A new member of Societe Generale's New York loan syndications team received a lecture on procedure after he made the mistake of slipping a rubber band around some photocopied loan documents.

At the time SocGen was in the midst of a hostile takeover battle at home in France. His boss, Robert E. Woods - who heads the $450-billion asset banking company's syndicated lending in the Americas - told the newcomer that he prefers a more tidy look for such documentation, which is used like a prospectus by potential participants in a loan syndicate. Mr. Woods, 51, who headed banking's biggest loan shop at Citicorp in the late 1980s, is instilling in his staff the tricks of the trade as he tries to make SocGen the preeminent foreign bank in the U.S. loan market.

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