NEOMA BS : Why is regional presence and development so important for the Crédit Agricole du Nord-Est?Frédéric Allaux :Crédit Agricole du Nord-Est, the number one regional bancassurer with its head office located in the heart of the region, is also the leading bank for the departments of Aisne, Ardennes and Marne. Its mission is to create wealth for individuals, professionals (farmers, winegrowers, companies) and communities.
For Crédit Agricole du Nord-Est, creating wealth means contributing to the development of projects that promote growth and employment. It provides economic solutions for the region.
NEOMA BS : In addition to the regions, Crédit Agricole du Nord-Est remains highly committed to CSR, particularly through its Foundation. Can you explain your approach on a global level?Frédéric Allaux :We would prefer to talk about extra-financial performance than CSR. Our Foundation is inseparable from the cooperative position of the Crédit Agricole du Nord-Est.
Our actions support development and initiative projects in the Aisne, the Ardennes and the Marne are a natural extension of the banking profession. These are also related to our heritage, culture, socio-economic and socio-cultural activities, economic development, innovation, sport, not to mention solidarity, employment, social inclusion, disability and training and education.
The project with NEOMA BS is a little out of this scope, since we are not financing investment, although we do provide funds for the Cordées de la Réussite programme. Our goal is to promote social movement.
NEOMA BS : In this respect, can you talk about the links and nature of the partnership between NEOMA BS and Crédit Agricole du Nord-Est?Frédéric Allaux :The partnership between NEOMA BS and Crédit Agricole du Nord-Est began in 2005, with the creation of the Research Chair in Banking and Insurance Education.
Since then, we have conducted, and continue to conduct, a large number of joint initiatives. For example, we have subcontracted some of our projects to students as a complement to their training, and we take part in recruitment workshops giving advice on writing cover letters and CVs and simulating interviews.
Crédit Agricole du Nord-Est also participates in the Employment Forums organised at NEOMA BS and we hire numerous trainees. We have also recently launched a training programme for our managers who will graduate with a diploma and become members of the NEOMA BS alumni.
In short, we have very strong ties with the School. But the main project over the past 15 years has been the Cordées de la Réussite.
NEOMA BS : What interest is there for Crédit Agricole being involved with a school like NEOMA BS?Frédéric Allaux :Our relationship with NEOMA BS is not about interest, it is more a question of values.
Some of our regions are facing difficulties and the social divide is often clearly apparent. The Cordées de la Réussite initiative is a way of helping young people out of an adverse environment through an equal opportunities policy.
This approach is perfectly in line with the values of the Crédit Agricole Group, whose operations are organised around 3 key values: solidarity, proximity and responsibility.
It is therefore important to put these values into practice. Last year, as part of the Cordées de la Réussite initiative, and in association with the NEOMA BS Prépa'Rémois student society, we invited around 80 young people to the Crédit Agricole du Nord-Est headquarters in Reims. In addition to the more well-known careers such as banker, business relations manager or branch manager, we wanted to introduce them to some of the more unusual careers found in the banking sector, such as webmaster, which surprised them a lot!
This year, we decided to take them on a visit to Village by CA to experience the energy it generates. Three of the start-ups housed in this space spoke to the 80 High School students about their backgrounds, in a bid to demystify higher education and tempt them with the opportunities it offers.
NEOMA BS : To conclude, what relationship does Crédit Agricole du Nord-Est have with NEOMA BS students and graduates? Do you see them as future employees?Frédéric Allaux :We are always looking for particular skills, such as the ability to adapt in fast-changing professions, for agile and active individuals with an entrepreneurial profile.
As the Group offers and encourages career development in France and abroad, dynamic individuals who are keen to move around are welcome. Career paths can also evolve throughout the Group’s other entities, thanks to a coherent HR strategy, both in France and abroad. This is due in particular to a substantial training budget that is open to all employees.
To escape the stereotype ‘trader’ label, we do recruit in exciting professions such as business relations management in the agricultural, viticultural or corporate sectors. Those who take on such a position are, or become, extremely passionate about the job. In many cases, in the beginning, young employees do not know the sector. I am thinking about the wine sector in particular, which is highly specialised and for which we have large accounts related to Champagne. From the quality of the grapes, to the installations or agricultural machinery, knowledge of the profession and the market is essential. The beauty of this profession is that it is experienced in the field. And those who do go into it are very quickly enchanted! This kind of job also provides opportunities for rapid development towards management positions.
To clarify my point, I recently met an NEOMA BS alumni who was hired as a Business Relations Manager immediately after graduating. He now has 3 years' experience and one of the highest levels of remuneration on the market.
Positions relating to business evolution and transformation also offer great opportunities within Crédit Agricole: e-marketing, data mining or compliance, audit-risk, internal auditing, general inspection and HR.
In short, due to their profile, NEOMA BS graduates are perfect candidates for the Crédit Agricole Group and where they can pursue successful careers!