Gérard Lopez (businessman)

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Gérard López
Gérard López Fojaca[1]
Born (1971-12-27) 27 December 1971 (age 49)
Nationality Spain[2]
 Luxembourg
Alma materMiami University
OccupationChairman and CEO of Nekton Co-founder and Chairman of The Genii Group and Chairman of Genii Capital
Founding Managing Partner of Mangrove Capital Partners
Owner and President of Lille

Gérard López Fojaca (born 27 December 1971) is an entrepreneur-investor and an active Luxembourgish-Spanish businessman that invests in new technologies, energy sector and in the sports industry.

In the 1990s, Lopez cofounded Mangrove Capital Partners, one of the top three Tech investors in Europe. Alongside Eric Lux, he created The Genii Group. From 2009 to 2015, Lopez was President of the Formula 1 Lotus F1 Team and is still one of its minority shareholder and administrator. He is chairman of Genii Capital and is also CEO of Nekton,[3] an investment company in the energy sector, where he spends most of his time. Lopez has been the President of Luxembourg CS Fola Esch football club since 2007.

Biography[edit]

Lopez grew up in a soot-covered house next to a steel mill in Luxembourg. He was recruited to Miami University in Western Ohio to play basketball on a partial scholarship in 1998.[4] He studied integrated traffic management systems and in operational management in Miami University. He also has a degree in Asian Art.

At age 22, he began managing a number of companies among which Icon Solutions, a pioneer society in internet development, and the leasing company ProLease. Lopez is an active investor in various types of private funds, ranging from early-stage technology companies to real estate investments.

With Mark Tluszcz and Hans Jurgen Schmitz, he founded Mangrove Capital Partners, a Luxembourg-based leading venture capital company specialized in future oriented technologies. Mangrove Capital Partners was one of the first investors in Skype selling a minority position to eBay in 2005 as part of the $2.6 billion dollar acquisition.[5]

He founded with Eric Lux in 2008 Genii Capital, a finance consulting and investment managing firm. Lopez sits on the board of Directors of WIx, Zink Imaging, Lotus F1 Team and is also a member of the Planning Advisory Committee of the Miami University Business School.

In 2015, he founded Nekton, an investment company and brokerage in energy field, active in South America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.[6][7]

In recent years, Lopez has also taken an interest in Russia and is currently chairman of Rise Capital[8] (Sweden) - a company controlled by Russian businessman Igor A. Snegurov that invests in public-private partnerships with a focus on Russian infrastructure projects, where construction contracts go to Snegurov’s own construction group VIS,[9] which often receives its orders or financial backing from Gazprom where Snegurov's friend and colleague Dmitriy Doyev heads Gazprom structures Tsentrremont and Tsentrenergogaz.[10]

Sports[edit]

As a sports fan, Lopez got into car racing through operations made with Eric Lux and Gravity Sport Management in particular. He also participated in long-distance races with Gravity Racing International's team. In 2009, he bought out the Formula 1 Lotus F1 Team making Genii Capital the majority owner of the team. If the stable possessed very few sponsors at the beginning, Microsoft, Unilever and Coca-Cola soon became team partners.[11]

Through Kick Partners and Mangrove Sport Business Intelligence, Lopez also takes care of the image and the transfers of football players.[12] The businessman has also been since 2007 the President of the CS Fola Esch, the football club in which he used to play as a teenager.

With Marc Ingla, both men have been associates for years in Kick Partners and Mangrove Sport Business Intelligence activities. Leading figure of the FC Barcelona in the 2000s and former Marketing Director of the football club, Marc Ingla coordinated FC Barcelona’s professional team sponsoring by Nike.

For one year, Lopez and his team are studying the French Ligue 1 championship for an acquisition.[13] In October 2016, Lopez entered into exclusive talks with President Michel Seydoux for the acquisition of the Lille OSC football club[14] He eventually succeeded and become the majority owner of the French Ligue 1 club.

Personal interests[edit]

Lopez owns what is considered by some to be one of the best car collections in the world.[15] It has been featured in Top Gear magazine and in local newspapers.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nekton Group". nekton-group.com. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  2. ^ País, Ediciones El (23 December 2015). "Reportaje - Gerard López, el millonario invisible". elpais.com. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Mangrove Capital Partners: Gérard LOPEZ, Co-founder and Managing Partner". Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  4. ^ "How Lille are using data to shape their future". ESPN.com. 27 December 2019. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  5. ^ "EBay Buys Skype for $2.6 Billion cache". wikiwix.com. Archived from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2005.
  6. ^ "Nekton Group prend 50% de Rise Capital: Le pétrole, nouveau pari de Gérard Lopez". wort.lu. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Skype financier Gerard Lopez to lead new Russia-focused infrastructure investment group". privateequitywire.co.uk. 16 June 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Rise Capital". risecapital.se. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  9. ^ "Группа «ВИС»". en.vis-group.ru. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  10. ^ ""Распилочный" картель "Газпрома"? — The Moscow Post". www.moscow-post.com. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Lotus signe un nouveau partenaire - F1i.com". f1i.com. 5 September 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Transfert : Gerson est enfin à la Roma". lequipe.fr. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  13. ^ SPORT, RMC. "LOSC : pourquoi Gérard Lopez débarque". bfmtv.com. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  14. ^ Rédaction. "Vente du Losc : Gérard Lopez et Michel Seydoux en négociations exclusives pour le rachat du club". lequipe.fr. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  15. ^ "The best car collection... in the world?". Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  16. ^ "Car collection featured on Top Gear". Retrieved 28 June 2017.