Euroclear Taps Crédit Agricole's Autheman as New Chairman
Euroclear, the umbrella organization for the world's largest international securities depository and several European national depositories, has named former Credit Agricole top executive Marc Antoine Autheman to replace chairman Sir Nigel Wicks as chairman.
The new role, effective January 1 2013, comes as the group of Euroclear depositories face the challenges of preparing for the advent of the European Central Bank's pan-European settlement platform Target2 Securities or T2S, set to be phased in beginning in 2015. The new T2S platform, if successful, could spell the end of standard settlement work for national securities depositories who outsource this function to the ECB's central settlement platform.
Wicks is stepping down after six years on the job. He joined Euroclear in 2002 as deputy chairman, prior to which he was a British civil servant for 32 years, including serving as principal private secretary to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Wicks is also a former executive director of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank and has served as the economics minister at the British embassy in Washington DC.
Like Wicks, Autheman has worked as an executive director of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank before rising through the ranks as chief executive officer at Crédit Agricole Indosuez and head of international banking for Crédit Agricole SA in France. The 57-year-old Autheman is taking on the chairman role for both Euroclear plc. and Euroclear SA/NV, the parent to Euroclear Bank and the national securities depositories in Belgium, Finland, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK.
Credit Agricole is a member of Euroclear SA's board of directors via its participation in Sicovam Holdings 13.1 percent stake, and an active participant of the Euroclear group of depositories. When Euroclear first merged with France's central securities depository Sicovam, now Euroclear France, Sicovam Holdings, a conglomerate of French banks including Credit Agricole retained 13.1 percent interest in Euroclear plc. Thus, when grouped they are the single largest shareholder.
While at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, from 1993 to 1997, Autheman served as executive director for France and also financial counselor at the French embassy in the US. At the World Bank he chaired the audit committee. He joined Credit Agricole in December 1997 as managing director of Caisse Nationale de Credit Agricole. While at Crédit Agricole Autheman is credited with returning Credit Agricole Indosuez to profitability after major losses incurred during the Asian and Russian financial crises. Mr Autheman also helped bring Bank Indosuez and Credit Agricole together as a firm and acquire Credit Lyonnais in 2003.
Euroclear's national securities depositories are set to decide on whether or not they want to sign up to link to Target2Securities by June. Euroclear UK & Ireland has already declined following decisions by the Bank of England and Bank of Ireland that it is not in the respective markets' best interests to join. The same is true of Euroclear Sweden following Riksbanken’s, the country’s central bank, deciding not to join in the launch of T2S. Euroclear Bank in Brussels won't be joining because it settles transactions in commercial bank monies while Target2Securities will perform securities settlement in central bank monies only.
Written by Chris Kentouris, Editor-in-chief (Chris can be contacted through Chris.Kentouris@hotmail.com)