FRANCE – Société Générale’s asset management arm had 4.9 billion euros in net new money in the first quarter of 2004.

“The net inflow of new money over the quarter was strong, at 4.9 billion euros, of which 3.4 billion was invested in equity products,” the bank said of the unit in its latest earnings statement. The unit is part of the group’s Global Investment Management and Services, or GIMS, which also includes private banking.

It added: “The weighting of equity products in the portfolio increased significantly, and margins rose to 37 basis points compared with 35 basis points in the first quarter of 2003.”

The asset management arm’s net income rose 26.3% to 48 million euros, from the year-ago period’s 38 million euros. Private banking income was up 113.6% at 30 million euros.

Overall revenue at GIMS was up 25.7% at 352 million euros while GIM’s total assets rose almost 16 billion euros to 300 billion euros.

Last week the bank named Laurent Hervé as head of finance at GIMS, reporting to the unit’s head, Philippe Collas. He was formerly chief financial officer at Société Générale Asset Management. Fabrice Lamy was named head of risk control and audit.

Overall, the group‘s first-quarter net income rose to 801 million euros from 483 million euros. “The Société Générale Group turned in a very good performance in the first quarter, with a return on equity after tax of 20%,” said group chief executive Daniel Bouton.