Louis Noiret (EDHEC Master 2019) tells us about his family entrepreneurship endeavour in the solidarity-based finance sector.

Published on 09/09/2020
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Having just graduated from EDHEC, Louis Noiret teamed up with his brother in the sector of virtuous finance. A family entrepreneurship experience which he shares here with EDHEC Alumni.

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Louis Noiret. I’m 25 years old. I joined EDHEC after a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management at the Catholic University of Lille to complete the course in market finance.
After EDHEC and at the end of my internship at Crédit Agricole CIB, I decided to take on a family entrepreneurship challenge and joined NOIRET PATRIMOINE, a wealth management firm founded by my brother which specialises in solidarity-based finance and profit-sharing.

Tell us briefly how your project came about.

The project came about from a desire to make a more virtuous form of finance widely accessible. Many people around us were wondering how they could make their savings meaningful and asking questions about their social utility. When we went looking for answers, solidarity-based finance – which invests in structures operating under the social and solidarity economy – emerged as the obvious solution.

The idea to set up an atypical wealth management consultancy firm, specialising in this area, seemed an appropriate way to meet this need for meaning and social impact that savers had expressed to us. What is more, 65% of the solidarity-based finance market comes from salary saving schemes, so we felt it would be logical and virtuous to develop a second unit dedicated to businesses and supporting them in the implementation and management of these schemes.

Tell us about your company.

NOIRET PATRIMOINE is a wealth management consultancy firm that specialises in two areas: solidarity-based finance and profit-sharing.

The company has two structures: a solidarity-based finance unit that advises clients on the management of their wealth with the aim of generating financial interest that has a positive social impact; and a profit-sharing unit that helps corporations implement and monitor systems to redistribute profits to staff (salary saving schemes, collective pensions, employee shareholdings, etc.).

For more than 3 years, we have supported clients – citizens, companies, associations, religious congregations, foundations, etc. – with the leitmotiv “making finance more virtuous”.

To ensure our business reflects our values, we made a number of key commitments:

Company with a mission: our articles of association were modified to include the following mission: “make a more virtuous form of finance widely accessible to serve mankind and the natural world”
Shareholder-owned foundation: we created an endowment fund which (by the end of September) will hold 100% of NOIRET PATRIMOINE’s shares, with the aim of paying 20% of our net earnings in dividends annually.
B-CORP certification: we are currently applying for B-CORP certification, an international recognition for companies who meet certain social, environmental and governance requirements.

What is your initial assessment of this family entrepreneurship adventure?

Entrepreneurship is a fantastic human adventure, all the more so with family! It involves daily commitment to ensure the development and success of the project, but also to keep your “soul intact” and make sure you stick to your values!

However, family entrepreneurship does require laying down certain ground rules to protect family relations, which is a priority.

One choice we made in this respect was to specialise in two distinct areas, solidarity-based finance and profit-sharing. That avoids us stepping on each other’s toes! It’s important for each of us to seek personal fulfilment while serving the collective project, especially one run by a family. We’re careful not to be in each other’s shadow but instead in the light!

Good communication is also essential, especially between family members to ensure that professional problems do not encroach on the private sphere.

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?

Don’t be afraid to stray from the trodden path, to consider audacious and innovative models while at the same time surrounding yourself with experts who can advise you.

  • Training is key in any profession that requires real expertise. First of all, it will allow you to generate (or reinforce) credibility in the eyes of your clients, and second to gain confidence in yourself and your abilities.
  • Learn new skills, surround yourself with experts so you understand your area, but always follow your instinct because there is always more than one way of doing things. Your way, even at a young age, might be the right one and the most innovative!

One more thing: learn to celebrate small victories throughout your entrepreneurial journey. They will allow you to hold your course, move forward and overcome any initial “hiccups”, which are often followed by positive new directions.

The last thing I would say is that you must realise the importance and strength of networks. As soon as you launch your project, don’t hesitate to discuss it with those around you. Establishing links first of all allows you to move forward by comparing perspectives and areas of expertise but also to build up relationships and trust in the long term. Show that you’re in it for the long haul! And even if the project doesn’t come to fruition, your ecosystem will have been created and you can return to consult its members over time.

I have also learned a lot working on joint projects. They allow you to strengthen links and benefit from powerful collective emulation which will help your project mature.

What’s next for your business?

With the recent arrival of two new staff members, the next phases are as follows:

  • Establish the business in Paris to expand our Parisian clientele and develop partnerships with stakeholders in the local social and solidarity economy.
  • Develop our communication and events strategies to engage in financial pedagogy and make solidarity-based finance more widely accessible.
  • Develop solidarity projects through our endowment fund.

What are your expectations from the community of Alumni?

As a company with a mission, we are intent on showing that the financial sphere has a true role to play in the social and solidarity economy. By steering our clients’ savings towards more virtuous finance, they can combine financial profitability with a powerful social/environmental impact. You can help our communication about solidarity-based finance in various ways:

  • By participating in our events to learn more about the social and solidarity economy (SSE). Once every month we organise visits to companies working in the SSE who have a measurable and visible impact on a daily basis. These events are both emotional and instructive and encourage reflections on more ethical ways to manage your wealth. (If you know of any companies with a powerful social impact, we’re all ears!)
  • If you’re already on board, help us spread the word by jointly organising events with our firm or by inviting us to your company to raise awareness about solidarity-based finance. Help us lift the veil from this sector!
  • Your company can also get involved to have a positive impact. From employees to entrepreneurs and shareholders, commit your business to an initiative of sharing that is profitable for all.

So you can see there are many things you can do to ensure a more virtuous form of finance is accessible to all. Please share our news and projects if you support our work.

 

And before I finish, I wanted to share with you an example of one solidarity-based business which, thanks to investments by our clients, has sustained operations with a high level of performance supporting the rehabilitation of disabled persons: ALTEREOS, an adapted enterprise whose mission is to find lasting employment for people challenged by a disability. It is based in Tourcoing in northern France, where it provides tailored services, from packaging to call centres, and ceaselessly reinvents itself to reflect the needs and especially the fragility of each of its employees. With revenue of €7.5 million, ALTEREOS employs 470 people! A profitable adapted enterprise working for the common good!

Curious to learn more? Willing to contribute? Take part in one of our visits 😉 and find out more about the different types of investment!

Contact me or Justine, our communication manager (justine@noiretpatrimoine.com), to organise a meeting, share an idea or get the dates for our solidarity-based events!

Louis Noiret – louis@noiretpatrimoine.com – 06.89.20.28.61

Career change? Moving house?