WINNERS: LATIN AMERICA
Best Derivatives Provider
Few other banks can claim as vast and deep a reach across the fragmented continent of Latin America—and across all classes of financial derivatives—as Société Générale. This is partly a function the bank's reorganization of its commodities, credit, equity, FX and interest rate derivatives sales teams into a single "cross-asset solutions" group in July 2009. This streamlined approach has helped deepen existing inroads into a wide variety of institutional investors, such as pension funds in Chile that have bought Société Générale's proprietary exchange-traded funds and pension funds in Honduras that have invested in a basket of hedge funds arranged by the bank, says Samuel Rosenberg, head of sales at SG Americas Securities in New York. In a region where the predominant investment strategies are fixed-income-oriented, most of Société Générale's derivative offerings are yield plays, and a growing area of demand is for hedges against hyperinflation. Last summer, for example, the bank created a 100% principal-protected note for a Mexican pension fund that was guaranteed at the local rate of inflation to pay the best of three different investment profiles linked to commodities, equities and credit at maturity.