…the companies that we support conceal a huge potential, which hasn’t had the opportunity to blossom.
And sometimes, as with such children, the first impression is not so awesome. But we like to dig further, and go beyond that.
And always, as with these children, the foundation of success is mutual trust, honesty and respect. Then, with a lot of work and attention, you can write amazing stories.
I’ve learned that you can have the brightest consultants, the most elaborate Excel spreadsheets, the strongest legal agreements- if you don’t understand it’s about human dynamics you’ll spoil your chances of success.
Companies succeed because their teams want them to succeed. And I have a role in that: I have my guts in the game, encourage initiatives and the flow of energy, favor agility in decision making and put movement above stability. In summary, I make accelerated change possible.
I joined Argos in its first months, in 1991. Argos is a former startup and this entrepreneurial spirit is deeply rooted in our DNA.
It’s been quite a ride since 1991, and beyond the growth of our firm, what makes me really proud is the quality of our team and this feeling that what they do here makes them happy.
We work hard but with a real team spirit (it’s about performance, not competition) and impeccable ethics. From a human and intellectual standpoint, I am fascinated by working with people from so many different backgrounds and nationalities…
I’m always thankful and humbled thinking that large institutions have chosen us to manage all this equity, which mostly comes from savings of dozens of millions of people. That’s a big responsibility for us.
Then, there’s another responsibility, since we act as majority shareholders in about 20 businesses, with close to 10,000 employees in total. The way we practice private equity at Argos, by focusing on making businesses stronger and therefore more valuable, aligns very well these two responsibilities, with one shared direction to follow.
I find our world hard, and sometimes cruel, to many. First and foremost, I do my best not to make it harder. I then try to put my wallet, hands, brain and voice at the service of causes bigger than me. Helping super-motivated young people to build a better future, or bringing innovative technologies to humanitarian fields are things that make sense to me.
I’m also dedicated to being a last-quartile long distance runner and an unlikely bass singer, and against any notion of dignity, I persist in these efforts. Thankfully, I have in my life a vivid spring of happiness with my family, and every day I say to myself that I’m lucky.
One of the experiences I’m proudest of at Argos is Harlé Bickford, which is a combination of all the possible complexities of a private equity investment. It started with a 180-year-old, crumbling family conglomerate, and ended eight years later with one of the fastest growing industrial companies in France. The company continues to thrive and I’m so happy for that.
At Argos, helping each other to grow is deeply rooted in our values; most of the partners started as juniors and have evolved within the firm. Add the focus on deep value creation as opposed to financial engineering, the truly multinational setup, and human values nurtured over the years, and you end up with a pretty unique place for each team member to grow in and enjoy. And I do enjoy it.