Jacques de Fouchier (1911-1997), a gifted businessman

1911-1997

Themes:

  • Innovation
  • Men & Women
Document

If ever there was a particularly visionary businessman, it was Jacques de Fouchier. He introduced innovative systems of specialised lending in France and founded one of the largest financial groups of the post-war era.

 

Jacques de Fouchier was born in 1911. He joined the national Inspectorate of Finances in 1934, and was mobilised in 1939. In the spring of 1943 he joined the Free French Army in North Africa and distinguished himself during the campaign in Italy. In late 1944, he was appointed Assistant Director of External Economic Relations under the provisional government.

 

The forward-looking ventures of Compagnie Bancaire

In 1946 Jacques de Fouchier decided to leave the civil service and set up the Union Financière d’Entreprises Françaises et Etrangères (UFEFE) – the ‘Financial Union for French and Foreign Companies’. UFEFE’s mission was to act as a complement to the French banking system which was not in a position to grant French industry the loans required to re-equip.

 

In 1953 he launched Crédit à l’Equipement Electroménager (Cetelem). Set up to provide individual clients with consumer credit for purchasing domestic appliances, Cetelem soon earned an enduring place in the daily lives of all French citizens. In the aftermath of World War II, there was great demand for household appliances, but retailers were not authorised to provide ‘loans’ to their customers. To solve this problem, Jacques de Fouchier came up with a brand new business model – in-store creditbased on a three-way relationship between the customer, the retailer and Cetelem.

 

 Compagnie Bancaire Logo, 1990

Logo of the Compagnie bancaire, 1990 – Archives historiques BNP Paribas

 

He continued to come up with fresh initiatives in the same innovative vein, pioneering long-term mortgages, consumer credit and leasing. UCB and SINVIM were set up to finance house purchases and other real estate transactions, Locabail for leasing and SEGECE for the retail sector. In 1959, all these firms came together under the umbrella of the Compagnie Bancaire.

 

 

Cetelem - UFB Locabail branch in the 1980's - BNP Paribas Historical Archives

Cetelem – UFB Locabail branch in the 1980’s – BNP Paribas Historical Archives

 

The Paribas period

Designated as successor to Jean Reyre at the head of Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas, Jacques de Fouchier became Vice-Chairman in 1966 and then Chairman in 1969. One of his priorities was to increase the capital base and upsize the bank in France. Paribas began to integrate increasingly with Compagnie Bancaire, becoming the main shareholder. Last but not least, he launched the Group on the path to internationalisation. Under his chairmanship, Paribas established a presence in Tokyo, the oil-producing Gulf States, Germany, the Mediterranean Basin and Africa – in Morocco and Gabon.

 

 

Paribas branch in Abu Dhabi, 1990 - BNP Paribas Historical Archives

Paribas branch in Abu Dhabi, 1990 – BNP Paribas Historical Archives

 

 

 Far-reaching influence

Jacques de Fouchier retired from the Bank in 1978. Beyond the walls of the Compagnie Bancaire and Paribas, he was extremely influential in the wider financial world and also in politics. He held a seat on a number of Boards, including Crédit National, Crédit Foncier de France, Gervais Danone, Schlumberger, Xerox, Thomson-Brandt and Compagnie Française des Pétroles. In addition he served as President of the National Foundation for Medical Research.
He was also passionate about writing, publishing his memoirs and sponsoring a Jacques de Fouchier prize at the Académie française to honour gifted authors who are not members of the literary profession.

Close

Contact us / Send us a document

The personal data collected from the Site are subject to data processing by BNP Paribas to enable access to and use of the functionalities offered by the Site www.histoire.bnpparibas.
Pursuant to the French Data Protection Law No. 78-17 of 6 January 1978, you are entitled to access the data collected by BNP Paribas and to have it amended, updated or deleted, where such information is incorrect, incomplete or outdated. You can exercise this right by contacting: BNP Paribas – APAC TDC Val de Marne, TSA 30233- 94729 FONTENAY SOUS BOIS Cedex.

This website has a cultural and historical purpose; it is not intended to deal with trade and banking relationship issues which will not be processed.
If you have a document, a photo, a story about BNP Paribas history and want to share it, please do not hesitate to share it there.
In transmitting this document, you certify to own it and to hold the property rights needed for their use. You authorize BNP Paribas to use it on the website Source of History.
Thank you for indicate the origin of the documents and give us any information you consider relevant to its understanding.

Close

Suscribe to Well of History's newsletter

The personal data collected from the Site are subject to data processing by BNP Paribas to enable access to and use of the functionalities offered by the Site www.histoire.bnpparibas.
Pursuant to the French Data Protection Law No. 78-17 of 6 January 1978, you are entitled to access the data collected by BNP Paribas and to have it amended, updated or deleted, where such information is incorrect, incomplete or outdated. You can exercise this right by contacting: BNP Paribas – APAC TDC Val de Marne, TSA 30233- 94729 FONTENAY SOUS BOIS Cedex.

Close

Files download

I undertake to make private use of the contents downloaded from the website

OK
Close

You have added an item to your selection.

You can find your saved contents in the “My space” section, which can be accessed at the top right of any page of the website.

My space English A+ A-

To find this content on your next visit, you need to create an account from this section, by clicking on:

Fermer Welcome to

Well of History

Since 1822, history has made us a key player and a witness of transformations taking place in society and economy in Europe and around the world. We invite you to share in our story and explore our archives to learn more about our constantly changing world.
Jean Lemierre Jean Lemierre,
Chairman
of BNP Paribas