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03.14.2012 / FLASH


Crédit Agricole CIB, founder member of the Association Française des Fiduciaires

The Association Française des Fiduciaires (French Association of Fiduciary Companies - AFF) is a non-profit association that was launched in February 2012 by its three founder members: Crédit Agricole CIB, Caisse des Dépôts and the EQUITIS Gestion trust company.



The Association Française des Fiduciaires (French Association of Fiduciary Companies - AFF) is a non-profit association that was launched in February 2012 by its three founder members: Crédit Agricole CIB, Caisse des Dépôts and the EQUITIS Gestion trust company.

The aim of the association is to bring together those professionals concerned by the recent provision in French law and to promote the development of fiduciary services on the Paris market. Its goal is also to encourage best fiduciary practices, hence its decision to draw up a charter of good conduct which will apply to all of its members.

The association is open to all professionals providing fiduciary services: named trustees as well as legal or physical persons that are legally authorised to act as trustees, be they credit institutions, or investment and insurance companies. It is also open to fiduciary advisors belonging to a regulated profession, including legal representatives, notaries, statutory auditors and lawyers.

AFF Chairman Stéphan Catoire is assisted by Secretary General and Treasurer, Denis Henrion, Managing Director of Equitis Gestion.

So far, the first instances of this new instrument have already proved its potential. According to Bruno Fontaine, General Counsel at Crédit Agricole CIB, founder member of the AFF, "there are currently over 50 fiducie cases in France used in a very wide variety of areas: transfer of ownership interests, hiving-off and demergers, asset securitisation, company restructurings and the centralisation of financial flows. This diversity shows that many operators have already understood the considerable advantages of this instrument which allows them to set up new vehicles that were previously impossible".

A driving force in the development of fiduciary activities in France, Crédit Agricole CIB is one of the founder members and de facto one director of this association. Its participation enables it to:

  • contribute to and take part in the development of the research, thinking and activities of its members,
  • encourage the sharing of best fiduciary practices,
  • promote Crédit Agricole CIB’s expertise in the field. 

The fiducie

A "fiducie" is a legal concept that was introduced in France in 2007 and enacted by Articles 2011 et seq. of the French Civil Code. It is defined as a contract allowing any legal or physical persons to transfer ownership of assets, rights or security interests, whatever their nature, to a third party (the “fiduciaire” or trustee) who is then responsible for their custody and management on behalf of a designated beneficiary.

A fiducie is used to set aside assets, rights or security interests for a given objective. They are entrusted to the trustee who becomes their legal owner. Kept separate from the settlor’s (constituent’s) creditors, the fiducie is protected from any collective insolvency proceedings of the constituent and the trustee alike. Moreover, a collateral fiducie constitutes a particularly effective guarantee (much like a financial guarantee) in the event of any collective insolvency proceedings. Used to secure transactions, a fiducie is a new and valuable method of reducing credit and legal risks within the banking sector.

The integration of this new legal instrument by all support functions within Crédit Agricole CIB was completed in May 2010.