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150 years Societe Generale



Societe Generale is celebrating its 150th anniversary. The Group's history is not just about the past, it is also about what Societe Generale is today and what it wants to be in the future.

It's a story that goes to the roots of the Group's identity: its founders' entrepreneurial spirit, innovation spirit and team spirit are what drive Societe Generale to continue their journey with the same entrepreneurial energy.

The history of Societe Generale is first and foremost a great journey of entrepreneurs serving other entrepreneurs. Founded by a group of industrialists and financiers driven by the ideals of progress, Societe Generale's mission has always been "fostering business and industrial growth".

Over the course of history, Societe Generale has shown it can stay true to its values while continually reinventing itself for the changing needs of its time. This is what the Group is focusing on for its 150th anniversary. By tracing its roots, Societe Generale looks to the future with the humility of those who have made it through the hard times and the optimism of those who will always be guided by entrepreneurial spirit, making Societe Generale the bank of the 21st century.

Creation of a universal bank
On 4 May 1864, Napoléon III signed the decree that led to the creation of Societe Generale. Founded by a group of industrialists and financiers driven by a common entrepreneurial spirit, the bank had the ambition of “supporting the development of trade and industry in France”...
Period of expansion
Like its main competitors, Societe Generale was nationalised by the law of 2 December 1945 and made a substantial contribution to post-war reconstruction. From 1945 to 1975 – France’s Glorious Thirty – the bank experienced a real boom...
A strong foundation for
the bank in the 21st century
Societe Generale was privatised in June 1987. Its capital was successfully floated and made available to the Group’s employees. During this period, the Group expanded in its core businesses...
1987: privatisation of Societe Generale
On 27 June 1987, 100% of the Group's capital was floated on the stock market, thus allowing the general public to subscribe and become shareholders. It was a milestone in the Group's privatisation.
Societe Generale in Brazil: from 1867 to 2013
Societe Generale has a long history in Brazil. As early as 1867, only three years after the Bank was founded, it was already subscribing to bonds issued by the government of the emperor Don Pedro II.
Albert Winter, a young porter in London
At the age of 14, Albert Winter joined the Group as a porter. This was in London, in 1912. We take a look at an endearing figure in a job that no longer exists in the banking world.
Pauline Mondange, a woman of conviction
Spring 1917. The war was bogged down in a bloody stalemate. Pauline Mondange, a young shorthand typist, emerged from obscurity to become the voice of Societe Generale's female employees. Here's a look at an iconic figure.
From the beginning: a history of entrepreneurial bankers
One hundred and fifty years ago, Napoleon III signed Societe Generale's founding decree. In order to serve the economy, its founders made entrepreneurial spirit the bank's raison d'être. Let's take a look back at the Group's beginnings.
Societe Generale and the Eiffel Tower
Many people are unaware that Societe Generale helped finance the Eiffel Tower. At the end of the 19th century, the bank was already a modern and ambitious company eager to support the great projects of its time.
90 years of employee training at Societe Generale
Training was introduced at Societe Generale in 1921 and was long considered to be the best in the financial market. It is a real trademark of the company.
1871, London: the Group's first overseas site
The City of London was the heart and lungs of world finance in 1871, when Societe Generale opened up an office in the British capital, on Leadenhall Street, where it carried out operations with London's merchant banks.