When Camille Gautier became a stockbroker in Marseille back in 1849, he started an entrepreneurial adventure that would continuously reaffirm itself over the generations. Negotiating on behalf of investors, he laid the foundations for what our Group would become: an independent player in finance, characterized by its drive and undivided attention to its clients, day after day.
We are fortunate to have more than 60,000 clients, institutional investors, companies, distribution partners and large private clients whose financial assets we advise, manage, and invest for a total amount of 142 billion euros. Our mission is to grow these assets through our three businesses: private banking, asset management, corporate and investment banking.
Family to family, entrepreneur to entrepreneur, investor to investor, we speak the same language. Deeply rooted in Europe, we aim to promote our expertise throughout the world. We develop tailor-made financial products and services, drawing on the depth of our know-how and the quality of our network. Driven by the same entrepreneurial spirit, our 2,500 employees provide our clients with unwavering attention and commitment, building with them a close, trusting, and long-lasting relationship.
We are committed to attracting and retaining talent by offering them the opportunity to become shareholders of the Group, alongside the founding family. Together, they own 90% of the share capital. We aim to align our interests and values with those of our clients and partners, as we design for them responsible solutions in line with their aspirations and those of our societies.
Our promise: to promote, together, a world where every day is an opportunity.
Tailwinds are currently driving European stocks. Looking at market performance since the start of the fourth quarter of 2022, equity markets on this side of the Atlantic clearly stand out positively from their US counterparts.
The past year was perceived by most observers as historic. With the war in Ukraine, the sharp rise in inflation, the quick departure from the era of cheap money and the energy shock, there was a cornucopia of burdening factors for investors. In the capital markets, equities fared poorly, losing an average of 15 per cent, but except for overvalued technology stocks, this was not a disaster if compared with other stock market crashes of the recent past.