Eric Ballaiche has been appointed to the twin jobs of president of Societe General Securities Tokyo Branch and Chief Country Officer of SG Japan. He will step into the new position from December 1, although it is understood that he is already in the country.
He will replace SG's previous top man in Japan Shozo Nurishi who is leaving banking for an undisclosed job elsewhere. Sources at SG say Nurishi-san has not gone public with his future career plans.
Bellaiche's CV is a model for a top French executive. Having attending two of the Grandes Ecoles (Ecole Polytechnique and Ecoles des Mines in Paris), he went into industry with Philips Electronics for seven years. He then joined SG in the early 1990s and worked in the energy trading division in France and the US. He then moved into corporate and investment banking and worked in Chicago and New York, becoming head of investment banking coverage for the US affiliates of European and Asian clients. He then returned to France in 2001 to be global head of emerging country risk management, the role which he is leaving to move to Japan.
Described as fun and enthusiastic by colleagues, he is known as a good marketer, whose broad international experience should stand him in good stead. In Japan, SG is particularly big in equity derivates, commodities and shipping finance, as well as having a large private banking presence having bought Chase Trust Bank (Japan) in 2002.
"[Bellaiche] has made substantial contributions to our worldwide business," says Michel Macagno, head of SG Corporate and Investment Banking for Asia, based in Hong Kong. "His international business background, track record and leadership skills will enable him to contribute to the further development of our business in Japan."
Bellaiche will work closely with Laurent Depus, who has been promoted to become branch manager of SG Tokyo. Depus replaces Toru Ogino who is retiring from the bank after more than 20 years of service. Depus has been in the country for a number of years, and will no doubt help Bellaiche navigate the cultural eddies and whirlpools that executives face in Japan.