This week’s economic portrait is the Ivorian Stanislas Zézé. At 53, this high-flying financier heads the first financial assessment agency to emerge in West Africa, Bloomfield Investment Corporation, born in 2007. In a way, nothing predestined Stanislas Zézé to finance.
With a military father – and founder of the Ivory Coast’s secret services – Stanislas Zézé was born under the sign of Mars (the god of war and weapons) instead of Mercury. (the god of commerce among the Romans). This brilliant student traveled to France to pass his baccalaureate and obtain a law degree. He then flew to the United States to learn administration and economics. However, the image of his father, who died a few years earlier, haunts him. And between Mars and Mercury, Stanislas Zézédé first decides not to choose.
” My father used to say, “A man must serve in the army, a man who does not serve in the army is not a real man”. Obviously, I grew up with it and I thought, “I’ve got to get rid of this”! I was in the United States and I decided to enlist under the American flag. I joined the army, it was a very good experience, I stayed there for a year. And it taught me a lot of things in terms of rigor, discipline and resilience. »
A year under the flag. He then branched out into finance, from private banking to the World Bank, then the African Development Bank.
And in 200 he established Bloomfield Investment, the first financial assessment agency in West AfricaWith the idea of correcting the bias that, according to him, the American rating agencies have when working on the debt of African countries.
“On my various trips to Africa, I realized that the assessment of risk on the continent by international rating agencies was quite biased. African countries were assessed on a universal basis. While the economic assessment is to assess your ability to meet your obligations in a certain currency. So if this currency is not your working currency and if you have few currencies in this currency, you will inevitably have very low ratings despite your performance. So I thought there should be a tool to fix that. “
It is not only the economy or the army that interests this manIndeed, this practicing Catholic professes a fascination with the cardinals of the Roman Curia. To the point of having copied a dress habit.
“You know, I think the most powerful (men’s ed. note) in the church are the cardinals. I took a tour of the Vatican, I visited St. Peter’s, then I went to sit in a cafe, I saw two cardinals arrive in their big dark boxes, they sat down across from me and, as if in a theatrical gesture, both of them crossed their legs, and I saw red socks. Pam! it blew me away! And it reinforced me in this thought that they were very powerful people. But a controlled, hidden and discreet power. And it seduced me, I immediately went to buy a pair of red socks. I asked the salesman, “Can I have a pair of red socks?”, he said, “Ah, you want Cardinals!” I took five and since that day I have never parted with those socks. I only wear red socks. »
As we can see, Stanislas Zézé integrates the three major forms of power in society in his career. The army, money and religion. But he has never been fooled and that is what makes this man very interesting. He thus did not choose the economic assessment by chance. Because if you think about it, the financial assessment is an instrument for controlling money and its harmful effects, and therefore it is a form of distancing that he himself considers necessary.