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RPT-UPDATE 1-Amundi CEO steps down from Europe's biggest fund manager

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PARIS, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Amundi Chief Executive Yves Perrier is stepping down after more than a decade running Europe’s largest fund manager and will be succeeded by his deputy Valérie Baudson, the group said on Friday.

Perrier, who has led the French firm since its creation in a 2010 tie-up between the asset management arms of banking groups Credit Agricole and Societe Generale, announced his departure as the group reported a record fourth-quarter profit and the resumpton of dividend payouts.

He will become chairman at the company’s next annual general meeting on May 10.

Amundi paid no dividend on 2019 earnings after the European Central Bank told euro zone financial institutions in March 2020 to skip dividend payments and use their profits to support an economy hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday it proposed a payout of 2.90 euros per share.

After paying 2.90 euros per share on 2018 earnings and initially proposing a 3.10 euro dividend on 2019 earnings, Amundi said last April that it would allocate its entire 2019 earnings to reserves.

Amundi reported fourth-quarter 2020 net income came of 288 million euros, up 5.1 % on the last quarter of 2019, thanks to net revenue growth, cost control and higher contributions from joint ventures.

Full-year net income was down 4.7 % at 962 million euros but would have been stable against 2019’s 1.009 billion euros when excluding the impact of the market downturn. It said that net income had nearly doubled since its 2015 initial public offering.

Amundi said overall inflows were 14.4 billion euros in the fourth quarter and assets under management rose to 1.7 billion at the end of 2020, up 4.4% for the quarter. (Reporting by GV De Clercq Editing by David Goodman)

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