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SocGen and Alliance Bernstein to launch global equities venture

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PARIS — Societe Generale, France’s third-biggest listed bank, and U.S. investment management company Alliance Bernstein plan to form a joint venture focusing on global cash equities and equity research, they said on Tuesday.

The venture with Alliance Bernstein comes as SocGen aims to keep up with bigger and more profitable competitors such as BNP Paribas in France and leading Wall Street banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

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SocGen plans to take a 51% interest in the venture, with an option to take 100% ownership after five years, the French bank said, adding that the business would boost its profit from 2025 onwards. The deal is expected to close before the end of 2023.

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The joint venture will be run as a long-term partnership under the Bernstein name and will be headquartered in London.

Robert van Brugge, CEO of Bernstein Research Services, will become CEO of the new entity for an initial term of five years, with Stephane Loiseau, head of SocGen’s cash equities business, becoming his deputy.

SocGen shares edged up 0.2 percent in early trading, with analysts at Credit Suisse writing in a research note that they viewed the venture as a “positive.”

Last year, SocGen’s cross-town rival BNP Paribas bought the remaining 50% stake in cash equities execution and research firm Exane, which covers 800 stocks globally, and is now working to expand Exane’s footprint in the United States. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta Editing by Kirsten Donovan and David Goodman)

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