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Financial activities account for a significant proportion of France’s GDP and grew by 27% over the five-year period from 2001 to 2006. According to INSEE, at the end of 2006 the GDP of the financial sector stood at more than €160 billion – nearly 9% of the national total. Paris Region is the leading region in continental Europe for financial services, with 10,000 companies and 254,000 jobs in the sector.
The French private equity market is the leading private equity market in continental Europe – ranking no.3 worldwide in terms of the sums invested – with an 18% share of the European market as a whole (measured by sums invested) in 2007. It accounts for 20% of the M&A market, withmore than €12.6 billion invested inmore than 1,550 companies in 2007. In excess of €60 billion has been invested in this market over the last decade – more than 50% of this total during the last three years.
A globally active sector. Paris Region has the world’s third-highest concentration of banks listed in the Fortune 500. Three of these feature among the top 10 European banks: BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole and Société Générale.
France is the world’s fourth-largest market for insurance. The market was worth €195.4 billion in 2007. France is also the leadingmarket for insurance in continental Europe, with an 18% share of the market1. The insurance industry hires between 10,000 and 14,000 people every year in France. According to the FFSA (the French Federation of Insurance Companies), the sector employs 57,700 people directly in ParisRegion–40% of thenational total –while 87,571 people are employed both directly and indirectly by the industry.
The French asset management industry ranks among the global leaders in the sector, managing assets worth more than €2,500 billion in 2007 including more than €1,500 in the form of mutual funds (SICAV/FCP and UCITS). Over the last decade this industry has grown five-fold in terms of business volumes while the number of assetmanagement companies has increased by 75%– the 300 asset management companies in 1997 had become 538 by the end of 2007.
This joint initiative involves all thevariousplayers inthesector – banks, insurance companies, asset management companies, the professions serving financial institutions, universities and research centres –with the aimof generating new industrial and research projects with high added-value which will create employment and expand the market share of the French finance industry in the European and international marketplace.
Not content to be weathering the current financial crisis relatively well, the Paris Region financial center is stepping up its efforts to attract even more inward investment. The crisis that has beset the global financial system since August last year has at least one thing in its favor: it has demonstrated the strength and resilience of Paris as a financial center.
update August 26, 2008