Biography

Laurent Dassault

Born July 7, 1953 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Laurent Dassault is the son of Serge Dassault (1925). Married to Martine Lambrey de Souza Dassault in 2002, he has two sons, Julien and Adrien, from his previous marriage with Martine Raych.

After 13 years in banking, Laurent Dassault in 1991 joined the group founded by his grandfather Marcel Dassault. At Dassault Investissements, he handles indirect compensation involved in military aeronautical contracts.

He has also developed—and increased the value of—the firm’s investments in the arts and vineyards. Profoundly forward-looking and business oriented, Laurent Dassault enjoys creating, innovating and building. He is also deeply involved in many charitable and humanitarian organizations.

Laurent Dassault today sits on some 30 boards involved principally in the financial, industrial and artistic sectors.

Art

Laurent Dassault is director of Artcurial SA. He also actively promotes Artcurial in Deauville. In 2008 at his suggestion it became a shareholder with High Highness the Agha Khan in Arqana, one of Europe’s leading horse sale houses. Laurent Dassault and Artcurial Developpement in 2011 became a direct shareholder.

As an art lover and major collector, Laurent Dassaut is personally involved in the art world. He served for 11 years with the Association of the Friends of the Pompidou Center, then was named a director of the Society of Friends of the National Museum of Modern Art. He serves in the same capacity with the Association for the International Propagation of French Art (ADIAF) and as President of the Friends of the FRAC-Aquitaine, the regional Fund of Contemporary Art in Aquitaine. In 2009, at the advice and with the backing of his associate, Hadrien de Montferrand, he created a special gallery specialized in contemporary drawing in the 7, 8, 9 Cultural Center of Beijing.

Partnering with the Pompidou Center, the Modern Art Museum and the FIAC—and with the help of Lazard Freres Gestion—he organizes the annual award of the Marcel Duchamp Prize at the Rond-Point of the Champs-Elysees. This prize was created to support the French artistic scene and contribute to its international influence.

Wine

In 1994, Laurent Dassault became manager of Chateau Dassault, a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classé and three years later renamed its second wine D de Dassault. In 1998 he bought shares in prestigious chateau Cheval Blanc. With the goal of making his wine one of the very best of its category, in 2002 he added to the some 59-acre vineyard of Chateau Dassault, which his grandfather had bought in 1955, by acquiring the 16-acre vineyard of Chateau La Fleur, a Grand Cru Saint-Emilion.

Thanks to Chateau l’Evangile and Rieussec, and the backing of Eric de Rothschild, he has expanded his wine interests.

In 1998, on the other side of the Atlantic, he and six other well-known wine growers purchased 2,100 acres in Argentina where they are producing a premium wine called Clos de la Siete. In 2004, in the same vineyard, he created Flechas de los Andes with Benjamin de Rothschild as his partner

In 2001 he signed a joint venture in 2001 with the Chilean Luksic family, owners of Vina San Pedro, but sold his shares in 2007 to Guillermo Luksic after strategic and policy differences.

Back in France, in December 2013 the family estate expanded with the purchase of the Faurie de Souchard vineyard.

Sponsorship and Charities

Sponsorship and charitable work, so often linked, occupy an important place in Laurent Dassault’s life and works.

He is trustee for the Prevention and Blindness Organisation (OPC), which actively fights against onchocerciasis (also known as the river blindness), especially in West Africa. He is also deeply involved in the worldwide fight against trachoma. In 2006, Laurent Dassault organised a prestigious charity gala for OPC's benefit, under the presidency of Alain Mérieux and the patronage of Bernadette Chirac.

He also is the President of One Drop France, branch of One Drop Canada which Guy Laliberté presides, and which aims at improving access to water for the world’s poorest populations.

He recently joined the board of the Association for the Memory of the Hidden Children and of the Just, in the town Chambon-sur-Lignon, which is associated with a Museum commemorating the predominantly Protestant town role in protecting fugitive jews during Nazi persecution during World War 2. Laurent Dassault is personally involved with creating the Memorial garden.

Passions

Together with arts, polo and golf are Laurent Dassault's two other passions. He is an excellent rider and uses his free moments to indulge his passions, whether in France and abroad.

He is also very keen about aviation. After his university schooling, he did his basic military training in the French Air Force. In 1978 he served as intelligence office with the Jaguar squadron 3/3 Ardennes at the Nancy-Ochy air base. He became captain in the reserves in 1986.

Decoration

France

  • Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, 2003
  • Officier des Arts et des Lettres, 2008
  • Chevalier des Palmes Academiques, 2010

 

Foreign

  • Officier de l’Ordre de la couronne de Belgique, 2006