Lille, the ideal financial hub for Copernicus' first French offices!

The Copernicus Group is continuing to expand and has set out to conquer the French market by establishing its first offices in Marcq-en-Baroeul. The Spanish asset management company has major ambitions, and hopes to recruit around 50 employees for its French entity by the end of 2022.

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France, Europe's largest market for Copernicus 

Founded in 2013 in Madrid, Copernicus is an independent group with over 250 employees, specialized in managing portfolios of real estate assets (REOs) and debt (Corporate, SME and Residential Mortgages) secured by real estate assets.

Copernicus manages over 10 billion euros in assets. Given this size, Copernicus remains a small, agile and flexible structure, capable of responding to all market issues, as Jérôme Vallée, CEO of Copernicus France, explains:

Our aim is to support our investor clients in the purchase of portfolios of doubtful bank loans, always including a real estate asset. We then optimize the purchase to achieve the profitability, productivity and margin expected by the investor. To do this, we have our own business experts and our own technology.

Their own technology and, more specifically, their own IT tools based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Some twenty IT specialists develop all the tools in-house.

Present in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Peru and now France: the Group’s choice of locations depends on the development potential of each market. The French market is Europe’s biggest, with over 120 billion euros of bad debts in bank accounts. So, while France is a logical choice of location, the Lille metropolitan area is not to be outdone!

Lille, France's 3rd-largest financial center 

Jérôme Vallée, with 28 years’ professional experience in financial services, has been chosen to head up Copernicus France. For him, moving to the capital of Flanders was an obvious choice, for several reasons:

  • Firstly, for its strategic position at the heart of Europe and its transport network: “We’re close to Paris, Brussels, London and Amsterdam… Lille is extremely well served in terms of rail and air transport to all parts of Europe”.
  • Lille was also preferred to Paris for economic and practical reasons: “Lille is much cheaper than Paris. When you’re in Paris, you lose a lot of time in public transport when you go to see a customer. And Lille is only 1 hour from Paris!
  • Lille and its metropolitan area are France’s 3rd largest financial center, with numerous banks, specialized companies and competitors. “You have all the know-how and human expertise you need in Lille. It’s ideal for recruiting juniors and experts.
  • Last but not least, Jérôme Vallée lives in Lille. It’s a choice of reason and heart that led to the decision to set up in Marcq-en-Baroeul: “It’s a very dynamic town, and you can find new, friendly premises here, which is also important in terms of image.”

Debt collection is carried out with a certain deontology and respect for debtor customers. The aim is to find amicable solutions. The bank has made a loan, and is entitled to recover it. But at the same time, we are aware that people may be experiencing difficulties. The aim is to try and find solutions for both parties. I’m not looking to take a stand for either side. I’m looking for solutions that match the expectations and possibilities of both parties. We’re responding to a banking need and personal constraints. We all have the right to have difficulties.

Jérôme Vallée

Copernicus France will be expanding in 2021 and 2022, with the recruitment of around 50 new staff to complement the existing workforce.

The Hello Lille touch 

The Invest team provided economic data that helped confirm the choice of the Lille metropolis for the opening of this headquarters in France. Contacts with local recruiters and professional networks helped the new French executive to identify strategic players more quickly, and to rapidly integrate the Lille ecosystem.