Jack Azoulay - Argos Wityu

Jack Azoulay

Senior Partner

France

Jack Azoulay - Argos Wityu

Jack Azoulay

Senior Partner

France

Can you introduce yourself in a few words? Your age, your family situation and the country you live in?

Jack

My name is Jack, and I’m 44 years old. I am both French and British and the proud father of three daughters, aged 16, 14 and 10. I live in Paris, which I believe is one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

Tell us about your career and how you joined Argos?

Jack

I worked for a long time in the public sector, starting in the French Ministry of Economy and Finance at the “Inspection générale des finances”, a ministerial department that audits French public services, where I had both auditing and advisory assignments, and later at the “Agence des participations de l’Etat”, the Government agency that manages the French State’s strategic shareholdings, where I was in charge of managing the industrial portfolio. More recently, I was chief of staff at the Ministry of Ecological Transition, the ministry in charge of public policies relating to energy, biodiversity, transport and housing. I also worked for over six years at La Poste, the French postal operator, during which I held various positions in strategy, marketing & sales and business development, and took an active part in the deep transformation of the company.

After having spent the last four years dealing with environmental issues from within the heart of governmental action, I wanted to continue working on the transition towards a more sustainable development model with a more direct impact and in contact with entrepreneurs making a tangible contribution. Argos’ “Climate Action” fund, which aims at accelerating the environmental transformation and decarbonisation of European SMEs, is the perfect challenge, both attractive and highly motivating!

Is this the path you thought you would take when you started your studies?

Jack

When I started my studies, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I just had a feeling I would need a lot of diversity to satisfy my (unquenchable) curiosity and that my main driver would be to contribute, as well as I could, to making the world a tiny bit better. Looking back at the past 20 years, and in spite of my relatively non-linear career, I have the feeling I have been more or less in line with these youthful aspirations.

The world of private equity has changed a lot in recent years. What is your definition of PE? How do you see it?

Jack

I’m not the best placed to talk about the changes in private equity in recent years, but I have the feeling that at least some market players have become more aware of the societal role they need to play. While seeking financial performance for investors, whose savings have been entrusted to them, they also seek to create jobs and make the business models of the companies they invest in more resilient and more sustainable. That’s clearly the mindset I found here at Argos.

The feeling that guides you the most in your daily life? What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Jack

I like to feel useful and to interact with people who are motivated by their work. This is also one of the main attractions of my job at Argos. I have the opportunity to talk with lots of people who are passionate about what they do, whether they be people on our team, our advisory partners, our investors or the entrepreneurs we aim to support in their environmental transformation.

What encounter - or moment - has marked your journey at Argos?

Jack

I’ve only recently joined Argos, so for the moment I’d say it was my first karaoke evening with the team. It was a festive, very enjoyable group activity! Overall, I have been impressed by how caring and constructive people at Argos are. Successes and failures are not individual, but only collective. Argos’s activities are driven by strong values: integrity, commitment and respect for others. These values are really perceived as conditions for performance and not simply as keywords for a PowerPoint presentation. The fact that we have 16 different nationalities on our team also plays a role, I believe, in how we reach out to others.

To describe yourself further: It is said that we are the average of the people we meet. Who do you think they are and how do they influence you?

Jack

Over the course of my career, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many, many people, from very different backgrounds: ministers, heads of Government administrations, corporate leaders, investors, as well as postal workers and manual labourers. I think I’ve learned from everyone I’ve worked with who enjoys and is committed to their job, at all levels and in all professions.

“I like to feel useful and to interact with people who are motivated by their work. This is also one of the main attractions of my job at Argos. I have the opportunity to talk with lots of people who are passionate about what they do…”

In a more general way, is there a person you admire, who inspires you on a daily basis?

Jack

I would say Jean Moulin, for his sense of honour as well as his leadership qualities and the organisational skills he demonstrated in the French Resistance.

I also admire the postmen and postwomen, who have reinvented their profession over the last few years, distributing far fewer letters but a lot more parcels and home services. It’s a great example of a transformation that preserves the essential mission of the business: linking people together.

How do you find balance in your life as a whole?

Jack

It’s not very original, but I love spending time with my family, travelling (particularly in Europe lately), reading, playing (and even more watching!) sports, and listening to music (even though, alas, my family’s musical tastes diverge, which makes it hard to create consensual playlists for our trips together).

How do you see yourself in 10 years?

Jack

Frustrated about the pace of environmental transformation (I hope it’s not too slow though!) and motivated to continue working for a faster transition towards a development model compatible with our planet’s limits.

In another life, you would be... ?

Jack

President of Paris Saint-Germain!

If you would like to have a direct discussion with me, feel free to

Meet my Colleagues

Senior Partner

FRANCE

Managing Partner

FRANCE

HEAD OF ESG

BENELUX

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