Jean-Luc Schnoebelen, a French expert in equipment and infrastructure engineering, who became a serial entrepreneur
After a long career in the building and civil engineering sector, with a specialization in the field of equipment and infrastructure, Jean-Luc Schnoebelen now brings his expertise and advice to major international companies.
Jean-Luc Schnoebelen also initiated various entrepreneurial adventures, and including Ginger Group. Let’s take a look back on the career of a man – and a true entrepreneur – who has more than one string to his bow.
Jean-Luc Schnoebelen: the beginnings of an engineer career
Jean-Luc Schnoebelen graduated from Nancy Surveyors and Topographers Superior School. He began his career in 1981 at OTH, a French company specializing in building engineering (now part of the IOSIS group). He started his career as international development director and participated in the growth of the company.
Two years later, in 1983, Jean-Luc Schnoebelen was offered the opportunity to lead the engineering branch of a subsidiary of the Bouygues Group. He took up this new challenge with success and became Technical Director of the group in 1986, then Director of Bouygues USA (back then HDR Inc.), a position he held from 1991 to 1994. After that, he became CEO of Rinaldi Structal Group, another Bouygues subsidiary. These successive experiences turned him into a recognized specialist in the fields of building, infrastructure and equipment, an expertise that progressively became his first asset.
Alongside his career at Bouygues, Jean-Luc Schnoebelen was a key player in introducing home automation, or as we know it today “domotics”. By proposing “Domobus” in 1986, Jean-Luc Schnoebelen had already put computer intelligence and electronics at the service of the consumer in the building sector. Domobus, a domestic dashboard, allows to evaluate individual consumption in collective housing with collective heating.
This passion for innovation in the building and engineering sector also lead Jean-Luc Schnoebelen to create IB2 technologies, a company specializing in “smart buildings”, in partnership with IBM and Bouygues. At the same period, he also launched Edival, a solution designed to ease digital data transfers between major companies such as France Telecom, Bouygues or Cap Gemini.
But Jean-Luc Schnoebelen did not limit his activities to the building and engineering sectors. In 1992, he was in charge of coordinating the coverage of Albertville Olympics for TF1 TV channel. After this first experience, he was asked to carry out a study on the 1998 football world cup media coverage.
His entrepreneurial spirit and openness to the business world allowed Jean-Luc Schnoebelen to go far beyond his initial set of skills and to explore new horizons.
The Ginger Groupe adventure and the creation of the number one private group of equipment and infrastructure engineering in France
As early as 1996, Jean-Luc Schnoebelen had the intuition that the French market for equipment and infrastructure engineering had an important untapped potential. After leaving Bouygues, and with a long experience in the sector, he bought the Center of Expertise of Building and Public Works (CEBTP), thus laying the foundation stone for his company, Ginger Groupe. This first strategic move enabled him to benefit from the expertise of the national network of agencies within the CEBTP. Over the years, the Ginger Groupe grew gradually, thanks to an international strategy of corporate acquisition. About fifteen companies were integrated, in France and abroad, to give birth to the Ginger Groupe.
The growing group offers high-quality service and expertise to local authorities and public infrastructures managers. In just a few years, Jean-Luc Schnoebelen builds the leading private equipment and infrastructure engineering group in France, with an international dimension. In 2009, Ginger Groupe counted more than 2000 employees and had a turnover of 269.5 million euros. In 2010, Ginger Groupe was sold to the Dutch group Grontmij, a buyout that gave birth to the 4th European actor in engineering consulting.
Jean-Luc Schnoebelen, a specialist now recognized in the field of strategic consulting and crisis management
Jean-Luc Schnoebelen’s entrepreneurial success story did not stop after Ginger Groupe, quite the contrary. In 1996, he created JLS Management, which accompanies and advises companies in the fields of crisis management, business recovery or restructuring, an engaging activity that quickly became his main occupation.
With his solid background in engineering and entrepreneurship, Jean-Luc has been developing a well-known expertise in strategic consulting and crisis management. Today, he puts his skills at the service of major groups, such as Suez Industries, TPFI, Vinci or SNC Lavallin. On behalf of the “Consortium de réalisation” (the entity in charge of managing the liabilities of the French bank Crédit Lyonnais after its bankruptcy in 1993) Jean-Luc Schnoebelen also carried out numerous missions with various companies: the TI group (turnkey industrial engineering solutions), the Master K group (weighing solutions manufacturer), Bernard Teillaud (real estate), LMDI (logistics company), or Air Caraïbes airlines.
In 2011, Jean-Luc Schnoebelen also founded Impact Holding, a company that holds the majority shares of 5 different companies. Tireless entrepreneur, he created the “Club Dépannage” in 2012, a concierge company offering real-estate maintenance services for individuals. Specialized in 3 main areas of activity (plumbing, electricity, locksmithing), “Club Dépannage” leans on the experience of Jean-Luc Schnoebelen, as well as his knowledge of the building sector. Jean-Luc-Schnoebelen’s career makes him a “serial-entrepreneur” who does not seem ready to stop.
New adventures with the emergence of Edeis in 2016
Since December 2016, Jean-Luc Schnoebelen has been the President of Edeis, a French company specialized in the domains of construction services, engineering, worksite and infrastructure management (notably with regard to airports) and technical services. Thus, Schnoebelen’s desire to make Edeis into a leader of these different sectors of activity (that are, fittingly, his field of expertise) comes as no surprise. The ultimate goal of Schnoebelen is to draw upon three principal values: innovation, ingenuity, and flexibility.
Born out of a partnership between Impact Holding (a holding company under the direction of Jean-Luc Schnoebelen) and the French investment fund Ciclad, Edeis was established in December 2016 with the express purpose of facilitating the acquisition of SNC-Lavalin SAS. This transaction is a transfer/acquisition whose origins date to August 2016 — at this time, the Canadian corporation SNC-Lavalin announced their consideration of an offer for their French subsidiary SNC-Lavalin SAS. SNC-Lavalin mentioned at this time their intentions to recenter their activities on its principal sectors of engineering and construction — as an effect, it would begin a gradual withdrawal from its French activities of airport operations and maintenance.
This offer was proposed by Jean-Luc Schnoebelen via Impact Holding and the French investment fund Ciclad, which would eventually be accepted by SNC-Lavalin. The new company, bearing the name of Edeis, would thus take over a major part of the activities previously handled by SNC-Lavalin SAS. The transaction implicated more than a thousand personnel and staff in France, Monaco, and across Europe.
Among its principal activities, Edeis notably heads the management of eighteen regional airports in France and one Spanish airport. The management of the Rouen marina is also part of the operational and maintenance activities of the group. Edeis oversees thirteen agencies in France and Monaco specialized in construction consulting, engineering, and infrastructure.
The ambitious Schnoebelen has a clear vision for the future towards which he wants to guide Edeis: “Our priority is to get all our teams on the same page regarding Edeis’ new projects — a terrific opportunity to develop our activities in France and on an international scale. Edeis is representative of positive and collective values. I am convinced that Edeis will be able to quickly become a leader in the sectors of engineering, infrastructure exploitation and building construction.” The French engineer and entrepreneur promised his intentions to do everything in his power to reach this goal.