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BNP Paribas completes the acquisition of Cogent

New senior management within International Investor Services

BNP Paribas Securities Services (BP2S), a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, the largest eurozone bank by market capitalisation and net income, has completed the acquisition of Cogent, a leading international investment operations business. The deal completes on time and has obtained all necessary regulatory approvals.

The transaction combines the funds services and custodian banking excellence of BP2S with the extensive investment operations outsourcing expertise of Cogent. The investment operations outsourcing platform in the UK represents a new market for BP2S's International Investor Services (IIS) business. It also provides an additional platform for operations across Australasia. For Cogent, the deal means that it will be able to leverage the on-the-ground presence, client connectivity and operational capabilities of BP2S in established markets.

Following the acquisition of Cogent, BP2S is pleased to announce that Tony Solway (formerly Managing Director of Cogent) joins the BP2S executive committee and will also become deputy to Michel Laurent who remains Head of IIS. Together with Michel and Tony, the IIS executive committee will comprise:
· Alexis George, Head of IIS for Australasia (formerly MD, Cogent Australasia)
· Nick Kirk, Head of IIS for the UK and Jersey (formerly MD, Cogent Europe)
· Bénédicte Monneron, (remains) Head of IIS for France
· Frédéric Pérard, (remains) Head of Products and Operations for IIS
· Christophe Vallée, Head of IIS for Luxembourg, Italy, Germany, Ireland, Spain, and Belgium (formerly Head of BP2S Luxembourg)

Peter Christmas, previously Head of Sales and Relationship Management in the UK for IIS, becomes Head of Global Integration, with responsibility for the amalgamation of the two businesses.

Commenting on these appointments, Michel Laurent said: "I am glad to be working closely with someone of Tony's standing whose knowledge of the business and the UK market is second to none. He will be a very valuable team member as BNP Paribas Securities Services rolls out its extensive range of transaction banking and funds servicing capabilities in the UK. I am also pleased to have assembled a senior management team capable of realising the long term growth objectives of both our businesses and those of our clients."

Commenting on the completion of the acquisition of Cogent, Michel Laurent, continued:"The integration phase has progressed according to plan. The complementary businesses of BP2S and Cogent will lead to a greater range of services for our clients and higher returns for all stakeholders."

Tony Solway added: "I am very pleased that the acquisition is complete. We can now focus exclusively on delivering benefits to clients by making our respective capabilities available across the business and capitalising on the greater strength of our business in the market place at large."

Notes to editors

BNP Paribas is a powerful and efficient financial services group, with solid roots in Europe, leading positions in Asia and an active presence in the United States. It is the first bank in terms of net income and market capitalisation in the Euro zone. BNP Paribas has one of the largest international banking networks, present in 86 countries with 85,000 employees, including 65,000 in Europe. The group has three core businesses: Corporate and Investment Banking; Private Banking, Asset Management, Securities Services and Insurance; Retail Banking.
BNP Paribas has had a presence in the UK since 1867 and its current workforce, through its branch and subsidiaries, totals 6,000 people. This significant acquisition reinforces BNP Paribas' commitment to the UK and increases its headcount by 10%.

BNP Paribas Securities Services is the premier securities services bank in Europe for financial institutions and holds in excess of 2 trillion Euro in assets under custody and processes over 22 million transactions per annum. BNP Paribas Securities Services has operations in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland, the UK and the US, as well as in Turkey through a co-operation Agreement with Garanti Bank.

Cogent is a leader in international investment operations and outsourcing, administering in excess of £128 billion (as at 30 June 2002) on behalf of more than 70 clients in the UK, Europe and Australasia. Cogent's client base includes investment banks, insurance companies, fund management groups, public sector and corporate funds. Cogent offers clients a total outsourcing solution, covering a comprehensive range of investment products and services - providing support for fund managers, a full range of fund accounting and pricing facilities and complete securities administration and custodian management.