J. (Jacques) Attali

Jacques Attali was advisor to French president Mitterrand during the eighties, and founded and led the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development early nineties. He then set up his own company in strategic consulting that specialises in corporate finance and venture capital. Prior to his public career he taught economics at university. Troughout his career Jacques Attali was and remains heavily involved with non-governmental organisations that combat poverty in the world.

Jacques Attali graduated at four of France's prestigious écoles. Attali is a prolific writer and essayist. Besides numerous works on politics and economy his body of work includes novels and plays. Twice in his career Jacques Attali became embroiled in investigations; once on mismanagement and once regarding possible tax evasion. In both cases he was exhonorated of all charges.


Personal data

Date of birth

November 1st 1943

Place of birth

Algiers, Algeria (though France at the time)

Selected honours & distinctions

  • honorary Member of the Council of State (France)




  • graduate, École polytechnique, 1966 (first of class)
  • graduate (engineer), École des mines
  • graduate, Institut d’études politiques de Paris
  • graduate, École nationale d'administration (third of class)


  • phd economics, 1979

Jacques Attali received several honorary doctorates from universities in several countries



  • writer and essayist
  • teacher at Paris Dauphine University
  • teacher the École polytechnique
  • teacher at the École des Ponts et chaussées
  • special adviser to the President of the Republic, 1981 to 1991
  • founder and president, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), 1991 to 1993
  • founder and CEO, Attali & Associates (A&A), since 1994


Selected additional functions

Party-political functions

  • campaign leader for presidency for F. Mitterrand, 1974
  • campaign leader for presidency for F. Mitterrand, 1981

Former additional functions

  • co-founder of Action Contre la Faim (Action against Hunger), 1980
  • co-instigator of the European EUREKA research programme, 1985
  • president of the "commission for the liberation for French economic growth" (initiated by then president Sarkozy), July 2007 to January 2008

as well as several (advisory) functions on diverse projects and programmes

Current additional functions

  • founder and president PlaNet finance
  • editorialist L’Express magazine
  • member of the directorate of the Musée d’Orsay, since 2010
  • member of the Supervisory board of Kepler Capital Market, since 2012
  • board member for Population Action International


Selected public references

  • Won a prize from the Academy of Sciences in 1972 for his first two books on economic and political models
  • As special adviser to the president he was especially charged with the preparation of the G7-meetings
  • He become embroiled in allegations of mismanagement at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development after he clashed with British prime minister Major. Whilst it was never proven he was personally involved in any wrongdoings, it did tarnish his reputation
  • He was subject of an investigation of concealment of company assests in 2001. He was discharged in 2009 by the court
  • Throughout his life Jacques Attali has been involved in music. He has performed and directed on a number of occassions
  • Foreign Policy Magazine listed Attali as one of the 100 top public intellectual twice; in 2008 and 2010
  • His body of work (books and other publications) have sold over six million copies and parts thereof have been translated into twenty languages


Selected publications

  • - 
    Bruits (Noise: The Political Economy of Music) (1977)
  • La théorie de l'ordre par le bruit dans la théorie économique (dissertation, 1979)
  • La Vie éternelle (novel, 1989)
  • Pour un modèle européen d'enseignement supérieur (book, 1998)
  • Les Portes du ciel (play, 1999)
  • Les Juifs, le Monde et l'Argent, Histoire économique du peuple juif (The Jews, the World and Money, an Economic History of the Jewish People) (book, 2002)
  • La Confrérie des Éveillés (novel, 2004)
  • Karl Marx ou l'esprit du monde (Karl Marx or the thought of the world) (book, 2005)
  • Demain, qui governera le monde? (book, 2011)

In total Jacques Attali has written over fifty books, long essays, plays and more.