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Olivier Le Grand
Chief Executive Officer
Cortal Consors
Last year: 13

As CEO of Paris-based Cortal Consors for 23 years, Olivier Le Grand is not merely the dean of French, or even European, online brokerage. Although he successfully steered the BNP Paribas subsidiary from the pre-Internet era through the early-2000s shakeout and into Germany, Luxembourg and Spain, Le Grand's geographic reach is far greater. Of the firm's 8.1 million trades in the first quarter, 65 percent were in India, a market Cortal Consors entered in 2007 via a BNP acquisition. That compared with 46 percent of 8.2 million trades a year earlier. "Asia is an expanding market for us at a time when trades in Europe are declining," notes the 59-year-old, who is also head of BNP Paribas Personal Investors. In Turkey, where BNP operations were consolidated last year under Cortal Consors, "we are now the fourth-largest broker, and we intend to increase our market share." Emerging-markets growth pushed total trades in 2011 up 57 percent, to 34.2 million. Hopee, the firm's social media forum for sharing investment ideas, increased membership to 148,000 in March from 87,000 in May 2011. On the 2011 bottom line, pretax earnings climbed 22 percent, to €73 million ($91 million). Assets under management, €34 billion at the end of March, were €2.3 billion higher than at the end of 2011.