Jean-Luc Tauleigne has almost 30 years of experience as an international banker; he assumed his previous role of Global Head of Commodity Trade Finance in 2012 and became Global Head of Traders & Distribution Industry Group in 2019 when Natixis decided to create new industry groups to develop the strategic dialogue with the big clients such as the top tier global Traders.
Previously, he joined BFCE (Banque Française du Commerce Extérieur) in 1991 and served first as Area Manager for Asia. He then worked at Natixis’ Corporate Division as Senior Manager specialized in the energy sector before joining the Energy Commodity Finance Department, first as Group Manager and became Global Head of CTF before moving to its new position of Global Head of Industry Group.
Jean-Luc is graduated from Lyon II University and holds a Specialization Degree in International Finance.
#1. What is the best moment you can remember in your career?
I’m mulling over the many business trips I have taken to take a look at oil platforms, mines, refineries, etc… Those are all fantastic memories, but it is most likely my decision – 20 years ago already! – to leave my job as an account manager in the Corporate Finance Division at Banque Française du Commerce Extérieur. Even though it was a very interesting time at the bank, I left for a new oil trade finance venture. It was a brand new department of four or five people at the time. All my superiors at the bank had warned me that my career was finished, that the job wouldn’t lead anywhere and that I was making a very bad decision. With hindsight, it’s lucky that I didn’t listen to them in late 1999/early 2000, and gambled on a new niche!
#2. If you had to give just one piece of advice to a junior starting his/her career, what would it be?
When you’re young, you tend to want everything right away. You have to be patient and learn from your elders, Don’t hesitate to ask for advice – that’s what we’re there for. There’s no substitute for hands-on experience and overcoming problems. You mustn’t hesitate to speak up and ask questions because, as Plato said, there is no substitute for learning by talking to one another – we increasingly tend to forget that and choose the easy option of digital.
#3. Do you have a Motto/Lucky charm?
“The sky is the limit.” When I joined the commodities department, my then boss never used to stop saying that. I think it is pretty true: you can do anything if you put your mind to it. And there are no limits, or at least not many… You have to be ambitious! That is also, to an extent, the theme of Laurent Gounelle’s bestselling book The Man Who Wanted to Be Happy – it’s worth reading. Of course, it’s true that, in our business, the sky is a bit lower these days!
#4. What do you enjoy the most in your day to day job?
Actually, it is that there is nothing “day to day” about it: everything is very fluid, with problems relating to politics, logistics, volatility, regulation, compliance, energy transition, etc. The environment is changing all the time and it is highly unusual to be able to talk from day to day with high-level clients who are directly connected to global trade and its issues. It is gratifying to think that we play an active role in all this and that our voices carry weight.
#5. If you had to do it again would you chose the same career path?
Definitely. I wanted to be a sports teacher when I started out! Luckily, my floor gymnastics let me down in the exam – I was as stiff as a board because I was more into rugby. So, I started studying economics and finance. Where would I be if I had passed the exam to become a sports teacher? You never know, but it wasn’t meant to be and I prefer it this way, just playing the sports I like as a hobby, with family or friends.
#6. Where is your favourite place on earth and why?
Recently, it has been Provence. Not long ago, we were lucky enough to be able to buy and renovate an traditional old farmhouse near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, which is where we spent lockdown. The countryside is beautiful, and the people are friendly and open. It’s still amazing to be able to go for a walk with my dog in the Alpilles, or to hit the golf course surrounded by olive trees.
#7. How could you qualify your relationship with Ampersand World?
I always love my punchy discussions with Penda! It enables me to take a bit of a step back and gain some perspective. You often need that and we forget it a bit too often, I think.