Réunionnais du Monde Features McCourt Global’s Laurent Fontaine

Mar 4 Réunionnais du Monde Media Coverage McCourt Global

Educated at the University and the Institute of Business Administration (IAE) of La Réunion, Laurent revolutionized his career by heading to the United States. Recruited by the McCourt Group, owner of Olympique de Marseille, after going back to school to train in American accounting, he tells us how he accomplished his professional transition.

Can you introduce yourself?

Laurent Fontaine, 42 years old. I grew up in Sainte Suzanne but completed all my schooling in Saint Denis, where my mother’s family is from. My father, on the other hand, is from Le Tampon. After years of service in the public sector, my parents chose this city to enjoy their well-deserved retirement. My father worked as an editor at the General Council, while my mother was a nurse at CHD Bellepierre.

Tell us about your journey.

My educational and university journey was 100% local. After a baccalaureate in Economics at Lycée de Bellepierre, I chose to continue my studies at the University of La Réunion. There, I obtained a DEUG in Economics, followed by a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in International Economics. Later, I completed my studies by earning a DESS in Finance and Taxation at the Institute of Business Administration (IAE) of La Réunion.

Under what circumstances did you leave the island?

I left in 2009, somewhat by chance after meeting my then-partner from the United States, who regularly came to France for work. After a year of reflection and several stays in the USA, I decided to take the plunge into the American adventure. The beginnings were particularly difficult: the language barrier, a different culture, and above all the fact that I had no job… I had to start all over again from scratch, step by step.

What did you do?

First, I went back to school to obtain a certification in American accounting, aiming to improve my professional English. At the same time, I volunteered with local associations and passed the IELTS exam to prove my level of English and strengthen my resume. To make ends meet, I took on various small jobs: receptionist, personal assistant, etc. It took me about a year and a half to get organized, start feeling comfortable in English, and finally land my first real job in the United States. Over the past 15 years, I’ve had the opportunity to deepen my skills in finance and accounting in various sectors. My professional journey has led me to work in diverse fields such as real estate, luxury distribution, and management consulting firms.

Where are you today?

I hold the position of Senior Financial and Accounting Manager within the McCourt Group, an investment company based primarily in New York. McCourt Global stands out for its diversified investments, particularly in real estate, sports, and more recently, new technologies. In France, the McCourt Group is best known as the owner of Olympique de Marseille. I have been working within this group for six years and was even recently honored to receive the McCourt Prize 1893. This award, given annually, is a token of recognition towards a staff member who best embodies the group’s core values: entrepreneurship, adaptability, boldness, humility, result-orientation, and generosity. My plans for the future are to continue thriving professionally in New York and to keep traveling and discovering the world. Even though I enjoy returning to Reunion for vacations, I do not see myself moving back permanently.

Read Laurent’s full feature in the original French here.

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