Jérémy Settbon, President of Recyc-Matelas Europe
I don’t know if you’ll remember this Sacha, but I for one haven’t forgotten the timing of the first time you reached out to me. It was during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, when the economic context was pretty bleak. I knew that if an investment fund was contacting us when we didn’t know what the future held, it was an avenue worth exploring.
Sacha Talmon, Associate Director, Co-head of WCP Impact Dev
I remember it very clearly. It wasn’t just what Recyc-Matelas does that caught our attention. What stuck with me was how you embodied the project and the company’s activities and how you were acutely aware of the environmental and social impact of the company’s work. The relationship of trust you build working with other people on a project like that is important, so I knew we would benefit from joining forces.
A company like ours – which is involved in recycling and social integration – clearly needed a partner that was mindful of the impact of our work.
Don’t forget you did ask two or three questions to gauge how involved we would be in managing the company.
Admittedly, I did! I remember it was…I was a little bit apprehensive about our share ownership structure changing, about a fund investing in the company. We were wondering how involved the fund would be and whether the company would still be totally free to make its own major strategic decisions. I feel reassured now, don’t worry. Your fund lets directors retain their independence and we…I soon realised that we wouldn’t be gaining a shareholder but rather an actual partner.
Exactly. We emphasised the impact plan, which, in our opinion, is what makes our fund unique. It’s tailored, it’s something we spend time on. We took the time to do it properly together. It’s not the kind of thing we impose on companies – that’s not our philosophy at all. We worked on it over a six-month period. We thought about initiatives that should be implemented to help the company thrive.
There really was a lot to think about. We’d already introduced a range of initiatives, but they lacked structure, and we hadn’t devised any sort of plan. Then you came along, looked at the initiatives we had in place and helped us come up with an action plan, complete with performance indicators and objectives, which were things we had definitely been lacking.
Another important thing we noticed when we first met you was how sincere you were in your approach and how keen you were to make an impact.
Honestly, I couldn’t have been anything other than sincere because, when you build a company and accept all the challenges that come with it, you truly mean what you say. As for the rest, our partnership has reminded me of something I learned as an entrepreneur – collaboration can get you a long way.
Weinberg Capital Partners would like to thank all the Recyc-Matelas Europe teams for their kind welcome.