BNP Paribas, a French international banking group with a presence in 75 countries, has launched a new investment fund to take direct minority stakes in innovative startups that are reinventing financial services and insurance.
Managed by BNP Paribas Capital Partners, the new fund will also make indirect investments through Venture Capital funds whose priorities in technologies, geographies and topics match those of its various business units and divisions.
The establishment of the new fund sees the bank formalize the outreach programme and step up its open innovation strategy, including investment in AI, data, blockchain, and cyber-security.
Jacques d’Estais, deputy Chief Operating Officer at BNP Paribas Group and Head of International Financial Services, commented: “At BNP Paribas, we’re firmly convinced that Open Innovation is a powerful driver for the transformation that will help to build the bank of tomorrow and enable us to continue to provide our clients with high value-added products and services,”
“This will require us to put in place innovative, complementary mechanisms. The new fund, which will give added fire-power to our investment strategy, complements the other initiatives we’ve already set in motion, including our partnership with Plug and Play, our Station F space and our Startup Engagement Kit, which was recently highlighted on the FrenchTech label”, d’Estais added.
BNP Paribas’ €3 billion investment plan in a three-year period announced in 2017 has seen action already, with strategic investments in firms at the forefront of the fintech innovation boom, such as Serena Data Venture, Viola Fintech, Ventech China, Symphony, Gambit, Caple as well as acquiring a 95% stake in French neo-bank Compte-Nickel. With the investment plan, BNP Paribas aims to build the ‘bank of the future’.
In February 2018, BNP Paribas AM appointed Christophe Bonnefoux as Chief Data Officer. In late 2017, BNP Paribas Asset Management has appointed industry veteran Neil Johnson as Head of US Institutional Business Development to help the company develop its strategy with asset owners in all market segments as well as the US product strategy.
Also in 2017, BNP Paribas Investment Partners appointed Guillermo Felices, former Barclays, to the newly-created position of Senior Market Strategist within its Multi-Asset Solutions team. Felices was hired to generate emerging market asset allocation research and identify valuable ideas within asset classes such as fixed income, equities, currencies, and commodities.
The Federal Reserve sanctioned BNP Paribas SA (PNPP) with a fine of $246 million for its part in the ‘Forex Scandal‘.