Wednesday 15 February 2017 10:43 pm

President of French private equity giant Ardian backs London to retain financial services dominance after Brexit

The president and founder of private equity giant Ardian has backed London to retain its financial services dominance after Brexit.

Dominique Senequier, whose firm has around $60bn in assets, also said on Wednesday night she does not expect the exiting process to be “brutal” for the City of London.

“When you have such a financial city, you have strong financial people, CEOs, entrepreneurs… they will manage the situation,” she told City A.M.

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“I think over time the issues which are raised now – passporting, everything – will be sorted in a smooth way. I don't see it as brutal.”

Speaking to City A.M. after a Cass Business School event, she added: “And even if it is, the negotiation was not finalised, then there will be bilateral agreements. There will be agreements. Because it will he also in the interest of the financial businesses in Europe, continental Europe, to be active in the UK. Because London is the main city [in Europe for finance].”

Senequier also suggested that London holds an advantage because its inhabitants tend to be “financially minded”.

“London has always been the number one financial city in Europe,” she said. “It may be that it is no longer in Europe, it will not change the situation for me. It will still be London. And not only London, but people who are financially minded.

“French people are less financially minded… We have many other things. We are very good cooks. We have the Mediterranean and we are very good entrepreneurs.”

She added: “But London… I don't believe that Brexit will change anything.”

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She said that while the “landscape of finance in Europe” could change in the coming years, the UK could gain as well as lose financial services jobs.

“Maybe some British banks will need to put some businesses in France or Germany,” she said. “But also maybe some French or German banks or asset managers will need to have more important branches in the UK.”

Senequier also said politicians in Europe should aim for Brexit to represent an “amicable divorce”.