What shapes your personality?
I am from Lyon, France’s gastronomic capital, which is where my love of food, wine and the finer things in life comes from. I’m 41 with two kids, a boy and a girl, ages 8 and 5, and my wife is Irish. Living in the very cosmopolitan city of Geneva, the origin of international organizations (Red Cross, UN, Global Trade…) and multinational headquarters (watchmakers, health, investment banking…), brings unique aspects to everyday life.
Your professional background?
I studied labor law and started my career in industrial relations with a major car manufacturer. After, I joined a family holding company within consumer goods and luxury brands. I spent four years working in group HQ for brands like Gucci, Balenciaga, Boucheron and YSL, before moving to Saint Laurent’s HQ and “the studio,” where you find the designers’ workshop. After 12 years in Paris, following the birth of our first child, my wife and I wanted a change. We lived in Lyon for almost two years, where I worked with a medical devices group. And five years ago, I settled in Switzerland, where I was HR Director for a stock broker group. More than a year ago, I joined Rémy Cointreau, or as everyone here would say, I joined “Rémy!”
Automobiles, fashion, medical devices, finance, what sparked your industry changes?
I knew I could. I am quite an unusual creature! My background is diverse in terms of sectors, but I’ve always been focused on HR, just within different environments. This diversity has been a great opportunity for me to meet people and to develop my adaptability.
Advice for those entering HR?
You have to be interested in people: where they are coming from, what they want to do and who they are. But I am also a business partner who questions: What the Group is doing? Where the Group is going? What are people doing for the Group? How can they improve their impact?
I am a hedonist: I love food, wine and fancy a cigar from time to time. I also like spirits, so it was quite natural for a gourmand like me to go into the spirits industry, as it suits my personality! And during my time in the fashion and luxury sector, I grew to appreciate fine craftsmanship. When I worked in finance, I found that my connection with the products and the purpose of the company was missing. Joining Rémy Cointreau gave me the opportunity to return to an artisan environment and luxury culture—which was one of the main reasons I chose to work with Rémy Cointreau.
Why else did you choose to work with Rémy Cointreau?
The biggest reason is because of the people I met during my recruitment process. They reassured me about my choice and gave me the desire to work for them. When I met our HR Director, Senior Vice President of Global Talent Development and EMEA CEO, I felt like I was meeting people with whom I had been in touch with before. The connection was natural. In seconds, I felt a part of the Rémy Cointreau team. Moreover, I prefer working for family-owned companies, like Rémy Cointreau. Knowing the people I work for brings sense and stability to my work.
How did you find Rémy Cointreau?
Through LinkedIn, of course! I am really active on LinkedIn, more less addicted. You can connect with, build and use your network very quickly there. It is probably the best way to keep in touch with people you have met. For example, it is rewarding to reconnect with someone you hired as a junior, who is now a CFO for a major lifestyle company in the US.
What do you love most about your job?
People: I love interacting with people. I am very curious, and I like to form relationships—but I also am very business‐oriented. I never forget that every action must bring something back to the company.
Why the EMEA?
A year ago, I created our EMEA HR team and hired an assistant, named Maia, who is doing a great job. I love working within the EMEA region because of its sheer diversity. I am very adaptable person who likes progressing within diverse environments across such a wide geographical zone. I interact with people from Russia and South Africa in the same day. While we may come from different places, we all share a common goal: to offer the best service and the best spirits to our clients. I love maneuvering within such complexity.