Personal: Aged 66, born in Peru, lives in Paris with his wife Nellie and has two daughters

Background: a graduate of France's Ecole Nationale D'Administration, which trains the country's civil and political elite (the current President, Prime Minister, and half of the French cabinet are all alumini). After a period in the Civil Service he went into business and 10 years later was appointed Executive Director of the British-based mining multi-national Company Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ).

From 1983-S96 he was loaned as vice-president to the World Bank in Washington. Chief executive of Eurotunnel the joint French and British company.

Current Position: Involved with The Emmanuel Community, a Charismatic community of priests, religious, families, and lay single people which is responsible for 35 parishes in 20 dioceses and runs four international schools of evangelization — including one in conjunction with the Pontifical Council for the Laity