

"I leave Romania with emotion and nostalgia. I do not consider my mission in BRD as done; there is always something to complete in BRD," he stated. According to the BRD official, one of the most difficult moments of his term was the economic crisis. Another challenge he had to face was migrating the IT system to a new formula. Even after leaving BRD, Gelin will still hold certain non-executive functions in Societe Generale, he announced.

No essential changes in terms of crediting during 2010

Year 2010 will not bring major improvements in the crediting activity, in the sense of a sustainable recovery, because demand is very low, considers Patrick Gelin, the acting CEO and Chairman of BRD-Groupe Societe Generale until the end of this year.

"Some more 2 or 3 years will have to pass until demand capacity is restored at the level of individuals," Gelin added. According to the French banker, apart from the 'First House' program, demand for real estate crediting was very low. In the corporate segment too, demand is low, as big companies postponed investments, while SMEs are in a very difficult situation and do not know what the future will bring, so they avoid resorting to credits. Gelin considers crediting in RON won't get much cheaper in 2010, because BNR will fear to cut the key interest rate, in order to prevent a devaluation of the Leu.

Credits worth EUR 3.5 bln granted by SocGen to its local subsidiary

The loans taken by BRD from Societe Generale amount to EUR 3.5 bln and the French group's total exposure in Romania is very close to this level, said Claudiu Cercel, deputy CEO of BRD, in charge with the Financial Markets Pole. Besides the loans taken by BRD from the mother group, there are also delocalized credits up to several hundred millions of EUR, he added. According to Cercel, the group's exposure in Romania stayed within the approved limits and it was even increased for 2010. In terms of BRD's exposure on the Romanian state, Cercel explained the bank bought bills and provided loans worth over EUR 1 bln.

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