Jean Peyrelevade graduated from the École Polytechnique, the Institut d’Études Politiques (IEP) and is a chief civil aviation engineer (École Nationale de l’Aviation Civile). He also has a post-graduate degree in economics from la Sorbonne.
Jean Peyrelevade began his career in 1963 at the Ministry of Transport, at the General Secretariat for Civil Aviation, where he worked for ten years on major civil aviation construction programmes. Leaving the civil service, he joined Crédit Lyonnais in the early 1970s where he worked on international trade financing (trade and capital goods).
In 1981, he was appointed deputy director of Pierre Mauroy’s cabinet and economic advisor to the Prime Minister.
He then chaired some of France’s largest financial institutions: in 1983, he was appointed Chairman of the Compagnie Financière de Suez and, at the same time, of Banque Indosuez. In 1985, he was also responsible for negotiating the Eurodisney establishment agreements on behalf of the French authorities.
He was then appointed Chairman of UAP in 1988, before becoming Chairman of the Crédit Lyonnais in 1993 for ten years.
From 2004, he joined the private sector, notably within the European investment bank Leonardo & Co, where he was Chairman of the Supervisory Board in France until 2013, then at Degroof Petercam until 2018 as Managing Partner. He is now working as a freelance business consultant and has just taken over as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Société Phocéenne de Participations (Bourbon Maritime Group).
Finally, Jean Peyrelevade was for a long time Professor of Economics at the Ecole Polytechnique (from 1969 to 1994) and has written several books on the evolution of contemporary capitalism.