An international career
Thanks to the mergers and acquisitions initiated by his parent company and the resultant opportunities, François Marion has worked for three different companies. Although François Marion is now based in Paris, where he has been the Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of Caceis, the investors services subsidiary (custodian bank, fund administration, etc.) of Crédit Agricole since it was set up in 2005, he has also spent a large part of his career as an expatriate.
Shortly after graduating from HEC in 1983, he joined the internal audit division of Banque Indosuez. In 1985 he was posted to New York where, for six years up to 1991, he was in charge of the back-office and risks for the bank’s capital market activities. He was then appointed CEO for the group in the Asia-Pacific region, based in Hong Kong, from 1991 to 1997. In the meantime, in 1996, Indosuez had merged with France’s "green bank" to become Crédit Agricole Indosuez, where he becomes head of budget and strategic planning, then head of systems and back-offices in Paris. "After a dozen years abroad, returning to France was like discovering a new country, he recalls. Moreover, it is now essential for a manager to have worked in several different regions in the world." As proof, the decision of Crédit Agricole and the Caisses d’Epargne to merge their investor services activities in 2005 gave François Marion the opportunity to take over the reins of a resolutely international company, present in eleven different countries. Today, half of the 3,300 employees under his responsibility are based outside France and, naturally, almost 60 % of Caceis’ income is generated outside its country of origin. "Our NBI (‘net banking income’) has doubled since the company was set up, to 811 million in 2010, driven by targeted acquisitions (HVB’s activities in Germany in 2007, that of HSBC in France in 2010, etc.), the transfer of Banques Populaires’ activities when Natixis was set up in 2008, but also the development of new services (securities lending, middle-office, distribution of funds, foreign exchange activities, etc.) and the acquisition of numerous clients (Carmignac, NOAM, Edmond de Rothschild AM, Rothschild & Cie Gestion, Generali, Swiss Life, etc.)", notes the CEO of Caceis with pride. He thus has the feeling that he has successfully completed the mission assigned to him when Caceis was set up, namely to "transform a hotchpotch of departments into a true banking group, with its own identity, a growth culture and satisfactory profits", adds François Marion, who prides himself on having one of the sector’s best operating ratios at 70 %.