Jean-Pierre Di Benedetto
Tell us about your job.
How would you define Argos’ core values?
Argos is home to a team of talented and high-calibre people. Yet, in all our interactions – both internally within the teams and externally with our portfolio companies – our core value is one of real human warmth and respect for all individuals. Teamwork is key. The working atmosphere at Argos is enjoyable and fun, which is perhaps unusual in a place that is as performance-driven as this. Performance for us is always a collective effort. We really are all believers in the African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Throughout the years we have grown and become truly international as a firm. Nevertheless, we have managed not to lose our local roots in every single office and have remained a place where interaction is informal, relaxed and pleasant.
Can you introduce yourself?
I joined Argos in 2005, and my role is to co-lead the Italian office and support other partners on cross-country deals and firm management. I represent Argos in Italy on behalf of our portfolio companies, and vis-à-vis advisers, the business community in general and even the public authorities, because – yes – private equity can have a positive social impact on local economies and I really like to explain that to our politicians and regulators!
I’m a curious person. I like learning new things and going outside my comfort zone. And I enjoy private equity as it’s so diverse. For me, getting to know companies, visiting them and understanding how it all works is like watching the Discovery Channel every day!
It’s a challenging profession, but it enables you to meet a lot of great people, with very different perspectives. I love to see that entrepreneurs and managers – who always know more than we do about the companies and sectors in which we invest – value the dialogue they have with us and appreciate the impact we can have on their organisation. I like to listen, find a point of contact, gain trust and motivate people, so that we can, together, unlock untapped opportunities in their businesses.
I enjoy helping companies grow, both quantitatively and qualitatively. What’s wonderful is that these professional journeys are very often stories of great human interaction even when there are complex issues. We are thrilled to find solutions to such problems and, from a personal point of view, this is really fulfilling. Ultimately, we help the communities in our countries by changing organisations and the impact they have on local economies.
Outside of work, I’m interested in politics, and I’m very fond of contemporary history. I give pro-bono support to some friends’ start-ups and also to a number of organisations that help families and children in difficulty. I also like sports and sailing in particular. Sailing is a perfect metaphor for business. There is teamwork, assessment of the environment, direction, tactics, strategy, vision and – above all – enjoyment.
If you would like to have a direct discussion with me, feel free to