May 17, 2018 / 4:21 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Natixis profit lifted by strong asset management, insurance

(Updates with details)

PARIS, May 17 (Reuters) - France’s Natixis reported a 15 percent increase in quarterly net income on Thursday, driven by strength in its asset management and insurance businesses, helping to offset weaker revenue from the corporate and investment bank.

Natixis, majority owned by retail banking group BPCE, said net income rose to 323 million euros, which was below market expectations for 360 million euros, according to a Reuters poll.

Revenues rose 3 percent over the first quarter to 2.41 billion euros, in line with the poll.

The results were its first since the bank announced top management changes in late April that saw Natixis chief executive Laurent Mignon become head of BPCE.

Mignon was replaced by former co-head of Natixis corporate and investment bank Francois Riahi, 45, who pledged to pursue the 2020 strategy to grow revenue by five percent annually and return more than 60 percent of earnings to investors.

Under Mignon, Natixis’ share price nearly quadrupled since May 2009 as the bank slimmed its balance sheet, cut costs after the financial crisis and chose to develop less capital-intensive insurance and asset management businesses.

Insurance revenue rose by 8 percent, while revenue from asset and wealth management increased by 10 percent in the first quarter, helped by higher fees it generated through management of assets across its affiliates, such as Harris Associates and Loomis Sayles in the U.S.

Revenue at its corporate and investment bank fell 3 percent, weighed by a 15 percent fall in equity trading revenue and historically high results a year ago. Revenue from fixed income trading was up 1 percent.

Natixis had the biggest net loss of any French bank from the financial crisis that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers and was bailed out after the government merged its parents, setting up BPCE group in 2009. (Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva and Matthieu Protard; editing by Leigh Thomas and Alexander Smith)

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