The Aix-Marseille ecosystem is paying huge dividends for a top international bank

The Aix-Marseille ecosystem is paying huge dividends for a top international bank
Pierre Veyres, South-East Regional Director for BNP Paribas
22 February 2024 / invest in provence

Interview with Pierre Veyres, South-East Regional Director for BNP Paribas

The global banking giant BNP Paribas has posted solid results in the South of France, with revenues up 10% in 2023 over the previous year. The bank has a significant presence in southeastern France, with more than 170 branches and more than 3000 employees. As a major financer of companies based in the territory, BNP Paribas supports ambitious economic development projects and the early-stage development of start-ups. Despite slowdowns in some business sectors, the economy in the Aix-Marseille-Provence metro area is buoyant, which makes it a great place for banking. Pierre Veyres, the Director of the South-East Region for BNP Paribas and a member of the board of Provence Promotion, can bear witness to this, having successfully completed an expansion project in the heart of the Euroméditerranée business district in downtown Marseille. He notes that the metro area is becoming increasingly attractive for business and investment but stresses the need to support this positive trend with certain structural changes.

One of the world’s leading financial institutions, BNP Paribas offers a comprehensive range of banking and financing services designed to help businesses grow and support innovation on a global scale. The company is active in 65 countries and employs nearly 185 000 people worldwide.

With around 60 000 employees in France, BNP Paribas has implemented an extensive regionalisation strategy to provide adapted services across the country. This strategy is in evidence under the leadership of Pierre Veyres, who oversees the southeast of France, a territory that includes major metro areas such as Nice, Toulon, and Marseille, as well as Corsica, the southern Alpes, and the area around the mouth of the Rhône River. In 2021, Veyres led the expansion of the bank’s regional headquarters in Marseille by launching the first “Maison BNP Paribas” business space, which now houses 1100 employees. This initiative embodies the company’s ambition to strengthen its presence in the South of France.

Expansion and transfer of services to Marseille

Located in the heart of the Euroméditerranée business district in Marseille, the “Maison BNP Paribas” is housed in the state-of-the-art Corail building. It has 14 000 square meters of offices and shared spaces spread over eight levels and it plays a central role in the bank’s French operations.

The regional head office has expanded its scope of action by transferring value-added jobs from Paris, particularly in the areas of customer service and human resources management. Since this expansion, the headquarters has also housed two trading rooms that are unique in the regional banking sector, one of which is dedicated to equities and is operated by the bank’s Portzamparc subsidiary.

The establishment of these local platforms encourages the development of regional expertise, with six operators directly connected to the foreign exchange, rates and bonds, and commodities markets. This offers companies in the region a range of risk management solutions.

Overall, the bank supports almost 55 000 companies in southeastern France, from SMEs to the largest corporations, as they pursue their business development and growth strategies.

“The key to the success of the transfer of these positions lies in a number of factors, including the depth of the employment pool, which has facilitated our recruitment plan,” explains Pierre Veyres, who has welcomed 180 new employees to Marseille over the past two years. This new workforce is made up mostly of young people with two or three years of post-secondary school qualifications who have been trained as bank advisers.

“We had the capacity to strengthen our regional infrastructure, and we leveraged our management skills and established ecosystem to integrate these new staff members. Our regional headquarters is home to 1100 employees and an in-house training centre,” says Pierre Veyres, who now has a showcase site for the company’s customers and partners.

While confident in the development of the Aix-Marseille-Provence metro area, the banking leader nevertheless says efforts need to be made in areas such as mobility and housing. “While housing prices are favourable compared with Paris, it is important to have a wide range of accommodation to meet the needs of our employees.”

The decision to locate the regional office of BNP Paribas in the Euroméditerranée district has been very positive. “The offices are ideally located close to the highways and with a tramway and metro line at the doorstep. Our space meets the latest environmental standards and has also been designed with the latest trends in office design and technology in mind,” concludes Pierre Veyres.