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BNP Paribas Merger on Schedule

The integration of Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) and Paribas is on target as the two banks draw near to their official merger date, 23 May, says Loic Meinnel, co-head of global FX for the planned BNP Paribas.

Meinnel says the two institutions have begun to merge location by location, although they must continue operating the two trading and sales teams as separate legal entities until the merger is finalised.

“Most interbank activities will be conducted from the major centres – Paris, London, New York, Tokyo and Singapore, with some trading in Geneva, Sydney and Montreal, and in a number of emerging market centres,” says Meinnel.

“Our products and services will be available to our client base from our branch network of over 40 locations,” he adds. “So the BNP Paribas group will have the resources, skills and staff to be one of the leading FX providers as result of the merger.”

So far, traders from BNP have moved into Paribas dealing rooms in London, New York and Singapore. “Integrating the joint dealing rooms has been a gradual process. Step one is bringing the teams together on the same trading floor, while maintaining separate legal entities. Decisions as to where to locate the BNP Paribas traders has been a function of space more than anything else,” says Meinnel, who adds that Paris and Tokyo have yet to be combined.

Meinnel and Henri Foch of BNP were named co-heads of global FX to oversee the merger. The senior management structure has yet to be officially announced, although New York-based Nigel Babbage of Paribas will reportedly head global FX options trading.

As a consequence of the integration process, there have been some early departures. Two managers have opted to leave Paribas at this juncture. Jonathan Simmonds, head of FX trading in London, and Michael Walsh, head of FX sales in London, have both left the bank.

“These two individuals spent almost 10 years together at Paribas. Unfortunately, we could not agree on their roles at the new organisation,” says Meinnel.

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