(Updates with context, analyst, CEO comments)
PARIS, May 9 (Reuters) - France’s Societe Generale has appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch banker Alexandre Fleury as head of equities after the latest set of results showed the bank underperformed its rivals in trading.
Revenue at SocGen’s equities and prime services business fell 11 percent in the first quarter.
Management sought to reassure analysts who said that more radical changes could be needed to revive the business.
“This appointment will allow the bank to strengthen its edge as a global leader in derivatives,” SocGen’s head of global markets, Frank Drouet, said in a statement on the appointment.
Fleury was global head of equities structured products and structured financing at Bank of America Merrill Lynch since 2016. He replaces Richard Quessette, who left the firm in April.
Fleury spent 10 years of his career in structured equity and credit derivatives trading at SocGen before moving to Credit Suisse in 2009.
After quarterly results, analysts asked SocGen’s management about underperformance in equities trading. SocGen said it was mostly due to its exposure to the equity market in Europe, which was less active than the United States.
Morgan Stanley analysts said the firm’s exposure to European structured products and retail partly explained the weaker revenue, but added that “the scale of underperformance suggests that structural issues or hedging losses may be distorting the picture.”
Chief Executive Frederic Oudea told analysts that SocGen had gained market share overall over past quarters and the bank had focused on businesses offering “the best growth revenue perspectives”.
A weak start to the year hit SocGen’s share price, which fell by more than 5 percent on the day of results. It traded up 0.5 percent at 1446 GMT.
Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva Editing by Leigh Thomas and Edmund Blair