4:34 - Coming from a family business
10:37 - A hand-over from father to son
21:05 - Financial defenses against COVID
32:13 - Being a sustainability trailblazer
35:08 - The SIX IPO program
Sebastien Tondeur is the CEO at MCI group, a global next-gen platform for marketing which was founded as a conference organizer in 1987 by Sebastien’s dad, Roger Tondeur. Sebastien studied Finance and International Business at Northeastern University in Boston and joined the family business immediately after his studies, doing all sorts of tasks.
In 2010, Sebastien took over from his dad as CEO of the company, and Roger remained as Chairman. Sebastien soon drafted a new business plan that would allow the group to adapt to the current market and expand their business offers: besides organizing live and virtual events, MCI nowadays also offers strategic and digital communications, and consulting and community solutions. Events organizing have historically been their biggest revenue stream.
Sebastien scaled MCI to a global company, with operations in Europe, the US and China (and managed to do so by investing early on in client relations with big multinationals, as well as in hiring great teams), so the team really saw the COVID wave make its path from East to West and reacted very quickly in restructuring the business: they analyzed which areas of the business would be the most resilient and therefore worth investing time, effort and money into. They scaled back their events operations and invested in hiring creative teams to work as consultants with their customers, who were equally shaken by the COVID crisis and in need of new ideas.
They have recently participated in the SIX Sparks IPO Academy. MCI is interested in going public because this would mean greater shareholder trust and greater access to large amounts of capital, which may help them weather the next crisis.
"COVID made us realize what our key assets were, that we had other businesses not directly linked to events which we could build on. "
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