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WIF Board

Martine Liautaud (President)

Valérie Bernis

Virginie Liautaud

Elisabeth Richard

Jean-Louis Duquesnoy

Martine Liautaud

Martine Liautaud

CEO of Liautaud & Cie

Martine Liautaud is an investment banker, entrepreneur and investor, and specialises in mergers & acquisitions and financial engineering.

After 16 years as director, then partner, in Bank lndosuez, she left in 1990 to set up her first independent advisory and investment company.

Since 2000 she has successfully run Liautaud & Cie, which specializes in M&A, financial engineering, and advisory services for major French groups (CAC 40).

As investor, she has taken stakes in several companies either as a majority shareholder or important minority shareholder. These include Meccano, a leader in the toy sector (sold in 1995), and the publishing group, La Martiniere, where she was also Vice-Chairman.

From 2003 to 2006, Martine was President of the Stanford Business Club, French branch of the Stanford Business School alumni association; she is now Honorary President of the club.

In 2010, she founded WBMI (, a voluntary mentoring program aimed at women entrepreneurs whose businesses are at least three years old.

Martine Liautaud is a board member of Group Savencia (formerly Bongrain), is on the board of the Entrepreneurial Committee of the MEDEF, and is a board member of Centrale-Supelec (the merger between the two best known engineering schools in France). She was also a board member of the American Chamber of Commerce in France from 2010 to 2015.

Martine Liautaud is married with two children.

Valérie Bernis

Valérie Bernis

Executive Vice President at ENGIE, in charge of communications, marketing, and environmental and societal responsibility

Valérie Bernis was a staff member at the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Privatization (1986–1988), and later incharge of communications and the press on the staff of the Frenchprime minister (1993–1995). She joined SUEZ in 1996 and in1999 became a member of its Executive Committee, in chargeof Communications, Financial Communications, and SustainableDevelopment. At the same time, she was chairman and CEO of Paris Première and a board member of several international companies. She is a member of the Euro Disney Supervisory Board and the boards of directors of SUEZ Environnement, Atos, Occitane, and AROP Association pour le Rayonnement de l’Opéra National de Paris (Paris Opera supporting association).

As Gérard Mestrallet, chairman of ENGIE, was aware of Valérie Bernis’s commitment to the place of women in thecompany, in 2007 he gave her the responsibility of considering the topic at length and producing an action plan.

Since May 1, 2011, Valérie Bernis has been a member of the ENGIE Executive Committee.

Virginie Liataud

Virginie Liautaud


Virginie Liautaud is an international lawyer, admitted to the Paris Bar and to the New-York Bar, and a counsel in Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt and Mosles (Paris).

Before joining Curtis, Virginie worked in New-York for the US law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore and in Paris for Bredin Prat.

Her legal qualifications include a postgraduate diploma in International Trade Law and a master in International Business Law as a well as a LL.M degree obtained at Cornell Law School, USA.

She is General Secretary of WBMI (Women Business Mentoring Initiative).

Her personal interests encourage her to get involved in helping to develop businesses in France and abroad.

Elisabeth Richard

Elisabeth Richard

Elisabeth Richard, Head of Group Internal Motivation and in charge of Leadership for Women alongside the Executive Vice President, ENGIE (France)

For nearly 10 years, Elisabeth has been in charge of the role of women, with SUEZ and later with ENGIE, working with Valérie Bernis, Executive Vice President, ENGIE. Moreover, Elisabeth heads the Group Internal Motivation team in the Group Communications Division. She also serves as a member of the Board of the Women Initiative Foundation, member of the board of Capital Filles, a European NGO and Co-Chair of the Global Summit of Women France.

Within the framework of her mission on gender equality, Elisabeth developed and implemented an ambitious policy in that field, which genuinely positioned the Group as a benchmark player on the topic.

A knight in the French National Order of Merit, Elisabeth Richard has a master’s degree in journalism. She joined ENGIE in 1994, firstly as Deputy Head and then as Head of Communications with SUEZ Environnement.

Elisabeth is married and has two young children.

Jean-Louis Duquesnoy

Jean-Louis Duquesnoy

General Manager - Liautaud & Cie

Jean-Louis DUQUESNOY started his career as a commercial banker. He held various positions within the Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP) Group such as branch manager, auditor and finally head of the Inspection Générale.

In 1986, he joined Banexi, the investment bank of the Group. There, he was in charge of managing and developing a large portfolio of industrial holdings. He then turned to M&A, financial engineering and advisory services. Since 1989, he has been successively a Partner of Saint Honoré Finance et Conseil (Compagnie Financière Edmond de Rothschild) and General Manager of Compagnie Industrielle et Financière Concorde. In September 2000, he assisted Martine Liautaud in the foundation of Liautaud & Cie, of which he has been General Manager ever since.

In the same time, he was assistant in financial analysis at the University of Paris II and lectured in two business schools : ESLSCA (Paris) and ISEFI (Marseilles).

He is Treasurer of WBMI (Women Business Mentoring Initiative).

Jean-Louis DUQUESNOY graduated in Law from the University of Paris (Panthéon-Assas). He also holds a degree in Political Sciences (Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris) as well as an Executive MBA degree from the French business school HEC.