Banks wanting to build an affluent customer base for their mutual funds could try to imitate Societe Generale, but they would have a hard time matching its talent.

Jean-Marie Eveillard, 56 years old and an investment management star, is president of Societe Generale Asset Management Corp., a registered investment advisory firm in New York that is 80%-owned by the Paris-based bank. Wealthy Americans have flocked to the fold, putting in an average investment of $22,000.

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