News and Events
Leading Industry Experts from France to Discuss Investments in the Eurozone
With the recent election of French President Nicholas Sarcozy, the political and economic climate in France is changing dramatically. Support for political, legal, tax, and economic reform has been growing, resulting in many positive changes for investing in France and the Eurozone. On Thursday, Oct. 18, representatives from the Greater Paris Investment Agency (Paris Ile de France Capitale Economique), comprised of France’s top 100 corporations, professional organizations, and entrepreneurs, will gather for a symposium at Pepperdine University’s Drescher Graduate Campus from 9 a.m. to 12 noon to share their insights and knowledge on the evolving market and investment opportunities in France and the Eurozone. The symposium is sponsored by the Pepperdine Office of Investments.
The French delegation will be joined by keynote speakers Arthur Laffer, noted academic, investor, and inventor of the “Laffer Curve” in economics, and Matthew Fong, former California state treasurer and Pepperdine regent. Both Laffer and Fong, current board members in major French companies, will reflect on the current investment climate in France and provide insights in today’s increasingly global market.
The Greater Paris Investment Agency is a nonprofit organization with two major missions: to promote the strengths of the Greater Paris region to foreign investors and to bolster the attractiveness of the area by lobbying political and economic decision makers.
The agency gathers more than a hundred of the country’s most successful and dynamic companies. Through this network of prestigious partners and members, the agency enables multinational corporations to benefit from close links between French companies and local governments. It also provides annual benchmarking studies on the attractiveness of the European metropolises and on the essential criteria for investors, and sets up independent task forces whose recommendations become the basis for efficient lobbying actions.
Among the French delegation panelists at the symposium will be Thierry Jaquillat, chairman of the Greater Paris Investment Agency. Jaquillat has spent almost 40 years with Pernod Ricard, transforming the French family-run business with 1,100 employees into one of the top world leaders in wines and spirits. Under his leadership Pernod Ricard has become the second leading multinational company in the world with nearly 15,000 employees and a presence in 100 countries.
Also in attendance will be Chiara Corazza, managing director of the Greater Paris Investment Agency, who began her career in the office of the president of the Greater Paris Region. While there she created Metropolis, a worldwide association of large metropolitan areas. As a liaison with the French Foreign Office, she helped implement the Region’s international policy. She also created and managed the Department of International Affairs in the Greater Paris Region and successfully negotiated a number of bilateral cooperation agreements with Beijing, Tokyo, Moscow, Warsaw, Hanoi, Madrid, and Beirut, just to name a few.
Another panelist, Alain Bechade, vice chairman of Atis Real International, lectures regularly at Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris. Bechade has extensive professional experience in the corporate real estate sector, and has published numerous articles and books on real estate. Atisreal is Europe’s leading commercial real estate service group, offering public and private sector organizations and investors a full range of real estate services including consulting, sales, investing, fund and asset management, space planning, property and facility management, and market research.
Deputy general manager of Société Générale Asset Management (SGAM), Olivier Garnier is a member of several expert councils—including the Economic Advisory Council to the prime minister and the Economic Commission of the Nation chaired by the finance minister—that advise the French government on economic and financial issues. He is also a member of the Scientific Council to the French Financial Markets Authority, the regulatory body supervising security and savings markets. SGAM is a subsidiary of the banking group Société Générale and is one of the leading global fund management companies with $467 billion in assets under management at the end of 2006.
Jay Nirsimloo, chief executive officer of KPMG France, is also a fellow at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is a French qualified accountant who specializes in major French and cross-border transactions. With 120,000 people worldwide from 750 cities in 148 countries, KPMG International is the coordinating entity for a global network of professional service firms providing audit, tax, and advisory services generating a turnover of $18 billion.
Rounding out the panel is Serge Platonow, chief investment officer of Colyzeo Investment Management, Colony’s English fund manager, where he is responsible for the identification, evaluation, and consummation of new European investments. Prior to joining Colony, Platonow worked as a consultant focused on strategic and operational issues with clients such as CB Madison Advisory Group and the National Research Council of Canada.