Amundi, €1.7 trillion fund giant, names Baudson CEO

Valérie Baudson

Paris-based investment giant Amundi — Europe’s largest fund manager with €1.7 trillion of assets — announced that chief executive Yves Perrier will be succeeded by his deputy Valérie Baudson.

The appointment means Baudson is now the most senior woman in Europe’s asset management industry.

News of the CEO succession came as Crédit Agricole subsidiary Amundi announced its 2020 annual results and posted its highest quarterly net income — €288 million — since it was created in 2010.

Full-year net income was down 4.7% at €962 million.

Amundi said its net income had nearly doubled since its 2015 initial public offering.

Perrier has led the French firm since it was formed through a 2010 joint venture of the asset management units of banking groups Credit Agricole and Societe Generale.

Societe Generale has since sold out of Amundi but has a partnership with the firm, while Credit Agricole is the controlling shareholder.

Amundi expanded last year by acquiring the asset management business of Spain’s Sabadell.

Perrier will become chairman at the company’s next annual general meeting on May 10, replacing Xavier Musca, while Baudson, who currently runs Amundi’s CPR Asset Management, will take the CEO job.

Baudson, who has been with Amundi for more than 13 years, helped build its ETF and index-tracking funds business.

“The announcement of a strong, internal candidate as CEO, with a background in some of the most important parts of the Amundi franchise, is a positive,” said analysts at Credit Suisse.

In its results published on Wednesday, Amundi said assets under management rose 4.4% for the quarter to €1.729 trillion.

Perrier said: “In 2020, Amundi once again demonstrated the strength of its business model through its economic and financial performance.

“2020 also saw the launch of several strategic initiatives that will support the future growth of the company: the renewal of the partnership with Société Générale, the acquisition of Sabadell AM combined with a long-term distribution agreement with Banco Sabadell in Spain, and finally the launch of the new subsidiary in China with BOC.

“This growth trend in our core business is enhanced by the creation of Amundi Technology, a new business line dedicated to technology services.

“Amundi has a clear strategy that has been unchanged since the company was founded: remaining an efficient organisation with talented and tight-knit management.

“In these circumstances, I felt it was time to pass on the general management torch.

“I am pleased that Valérie Baudson has been chosen by the board, because I have total confidence in her ability to continue and amplify Amundi’s development trajectory.

“It is the choice of competence, continuity and shared values.”

Baudson said: “I would like to thank Amundi’s board of directors and the general management of the Crédit Agricole Group for the confidence they have shown in me.

“It is a honour to be appointed chief executive officer of Amundi and to succeed Yves Perrier, who has built a global leader in asset management.

“I know that I can rely on his support.

“I look forward, together with the management team and all the teams at Amundi, to continuing to develop the company to which I have dedicated my efforts for the past 14 years, in line with our strategy, which has been driving Amundi’s success since it was founded.”