The business on: Frederic Oudea, Chief executive, Société Générale

The man to whom Jerome Kerviel owes €5bn?

Sort of, though you might argue that Mr Oudea owes the rogue trader too. He got the top job at SocGen two and a half years ago when the former chief executive, Daniel Bouton, felt compelled to respond to investors' fury over the Kerviel affair by giving up some power. Anyway, one imagines Mr Oudea isn't counting on Kerviel finding too much of the $4.9bn the French courts have told him to pay his former employer.

Can SocGen get by without it?

It seems to be doing fine. The bank's latest quarterly profit, announced yesterday, was double the figure for the same period last year and it says it does not need to raise capital.

So tell us about Mr Oudea

Well, if you wanted to design anidentikit member of the French elite, the SocGen boss wouldn't be a bad template. He went to the prestigious Paris lycée Louis Le Grand, before moving to the Polytechnique's engineering graduate school.

Only a poly? That's not so elitist

You've not quite got it. It's not a poly, but the Polytechnique, the training ground for France's business leaders. People call it "X" after the mathematical variable, because it needs no other description. Next, Mr Oudea went to the National Administration School, whose graduates, known as "enarques", include several French presidents.

Was he tempted by politics?

Well, he had a long spell in the French finance ministry, where he worked closely with the then budget minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, so it would have been possible. Instead, he moved into finance, joining SocGen in 1996.

Any failings at all?

Maybe his parenting skills? His fourth child was born right in the middle of the Kerviel scandal, and Mr Oudea admits he didn't spend a lot of time with his newborn son. But actually, he seems disgustingly well-rounded. Outside work, he's a sports lover, a keen skier, and a collector of art – his passion is 16th and 17th century Dutch and Flemish paintings.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?