Alain Pitous is General Manager of Talence Management, an independent management company, approved by the AMF. Mr. Pitous has worked in the asset management industry since 1986. A graduate of EDHEC, he began his career in a stock exchange company in Lille. It a then joined Société Générale as a bond portfolio manager. He then managed diversified management teams, followed by equities and fixed income until 2009. At that time he actively participated in the creation of Amundi (Crédit Agricole Group), an entity combining the management activities of Société Général and Crédit Agricole. Member of the Amundi Executive Committee until 2014, he joined an entrepreneurial adventure by joining Talence Gestion as Managing Director. Talence Gestion, a fully independent management company, has two business lines, fund management mainly “equity” and discretionary management for private clients. And it is in his capacity as an expert and through his experience that we have decided to have his opinion on the economic offer for election to the Supreme Court.
Q: Public finances are among the major topics of this campaign. What do you think are the most pragmatic solutions to deal with this problem?
From the current situation and subject to major upheaval in the political field, no “shock” type solution is possible; no one has a majority for such measures. That is why the only valid solution is to set a course, and gradually reduce the progression of public spending.
Example : set a public expenditure increase below the 0 growth.5%.
Q: Unemployment has never been so high in France. The business world is accused of all the wrongdoings. What solutions do you think are needed to change this state of mind in terms of investment philosophy and policy within companies?
There too we can always hope for the big night but it remains illusory. Supported jobs and such measures do not work. What we need to do is to act massively on training because it is an urgent matter if we want to maintain social peace and put the unemployed back into permanent employment. Bringing together under one authority the current budgets allocated to vocational training could perhaps facilitate the reintegration of the long-term unemployed and young people without a diploma into the labour market. It is these socio-professional categories that pose a problem and run the risk of exclusion without return. Other simple measures that do not cost the State too much are possible for small structures with less than 50 employees. This would encourage business leaders to create jobs.
In addition, we must also act upstream on education. We have 150,000 young people leaving school without a diploma every year, or 1.5 million people over the last 10 years. To remedy this, learning must be encouraged, which is also a way of facilitating the integration of young people into the world of work.
And to conclude, I think that the 35 hours are a disabling measure for the productivity of our economy and to remove it is in my opinion a necessity.
Q: For some candidates Europe and the Euro are accused of every evil. What is your opinion of the European construction and what are, in your opinion, the projects that remain to be launched?
The French economy suffers above all from a lack of productivity and quality towards its European neighbours and the reasoning that attributes this deficit to Europe is for me a simplistic reasoning. We can only be credible with our European partners if we are able to take the bull by the horns and face our problems.
Taxation and its corollary tax fraud are subjects on which urgent legislation is needed. It is inconceivable in my opinion that companies that generate turnover in one country take advantage of legal loopholes to not pay any of their tax due in another European country. Similarly, Europe must act without trembling on tax evasion for a simple matter of justice and equality before the law. Politically, subjects like these could justify a confrontation and the establishment of a balance of power within the European Community.
Q: What economic policy do you think should be put in place to ensure the success of the next five-year period ?
For me, a “liberal” economic policy on the economic level is the key success factor for the next five-year period. This will allow those who have the capacity to be free to undertake. But on the other hand, we must not forget that there are 6 million unemployed and 9 million people living below the poverty line whose social and economic conditions can only get worse if we do nothing. A balance between the welfare state and a liberal policy must be found. It should be borne in mind that France is the 5ème world economic power. Our country must offer guarantees of a decent life to its citizens, including the least privileged among them. This includes access to housing and the fight against malnutrition. The issue of disability remains a major issue for me. The State must be able to support the 12 million French people with disabilities in order to guarantee decent living conditions for this category of the population.
Q: Thank you very much for your answers.
The interview was conducted by Mr. Ismail HAJJI, member of the editorial staff