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Meet the new Head of our Paris office - Edouard de Saint-Pierre

Meet the new Head of our Paris office - Edouard de Saint-Pierre

Our Paris office is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. We took this opportunity to meet with its new Head, Edouard de Saint-Pierre, and discuss his plans for the future.

 

You are taking over the management of the Paris office after having led the project management, digital transformation and business engagement teams at Lombard Odier’s Geneva headquarters. What do you see yourself bringing to the role and what are your objectives?

It is with this in mind that I am moving to Paris.  As I see it, my main task as local manager will be to support the bankers so the Paris office can exceed expectations. I also look forward to meeting with French clients, being an ambassador for our strategic vision, building on the office's commercial success and adapting to the changing needs of our clients.

I also look forward to meeting with French clients, being an ambassador for our strategic vision, building on the office's commercial success and adapting to the changing needs of our clients

What is your first priority when you arrive in Paris?

My first priority is to get to know the Paris teams and understand their views on business and their relationships with clients. We are coming out of a challenging period due to the pandemic and I look forward to welcoming the teams back into to the office as the health situation improves.

 

The Paris office has just won the "Best Specialist Private Bank" award from Leaders League. How do you feel about this?

I am delighted with this recognition because we have excellent teams in Paris and a combination of high-level expertise, whether it be bankers, investment specialists or wealth planners.

France is clearly a strategic market for Lombard Odier: resolutely entrepreneurial, dynamic and forward-looking. Our teams in Paris reflect this mind-set, with an openness to the challenges of our time, sustainability, innovation and the new generations. We have also introduced our internal Associate Bankers programme, which enables our young talent to enter the private banking business by training alongside experienced senior staff.

France is clearly a strategic market for Lombard Odier: resolutely entrepreneurial, dynamic and forward-looking

You have dual French-Swiss nationality. What are your ties to France?

My links with France are quite strong, from a personal, familial and cultural point of view. My mother is from Geneva and my father from Brittany, hence my dual nationality. I spent all my summer holidays in the bright sunshine of Brittany, with my grandparents! I am therefore looking forward to moving to Paris with my family and meeting up with cousins and friends.

 

Lombard Odier does not detail its results by country, but can you give us some figures on the French business?

The growth of our private client business has been very dynamic over the last 4-5 years. We have doubled our number of bankers, as well as our assets under management. The markets have of course been favourable, but 70% of this growth comes from new clients or existing clients who have entrusted us with the management of additional assets.

However, this growth must be sustained and I am confident that the diversity of our bankers' profiles combined with a common vision will enable us to acquire new clients and continue to meet the needs of our existing clients.

 

Before joining Lombard Odier in 2018, you were involved in opening new offices for other private banks in Latin America, the UK and the Middle East. Will this experience be useful in France? 

Yes, it certainly will. In these different regions I was able to understand the importance of catering to the specific needs of each clientele, alongside their expectations, culture and habits. You learn quite quickly that replicating generic concepts does not work. You have to be agile and adapt to each environment.

It is also important to create a local network with the liberal professions with whom we regularly interact, professional associations and with our competitors, in order to understand market developments and to serve our clients better.

 

The wealth management market in France is divided between the private management units of large global banks, numerous independent wealth management advisors (IFAs) and a growing number of family offices ... how is it possible to stand out in this environment?

France is certainly a very dynamic market. As proof, several major American and British asset management companies have announced a return to Paris in recent months. In this environment, I believe we can make a difference on several levels. First and foremost is the quality of our teams, which have been providing our clients with a tailored wealth management service locally for over 20 years. Then there is our heritage and independence, as one of the oldest Swiss private banks with a family tradition. And finally, our stability, as one of the best capitalised banks in Europe.

…our strong investment and "thought leadership" on the subjects of sustainable investment and technology has a strong appeal when addressing French clients

In addition, our strong investment and "thought leadership" on the subjects of sustainable investment and technology has a strong appeal when addressing French clients. Two concrete commitments that illustrate this conviction: our partnership since 2016 with France Digitale, the leading community in the digital sector in France and our B Corp label, which validates our commitment to promoting investments that contribute to the transition to a sustainable economic model.

 

How do you see the future of wealth management in the face of the growing influence of fintech and other neo-banks among the younger generations?

This is an exciting topic. Technology is, of course, one of the pillars of our industry and for Lombard Odier in particular, which has decided to make its own banking platform available to other banking institutions. The emergence of these new players is symptomatic of the changing needs and expectations of our clients, who are looking for immediacy, mobility, proximity, transparency and performance. This is not just limited to the younger generations. The pandemic has confirmed the importance of technology and digitalisation in interactions with our customers, whatever their age.

In fact, these new operators are changing some of the paradigms of our industry. They require us to continue to reinvent ourselves on two fronts: on the one hand, to offer efficiency and new services by digitalising the key stages in the customer's lifecycle, and on the other hand, to differentiate ourselves from these players by way of expertise and a range of services and consultancy with high added value for our customers.

Important information

This document is issued by Bank Lombard Odier & Co Ltd or an entity of the Group (hereinafter “Lombard Odier”). It is not intended for distribution, publication, or use in any jurisdiction where such distribution, publication, or use would be unlawful, nor is it aimed at any person or entity to whom it would be unlawful to address such a document. This document was not prepared by the Financial Research Department of Lombard Odier.

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