In Person: Frederic Monteil, IPE

Leanne Bell meets the publisher's events chief with an eye for art, design and the unusual.

When IPE International Publishers' Frederic Monteil wanted to move into the newly created post of events director, he had a fight on his hands. The company's founder didn't want to lose his top salesman, but Monteil got his way and, five years on, he has seen the events team double in size to four. He oversees the management of four annual events, most of which are awards ceremonies and forums for readers of the company's publications including Investment & Pensions Europe and IPE Real Estate. These events provide Monteil with the opportunity to be creative and indulge his love of art, and avoid doing things the conventional way.

Beyond the norm

I always look for unusual venues. There's an absolutely mad museum in Paris, Les Pavillons de Bercy, created by an eccentric who renovated some wine cellars and filled them with old fun fair attractions. You should have seen the managing directors and CEOs battling to win little soft toys.

An eye for figures

Pensions and investments can be a bit dull but I'm starting to like it, which is really sad. Even if you have a boring topic, delegates will come to the event if you get an interesting speaker.

Suppliers and demands

It's a rare occurrence but if I have a problem with a supplier, I remove them from the programme. I give 110 per cent of my time and energy, and work to high standards. If you are going to work for me, you are expected to do the same. When I run an event, I get to create the whole thing. It's my baby. And it's so rewarding to see a full year's work come to fruition.

By royal appointment

The event industry allows you to see places that you would never otherwise get the chance to see, and meet public figures. And when you travel you are treated like a king, which is deserved. But it's not all glamour - there's a lot of hard behind-the-scenes work.

The crunch bites ...

The impact of the credit crunch hasn't been dramatic and our brand has an excellent reputation, but you can sense that people are starting to feel concerned about spending money on sponsorship. We are thinking about scaling down some events a little. We'd do this, perhaps, by using hotels instead of unusual venues, which can be quite pricey.

Tied to the desk

We felt the pinch a bit at the Real Estate Awards in Berlin at the end of May. The credit crunch had just happened and the asset managers - our delegates - were forced to stay at their desks to analyse the market.

Surprise package

My ultimate career goal would be to head up the events team for a financial institution. It's easy to work in this industry because even though these people have seen many things, I'm weird enough to surprise them.

Better by design

If I didn't work in events I'd like to design logos. I chose my first English bank because of its logo and now I'm with First Direct because I like the bank card - it's all black.

Rhythm is a dancer

I like everything about dancing and I want to learn Flamenco because I love Spain - the food, the language, the people and the way of life.

Domestic miss

I have been fighting to get our biggest event to London. But it's an expensive destination, and finding a venue and the transport is difficult. We may not come to the UK just yet, in these uncertain times, but it's a plan.

Fire and ice

My first boss at IPE was an inspiration. He was very calm and when I first started I was the opposite. Being French, I was pretty fiery, so it was great to work with him.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Professional
1998: Trainee sales executive, IPE International Publishers
1999: Sales executive, IPE International Publishers
2001: Advertisement manager, IPE International Publishers
2003: Changes role to events director, IPE International Publishers
Personal
Hobbies: Swimming, the gym, dancing, reading, music, gardening, art,
watching rugby
Favourite restaurant: 1728 in Paris
Dream car: Morgan Roadster
Favourite hotel: Delano in Miami, Faena Hotel and Universe in Buenos
Aires
Favourite city: Madrid

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