Portraits

Anne-Laure Kiechel (H.99)

Anne-Laure Kiechel (H.99): The banker on friendly terms with countries

The economist Anne-Laure Kiechel (H.99), formerly an executive with banks Lehman Brothers and Rothschild, founded her own consultancy to advise governments. These days, debt...

Hélène Bourbouloux (H.95): Bankruptcy isn’t death!

The judicial administrator Hélène Bourbouloux, known as the “Bankruptcy Madonna”, has won a lot of battles. She has managed over 2,000 accounts and saved thousands of jobs. Today, she is preparing to confront an unprecedented economic whirlwind. Hélène Bourbouloux (H.95)1995: Graduated from HEC 1998: Launched her own business with a partner 2007: Co-founded FHB, which provides expert services by eight judicial administrators at 14 locations 2013: Began the first Rapid Financial Safeguard Procedure for the Soflog group 2014: Won the HEC Women “Trajectories” prize 2020: Managed the accounts of Solocal, Novares, Presstalis, Rallye (Casino shareholder) and others. Her voice is soft, but her tone is serious. While the rest of us may have trouble comprehending the unfolding crisis, Helene Bourbouloux knows that the countdown has already begun. “I can take the time to answer your questions because I only have four more meetings today,” she says.  Keep in mind that it’s Sunday. We are in the seventh week of the lockdown in France.  This lively woman, always with something to say, is one of France’s 150 judicial administrators, mandated by courts to assist companies in difficulty. Such companies, after their situations have been analyzed, seek the best possible solutions (safeguarding, going into receivership, restructuring, closing down…), submit any takeover bids to the courts, and then try to save as many jobs as possible.  “I sensed that a crisis was coming even before the lockdown. You could feel a kind of feverishness in certain companies, especially ones affected by covid 19’s […]

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Alexandre Mignon (E.06): A Doctor on the Front Lines

Alexandre Mignon (E.06), an anesthesiologist-intensivist at Cochin Hospital in Paris, served on the front lines in the battle against the coronavirus. Critical of the way the healthcare crisis has been handled, this doctor-entrepreneur has decided to shake things up. Alexandre Mignon (E.06)2002: Completed his medical studies at Paris Diderot university, specializing in anesthesiology-intensive care. 2006: Earned an MBA in Leadership and Change Management at HEC 2011: Co-founded the university laboratory iLumens. 2015: Visiting professor at Columbia University, New York City 2020: Launched the CovidIA (artificial intelligence) project As his deep voice reverberates through the telephone’s speakers, it’s obvious that this is a man in a hurry. “We can do the interview right now; I have 10 minutes,” he announces. Hmmm, that might be a bit short. He explains, clearly on edge, that he’s working “like a maniac” and sleeping only three hours a night. “But call me Friday morning,” he eventually offers. That Friday, he picks up the phone almost instantly. We can hear him compose himself and take a deep breath before he begins to speak. It’s exactly one month since the lockdown started. He came down with the virus himself at the end of March. He had a fairly severe case, he explains, but he didn’t have to be hospitalized. Now back on the job as an anesthesiologist-intensivist at Cochin Hospital, he is obviously exhausted but also very ready to get something off his chest. “I’ve got a big mouth, in any case. I just can’t keep quiet,” […]

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24 Hours with Jean Lalo (H.85)

Devoting his retirement to helping others: that’s what Jean Lalo (H.85) has chosen to do. A Red Cross volunteer, he decided to create community...

24 Hours with Florian Bercault (H.16)

A bombshell in the heart of the Mayenne region! Laval’s outgoing mayor has decided not to run in the municipal elections. That puts a...

When We broke the silence.

When she was a student at HEC, Laetitia Pouilly (H.14) had only a vague notion of sexism and sexist bullying in business schools. The...

Claire Leost (H.99): Bridging the Gender Gap

With diplomas from Sciences Politiques and HEC, Claire Leost (H.99) is now the executive director of a major media group. But to reach this...

“I exposed a huge group’s fraud.”

Arnaud Vagnier (H.01) is the man behind Iceberg Research, the financial-analysis firm that brought down the Noble Group, ranked 76th in the world in...

24 hours with Clarisse Crémer (H.13)

After earning her diploma from HEC in 2013, she quickly made a name for herself in the nautical world, and now she’s one of...

Hermance Tirel (H.21) : Humanistic Student

Hermance loves Asia. Brought up on Mulan animated films from an early age, she studied Chinese in high school and spent six months in Hong...