Who is Slawomir Krupa, the future boss of Societe Generale?

Âgé de 48 ans, Slawomir Krupa a passé près de 25 ans chez Société Générale.

Posted Sep 30, 2022 5:43 PMUpdated on Sep 30, 2022 at 5:44 PM

It is a form of consecration for someone who has devoted his entire career to Société Générale. Slawomir Krupa was appointed managing director of the bank at the end of the board meeting held on Friday. This 48-year-old banker thus climbed the last step, after having spent more than a quarter of a century in the group, including a two-year break at the end of the 90s, when he left to create a start-up in full bubble Internet.

Of Polish origin, but naturalized French (he has dual nationality), Slawomir Krupa, a graduate of Sciences Po Paris, is a pure product of the bank. Entered in 1996, through the prestigious path of the General Inspectorate, through which Frédéric Oudéa also passed, he joined the division of corporate and investment banking (BFI) in 2007, never to leave it again.

He was successively responsible for CIB activities in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, deputy director of financing activities, then head of CIB in the United States, a highly strategic position.

A good crisis manager

It was he who notably had to negotiate with the American courts on the file of suspicions of corruption with the Libyan sovereign fund and the manipulation of interbank rates (Libor). An agreement was finally reached to settle the disputes, with a check for 2.6 billion dollars at stake. Above all, the French bank was able to restore at this time a relationship of trust with the Federal Reserve.

“He is a man of experience, a workaholic, who has proven that he knows how to manage crises. And there have been a few in the BFI in recent years, ”comments a good connoisseur of the group.

In addition to the American subject, Slawomir Krupa was also in the front row during the Kerviel affair, during which he had to manage, with the teams of Jean-Pierre Mustier, then boss of the CIB, the unwinding of the positions taken by the trader. He was also present when it came to managing the sovereign debt crisis in 2011 and 2012 and strengthening the positions of the bank, which was then weakened.

change of foot

The massively built man, who still resided in New York a few months ago with his family, is not known to be kind to his teams, several sources confide. His anger and his excesses of voice are well known in the trading rooms of the bank. But nothing to shock those who have been able to work with him. “He is very demanding on the quality of the work delivered. It can be sharp and even brittle”, comments one of them, who recognizes that the managerial style of the company could change. “He may have to water down his wine. But he’s a brilliant person, ”adds a market specialist. “He shows a strong spirit of innovation and a great ability to mobilize teams, he has all the assets to unite the energies of the bank”, says of him Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Chairman of the Board of administration.

At the head of the group’s CIB since 1er January 2021, Slawomir Krupa carried out a rebalancing of activities within the division just a few months after his arrival, with a gradual repositioning towards the financing and advisory businesses to the detriment of the markets. Objective: to reduce the risks after the annus horribilis experienced by Societe Generale in 2020, where the losses on the markets had plunged the accounts into the red.

A real step change in the history of the bank, which has long been renowned for its financial ingenuity and market success. But the strategy is bearing fruit so far. The CIB has indeed recovered well. Like the other banks, it recorded record results last year, and has continued to perform well since the start of 2022, even if activity is likely to seriously slow down with the looming recession.

A different profile

Although he has proven himself within the bank, Slawomir Krupa has a profile that nevertheless contrasts with the rest of the major bankers in the market. He did not do the ENA, HEC or Polytechnique. He has not been in ministerial cabinets either, unlike Frédéric Oudéa, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, the boss of BNP Paribas, Nicolas Théry, the president of Crédit Mutuel, or even Sébastien Proto, his internal rival for the post. .

Many observers saw it as a gap in his candidacy, while the big French banks are still considered as animals apart, well established with the Parisian establishment. The board did not consider this to be a problem. For Societe Generale, as for the French banking sector, a new era is dawning.


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