Yesterday Laurent Goutard accepted the Artis bohemiae amicis medal, awarded by the Ministry of Culture for promoting the good name of Czech culture, from Václav Riedlbauch, Minister of Culture.

Laurent Goutard received the award on the occasion of leaving his positions of Komerční banka Chairman and CEO. Laurent Goutard will now work as head of the French Distribution Network and deputy head of retail banking in France (BDDF) within Société Générale Group in Paris.

"I am really proud of receiving this award. It was my honour to support Czech culture, which is very close to my heart, throughout the time when I worked at Komeční banka," said Laurent Goutard.

The ceremony took place in the National Theatre, whose general partner is Komerční banka.

"It is no accident that Mr Goutard accepted this award in the historical building of the National Theatre. Our leading theatre had an opportunity to express its own and other cultural institutions' sincere thanks to a prominent benefactor who promotes Czech culture," said Václav Riedlbauch.

Laurent Goutard (1961)

Graduate of four-year economics studies at the University of Paris-Dauphine and of the Paris Institute of Political Studies, department of public services; majored in economics. In 1986, he joined Société Générale, working first at the General Inspection and then, between 1993 and 1996, as Deputy Director for Large Corporations at the Paris-Opéra branch. Between 1996 and 1998, he was Director of the Corporate Banking Division in the French territory. From 1998 to June 2004 (until his election as a Member of the Board of Directors of Komerční banka), he was a Member of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, later the Chairman of the Board of Directors, of Société Générale Marocaine de Banques, a Société Générale subsidiary in Morocco. KB's Board of Directors elected Mr Goutard as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Komerční banka with effect from 7 October 2005. In May 2007, Mr Goutard became a member of the Management Committee of the SG Group. He will take the position of head of the French Distribution Network and deputy head of retail banking in France (BDDF) within Société Générale Group in Paris, with effect from 1 November 2009. Mr Goutard will also continue to serve on the Société Générale Group's Management Committee.

ARTIS BOHEMIAE AMICIS

This award is intended for appreciating the long and important activity of individuals who have single-mindedly helped to promote the good name of Czech culture in the Czech Republic and abroad through their own systematic artistic activities or singular artistic performance, sponsorship, facilitation, and promotion of cultural heritage, including folk art, and of contemporary works of art and literature, artistic interpretation, fine arts and their history and critical review, or current Czech cultural life and its history in general.

Komerční banka is one of the best run universal banks in Central Europe. It provides comprehensive services to clients in the areas of retail, corporate, and investment banking. The Komerční banka Group's 8,890 employees serve 1,636,000 clients, who can use an extensive network of 397 points of sale throughout the country. Komerční banka currently operates 680 ATMs and more than 966,000 of its clients use one of direct banking channels.

Komerční banka is part of the Société Générale Group, one of the largest banking groups in the euro zone (in terms of market capitalisation), whose 163,000 employees serve more than 30 million individual clients worldwide.