Tax-soaked French bankers feeling London's lure

August 20, 2012 03:14

PARIS/LONDON - The City of London financial district, though diminished by scandals and job cuts, is proving irresistible to fed-up Parisian bankers fleeing France's rising taxes and the feeling that they're not best loved at home.

French financial groups big and small, from advisory firms and private equity houses to big banks like Societe Generale , are looking at London as a possible shelter from a new 75 percent tax rate on top French earners, bankers say.

Take Bertrand Meunier, who recently agreed to move to London to take a job at private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, leaving a long-term leadership position at PAI Partners, a private equity firm that was spun off from French bank BNP Paribas over a decade ago.

The tax picture played a part in his decision, Meunier acknowledges, but so too did a wider sense that London rewards work and entrepreneurship, while many of his compatriots take a jaundiced view of financial success.

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