Gilles Martin, the unknown of the CAC 40

Brown. Average height. Distinctive sign: none. Last name: Martin. Eurofins CEO Gilles Martin, 58, has discretion in his blood. Not as much as Emmanuel Besnier, the boss of Lactalis, who for a long time ensured that no photo of him circulated, but almost: Gilles Martin thus refused to pose for The world. ” A habit. I don’t have the personality cult like some American leaders. On the contrary… “, the interested party is justified, who shuns social life. In the establishment, hardly anyone knows him!

However, since the entry of the bioanalysis giant to the CAC 40 on September 17, it has been difficult to escape the attention. Especially since the story is beautiful.

It began in the early 1980s, when the Martin spouses, Maryvonne the physicist and Gérard the chemist, teacher-researchers at the University of Nantes, developed a method of nuclear magnetic resonance analysis making it possible to detect the origin of the sugar in wine. What was the probability that the Pierre and Marie Curies of chaptalization spawn the Steve Jobs of bioanalysis?

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Gilles, their eldest, has already created several start-ups during his studies at Ecole Centrale Paris, and even worked in the United States in the field of artificial intelligence. He was 24 years old when, in 1987, his parents entrusted him with the task of using their patent bought from the CNRS. “I realized very young that I was less bright than my parents and my brother, who is a genius at math. I also saw how the university system lacked resources. I understood very early on that entrepreneurship was the path that would bring me independence ”, professes the person concerned.

Eurofins’ first steps took place within the “Martin laboratory”, as the research unit was then designated: “It was not very well seen at the time. There have been criticisms on the subject “you have collected public money and you are developing a private business”, but this is the normal life of the labs, testifies Gérald Remaud, professor at the University of Nantes, member of the original cell. We were a handful. Gilles Martin worked a lot. He knew where he wanted to go. He had instinct and ambition for the fledgling business. “

“What matters to me is control of the company”

Gérard and Maryvonne, Gilles and his brother Yves-Loïc – who later joined Eurofins – share the capital of the small business within a limited partnership, Analytical Bioventures, which leaves full powers to Gilles. “Money is not my motivation. It was inconceivable for me to get rich on my own. What matters to me is control of the business. As long as I am the manager, I want to keep 100% of the voting rights in the holding company ”, he emphasizes. Control, the first obsession.

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