Natixis Global Asset Management

Holding strong

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.

Subprime scrambling

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 crisis.

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.



Natixis Global Asset Management


399 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 449-2100
Fax: (617) 247-1447

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • CEO: Pierre Servant
  • 2008 Employees: 2,800

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