Groupama ousts CEO

French insurance outfit Groupama has dismissed Jean Azéma, chief executive of Groupama since 2000, in an attempt to reinforce the solvency of the group and improve its operational profitability.

Thierry Martel (pictured), formerly managing director of the group’s insurance and banking divisions, has been named the new chief executive.

Christian Collin, formerly director of finance and risk, has been appointed deputy chief executive.

Collin is also president and administrator of Groupama AM, the asset management division of Groupama with €90bn of assets under management.

Groupama was unable to comment on whether Collin would retain this position alongside his new responsibilities or who his possible successor might be.

Azéma built the majority of his career at Groupama having joined the company in 1987. Martel is similarly a Groupama veteran having joined in 1990 whereas Collin joined in 2000.

The supervisory board of Groupama met on October 24 where the decision to oust Azéma was made. Groupama’s solvency and profitability had come under scrutiny lately following its rating downgrade by both Standard and Poor’s and Fitch.

On September 23 Standard and Poor’s lowered its rating from BBB+ to BBB. Fitch followed suit on September 27 lowering its rating from A- to BBB.

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