Natixis Global Asset Management serves as a holding company for a
group of specialized investment management firms with a total asset
management of $667.5 billion (â'¬475.8 billion) as of June 30,
2009. The firm's organizational culture aims to encourage the
exchange of ideas and experiences, innovation and
risk-taking. Each affiliate concentrates on those investment
styles in which it will thrive. The multi-boutique approach
brings together about 20 financial and real estate management
companies throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
Natixis Global Asset Management is one of the top 20 largest asset
managers in the world based on assets under management and among
the top 10 in Europe.
In November 2007, Natixis parent banks Groupe Banque Populaire and
Groupe Caisse d'Epargne bailed out Natixis' stressed bond insurer,
CIFG, which had faced exposure to the mortgage crisis.
(Natixis created CIFG in 2001 to broaden its offerings to
investors. CIFG guarantees hedge funds and other clients with
heavy investments in U.S. mortgage-backed securities.) The
two larger banks paid $1.5 billion to take ownership of the insurer
and prevent a cut in its credit rating with Standard & Poor's,
Moody's and Fitch Ratings. All three ratings companies had
publicly questioned CIFG's ability to guarantee mortgage loans in
the current economic environment.
Following the bailout, Moody's and Fitch Ratings announced they
were unlikely to reduce the insurer's ratings, while Natixis
revealed it would book a $642 billion provision in the fourth
quarter 2007 to transfer the unit to its largest
shareholders. The banks, which now wholly own CIFG, said they
would provide the insurer with a $1.3 billion capital infusion and
a $200-million long-term credit line. The rescue represented
one of the largest in Europe relating to the recent credit
In December 2007, Natixis joined four other French banks in
announcing they would set up an investment fund to bail out small
to midsize asset managers facing a liquidity shortage. The
banks set up the fund, reportedly worth up to $1.47 billion, in the
beginning of 2008. The banks financed the conduit with
high-rated asset-backed securities.
A very bad year
The year 2008 was not a good one for Natixis, and this bad luck
continued on to 2009. In 2009, it was France's
worst-performing bank and it suffered significant write-downs on
subprime investments and derivatives since the global financial
crisis began, leading to four consecutive quarters of losses.
It received â'¬5.4bn ($7.7bn) from BPCE, formed from the tie-up
between Groupe Banque Populaire and Caisse d'Epargne, which is
itself receiving support from the government.