Wind of change at Afep: Patricia Barbizet is to become the first woman to head the French Association of Private Enterprises (Afep) on July 1, after a long career in the Pinault galaxy.

“After examining all the candidates and potential personalities, the board (of directors of the Afep) appointed, unanimously, Mrs. Patricia Barbizet to succeed Mr. Laurent Burelle”, indicated the association which brings together 117 of the largest firms in France. The chairman of the board of directors of the automotive supplier Plastic Omnium has chaired Afep since May 2017.

Currently president of the investment company Temaris et Associés, which she founded, Patricia Barbizet “has already sat on the board of Afep, from 2014 to 2018”, added the press release.

Former Patroness of Artemis

Above all, the future boss of Afep, 67 years old and familiar with the boards of directors of large groups, has long been at the head of Artemis, the investment company of the Pinault family to which she is very close.

Until July 1, Patricia Barbizet will continue to chair the High Committee for Corporate Governance (HCGE). This body is responsible for ensuring the proper application of the Afep-Medef code, a set of recommendations that is a reference within French employers.

Published in December 2022, the latest version of this code suggests for the first time calculating the remuneration of big bosses “by integrating several criteria related to social and environmental responsibility”.

Business lobby

A discreet but influential circle, Afep was founded in 1982 by businessman Ambroise Roux and has since given itself the mission of pushing the interests of large French companies to national and European political leaders.

At present, the main French employers’ organizations are run by men, in particular the Mouvement des entreprises de France (Medef). After a single term of five years, its president Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux will however hand over to it in the summer.

Three candidates for the function, which has also never been occupied by a woman, have officially declared themselves: the current N.2 Patrick Martin, the vice-president and spokesperson for the Medef Dominique Carlac’h and the deputy president of the French Security Federation Pierre Brajeux.

Others, such as the president of the Alsatian branch of Medef Olivier Klotz, could follow in the coming weeks.

By admin