One of HEC community’s key figure Christian Perret (H.60) passed away on August 16th at age 85. From Hong Kong to Paris, from Malaysia to the Caribbean, tributes are pouring in from across the globe, attesting to his boundless commitment towards building a powerful international network.
“Always ready with a plane ticket in his pocket for an unexpected trip” – this is the memory that many friends and acquaintances keep of Christian Perret. Graduating from HEC in 1960, he became a lifelong traveler. Working in the perfume industry, he served as an international director for groups like Grès or Escada before becoming an independent consultant and starting his own advisory business. Nevertheless, his life wasn’t solely about business. For the HEC network, Christian Perret was primarily an indefatigable ambassador who kept stirring a vast network to create chapters all around the globe.
According to Xavier Romatet (MBA.86), former president of HEC Alumni, Christian Perret was “always available to rally the alumni on the grounds he visited, always able to identify those who were capable of committing to the community.” By general consensus, it is largely thanks to Christian Perret’s efforts that the HEC alumni network now boasts 80 international chapters.
“Discretion, elegance, and humor”
Until the end of his life, he suggested nominations and ensured the continuation of presidencies. “I remember our discussions in 2014 when you entrusted me with the responsibility of the Vietnam chapter,” writes Julien Lacaze (H.09). “You encouraged me to create the Florida chapter when I arrived in the US, at a time when the United States only had two groups,” shares Myriam Le Cannellier (H.89).
Christian Perret was “always in a hurry, between two flights, two meetings, two projects, always loyal, faithful, dedicated,” remembers his friend Christophe Labarde (H.84), former Managing Director of HEC Alumni. While it’s easy to imagine the countless trips and lunches, alumni also describe a personality that worked behind the scenes. “He acted with discretion, elegance and humor. He will have been a great HEC alumnus that we will not forget,” summarizes former president of the association and delegate of class 1960 Paul Dini (H.60).
In addition to his dedication to promoting HEC beyond borders, Christian Perret played a crucial role within HEC Alumni boards and authorities. Adrien Couret (H.07), the current president, remembers his “selfless willingness” to serve the association. “For several decades, Christian was a link between generations of volunteers, presidents and employees, all of whom appreciated him.”
A Wise Counselor
Marguerite Gallant, CEO of the HEC Alumni association, recalls the 2017 London Gala dinner, where Christian Perret came accompanied by his wife. “In reality, Christian had come to anticipate the ending of Frédéric Jousset’s presidency, who was expected to become president of HEC Alumni, and identify a successor for the UK chapter’s presidency. He combined great kindness with a strategic mind. His unparalleled ability to identify and motivate network leaders was an incredible asset to the association.”
As a long-time highly involved member of the committee and board of HEC Alumni, and as the president of the international commission, Christian Perret regularly visited the premises at 9 Avenue Franklin Roosevelt. There, he provided the whole office with perfume for Christmas, but above all he provided valuable advice. General Assemblies, “L’Heure H”… he would never miss a major event. Christian was a dear friend to the entire team, very close to the collaborators, and he truly left his mark with his benevolence.
Feel free to leave a message, a memory, or a photo on the Inmemori space created in his honor. We will present these testimonies to the family.