Six-month review: Célia d’Everlange of SMCP

Dec 20, 2018
The former IR director at Danone discusses what IR has been like in the newly created role at the Paris brand owner

Six months into your new position, has the job lived up to your expectations?

It’s fully in line with my expectations. In fact, it’s even better! The entrepreneurial aspect is really exciting. As a newly listed company, everything to do with financial communication has to be created from scratch so it’s all about putting in place best practices, growing analyst coverage and attending as many conferences and roadshows as possible to increase awareness around the company. 

We benefit from strong international investor interest and our results are very strong. That was my biggest concern when I decided to leave a company on the CAC 40 Index. Would I have access to as many large international investors? Would I have the ability to increase the list of analysts covering us? In fact, I took a big gamble when I decided to join SMCP: I bet that the capitalization would double and, I’m happy to say, today I am convinced we are on track. 

We deliver quarter after quarter, consistently posting double-digit growth. Every day, our brands – Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot – show their global desirability and we continue the strong development of our presence in Asia, Europe and North America, with almost 100 new points of sale per year. 

What does your typical day look like? 

A typical day comprises doing or planning roadshows and attending broker conferences, and creating financial communication supports linked to the new listing of SMCP: working on the first half-year financial report, preparing the first shareholder meeting, or working on the possible organization of our first investor day.

And with the entrepreneurial spirit running strongly throughout SMCP, I can be involved in different projects that are not necessarily purely linked to financial communication – which makes things even more interesting. On top of my IR job, I recently took on the role of director of external communications, meeting with new stakeholders and journalists. It’s very interesting to receive feedback from both the financial market and the media. 

What elements of your career background do you think have helped you most in this job so far?

I think all of my professional experience has come together to really help me today. First of all, I had 10 years’ experience at Rothschild, where I was able to develop the right reflexes to understand the financial market. And most recently I had a very enriching experience at Danone as part of the investor relations team. During this time, I reinforced my team spirit, rigor and organizational skills. 

I also had the chance to deal with a very diverse range of topics such as the largest bonds issuance in Europe, the acquisition of a US company and working within a company that emphasizes sustainability – a philosophy that is fully integrated into Danone’s DNA and its financial communication. 

What has been the biggest challenge in the role so far? And what has been your highlight?

As usual, when you start in a new company and, more importantly, in a new sector, the greatest challenge is acquiring the general knowledge of the group and its peers. More specifically, my biggest challenge has also been my biggest highlight: I started from a blank page. I am the first person to hold this position at SMCP, and I feel my team and I are paving the way for SMCP’s financial communication in the future. We are establishing relationships with analysts and making choices about the way we will communicate. My CEO likes to say, ‘We are not reading the book, we are writing it.’ It’s a motto that is fully embedded in our entrepreneurial culture. 

This article was published in the winter 2018 issue of IR Magazine – the 30th anniversary issue of IR Magazine

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