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CAAM appoints new CEO

EUROPE - Crédit Agricole is expected to remain unscathed by subsidiary Calyon's €250m unauthorised trading loss amid the credit market turmoil as new chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of the CAAM group Yves Perrier prepares to take over the reigns of its asset management arm.

At the board of directors' meeting this week, Crédit Agricole Asset Management (CAAM) and CAAM Group appointed Perrier, former deputy chief executive of Calyon, as their new head, replacing Thierry Coste, who is retiring at the age of 65.

Perrier has been a member of Credit Agricole's executive committee since June 2003, having overseen the merger with Crédit Agricole on behalf of Crédit Lyonnais at the end of 2002.

He simultaneously held the positions of group risk management director and COO of the investment banking division in charge of support functions before being appointed deputy chief executive of Calyon in May 2004, following Crédit Lyonnais' merger with Crédit Agricole Indosuez.

Today, ratings agency Standard & Poor's said its ratings and outlooks on Calyon and parent group Crédit Agricole SA (CASA) were unaffected by the subsidiary's announcement that it registered an unexpected trading loss of €250m due to an unauthorised position on credit market indices taken by its New York proprietary trading desk in the last days of August.

Following closure of the loss-making positions, Calyon expects to post still positive but much weaker third-quarter results when compared with the same period last year.

S&P said it would monitor measures taken to remedy this operational risk, but added: "Despite this occurrence, we still consider CASA's overall risk management to be adequate. The ratings on Calyon reflect its core subsidiary status within the CASA group as well as a structural improvement in its operating performance."

S&P also noted that the size of the loss was "moderate compared to Crédit Agricole group's overall earnings generation capacity".

Paul-Henri de La Porte du Theil has been confirmed as deputy chief executive of CAAM and CAAM Group, while Jean-Yves Colin retains the role of deputy chief executive of CAAM Group.

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