Elimane Ndoye, Compliance Director: Excellence as a driver for commitment


Inside Ardian

Elimane Ndoye, Compliance Director: Excellence as a driver for commitment

  • 15 June 2023

Reading time: 6 minutes

    Having joined Ardian at the age of 27, Elimane Ndoye has played his part in the company’s rapid growth for more than 10 years, working on the important challenges being faced in the field of compliance. Having quickly become autonomous in the role, he has taken on additional responsibilities by putting Ardian’s culture of excellence into practice. His approach, which is demanding, open, and instructive, is helping the department to become a key factor in Ardian’s development.

    Ardian’s compliance team is the company’s “Swiss Army Knife”

    —————— Elimane joined Ardian in October 2012
    —————— He is now a director in the Compliance Department, managing a team of eight person in Paris


    Born in Aubervilliers on the outskirts of Paris, Elimane grew up in nearby Tremblay-en-France. Having studied economics and management at Panthéon-Sorbonne University, he took a Masters 2 course in auditing. Unconvinced by his initial experience of working for an auditing firm, he applied to Ardian in October 2012 after reading an advertisement on his university’s website. Ten years later, he is a director in the Compliance Department, managing a team of eight people in Paris and working with about 20 more around the world. Describing his role, he says: “We are Ardian’s Swiss penknife,” referring to the transversal nature of the job and the variety of people with whom he is in contact.

    We are Ardian’s Swiss penknife.

    Elimane Ndoye, Compliance Director, Ardian

    Rapid progress, just like Ardian

    Rapid progress, just like Ardian

    Structuring new products, raising funds, investing - the list of activities is lengthy…

    Working alongside other teams in Ardian, we are involved with all the regulatory aspects.

    Elimane Ndoye, Compliance Director, Ardian

    “And private equity, by definition, is a highly regulated area,” Elimane says. His remit also includes dealing with more corporate questions, such as the company’s international expansion. How do you open an office in any given country? Which permits need to be obtained? He learned quickly how to answer these questions. “My first manager at Ardian was a firm believer in giving people responsibility and, very soon, he gave me a lot of freedom to act.” As a result, Elimane found himself dealing with individuals in far more senior positions than his own, a situation that inevitably brought out the best of him. “Compliance activities are the subject of significant challenges from every department,” he says.

    You need to earn people’s respect very quickly, and bear in mind that you could lose it with a single mistake. This approach, where people are given responsibility in their work, is the best way to build self-confidence.

    Elimane Ndoye, Compliance Director, Ardian

     The company Elimane joined in 2013 had $36 billion in assets and 10 offices. Today, Ardian has $150 billion of assets under management or advised and more than 1,400 clients around the world. In line with this spectacular growth, the scope of Elimane’s role has also been progressively enlarged, from the company’s activities in France, to those in Europe, and ultimately worldwide. Tokyo, Santiago, Seoul, Madrid… every new office brings its share of new regulatory issues and requirements.

    • In 2013,

      when Elimane joined Ardian, the company had $36 billion in assets and 10 offices

    • As of December 31st, 2022,

      Ardian had $150 billion of assets under management or advised and more than 1,440 clients

    Where excellence and commitment meet

    Where excellence and commitment meet

    Among the many projects brought to fruition, which one has given him the most satisfaction? Without hesitating, he immediately thinks of a routine check carried out by the French financial markets authority AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers) in 2021. “Lasting a whole year and covering four financial years, it meant providing a very large number of documents, as formally required by the regulator. Acting as a legal advisor, providing guidance, we helped our employees during their interviews, when they were being challenged on certain points by the AMF. It was a challenging time, but it helped to raise awareness internally about the role we play.” What made it even more satisfying as an exercise – one that is key to maintaining the trust of investors and shareholders – was its resounding success. In a rare verdict on an asset management company of this size, the AMF gave Ardian a ‘clean sheet’ for its compliance.

    Elimane believes this team success was achieved by putting one of the company’s key values into practice.

    Ardian is a very demanding company, with the principle of excellence at its core.

    Elimane Ndoye, Compliance Director, Ardian

    “On a daily basis, this approach means looking beyond the scope of your particular role in the company and coming up with ideas about how things could be improved.” In terms of compliance, this desire to break new ground has been reflected in pioneering schemes, such as the new investment solutions developed with insurance companies.

    The vital ingredient for these achievements is professional commitment. “On this particular point, it’s worth noting that Ardian is willing to open its share capital to its employees,” highlights Elimane. “Enabling employees to become shareholders in the company is a tangible way that our people can show their entrepreneurial spirit.” He is equally pleased with Ardian’s development of an Inclusion and Diversity policy.

    In general, private equity is an activity reserved for elites. Ardian’s policy of being open has borne fruit and I’m glad to see more and more people joining today from different backgrounds.

    Elimane Ndoye, Compliance Director, Ardian

    For his part, Elimane feels fully aligned with the company’s purpose.

    He points out:

    At Ardian, we invest all of ourselves in building companies that last.

    In fact, he often compares the investment in a non-quoted company with a marriage for a fixed period. “To become a shareholder in a company, you have to agree on a plan with its senior management and employees. We need to understand each other and trust each other.  The general public sometimes feel that asset managers are only looking for a quick profit. For me, asset management must look to the long term, and that to support a company you need to offer its executives and employees a long-term plan. And the knock-on effect of that investment is that you are also helping to finance the economies of France and Europe.” After a decade with Ardian, he has totally embraced its DNA. Today, he is working to maintain and develop that DNA, and to pass it on to a younger generation by sharing the same learning experiences that led him to his current position.


    —————— After a decade with Ardian, Elimane has totally embraced its DNA.

  • Portrait Elimane - role model
    Elimane Ndoye, Compliance Director, Ardian