As already stated above, in the beginning the prospects for financing Dutch industry were not very good. This was the reason why in the annual report 1864 the bank announced that it would concentrate on the development of its operations in Paris . Although this was not explicitly published in its reports, there was an office in the French capital from the start35. A separate company, the Caisse de Prêts pour Avances sur Valeurs françaises et étrangères, had been established in 1864. Shareholders of the NCDB had obtained the preferential right to subscribe to the issue of the capital of FFR 2,000,00036. No further particulars on this company have been found. Actually, the focus was on the change of the management structure, which would take effect early in 186537. A one tier board structure would replace the old dual system. Decisions rested now with the newly created board of directors and the supervisory board was abolished. Three of the six Dutch members of the old board, were reappointed to the new board together with Sarphati and Wertheim. A new member, Hermann Benedict Hayum Goldschmidt38 made his entrée as well. His family relationship with the Bischoffsheims was probably the reason why he was appointed. It is not clear whether he was already associated with the Bischoffsheim firms. Louis-Raphaël Bischoffsheim, A. Pinard and E. Hentsch were re-elected, and they were joined by two new Parisian directors: A. Dutfoy of A. Dutfoy & Cie, and F.R. Duval. Under the new structure the general managers were exclusively charged with the conduct of current affairs and the execution of decisions of the board of directors . The former general managers Maurits Cornelis van Hall and Benedict Jacobsen in Amsterdam were appointed and in Paris Henri Bamberger, Louis Raphaël Bischoffsheim s nephew.

Although the Dutch had a formal majority in the new board, the French set the tone from the beginning. Economic development in the Netherlands remained modest for the time being. The French segment of the international capital market offered better prospects. A non-negligible point was the fact that, with the exception of A.C. Wertheim, the Parisian bankers in general and Henri Bamberger in particular were more sophisticated and versatile than their colleagues in Amsterdam. Moreover, Sarphati had seriously been affected by the death of his wife in 1864. He also had to cope with the financial difficulties of his last construction project, the Paleis voor Volksvlijt that was built near the Amstel Hotel and was inspired by the Crystal Palace in London. In the meantime, Wertheim started to devote more and more time to the growing activities of his own firm, whilst the lack of banking experience of the two other Dutch board members became a problem. A formal parity in the board of directors, between Amsterdam and Paris, was reached when one of the Dutch members retired in early 1866 and was not replaced. When Sarphati died in June of that year, the majority shifted to the French side.

Surprisingly, the 1866 annual report only briefly reported his death. Instead, the ongoing deliberations on a French draft bill concerning limited companies were extensively

35. In the Amsterdamsch Effectenblad, 12th May 1863, the address 8 rue Drouot is given.

36. Amsterdamsch Effectenblad, 7th and 9th April 1864.

37. Amsterdamsch Effectenblad, 15th November 1864 and 7th June 1865.

38. Son of Benedict Hayum Salomon, and nephew of Louis-Raphaël Bischoffsheim.

52 T H E H I S T O R Y O F B N P PA R I B A S I N T H E N E T H E R L A N D S