Jacques Veyrat’s interview

Chairman of the Impala Group, which he founded in 2011. After Polytechnique (X 1983), he joined the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and obtained an MBA. An interview…


I chose this name for the group at its inception in 2011. The impala embodies quite well the qualities I wanted to add to it. This antelope is both agile and powerful, constantly alert and extremely reactive. It is able to run fast and long, to jump high and very far, often in an unpredictable way. It seemed to me that these could be particularly positive assets for a group that wants to take the initiative and last, to commit itself as a partner in ambitious bets, to succeed and make others succeed…



ingénieur devant un panneau solaire

At Impala, there are a lot of engineers. I like this engineering culture – we used to say “genius” – this taste for undertaking and winning, this vision that is both analytical and constructive, of carrying out a project from start to finish as a challenge and giving ourselves all the means to achieve it fully.

And then, we live in a world where we will need a lot of intelligence, creativity and know-how in the very short term to overcome major challenges for our future. We won’t have too many engineers to get there…


I like to dare. I like to dare things that are sometimes considered too ambitious. And I like to succeed. I think we live in a world where too many people don’t want to “take risks”. However, daring is always winning. Even if you fail. Because what we have undertaken has made us stronger, more daring, more seasoned, because we always learn from our mistakes. It is important to have the right to make mistakes… In business as in investment. Provided, of course, that it is not repetitive… Daring is to undertake and undertaking is to live!

© Nicolas Thouvenin La Caserne, Impala’s new ambitious project


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Yes, at Impala we have values. And also principles. Our core values are boldness, responsibility and flexibility.

Boldness, because you have to dare. At Impala, we all share the same culture: that of risk and optimism.

Responsibility, because in order for them to succeed in what they do or what they want to do, you have to put people in a position of responsibility. To trust is to give confidence. And having confidence in yourself and in the people around you is the best way to succeed in whatever you do. When people are comfortable, they always create value.

And then you need flexibility. Because being flexible means knowing how to seize an opportunity when it arises, always looking for a solution when there is a problem, knowing how to consider other angles, other points of view, turning around quickly if necessary. Robert Louis-Dreyfus taught me to act quickly. “It is better to make a bad decision than not to decide,” he said. I totally agree.


I don’t like to make that kind of statement: loyalty is a daily decision… But it’s true that at Impala, even though there aren’t many of us, there are a lot of people who have been here a long time. Not because they are “loyal”, but, I believe, because they love what they do. Like me, they like to succeed, but above all they like to work in the conditions of fluidity, trust and benevolence that we have created together…

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photo d'enfant devant un panneau solaire

No one can ignore the fact that we – humanity – are now facing major challenges to our own survival. Let’s face it: for the past 100 years, we have literally depleted our own ecosystem.

Of course, we have also reached a level of comfort and well-being that our forefathers could never have imagined. And I’m convinced that it’s not over yet!

But in the field of energy – and not only – we must today implement something other than the irresponsible exploitation of fossil resources. That’s why Impala has been committed to renewable energies and, more generally, to all projects that address the issues of energy transition.

This is a major issue!

With Neoen, Castelton, TagEnergy and Albioma, we are showing that other ways are possible, that the future is being built now, with other technologies and other means.


Managing means leading. A good manager is someone who gets all his teams on board, who embodies the project he is carrying out.

Obviously, there are different ways to manage. But one of the main values of a good manager is optimism. Optimism is a very, very winning bet! The manager of a team has a real duty to be optimistic. He must make people want to dream. Not only to dream about material goods, that is important, but it is not enough. A good manager must know how to give his team the desire to move forward together towards a goal that is shared as an ideal.

photo de groupe - TagEnergy
© Xavier-Alexandre Pons The TagEnergy team


photo de visage centrée sur un oeil

When I created Impala, I set myself the goal of being the reference shareholder of at least a few beautiful unicorns, those companies that exceed one billion in valuation in less than 10 years.

In fact we have many more great stories and while some are already unicorns like Neoen, Direct Energie (sold in 2018) or Augustinus Bader, there will be more.

As a matter of principle, we are strongly focused on growth, with long term perspectives. But the most important thing is to be able to continue to attract talent.


Impala also participates, but this time in a minority way, in citizen projects with creative or entertainment values.

Our investments in Rosa Bonheur, CG Cinema, Philosophie Magazine, Les Films du Trésor or le Losange are all projects we are proud of.

Participating in the creation, reflection and conviviality in our country fills us with pride.

One of the Rosa Bonheur guinguettes, in Paris

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