Nicolas Dufourcq, banker, and coach for entrepreneurs

The director of Bpifrance Nicolas Dufourcq, during a press conference, 1 February 2018 (Photo ERIC PIERMONT. AFP)

Nicolas Dufourcq, which has just been extended to the head of Bpifrance, managed to sit in the landscape of French public investment bank desired by François Hollande, which has become a major player in funding and supporting businesses.

This large brown to tan embodies the institution since its establishment in late 2012, one of the first implementations of the commitments of the campaign of the former president.

Today, the group logo in yellow and grey has established itself as a player in the quasi-essential in the guarantee of loans, funding or investment.

And since the takeover in 2017, insurance services, export, managed until then by Coface, it wants to become “a large French bank for foreign trade, SMES and ETI”.

After a few tensions in the establishment, the officer was able to extract the institution of political influence. In 2013, Segolène Royal, vice-president of the bank, had described as the “serious slip” the refusal of Mr. Dufourcq, to consider a rescue of Petroplus by Bpifrance.

The tensions will end with the departure of Ms. Royal in 2014, and it will credit in-house have refused to make Bpifrance a “bank policy”, in the words of one of its former employees.

Now, within the bank, “it is seen as a hero, especially as he has managed to make the story of the creation of Bpifrance an epic,” says this source, which also describes a person who can often be “brittle”.

There is a little more than five years, the choice was not focused at random on Nicolas Dufourcq to take the head of the institution: this son of a former secretary of State to Search under Juppé and a diplomat combined a good knowledge of the world of the administration has a long experience in the private sector.

A graduate of HEC and the ENA, which he graduated inspector of Finance, he began in the ministry of Economy and Finance before joining in 1992 the cabinet of René Teulade, minister of social Affairs.

Two years later, he joined France Telecom, where he created the multimedia division. He presides over then Wanadoo, the subsidiary of internet and yellow pages group, until 2003 when he joined the group of computer services Cap Gemini (PA:CAPP), of which he became the number two.

– Positive thinking –

Has Bpifrance, the result of the consolidation of four public entities that already exist (Oséo, CDC Enterprises, FSI and FSI regions), the prospect of success was far from obvious at the outset, as likes to remind this father of three children, now aged 54.

“Five years ago, it was merged entities who did not like him a lot,” he told Wednesday at a hearing in the Senate, congratulating ourselves on having managed to make “a rake an egg”.

Beyond its financing activity, Bpifrance is also imposed in the accompanying companies. “We are producers of entrepreneurs”, said its director-general, who has launched a number of “accelerators”, programs of training of two years for heads of companies wishing to grow their business.

Champion of positive thinking and the “niaque”, this lover of electronic music, which while still a student had created several companies, do not hesitate to become a guru in grandiose events, the image of BIG (Bpifrance Inno-Generation), a grand raout, which is held now every year to the AccorHotels (PA:ACCP) Arena in Bercy and brings together tens of thousands of entrepreneurs.

Events that have a cost.

A Bercy, if one recognizes that man is “bold” and excels in the role of sales representatives from Bpifrance, we sometimes worry that some of the expenses. A report of the Court of accounts, published in November 2016, had also denounced the increase in operating expenses of the institution, criticism, swept away by Bpifrance.

For his second term, Nicolas Dufourcq, who sees “24-month golden age” before a turn in the cycle, set new boundaries, such as the financing of the energy transition, or artificial intelligence.

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