CRO Wisdom Episode 20: Fanny Charrier, Crédit Agricole CIB – Part 1

Atul Vashistha:

Hi, everyone. Welcome to an episode of CRO Wisdom. I’m really delighted to have with us our guest, Fanny Charrier. Fanny, welcome to CRO Wisdom.

Fanny Charrier:

Hi, nice to be here with you guys.

Atul Vashistha:

So Fanny, I really enjoyed our conversation last time about ESG, but first, let’s tell the audience a little bit about yourself. What do you do today? What’s your role? Before we ask you some of the questions.

Fanny Charrier:

Sure. I am on the Corporate and Leveraged Finance team at Credit Agricole CIB based here in New York, but I also have a second hat: Sustainability Coordinator. And, I touched on everything that is ESG related when it comes to our Corporate and Leveraged clients, on loan, on the bond issuances, and also all types of energy transition subjects.

Atul Vashistha:

Great. And, it’s always interesting whenever I talk to executives about where their careers started. So, talk to us about how did you get started in finance?

Fanny Charrier:

Oh, I made a mistake, obviously.

Fanny Charrier:

No, how did I start? I actually, all my life, wanted to do project financing and structured finance. So, that’s where I started in Paris because I’m French. I think I had maybe two main turning points in my career. The first one is when I moved to New York in 2010 and worked in project finance, mostly renewable financing. And then, I moved to Credit Agricole in a more strategic position. The second turning point is, as part of this job, I was sitting on our strategic business pipeline meeting, and I met this person, Gary Herzog, that’s now my manager and the head of the Corporate and Leveraged Finance at Credit Agricole. Everybody was looking at him. He was the first one to talk at every meeting. Everybody was looking up to him.

Fanny Charrier:

I was like, “I think I want to work for that guy.” And I turned down a Project Finance position and decided to move to the more corporate world. Within that team, I think I meant the right bet. I moved a lot. I worked on the portfolio side. I worked on some transportation. I helped in various positions. And now, I actually, two years ago, started to be, three years ago, Sustainability Coordinator. All this time, he allowed me to grow in the roles and make my job description evolve. So, that’s a little bit where I come from.

Atul Vashistha:

Yeah. It’s great to hear. It’s not just kind of somebody who inspires you but also gives you the opportunity to continue to grow.

So it all started with green… Credit Agricole is an agriculture bank. So, we saw very early on the potential impact of climate change on our business. Very early on, we built a team, which is a sustainable banking team, and we tried to see how to incorporate it into our business.

Fanny Charrier:

Yes. It’s a gift. It’s not everybody in your career. It’s once in a lifetime, someone told me.

Atul Vashistha:

So you started Project Finance and then Corporate Strategy, and now it seems like you’re in Sustainable Financing. Tell us a little bit more about what you do in that area and what are some of the key trends you’re seeing?

Fanny Charrier:

Of course. So it all started really with green. Everything started with green. I mean, we are a European bank. Green has been pushed on the regulatory side in Europe a lot. And so, Credit Agricole is an agriculture thing. So, we saw very early on the potential impact of climate change on our business. Very early on, we built a team, which is a sustainable banking team, and we tried to see how to incorporate it into our business. So, it started by, “What do we do?” We advised clients on buying some companies. We started by saying, “Okay, we want to put sustainability in front of everybody’s minds.” So, what do we do is we create sustainability or a green kind of layer, and we tried to implement that on all our financial instruments.

Fanny Charrier:

As a bank, we mostly do loans, but we also advise on some training on some of the capital market assurances. I help the clients structure this layer, which is in the case of loans, we evolve to sustainability linked. What it means is that you have a few key performance indicators that the company wants to highlight our core and material to their business, and they’re saying we have ambitious goals. It will make us a better company. As a bank, we look at it by saying, “If you do achieve your banks, we’re here to reward you because it will lower credit risk.” We structure this sustainability-linked instrument on top of everything we do with the loan, and we help them structure that issue that sells this to other lenders or other investors.

Atul Vashistha:

Right. Fanny, what a great way to incentivize companies by offering an incentive if they are sustainable. On that note, Fanny, we see, for example, that the UK is mandating climate-related disclosure.

Stay tuned for more from the conversation…


Fanny Charrier

Corporate and Leveraged Finance and Sustainable Finance Coordinator

Crédit Agricole CIB

Fanny Charrier is a Director in Crédit Agricole CIB’s Corporate and Leverage Finance (“CLF”) group, primarily covering the loan originations and syndication of the Chicago portfolio including U.S. automotive, healthcare, agricultural, semi-conductor, engineering & construction and telecom sectors. As Sustainable Finance Coordinator, she manages the origination and syndication of sustainable financings within the U.S., liaising with the global sustainable banking team to facilitate the structuring and placement of ESG-related loans & HY instruments including Ford’s US$15.5bn sustainability-linked revolving credit facility that was named “2021 North America Loan” by the International Financing Review (“IFR”) and “2022 Americas Loan” by the Banker. She is also the primary point of contact for the integration of the Net Zero and energy transition strategy within the CLF team.

Atul Vashistha

Chairman & CEO

Supply Wisdom

Atul is the Founder of Supply Wisdom & Neo Group, and is also the visionary behind the GBSBoard and RiskBoard. For more than 21 years, Atul and his teams have worked with nations and corporations to leverage global talent, big data, automation and other technology mega-trends to accelerate new capabilities, increase resiliency, mitigate risks and enable better corporate and societal outcomes. Atul Vashistha currently serves on the boards of Shared Assessments and IAOP. Atul had the distinguished honor of serving on the US DoD Business Board for over 12 years, including as former Vice Chairman from 2018-20.

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