jLionel Zinsou-Derlin (b. October 23, 1954) , French Beninese origin was a Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PAi Partners. He's an economist and investment banker who has been Prime Minister of Benin since 2015. He is the son of a doctor and nephew of an ex-President of Benin (Emile Darsin Zinsou 7/1968 - 12/1969). He used to be an advisor to the actual President. of benin, Boni Yayi.
Lionel joined PAI partners in 2008. He started his professional career as a lecturer and a professor in economics at Paris 8 University and was a member of the department of Industry's Ministerial office and of the Prime Minister's office.
In 1986, Lionel joined Danone where he held various positions including Group Corporate Development Director, Managing Director of HP and Lea & Perrins and member of the Group Executive Committee. In 1997, Lionel joined the Rothschild Bank as General Partner; he was the Head of the Consumer Products Group, the Head of Middle East and Africa and a member of the Global Investment Bank Committee. He was appointed Chairman and CEO of PAI partners in 2009.
Mr. Zinsou started his career in higher education as an assistant professor in economics at the University of Paris XIII from 1980 to 1983. He then became the Dean of the Social Sciences department at the French Ecole Normale Supérieure, one of the country’s leading universities. He followed these positions with two assignments in the French government, first as a researcher in the Research and Forecasting division of the French Ministry of Industry (1980-1984), then as a member of then Prime Minister Laurent Fabius’ cabinet (1984-1986).
In 1986, Mr. Zinsou joined BSN Gervais-Danone, the leading French food manufacturer and world leader in dairy products, as Controller. In 1988, he was promoted to Manager of the dairy division, then in 1989 to Director of Business Development. In 1992, Mr. Zinsou was named CEO of HP Foods, a UK subsidiary of Groupe Danone and in 1993 became the Head of the Pasta and Frozen Foods division for the group.
Mr. Zinsou has been Chairman of the Board of Cokoladovny, a leader in sweets and confectionery in the Czech Republic (1992-1996). He has also been on the board of the newspaper Libération since 2005.
Mr. Zinsou is a graduate of the French Ecole Normale Supérieure (1975), and holds advanced degrees in Social Sciences and Economic History from Université de Paris IV, Université de Paris VII, the London School of Economics, and the Institut des Etudes Politiques.