Suez-Veolia battle, bickering at Rothschild or Lagardère … who are the “Mr. Bons Offices” capable of reconciling enemy bosses

Hello gentlemen, assuming you accept it, your mission is to negotiate a ceasefire between the reinsurer SCOR and the mutual insurer Covéa (MAAF, MMA, GMF), who have been waging a merciless war for nearly three years. Of course, if you fail, this mission will never have existed. When, on May 4, Jean-Paul Faugère, the gendarme of the insurers, summons two honorable veterans of the profession, Jean-Claude Seys and Claude Tendil, to his office, the scene has an air of déjà vu. Obviously: it feels like the beginning of an episode of Impossible mission.

Denis Kessler, the CEO of SCOR, and Thierry Derez, that of Covéa, tear each other apart with shattering statements and summons. These are the Capulets and Montaigu for home damage, the O’Hara and O’Timmins for health coverage. The quarrel arose when Covéa proposed to buy SCOR in August 2018. The Prudential Control and Resolution Authority (ACPR), whose responsibility is to ensure the stability of the financial system, has already attempted to organize mediation , in May 2019. Without success.

Appointed, in September 2020, as vice-president of the ACPR, Jean-Paul Faugère fears that this brawl poisons his term of office. SCOR and Covéa are two major institutions on the Paris market. The ACPR building is the best symbol of this: located in the XIXe district, the glazed building, with a breathtaking view of the gardens surrounding the Covéa headquarters, has long belonged to SCOR. The senior official gives the tandem a month to succeed in their mission. Good luck Jean-Claude, good luck Claude.

“At one point, the parties are forced to agree”

Is it a coincidence? Another (another) epidemic? Since the beginning of spring, French capitalism has been lively reinterpreting the play by Eugène Labiche (1815-1888) Kiss us, Folleville! (1850). In quick succession, in April, Veolia and Suez initialed a peace agreement, followed by Vincent Bolloré (Vivendi), Bernard Arnault (Groupe Arnault, LVMH) and Arnaud Lagardère (Groupe Lagardère), with the blessing of the activist fund Amber. And now, SCOR and Covéa? Difficult to believe in a collective epiphany among the bosses. If they bury the hatchet, it is obviously because they find it in their interest.

“In any conflict, there comes a time when the parties are forced to come to an agreement., underlines the chartered accountant René Ricol, “rabibocheur 1er”Of Parisian affairs. There can be several reasons for this. Because the environmental pressure is too strong, because the two camps are getting poorer or because the legal risks, in particular criminal ones, become too high. “

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