FRANCE- BNP Paribas Investment Partners (BNPP IP) has added two deputy chief executives to its top management line-up.
Marchessaux will continue in his previous position of head of marketing, communication and wealth management at the firm.
Biville will continue as head of finance, human resources, operations and information technology.
Analysts said they believe the addition of an extra layer of management at the top of the asset management firm is, at least in part, a way for Paris-based BNPP IP to prepare itself for the potential acquisition of troubled Fortis.
One analyst who covers BNP Paribas said it is possible that "they are getting ready for the acquisition of Fortis."
Kepler Capital Markets analyst Pierre Flabbée said that the potential growth of the business through the Fortis acquisition could have triggered the need for additional management.
Flabbée also said cultural norms may have played a role. He said: "In French banks, there is an unwritten rule that every top manager could be replaced by two people in the organization."
In a release, BNP said: "This is designed to bolster the development of the different asset management companies that make up BNPP IP, consolidating expertise and reinforcing the services offered to BNPP IP clients."
According to BNPP IP, the firm had €305bn (US$385bn) in asset under management at year end 2008.
If the Fortis deal goes through, assets would increase by about €200bn, making BNPP IP the fifth largest asset manager in Europe, up from ninth, said Flabbée.
The deadline to complete the acquisition, which was rejected by Fortis shareholders earlier this month, is tomorrow.
Today's change in management is the most recent in a series of hires and shuffles the bank has made to its asset management team.
Last week the firm announced Jacques d'Estais, head of corporate and investment banking, will swap roles with Alain Papiasse, head of asset management and services on march 31.
On February 12, BNPP IP said Jean Audibert was hired as president of new markets Asia in Hong Kong and Patrick Mange as deputy CEO of Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management in Seoul.
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