Serge Krancenblum (SGG Group): in the name of growth
SGG Group more than doubled in size in 12 months and continues to expand internationally. An interview with Serge Krancenblum, its CEO.
How is SGG Group developing?
We have gone from 600 to 1,500 employees in 12 months, after acquiring CIM Global Business in Mauritius and First Names Group in the United Kingdom, with 300 and 800 specialists respectively. These acquisitions are fully in line with our vision: for several years now, we have thought that the investor services sector is moving towards consolidation, similar to that experienced before us by the BIG 4 in the audit sector. Our clients - asset managers, multinationals, High-Net-Worth Individuals and Family Offices are active in many countries and subject to strict regulations requiring sophisticated support that only companies with a global presence, procedures and the right degree of expertise are capable of offering. Our shareholder, Astorg, makes no secret of its international ambitions for our Group. The objective is to become one of the leading global groups. In 2017, we reached 4th place in the global rankings.
“Innovation relieves us of tedious tasks and means we can concentrate on high added-value services.”
What are your current priorities?
We are involved in a service activity. My priority is therefore to ensure I have a competent, well-trained team. We are continually investing to attract, train and develop the best talents in our market. The primary value of our group - “Having fun” - may seem surprising in a sector such as ours, but it's our great strength. We work hard, of course, but in a stimulating, high-growth environment, with a repeated habit of celebrating our various successes. When I left KB in 1999, some of my colleagues asked why I was leaving. There were 40 of us at the time. Today, the SGG Group team is 42 times larger and benefits from the different skills brought by our new acquisitions. First Names Group for example has a culture of extremely personalised services highlighted by the use of each member of staff’s first name, which perfectly fits our DNA as entrepreneurs.
What outlook do you see for the medium term?
2018 has begun with two main themes: acquisition and change. We will continue to acquire companies to expand our value-added services and attract new talents - sometimes whole teams - while staying true to our method of building a project around high-level specialists. In terms of change, the fact that we are now in the top four worldwide - a historical target - marks the beginning of a phase of extra maturity. We will continue to optimise our operational, commercial and technological processes. We are also keen to be at the forefront of the important changes taking place in our sector. I'm thinking about digitisation of course, but also artificial intelligence, robots and blockchain. Innovation relieves us of tedious tasks and means we can concentrate on high added-value services.