AFEP, an original ecosystem rooted in reality
Representing 113 of the largest private corporations operating in France, AFEP – the French Association of Private Enterprises – takes part in the public debate in order to provide pragmatic solutions to develop a competitive French and European economy.
AFEP’s member companies contribute over 13% of French GDP, directly employ 2 million employees and pay 19% of mandatory corporate taxation.
With offices in Paris and Brussels, given the importance of European legislation in national laws, its primary objective is to represent its members’ voices to the French public authorities, European institutions and international organisations. It intervenes in the drafting of legislation at a cross-sectoral level.
It initiates and develops detailed analysis and proposals that contribute to legislative and regulatory work, with the direct support of the CEO’s and experts from its member companies. Its work is based on objective analyses of companies’ situations and covers taxation, corporate governance, the economy, finances, social protection, employment law, the environment, energy, competition, intellectual property, trade negotiations and more generally all areas of importance to business (see Topics).
When it is consulted on reform and legislation projects, AFEP presents to the French and European executive or legislative public authorities reasoned observations agreed by the member companies, with a view to developing appropriate, fair, predictable rules of law.
Prior to this specialist work, AFEP draws on the experience and vision of the CEO’s of its member companies, through its Board of Directors or its working and discussion groups. This work produces economic and social policy guidelines that are submitted to the European and national bodies, together with the actions to be taken in the interest of growth and jobs.
As a specific, apolitical ecosystem, AFEP is a key place for interaction between its member companies, politicians, parliamentary representatives and the French and European administrations.
Chaired by Laurent Burelle since 9 May 2017, AFEP has had six other Chairmen since its creation in 1982: Ambroise Roux, its founder, until 1999, Didier Pineau-Valencienne (Schneider Electric) until 2001, Bertrand Collomb (Lafarge) until 2007, Jean-Martin Folz (Peugeot SA) until March 2010, Maurice Lévy (Publicis) until June 2012, then Pierre Pringuet (Pernod Ricard).
The Board of Directors defines the Association’s guidelines on topics of interest to its member companies, ensuring they are consistent.
Chairman and CEO of Plastic OmniumChairman of AFEP
A member of the Corps des Mines (State Engineer), Jacques Aschenbroich has exercised several roles in government and was a member of the Prime Minister’s office in 1987 and 1988.
He then pursued an industrial career in the Saint-Gobain Group from 1988 to 2008. After managing the subsidiaries in Brazil and Germany, he managed the Glass Division of Saint-Gobain, becoming Chairman of Saint-Gobain Glass in 1996. As Deputy CEO of Saint-Gobain between 2001 and 2008, he managed the Glass and High-performance Materials divisions from January 2007, as well as the Group’s operations in the United States, as Director of Saint-Gobain Corporation and Managing Director for the United States and Canada from September of the same year.
Director and CEO of the Valeo Group since March 2009, in February 2016 Jacques Aschenbroich became Chairman and CEO of the Group.
He is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Mines ParisTech, a Director of Veolia Environnement, Director of BNP Paribas and Co-Chairman of the French-Japanese Club.
Sophie Bellon has been a Director of Sodexo since 1989 and is a member of the Executive Committee of Bellon SA. In November 2013, Sophie Bellon was appointed to succeed her father, Pierre Bellon, as the Chairwoman of the Sodexo Board of Directors. Sophie Bellon has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the L’Oréal Group since April 2015. A graduate of EDHEC Business School, Sophie Bellon chose an international career very early on. After 10 years’ experience in the United States, she joined Sodexo in 1994 where, for over 20 years, she has been involved in key stages of the Group’s growth. She has been Chairwoman of the Sodexo Board of Directors since 26 January 2016.
Sophie Boissard is a graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (“Victor Schoelcher” promotion).
After working in various roles in the public sector, in particular on the Council of State in the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs, and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Sophie Boissard joined the Executive Committee of the SNCF Group in 2008, to create and develop Gares & Connexions, a division that manages and develops railway stations, then in 2014, SNCF Immobilier, which is dedicated to the development of real estate and land assets. Between 2012 and 2014 she was also in charge of the SNCF Group’s strategy and development, specifically involved in the diversification of the Group’s activities, in particular international strategic and innovation partnerships and, in France, managing the merger project with Réseau Ferré de France.
Since 26 January 2016, Sophie Boissard has been CEO of Korian.
Ms Boissard is also Chairwoman of the Supervisory Boards of Curanum AG and Korian Management AG, Director of Segesta, SLG, and Fondation KOR, and Chairwoman of the Korian Foundation. She is also a member of the Supervisory Board of Allianz SE Germany.
A graduate of ESSEC Business School, the Ecole Nationale d’Administration and former Inspector of Finances, Pierre-André de Chalendar was Deputy General Director for Energy and Raw Materials at the Ministry of Industry.
In 1989, Pierre-André de Chalendar joined Saint-Gobain as Planning Director. Vice-Chairman of Europe Abrasives between 1992 and 1996, Chairman of the Abrasives Division from 1996 to 2000, the Company’s Managing Director for the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland from 2000 to 2002, Pierre-André de Chalendar was appointed Deputy CEO of Saint-Gobain in 2003, responsible for the Building Distribution Division.
Appointed Chief Operating Officer of Saint-Gobain in May 2005, then elected Director in June 2006, he was appointed as CEO of Saint-Gobain in June 2007 and has been Chairman and CEO since June 2010.
Pierre-André de Chalendar is also a Director of BNP Paribas and Vice-Chairman of Entreprises pour l’Environnement, which he chaired from 2012 to 2015.
Jean-Charles Decaux joined the company in 1989. He created and developed the Spanish subsidiary, then built up all the subsidiaries in Southern Europe, Asia and South America, principally through internal growth.
Denis Duverne is a graduate of the École des Hautes Études Commerciales Business School (HEC) and the École Nationale d’Administration (ENA). He began his career in 1979 at the Ministry of Finance, in the General Directorate of Taxation, then after two years as Business Adviser to the General Consulate of France in New York (1984 to 1986), he was responsible for corporate taxation and indirect taxation in the Tax Legislation Department between 1986 and 1991. In 1991, he was appointed General Secretary of the Financial Company IBI. One year later, he became a member of the Executive Committee of Banque Colbert, in charge of operations. In 1995, Denis Duverne joined the AXA Group, taking responsibility for monitoring the Group’s US and British business. He also managed the Group’s restructuring process in Belgium and the United Kingdom. Between February 2003 and December 2009, Duverne was a member of the AXA Executive Committee, in charge of Finance, Control and Strategy. From January to April 2010, Duverne was a member of the Executive Committee responsible for Finance, Strategy and Operations, taking on the widest responsibilities in this regard. From April 2010 to 31 August 2016, Denis Duverne was Director and Chief Operating Officer of AXA, responsible for Finance, Strategy and Operations. In mid-2014, Denis Duverne joined the Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG), an advisory body co-founded in 1999 by the OECD and the World Bank, which brings together international leaders from the private sector with the aim of improving corporate governance in developing countries.
Since 1 September 2016, Denis Duverne has been Chairman of the AXA Board of Directors.
Paul Hermelin spent the first 15 years of his professional career in the French government, mainly at the Ministry of Finance. He occupied several roles in the Budget department and within several ministerial offices including that of Jacques Delors as Minister of Finance. From 1991 to 1993, he managed the office of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Minister of Industry and External Trade.
Joining the Group in May 1993, he was initially in charge of coordinating the central functions.
In May 1996, he was appointed member of the Executive Committee and Managing Director of Cap Gemini France. In May 2000, the day after the merger between Cap Gemini and Ernst & Young Consulting (of which he was the promoter), he became Chief Operating Officer and Director.
In December 2001, on a proposal from Serge Kampf, the Board named him CEO of the whole Cap Gemini Group, from 1 January 2002. In May 2012, he became Chairman and CEO of the Group.
In view of the priority given to economic diplomacy, Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, appointed Paul Hermelin as his special representative for economic relations with India in January 2013.
Paul Hermelin is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique (1972 promotion) and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (1978).
Isabelle Kocher is a graduate of the École Normale Supérieure. She is also a member of the Corps des Mines (State Engineer) and holder of an “agrégation” (high-level teaching diploma) in Physics. From 1997 to 1999 she was in charge of the telecommunications and defence budget at the Ministry of the Economy. From 1999 to 2002, she was adviser on industrial affairs to the Prime Minister’s office (Lionel Jospin). In 2002, she joined the Suez Group, now GDF SUEZ, where she held various functional and operational posts for 12 years: from 2002 to 2005, in the Strategy and Development department; from 2005 to 2007 as Director of Performance and Organisation; from 2007 to 2011, as Chief Operating Officer of Lyonnaise des Eaux, then Chief Executive Officer. From 2011 to 2014, she was Deputy CEO in charge of Finance for the GDF SUEZ Group, then from 2014 to 2016, she became Director and Chief Operating Officer in charge of Operations of GDF SUEZ, now ENGIE. On 3 May 2016, Isabelle Kocher was appointed CEO of ENGIE.
* Listed company
** ENGIE Group
Jean Lemierre has had a long, illustrious career in international finance.
In the 1980s, he fulfilled several roles within the French tax administration, in particular as Head of the Tax Legislation Department and General Director of Taxes.
In May 1995, he was appointed Director of the Minister of Economy and Finance’s office and Treasury Director in October of the same year.
Before his election as President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 2000, he was a member of the European Monetary Committee (1995-1998), President of the European Union Financial and Economic Committee (1999-2000) and President of the Club de Paris (1999-2000). He served as President of the EBRD until 2008.
In 2009, Jean Lemierre became a member of the International Advisory Council of China Investment Corporation (CIC) and the International Advisory Council of the China Development Bank (CDB). He is a member of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
He was Adviser to the Chairman of BNP Paribas between 1 September 2008 and 30 November 2014.
Since 1 December 2014, Jean Lemierre has been Chairman of BNP Paribas.
He is also President of the Centre d’Etudes Prospectives et d’Informations Internationales (CEPII), the French research centre for international economics, member of the Institute of International Finance (IIF) and in May 2016, was appointed Director to the Total Board of Directors.
Born in 1963, Frédéric Oudéa is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration.
From 1987 to 1995, Frédéric Oudéa occupied various posts in the Government (General Finances Inspection Department, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Budget Ministry and Budget and Communication Minister’s office). In 1995, he joined Société Générale, and in 1996 held the positions of Deputy Manager, then Manager of the Corporate Banking department in London. In 1998, he became Manager of global supervision and development in the Shares department. In May 2002, he was appointed Deputy Financial Director of the Société Générale Group. He became Financial Director of the Group in January 2003, then Group CEO in 2008 and Chairman and CEO in 2009. Following the regulatory division of the functions of Chairman and CEO, he became CEO of the Group in May 2015. Since 2010, he has also been Chairman of the Steering Committee on Regulatory Capital (SCRC) of the Institute of International Finance (IIF), and President of the European Banking Federation (EBF) since January 2015.
A graduate of CentraleSupélec (Ecole Centrale Paris), Benoît Potier joined Air Liquide in 1981 as a Research and Development Engineer. He then held positions as Project Manager in the Engineering and Construction department and Director of Energy Development in the Major Industries division. He became Director of Strategy and Organisation in 1993, and Director of the Chemistry, Steel, Refining and Energy Markets in 1994. He was appointed Deputy CEO in 1995, adding Management of Construction Engineering and Major Industries Europe to his previous areas of responsibility.
Benoît Potier was appointed CEO in 1997, Director of Air Liquide in 2000 then Chairman of the Executive Committee in November 2001.
He was appointed Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide S.A. in 2006.
A graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and member of the Corps des Mines (State Engineer), Patrick Pouyanné occupied various roles in the Ministry of Industry and in ministerial offices from 1989 to 1996.
In particular, he was appointed technical adviser for Industry and Environment to the Prime Minister from 1993 to 1995 and Director of the Minister of Information Technologies and Space’s office from 1995 to 1996.
He joined Total in January 1997 as General Secretary of Total Exploration & Production Angola and was then appointed Group representative to Qatar in 1999.
In August 2002, Patrick Pouyanné became Director of Finance, Economy and Information Systems of the Exploration & Production division, then Director of Strategy, Growth and Research in the same division in January 2006.
In January 2012, Patrick Pouyanné was appointed CEO of the Refining-Chemistry division and member of the Group Executive Committee.
On 22 October 2014, he was appointed CEO of Total by the Board of Directors, simultaneously becoming Chairman of the Group’s Executive Committee.
On 29 May 2015, he was elected to the Total Board of Directors.
Patrick Pouyanné was awarded the title of Knight of the French Legion of Honour (Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur) in April 2015.
On 16 December 2015, he was appointed Chairman and CEO by the Board of Directors.
Born in 1951, Serge Weinberg has a degree in Law from the Institut d’Études Politiques and is a graduate of the ENA (1976).
Following various Sub-prefecture postings from 1976 to 1981, he became Chief of Staff to the Budget Minister, Laurent Fabius, in 1981.
After a period as Deputy CEO (Finance) of FR3 (1982-1983) he became CEO, then Chairman, of Havas Tourisme from 1983 to 1987, then CEO of Pallas Finance.
He joined the Pinault Group in 1990 as Chairman of the CFAO and Chairman and CEO of Rexel from 1991 to 1995.
In March 2005, he founded Weinberg Capital Partners, an investment company that manages specialist funds in medium-sized and real estate companies.
Since 17 May 2010, he has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sanofi Group.
Serge Weinberg was also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Accor Group from 2006 to 2009.
He was a member of the Attali Commission for the liberation of French growth from 2007-2008 and 2010.
He is a member of the AFEP Board of Directors of and also a founding member and treasurer of the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Épinière (ICM, Brain and Spinal Cord Institute).
François Soulmagnon has been AFEP’s CEO since 2012, joining AFEP in 2009 as a Director.
Between 1998 and 2009 he worked for PSA Peugeot Citroën in charge of the Aulnay assembly factory, then the Group’s investment strategy, before becoming Director of the Human Resources Department.
Between 1997 and 1998, he was involved with Accenture, working on telecommunications projects.
Between 1995 and 1997, he was a member of Prime Minister Alain Juppé’s office, responsible for industry, technology and transport infrastructure.
Between 1993 and 1995, he was Deputy Secretary General at the Secretariat of European Affairs of the French government (SGCI), responsible for coordinating governmental positions on internal policies.
He began his career as a civil servant in the French Ministry of Industry, holding various posts from 1982 to 1993.
He is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole des Mines, Paris.
Eudoxe Denis joined AFEP in June 2017 as adviser to the Chairman.
Following an initial career at KPMG as a consultant on financial transactions, he became Director of Studies at the Institut de l’Entreprise (Business Institute) from 2008 to 2015, before joining the Plastic Omnium Group as Manager then Director of Public Affairs.
Eudoxe Denis is a graduate of ESSEC Business School.
Nicolas Ragache, aged 45, economist and lawyer, worked for nearly 20 years in French institutions and administrations (INSEE, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Social Affairs and Ministry of National Education) and in a French law firm based abroad.
Occupying various roles, he has conducted a number of economic studies and organised reforms of public action in the social, European and public finance sectors. He has also represented the government on the Board of Directors of public entities and acted as an adviser to several French government ministries.
Nicolas Ragache is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Administration Economique (ENSAE), DELTA (EHESS – Master’s in Advanced Studies (DEA) in Economic Analysis and Policy) and the Université Panthéon-Assas (LLM in International Business Law).
Odile de Brosses holds a Master’s in Advanced Studies (DEA) in corporate law from the Université Panthéon-Assas and a CAPA (legal practitioner’s certificate), and worked as a lawyer at the Strasbourg and Hauts de Seine Bars from 1987 to 1997, before joining AFEP as Director of the Legal Department. In this role, she organises company director working groups to prepare AFEP’s positions on matters of corporate law and corporate governance, both nationally and at European level. The positions are then presented to the public authorities.
She has been involved in the successive developments of the AFEP/MEDEF Corporate Governance Code. She has also participated in various financial market working groups, in particular the AMF (French Financial Markets Authority). She is a member of the IFA Legal Committee and President of the EuropeanIssuers Policy Committee.
Laurence Ville joined AFEP in 2017 as Director of Development, in which role she is responsible for the new projects and the organization of events, in particular “le Top”, an annual speed-dating event between large companies CEOs and small companies and start-ups leaders, in order to foster their development.
François-Nicolas Boquet joined AFEP as Director of Environment and Energy in 2000.
He is particularly interested in climate change, energy strategy (energy efficiency and competitiveness of energy-intensive companies, energy costs), eco-taxation, industrial risks (industrial emissions, technological risks, environmental responsibility) and the circular economy. A graduate of AgroPariTech, he was a Consultant at Bossard (now Cap Gemini) between 1995 and 2000.
Lé Quang began his career in an audit firm before joining the Commission des Opérations de Bourse (COB), now the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), where he held various posts (Department of investigations, Department of issuers, Department of regulation and international affairs), taking part in the transposition of European Directives and the preparation of legislation and doctrine on financial matters. Lé Quang has also worked as a regulatory Project Manager in the risks division of the BPCE Group and as a consultant to listed companies. He is a graduate of ESSEC Business School.
Julie Leroy joined AFEP in July 2017 as Director of Social Relations, in which role she is responsible for defending the interests of large companies in the areas of employment law, social protection and vocational training.
Julie Leroy has a Master’s in Advanced Studies (DEA) in employment law from the Université Panthéon-Sorbonne and holds a CAPA (legal practitioner’s certificate). She worked at the Paris Bar from 2001 to 2004, in a firm specialising in employment law, before joining the Unemployment Insurance department, where she was in charge of job centres, retraining assistance and unemployment benefit.
From 2016 until her arrival at AFEP, she was assigned to the UIMM as part of the negotiations relating to development of the metallurgy industry collective agreement.
Marc Poulain has been Director of International Trade Negotiations at AFEP since 1 September 2017. He monitors the main developments in European Union business policy and the Brexit process, representing AFEP’s positions in this area with the European and French public authorities.
A graduate of IEP Paris and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, he began his career as a judge in the Paris administrative court, then as Deputy to the Chief of Staff for public procurement legislation at the Ministry of Economy and Finance. As a national expert seconded to the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission between 2009 and 2016, he negotiated the “public tenders” chapters of the free trade agreements between the EU and Japan, Mercosur and the countries of the ANASE, and took part in the WTO negotiations in Geneva.
Emmanuelle Flament-Mascaret joined AFEP in 2001 as Director of Business Affairs and Intellectual Property.
She focuses on competition, consumer rights, intellectual property (patents mainly) and now on digital matters (personal data protection, the data economy). She represents AFEP’s positions in these different areas to the public authorities in both Brussels and Paris, produced from the working groups she regularly leads. She began her career at the Commission des Opérations de Bourse (COB), now the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), where she held various posts (Public Relations Department, Operations and Financial Information Department ).
Laetitia de La Rocque joined AFEP in February 2012 as Director of Tax Affairs. In collaboration with the Association’s members, she is responsible for setting out proposals and positions for large companies in matters of domestic, European and international taxation. A tax lawyer, her previous expertise in corporate tax was developed at Arthur Andersen International, CMS-Bureau Francis Lefebvre and Ernst & Young.
Amina Tarmil joined AFEP in 2001 as Deputy Director of Tax Affairs. Holder of a DESS (Postgraduate Diploma) in Applied Taxation from the Université Paris V (René Descartes), she previously worked in the Tax Department at Air France. She focuses on corporate tax at national, European and international level and participates in defining AFEP’s tax proposals.
Elisabeth Gambert has been the CSR and International Affairs Director at AFEP since 2013, responsible for monitoring matters of corporate social responsibility and coordinating AFEP’s bilateral relations with its counterpart associations in other Member States of the European Union. She holds a Masters in Law from the University of Vienna (Austria), a Master’s in Advanced Studies (DEA) in European Law from the Université de Rennes I and a European Masters in Governance and Administration (Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne). Before joining AFEP, she worked in Brussels, in particular for FEDIOL (EU Federation of Seed Crushers and Oil Processors), and in Vienna, at the Court of First Instance. She is co-Chair of the Corporate reporting working group of the European Association of Listed Companies, EuropeanIssuers.
Jérémie Pélerin joined AFEP in June 2012 as Director of European Affairs and manager of the AFEP office in Brussels. He is responsible for managing AFEP’s strategic relations with the European Union. In cooperation with the Paris team, he manages AFEP’s European lobbying actions, particularly corporate funding, taxation, corporate law and corporate governance, competition, international trade and investment. He has expertise both in lobbying and in European legislation and policies, acquired in the following roles: Senior Corporate and Public Affairs Manager at UNIFE (the European Rail Industry Association), Executive Secretary of Rail Forum Europe (a European Parliament intergroup on rail matters), Academic Assistant at the Collège d’Europe, Bruges. He is a graduate of the Collège d’Europe de Bruges and Sciences Po Paris.
Justine joined AFEP in 2008 and is now the Deputy Director of European Affairs, helping to manage AFEP’s strategic relations with the European Union. In cooperation with the Paris team, she prepares European positions and carries out European lobbying actions in the areas of climate, energy, environment, corporate social responsibility, intellectual property, data protection and consumer rights. She previously represented Rhodia (now Solvay – chemical industry) with the European institutions in Brussels (2007-2008) and worked at the European law office of the Ministry of Defence in Paris (2006). She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the IAE in Paris and a Vocational Masters 2 in European Law from the Sorbonne (Université Paris 1). She speaks French, English and Italian.
AFEP is an association governed by the French law of 1 July 1901. Its accounts are certified annually by an auditor. Its annual budget of 7 million euros comes entirely from its member contributions, identical whatever the size of the company. Its budget is dedicated to its activities in France and Europe.
AFEP is registered in the Register of interest representatives of the High Authority for Transparency in Public Life.