the leader Virginie Morgon, a rare female figure in French finance, pushed towards the exit
Upheaval at the head of Eurazeo: a supervisory board approved the replacement of the president of the management board of the investment company, Virginie Morgon, following disagreements with the main shareholder, the Decaux family, who wanted her to leave.
“The Supervisory Board and Virginie Morgon have jointly decided that her duties as Chairman and member of the Eurazeo Management Board be terminated”said the group in a statement released on the night of Sunday February 5 to Monday February 6 after several hours of meeting.
After having cut her teeth at the Lazard bank, this rare female figure in French finance, aged 53, joined the Eurazeo management board in 2008, before taking over the presidency of the group listed on the Paris Stock Exchange in 2018. Paris, succeeding Patrick Sayer.
She will be replaced by two presidents, Christophe Bavaria, founder of the investment company Idinvest Partners acquired by Eurazeo, and William Kadouch-Chassaing, former financial director of Société Générale.
From 7 billion euros to 32.4 billion euros in assets
They take the head of a new executive board, appointed unanimously by the supervisory board, while two of the relatives of Mme Morgon, Nicolas Huet and Marc Frappier will also leave the body after April.
“With the establishment of a new management board, collegial and tight, (…) the Board wanted to inject new momentum to accelerate the development of Eurazeo’s activities and deploy an effective and value-creating strategy”said Jean-Charles Decaux, chairman of the board, in the press release.
The supervisory board was convened on Sunday to make a decision on whether or not to maintain Virginie Morgon following an extraordinary meeting between shareholders, which was held for eight hours on Friday, at the initiative of the Decaux family.
Under his leadership, the group has transformed into an international investment company present in more than ten countries and whose assets under management have increased from 7 billion euros to 32.4 billion euros, in particular thanks to the management on behalf of third parties.
“Successful transformation of the group”
A stock market performance deemed insufficient, a monopolization of power and remuneration deemed excessive would also have played against him, according to the newspaper. The echoes.
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“I am leaving my post after fourteen years at the head of Eurazeo with the immense pride of the successful transformation of the group, which has become one of the great leaders in private investment in Europe”said Virginie Morgon.
The Decaux family holds 18% of the capital and 25% of the voting rights of Eurazeo. The David-Weill family owns around 10% of the capital, alongside the Guyot and Solages families, founders of the Lazard bank and who hold a total of around 15.5% of the shares.
Jean-Charles Decaux, chairman of the executive board and co-CEO of the French advertising display giant JCDecaux, had taken over the chairmanship of the supervisory board shortly before the death in June 2022 of the founder of Eurazeo and former manager of Lazard, Michel David- Weill.
The Eurazeo share is up more than 12% since the start of the year after falling 21% in 2022, a catastrophic year for the markets. In 2021, the investment company had announced a net profit ” record “ of 1.57 billion euros, after a year 2020 marked by losses linked to the pandemic.