FRANCE – Fortis Investment Management in Paris has appointed Thierry Rigoulet as head of institutional clients for France as part of its strategy to centralise asset management operations in Paris.

Rigoulet joins from Dexia Asset Management where he was co-head of business development. He has a long career in the asset management scene in Paris, having previously worked for Paribas AM and Banque du Louvre.

Elsewhere, but also as part of its restructuring, Fortis is closing its equity research desk in London. “It makes sense to close this operation and centralise the research capacity in Paris alongside the asset management operation,” says a spokesman.

However, the move does not mean Fortis will leave London altogether. “Our London insurance office is very successful and will remain open. The equity desk there concerns about ten or so people who will have the chance to relocate,” says the spokesman, who believes Paris is fast becoming a major asset management centre that will eventually rival London and New York.

“Germany doesn’t have its act together and given that Euronext is concentrated in Paris, the drain of asset management operations from cities like Amsterdam and Brussels to Paris is inevitable,” he says.