French Treasury chief to join Asia-focused fund as election looms

PARIS, May 23 (Reuters) - The head of the French Treasury will leave his position to join a Franco-Chinese investment fund, he said on Monday, a rare move for a top French official.

As the highest-ranking civil servant at the French finance ministry, Bruno Bezard, 53, has been one of France's top negotiators in Brussels and other global forums, working behind the scenes on hot issues such as the Greek debt crisis or Brexit.

On July 1, he will join Cathay Capital, a private equity boutique with 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) under management and offices in Shanghai and Paris, after 30 years of working his way up the echelons of French administration, he told Reuters.

The government will name his successor in due course, the French finance and economy ministries said in a statement.

Senior French officials more typically move to jobs at Washington or Frankfurt institutions. Bezard's departure comes 12 months before a presidential election in France, in which opinion polls show unpopular Socialist President Francois Hollande is unlikely to reach the second round run-off. (Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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