Editor's Note: Edouard Legrand leads the team that develops applications and websites for BNP employees, analyzing sales trends, implementing digital solutions, and working with FinTechs to coordinate among group entities. He took his role after serving various management, marketing, and product strategy roles at BNP Paribas. He now heads the digital team on his own.

Interview with Edouard Legrand,
Global Head of Digital at BNP Paribas Asset Management

Customers often expect a lot out of huge enterprises such as BNP Paribas. For that reason, fintech acquisitions are complicated due to a longer due diligence process and more intense negotiations. Nevertheless, such companies still demand new features and innovation, and depend on modern, quickly evolving startups for implementation.

In this article, Edouard Legrand, Global Head of Digital at BNP Paribas Asset Management, describes the constraints and opportunities very large enterprises experience and how can they deal with them.

Build Or Acquire?

BNP Paribas (BNPP) chooses a mixed approach to bringing in development resources, combining the forces of a small in-house team and Gambit, a recently acquired FinTech startup. The company now implements technical innovations into the BNPP Asset Management platform. Based on the task they’re given, they reduce or increase the resources necessary to accomplish it.

“Most of the coding is coming from a startup that we are working with," said Legrand. "It provides the resources in a package. We say, ‘We want you to deliver such a project,’ and then they will deliver the guys doing the coding.”

People from the in-house team work directly with external resources, and together they deliver a solution. That doesn’t prevent BNPP AM from also working with FinTech firms or startups by taking a stake in those companies.

“With Gambit, for instance, we started to discuss and to work together, and at some point, BNPP AM decided to take over Gambit, so we bought the FinTech,” said Legrand.

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