Nicolas Dufourcq, financier at the service of start-ups and innovation

Nicolas Dufourcq, chief executive of Bpifrance, was proposed on Tuesday for a third term in the post he has held for a decade, with the ambition of making the public bank the nerve center of the French start-up and business ecosystem. entrepreneurial innovation.

Bpifrance has become under his leadership the heart of a system of loans and equity investments, direct or through funds, as well as consulting and training activities within “accelerators” to grow start-ups. and SMEs.

Cantor of entrepreneurship, this banker who multiplies communication operations, wears glasses and stripes on the side, has developed the seed for breakthrough innovation through the “Deeptech” plan in conjunction with the world of research, and set to music the priorities of the government to strengthen French market share internationally.

Through its French Fab plan in particular, the investment bank contributes to the country’s reindustrialization effort, a subject on which Nicolas Dufourcq published in June 2022 at Odile Jacob a book entitled “La déindustrialisation de la France: 1995-2015 “.

The institution he heads also mobilized at the start of the health crisis in 2020 to grant the public guarantees necessary for the distribution of state-guaranteed loans (PGE).

The banker finally wants to make Bpifrance the climate bank, by supporting the energy transition of companies, thanks to its loans but also by training company managers in these new challenges.

– Classic curriculum –

A mountaineering lover, this father of three had split in 2015 in the magazine Challenges from a forum in defense of another of his passions, electronic music.

The training of this senior civil servant is one of the most classic.

Parisian by birth, son of an ambassador – Bertrand Dufourcq – and a former Secretary of State for Research of the Juppé government in 1995, Elisabeth Dufourcq, he went through Sciences Po Paris and graduated from HEC Paris then from the ‘ENA, promotion Michel de Montaigne (1986-1988) as the former director general of the newspaper Liberation Denis Olivennes, or the essayist Nicolas Baverez.

Inspector of Finance, Nicolas Dufourcq started at the Ministry of the Economy before joining the cabinet of René Teulade, Minister of Social Affairs in the government of Pierre Bérégovoy, in 1992. Two years later, he joined France Telecom, where he created the multimedia division, and chaired Wanadoo, the group’s internet and yellow pages subsidiary. In 2003, he moved to the IT services group Capgemini, where he became number two.

According to the daily Le Monde, it was the deputy secretary general of the Elysée at the time, Emmanuel Macron, who warned him on October 7, 2012 that François Hollande was thinking of entrusting him with the reins of the BPI, resulting from the grouping of four existing public entities (Oséo, CDC Entreprises, FSI and FSI regions) and which took over in 2017 the export insurance services previously managed by Coface.

At the time “it was a question of merging entities that did not like each other very much”, he recalled in February 2018 during a hearing in the Senate.

Not without some friction at the ignition: in 2013, Ségolène Royal, vice-president of the bank, had qualified as “serious skid” the refusal of Nicolas Dufourcq to envisage a rescue of the refiner Petroplus by Bpifrance.

The tensions will end with the departure of Mrs. Royal in 2014 and she will be credited internally for having refused to make Bpifrance a “political bank”, according to one of her former collaborators, who on the other hand describes a person often “brittle”.

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