Gratuated from the Ecole Polytechnique and the Corps des Mines de Paris, Jean-Bernard Lafonta started his career within the French administration and ministerial offices.
In 1993, he joined the investment bank Lazard, and then moved to BNP, first as Director of Strategy and then as Head of Capital markets before finally becoming President of the direct banking business.
He was recruited by Wendel as Managing Director in 2001, subsequently becoming Chairman of the Executive Board. He oversaw investments in Legrand, Editis and Bureau Veritas in particular.
In 2010, Jean-Bernard Lafonta founded HLD with Jean-Philippe Hecketsweiler and Philippe Donnet (current CEO of Generali).