At the end of 2017, Marie-Sophie Houis-Valletoux joined PMP as a partner responsible for the development of the banking, insurance and health practice. The former of PwC, Europ Assistance and MAAF is allowing herself three years to perpetuate this activity. At 50, she is also very involved in the issue of parity between executives and business leaders, in a sector far from being at the cutting edge. Portrait.
Freshly graduated from HEC, she joined Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) in 1991. “It was a kind of non-choice, like higher education after higher education, to continue learning and have the time to choose. what I wanted to do, ”she explains.
She worked there for seven years, during which she learned the consultancy profession and acquired dual sector expertise: in banking and insurance, within the team to which she was assigned, and in health: “I had done an internship. in this sector, which fascinated me, and I wanted to continue working ”.
Seven years during which the young woman also built her family life. “My eldest son was born during my last year at HEC and I arrived at Coopers with an infant… And my third child was born shortly before I left the firm,” she says. A double personal and professional life, which often marks a big stop for many consultants, or even an exit from the sector. Marie-Sophie Houis-Valletoux says, on the contrary, to have managed this period without problems.
Back to the independent advice box
The job pleases him. “I really enjoyed doing the advice, including the rhythm and the padding,” she says. But she nevertheless chose to join the world of business, where she went on to hold positions of responsibility for almost fifteen years. “I wanted to have experience of operational positions with projects to carry, strategies to embody and something to build, she explains. Because what I love is to act and build. “
She first joined Europ Assistance, then an ancestor of Humanis (Ionis), currently in the process of merging with Malakoff Médéric, before finally joining MAAF as health and provident director. At the same time, in 2006 she obtained a diploma from the Center for Advanced Insurance Studies, “an executive MBA dedicated to the world of insurance,” she explains.
During all these years, “the desire to come back to consulting has never really left me, and each time I have changed positions, I have always challenged two offers: an operational position offer and an offer to come back. in the board ”.
It was in 2012 that she began to return to her first profession. She created MX Conseil, a structure in which she first worked alone before recruiting her first employee a few months later. “It happened very naturally,” she says. The newer thing for me was the commercial part, without the backing of a brand. For the rest, I did outside what I used to do inside. “
Integration with PMP to avoid routine
And for five years, she, who had never been a business leader, said that she had “touched the satisfaction of building something that looks like you, with the help of a cheerful and united team”.
At the end of 2017, the MX Consulting adventure took a new turn when Marie-Sophie Houis-Valletoux made “a merger with the PMP firm”, which she joined, with her team, as a partner. “I used to work with different firms that came to look for business skills from me and I would look for functional skills – digital and customer experience. With PMP, we worked on a number of issues and carried out missions together, and we had a great time. “
Above all, this merger “corresponded to a project on both sides, she emphasizes: PMP had a real interest in the insurance sector, and I was beginning to have seen what I could wear. – and bring to my teams – alone, and I was starting to get into a routine, which I really wanted to avoid. “
The challenges of integration after a merger
Now responsible for the development of the banking – insurance and health practice of PMP, the new partner has not arrived in new territory. “In terms of what I do, it hardly changes anything compared to before, but it significantly broadens the types of response I can give to my clients. Being surrounded by functional experts and experts from other professions allows for very interesting exchanges, synergies and bridges. And I really find a new impetus in it. “
There remains a challenge: to succeed in finding one’s mark within this new structure and with the twelve other partners. “It’s a change for me, of course, but since PMP is a small structure with a strong entrepreneurial dynamic, it’s not fundamentally different either. The biggest challenge was to take the time to integrate into this big family: they have been used to working together for many years, they have a history in common, a strong enough culture that I feel quite close to, but I haven’t grown up with them for the past ten years. “
Beyond its consulting activities, it is also committed to promoting parity by creating, ten years ago, with five other senior insurance executives, the Parité Assurance association. What about gender issues in the consulting sector? “I think that beyond parity, the issue, particularly in the consulting sector, is that of diversity, which constitutes real value for a firm and its clients and which must develop further in a sector where we may tend to recruit fairly homogeneous profiles and backgrounds. “
Sustain the bancassurance and health practice: a challenge in three years
Almost a year after arriving at PMP, Marie-Sophie Houis-Valletoux is content to smile when asked if this stage of her career is the last, or if she could, once again, go and build something else elsewhere. “I still have a good fifteen years of professional life ahead of me, it is very difficult to project so far, she believes. My current concern is to succeed at PMP what we have launched together, to build and perpetuate the activity entrusted to me, and thus to contribute to the success of this firm. And to complete all this, I have at least three years. »Appointment is made.
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