Patrice Hoppenot graduated from the Mines de Paris executive engineering school as a civil engineer and was awarded an MBA from the University of Chicago. He spent the first part of his career in the industry. In 1988, he founded the European private equity fund BC Partners which went on to become one of the major independent financial investors in Europe specialized in LBO operations. In 2001, he set up Investisseur et Partenaire pour le Développement (I&P), an investment company dedicated to promoting entrepreneurs in Africa and investing in SMEs and microfinance institutions. I&P is today present in over ten African countries. Patrice Hoppenot also serves on the boards of several companies listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.