Pierre de Longuemar, Founding President of l’Association pour l’histoire de BNP Paribas, passed away on 1st August 2018. He was a key player and pioneer in the preservation and promotion of the historical heritage of Paribas and its successor, BNP Paribas.
Trained at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), Pierre de Longuemar was to pursue a banking career devoted entirely to Paribas. Working in the international sector, he held numerous positions, including a posting to Washington, where he was seconded to the World Bank between 1966 and 1969, and in London, where he ran the major branch from 1987 to 1990, his last position.
EIn his retirement, Pierre de Longuemar began a new career as the founder of the Paribas historical archives department, which in 1994 he reshaped into the Association pour l’histoire de Paribas. He formally implemented and improved the first initiatives taken in the 1960s by former Secretary General Jean Cabet.
With his great intellectual curiosity and passion for sharing knowledge, he developed links with the French and international academic community and was one of the founders of the European Association for Banking and Financial History.
He created a pioneering collection of oral testimonies that he extended to BNP Paribas following the 2000 merger between BNP and Paribas. This archive of more than 150 testimonials is available to the company or researchers, and is the largest of its kind in the French banking sector. The Association’s own library houses more than 3000 volumes, and testifies to Pierre de Longuemar’s passion for books. He was a fluent speaker of English, both for personal reasons and in his professional placements, and he was also passionate about the history of other countries and the period spanning the Second World War. In 2004, he was the French translator of the American historian Robert Paxton’s 1966 book on the Vichy Army.
Following health problems in 2017, Pierre de Longuemar passed on the Association pour l’histoire de BNP Paribas baton in June 1918.
More information about his achievements and his many contributions in history can be found in the tribute volume published in 2016: Florence Descamps, Roger Nougaret and Laure Quennouëlle-Corre (dir.), Banque et société XIXe-XXE siècle. Identités croisées. Hommage à Pierre de Longuemar, Brussels, P.I.E. Peter Lang, 2016.