Culture is future » Territorial attractiveness and social cohesion


DEBATES 2011 - Investing in culture - Interview of Stéphane Mathelin-Moreau, Neuflize-OBC

The Neuflize OBC bank gets involved in the world of culture rather than only in the market of culture, that is to say, they opted for a transverse positioning developed with different initiatives. The aim is to support entrepreneurs: 

-       An economic actor: the first sponsor of French cinema (8 out of 10 films are funded by Neuflize OBC). Movies financing in France was an activity of the OBC bank before the merger with Neuflize. This activity is based on a niche where is positioned  Neuflize OBC. It currently holds 70% of the market share in this sector. It finances the catalogs of film companies, which are the main asset of these.

-        A banking and capital management for wealthy clients, mainly art lovers. Therefore, it is important for the bank to be present in the cultural world, that is why we patron and support professionals of this world ."We wanted to play on the unconscious of our clients to make them associate their banks with a cultural and intellectual dimension." Hence, clients can appropriate their bank. 

-        The bank has also created a foundation of photography 18-19 years ago. It is an element of social cohesion for the 1000 employees of the bank who award an annual prize for the best artist. The aim is to promote little-known contemporary artists.

 -       The bank offers lectures and thematic dinners to its clients; the goal is that everyone comes with a prospect. It also offers meetings rooms for   young entrepreneurs in order to develop their loyalty as soon as possible, especially in the fast-growing sector of new technologies.

 -       Activities for   art sellers (galleries, antique dealers, auctions houses) are also developed since 2001 to accompany them in their entrepreneurial projects.

 -       The bank also offers business advice to private clients on estate and donation.

 -       Private clients are also supported in their art purchases of with proposals for funding by the bank which leans on their artistic, not real estate. This is an innovation regarding the logic of funding.


As a commercial bank, Neuflize has positioned _itself in niches related to culture, the world of luxury, health and technology:

- Cinema (70% of market share)
- Media (Internet, TV, Radio, Press Magazine)
- Communication (advertising, communication and events agencies)
- Art (galleries, antique dealers, auction houses, architects, unions + some museums)
- Fashion and Luxury (companies that possess value related to their brand and reputation)
- Diamond Cutter (jewelry)
- Health (relay of the growth of the bank’s activity : laboratories, nursery schools, Biotech, EPHAD, private clinics)
- Entrepreneurs of finance (manager of private equity firms and companies that manage private assets)
- Professional real estate  (realtors and developers).


The business model was built by focusing on entrepreneurs or families holding company capital (no group subsidiaries). The aim is to recover the assets of entrepreneurs as private client.

Competition (Rothschild, Lazard, Martin Morel, JPMorgan) has the same targets, which led Neuflize OBC to position itself as early as possible by focusing on financing new entrepreneurs. This strategy places Neuflize OBC also in competition with large banks, which justifies the choice of niches and specialized business though clubs.

 The bank follows indicators to measure the impact of its initiatives, such as new clients coming after participating in conferences and dinners...


Crzdits: Forum d'Avignon