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Finance Watch announces Christophe Nijdam as new Secretary General

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Brussels, 19 November 2014 – The board of Finance Watch, the independent organisation that defends the public interest in financial regulation, announces that it has appointed Christophe Nijdam as the new Secretary General of Finance Watch with effect from 1 January 2015. Mr Nijdam will replace Benoît Lallemand, Co-head of Policy Analysis, who has been Acting Secretary General since the departure in May 2014 of Thierry Philipponnat, Finance Watch’s first Secretary General (see press release).

A French national and former investment and commercial banker, Mr Nijdam, spent more than a dozen years as a senior executive at a number of large French banks in France and in the USA. In the early 1990s, he crossed to the investor side as a financial analyst, most recently working as a banking sector analyst for AlphaValue, Europe’s leading independent pan-European equity research firm, based in Paris.

Mr Nijdam comes to Finance Watch with a strategic understanding of the banking sector, an investor’s perspective and operational experience in bank management. This experience forms the basis for his strong conviction of the need to reform the financial sector.

Christophe Nijdam, Secretary General-designate of Finance Watch, said:

“I have seen at close quarters the financialisation of the economy and the rise of dogma about efficient markets. My experiences in the financial industry have helped me to understand the causes of the 2008 financial crisis and led me to the view that, despite the reforms carried out since then, not enough has been done to avoid a repetition.

“Finance Watch plays a key role in the re-regulation of the financial sector. Uniquely, it combines technical expertise with a diverse membership representing millions of European citizens and a detailed knowledge of the people and processes involved in European law-making.

“Society faces major challenges but the financial system today is disconnected from the needs of the real economy and of society at large. With this conviction, I offer my experience to Finance Watch and its mission: putting finance at the service of society.”

Monique Goyens, Chair of the Board of Finance Watch, said:

“After a thorough recruitment process and examination by our Committee of Transparency and Independence we are delighted to have secured Christophe Nijdam, an outstanding expert from the world of finance who brings his experience as a banker on both sides of the Atlantic and as a renowned financial analyst.

“I am extremely grateful to Benoît Lallemand, who has assumed responsibility as Acting Secretary General since May 2014 and who, with the rest of the team, has ensured the good functioning of the organisation.”

Benoît Lallemand, Acting Secretary General of Finance Watch, said:

“The team and I are thrilled to be able to work with Christophe. His expertise and critical vision will help us to confront the many obstacles that stand in the way of finance serving society, including the need to complete the essential missing pieces of financial regulation.”

For more detailed information or to interview Christophe Nijdam please contact:

•             Greg Ford, Head of Communications at Finance Watch, on +322.880.0440 or +44 7703 219 222 or  greg.ford@finance-watch.org

•             Charlotte Geiger, Communications Officer at Finance Watch, on +322.880.0441 or  charlotte.geiger@finance-watch.org

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Christophe Nijdam in the press

“The analyst feared by bankers […], Christophe Nijdam is one of the foremost experts on the world of banking today and one of the most ardent advocates of the separation of bank activities. It has to be said: when it comes to banks, he knows all the secrets.”

L’Expansion : « Ces vigies qu’on n‘écoute pas assez », juin 2013

“With a career history switching regularly between Paris and New York, Christophe Nijdam (Sciences Po Paris, New York University) is without doubt one of the best experts on both French and Anglo-Saxon banking.”

Le nouvel Economiste : « Que les Etats ne commettent pas l’erreur d’orchestrer une austérité généralisée », septembre 2011

Career history

  • June 2008 – present: ALPHAVALUE (www.alphavalue.eu), bank sector analyst and team leader at Europe’s leading independent pan-European equity research firm, Paris.
  • 1994-2008: CAPITALACTION™, Paris (www.capitalaction.com), co-founder and managing partner at independent equity research firm
  • 1998-2008: Lecturer in Finance at Sciences-Po Paris (www.sciences-po.fr)
  • 1992-1993 LE NOUVEL ECONOMISTE, Paris (www.lenouveleconomiste.fr), Vice-chair of the board responsible for financial affairs
  • 1989-1992: CREDIT DU NORD (now part of SOCIETE GENERALE), US General Manager, New York
  • 1983-1988: CREDIT COMMERCIAL DE FRANCE (now HSBC France), Director, capital markets and mergers & acquisitions, New York; Deputy-director and co-founder of interest rate and currency derivatives, Paris
  • 1979-1983: CREDIT LYONNAIS (now CREDIT AGRICOLE C.I.B.), financial analyst and corporate banker, New York

Education

  • New York University, Graduate School of Business Administration (Stern), 1982 (Advanced Professional Certificate in Corporate Financial Management)
  • Sciences-Po Paris, 1978 (Public law and economics)

Biography

French national Christophe Nijdam has spent more a dozen years in senior positions at several large French banks. He began his career in 1979 at Credit Lyonnais (now Crédit Agricole) New York as a financial analyst and corporate banker. In 1983 he joined the headquarters of the CCF (now HSBC France) as co-head of interest rate and currency derivatives, before returning to the US as a capital markets director. In 1989, he became US General Manager for Crédit du Nord (now Societe Generale Group) in New York.

Returning to France in the early 1990s, he decided to switch to the investor side by becoming a financial analyst. He also joined the team of Le Nouvel Economiste in 1992 as vice chair of the board in charge of financial affairs. He co-founded the independent equity research firm CAPITALACTION in 1994, where he was managing partner. A lecturer at Sciences-Po Paris from 1998 to 2008, he still teaches in the corporate finance and capital markets Executive Masters’ programme.

Immediately prior to deciding to join Finance Watch, Christophe Nijdam was a banking analyst at AlphaValue, where he worked since the firm was founded in 2008. AlphaValue, based in Paris, is the only independent pan-European equity research firm to compete with the major European brokers in terms of number of analysts and clients. The firm was awarded the Grand Prix de l’Analyse Financière l’Agefi in the category “Best independent research firm” in 2012.

As a volunteer, Christophe Nijdam coordinates a weekly guest column, My dearest bank”, in Le Nouvel Economiste.

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