New heads of wealth management at BNP Paribas

Vincent Lecomte and Sofia Merlo (pictured) have been appointed co-heads of BNP Paribas’ global wealth management business as part the changes in management announced by the group’s chief executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafé on December 1.

The role became available when Jacques d’Estais, head of the investment solutions division (which incorporates wealth management), was appointed deputy chief operating officer of BNP Paribas on December 1.

The two co-heads will report to d’Estais, now deputy chief operating officer of BNP Paribas Group as well as BNP Paribas Personal Finance and International Retail Banking and head of Investment Solutions.

D’estais confirmed that “wealth management is an important business, serving both our domestic and international clients,” adding that Lecomte and Merlo will “continue to develop this strategic business.”

According to a spokesperson for BNP Paribas, developping the wealth management business line will involve improving synergies between different divisions of the group and improving relations with existing clients, as opposed to international expansion.

International expansion played a role earlier this year for BNP Paribas Wealth Management when it launched TEB Ozel in October, its new private bank in Turkey.

Merlo was group head of career management from 2004 until 2009 when she became sales director for wealth management France, before being appointed head of the French private bank in January 2010.

Lecomte was deputy head of BNP Paribas’ personal investors business line and deputy chief executive of Cortal Consors until September 2010 when he became chief operating officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management.

BNP Paribas Wealth Management currently has an estimated €257bn of assets under management.

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