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Qui pour diriger la BPI ?

If Jean Pierre Jouyet is tipped to take the presidency of the board of directors of the brand new Banque Publique d’Investissement, several candidates should oppose to take the head of the future general management.

A chair for three

New General Management of the BPIThe position occupied by Jean-Pierre Jouyet, current managing director of the Caisse de Dépôts et Consignations naturally designates him to chair the board of directors, even if the official announcement should only take place during the Council of Ministers on October 17.

This is indeed the date on which the Prime Minister of Economy and Finance, Pierre Moscovici will reveal in detail the contours of the Public Investment Bank .

The implementing decree should be out before the end of the year and will probably be operational from January 2013.

It should be remembered that the future holding company will operate with a board of directors on which representatives of the State and the Caisse de Dépôts et Consignations will sit equally and a general management appointed by the State. The regions will be organized with administrators and will have a great deal of autonomy.

The business press reports three names who are being considered for the position of general manager.

  1. First of all , Louis Gallois , the current commissioner for investment, to whom Prime Minister Jean Marc Ayrault has asked for a report on competitiveness which must be submitted at the beginning of November. This experienced senior civil servant cut his teeth at the Treasury Department before taking the helm of several large companies such as SNCF, AEDS and AIRBUS.
  2. Then Dominique Marce l, currently a member of the management committee and the group committee of Caisse des Dépôts in charge of finance and strategy and chairman of Compagnie des Alpes. He spent part of his career in the direction of the Treasury, which he joined in 1983.
  3. Finally, Anne Lauvergeon former leader of Areva, who is a favorite. Indeed, many are those who praise her success within the French nuclear group from which she was ousted in 2011. We also remember that her departure had caused a lot of ink to flow. His differences with Henri Proglio, appointed head of EDF by Nicolas Sarkozy had ended up getting the better of “atomic Anne “, even if it was probably not the only reason for his sidelining. Subsequently, Anne Lauvergeon openly attacked the nuclear policy of the Elysée.

The future role of the BPI

The financial crisis has shown the limits of financing for companies, forced to often call on a credit mediator to settle a dispute with their bank and once again proved the reluctance of French banks to finance SMEs.

Campaign promise of the Hollande candidate, the new Public Investment Bank will be the property of the Caisse des Dépôts and the State (50% shareholding) and will undoubtedly have more resources available to SMEs and ETIs (mid-sized companies ) since we are talking about a commitment volume of 30 billion euros or more. It would act in three ways:

  • By granting loans directly
  • By intervening in the capital of companies
  • By guaranteeing the loans granted by the traditional banking network or by itself.

However, current structures have played their role with innovative or export-oriented SMEs through:

  • OSEO , which intervenes by guaranteeing loans or by directly financing certain projects in collaboration with banking groups.
  • The FSI (strategic investment fund ) which takes part in the capital of innovative SMEs and accompanies them on medium and long-term projects.

Thus, the BPI will rely on these channels and give real power to the regions.

In addition, the resources of the future BPI will come, among other things, from part of the collection carried out on the sustainable development booklets. Remember that the LDD ceiling was recently doubled by Bercy and that the implementing decree entered into force on October 1, 2012.

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