FRANCE - Investment manager Société Générale and Crédit Agricole's investment bank Calyon have today announced the operational launch of their joint new brokerage subsidiary, Newedge.

Newedge has been formed from the brokerage activities of their respective subsidiaries, Société Générale's Fimat and Calyon Financial.

"The objective of both shareholders is to arrange an initial public offering (IPO) for the new entity within 18-24 months," the two parties said in a joint statement this morning.

Calyon, which arose three years ago through a merger between Credit Lyonnais and Crédit Agricole, will have equal control over the new combined Paris-based unit, alongside Société Générale.

Patrice Blanc, chairman and chief executive of Fimat, has been appointed chief executive of Newedge, while Richard Ferina, chairman and chief executive of Calyon Financial, will be his deputy.

Newedge employs 3,000 people in 25 locations and provides clearing and execution services in equities, fixed income and commodities markets, among others, the companies point out.

Elsewhere, Crédit Agricole and Intesa Sanpaolo have announced they have finalised the unwinding of their asset management venture in Italy, CAAM SGR.

In a news release, the two firms said the move was "in line with the commitment made in connection with the Intesa Sanpaolo merger".

This move also involves Intesa Sanpaolo's purchase of the activities attributable to the 65% of Nextra Investment Management (worth around €865m), which was sold by Banca Intesa to Crédit Agricole in December 2005.

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