INTERVIEW OF VINCENT LECOMTE
How have your colleagues contributed towards the success of your organization?
V.L. We have been resilient in weathering the storm. Collectively, we all worked together as a team to stay close to our clients during this unprecedented period in our lives. Moreover, I have to say how proud I am of the incredible dedication to our clients that our teams have shown during this crisis. We changed our ways of working, adopted new solutions to stay in touch, and ensured our clients continued to receive the highest levels of service that they expect from us. I have to say thanks to each and every member of Wealth Management.
What are you going to do to stay on the front foot in a fast-growing but also challenging region such as this?
V.L. Our priorities are our clients! We focus on their expectations, leveraging on our expertise across the entire BNP Paribas Group and accelerating digital transformation with and for them.
We are strengthening our presence with large families and entrepreneurs through a joint approach with the Corporate & Institutional Bank. This reinforces our proximity to our clients and our capacity to meet their expectations, both on the personal side and on their business side. Our ambition is to be N°1 in the Eurozone for entrepreneurs & leading families, and one of the leaders across other markets!
We work with our clients to adapt our offer to meet their demands. One word that I hear from them repeatedly is “sustainability”. Our clients tell us they expect solutions to help them achieve a positive impact in society: thus, we are designing a new impact journey to help them align their wealth with their values for a positive impact.
Also, to serve more completely our clients in Europe, I would highlight some very significant achievements. We launched an ambitious development plan in Germany three years ago, launching our wealth management activity to serve HNW & UHNWI clients. For our German clients, we leverage the strengths of our impressive CIB and Real Estate platforms in the country. More recently, we strengthened our position in the Netherlands to serve Dutch entrepreneurs and families with a local team based in the country. Dutch clients access our unique offering – in particular private equity, asset management mandates and financing – and draw upon the Group’s expertise in corporate and investment banking as well as in real estate, just as clients do so around the world.
Finally, the digital transformation of our business is accelerating. For some years now, we have co-created with our clients an ambitious new Client Experience leveraging all the opportunities offered by the latest technologies. We work continuously to innovate and take advantage of technology to better support and serve our clients. The health crisis has accelerated their digital expectations resulting in an increased use of our key digital solutions.
What have been the challenges you have to overcome to reach such a standard?
V.L. Today, we are facing a low interest rate environment, rising volatility, combined with the unprecedented health crisis. The mission of BNP Paribas Wealth Management has always been to transform complex challenges into opportunities. This is where I would like to come back on the notion of Impact. As I mentioned earlier, clients expect solutions to help them achieve a positive impact in society. They know that their investment and business decisions can have a positive impact around them. For instance, our Global Entrepreneur Report showed that 70% of entrepreneurs are more willing to invest sustainably than just 18 months ago! Not only that, they intend to quadruple their investments! That is phenomenal. It is definitely not just a trend.
Sustainability is at the core of our DNA; it drives our offering. I can give you two examples: first, we developed an interactive tool called myImpact: with myImpact, clients go on an interactive journey, alone or with their private banker, to define their priorities in terms of sustainability and philanthropy. Then, with this information, we design with our clients a strategy and propose solutions that match their priorities in terms of sustainable investments.
The second example, a real game-changer in my opinion, is our new “Clover Methodology” It rates the level of sustainability of all the products we recommend across all asset classes. This really facilitates our clients’ decision-making process for impact.
Promoting sustainability and providing our clients the opportunities to achieve their goals are at the heart of our culture and part of our purpose as a private bank. I am very proud of that.
What do you hope will be the result of receiving this accolade?
V.L. BNP Paribas Wealth Management has been named “Best Private Bank in Europe”, among other important awards. This recognition rewards the hard work put in by our teams, the confidence and trust our clients have in us and is an endorsement of our strategy to be the number one wealth manager in Europe. It encourages us to continue to work hard on behalf of all our clients and reinforces our vision and our purpose.
What sets you apart from your peers this year and why ?
V.L. BNP Paribas Wealth Management is a leading global private bank and the largest private bank in the Eurozone with €402 billion of client’s assets under management. In Europe, Asia, the United States and the Middle East, 6 600 professionals support HNW, UHNW, entrepreneurs and families, in protecting, growing and passing on their wealth. Our clients benefit from an integrated and diversified business model across the entire BNP Paribas Group, be it Corporate and Institutional Banking, Real Estate, or Asset Management. Our aim is to build a sustainable future by combining our deep expertise, reach with our clients’ influence, and desire for impact. I personally believe that a sense of purpose, a desire to do good, should be at the core of an individual’s ethos and that of businesses alike. And it is quite clear that we must accompany our clients in creating a more harmonious and sustainable future.