He is a man of distinction: The suit fits, cufflinks on the white shirt, straight posture, concentrated gaze, controlled gestures. Jacques Boursault, Head of Construction of the southern Überseequartier, quietly puts his mobile phone on the white table with the display facing down – he won’t look at it again during the entire conversation. When the 44-year-old Frenchman does something, he does it correctly.
Since 2017 Jacques Boursault has been with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield in Düsseldorf and is now so close to his home country as he has not been since his studies in St. Etienne. Jacques says: “I went directly abroad and have built hotels, luxury skyscrapers, ministry, and office buildings,” says Jacques – now, in Hamburg, he can build everything in one place. He was in Russia, Cuba, Turkmenistan, Thailand, Poland, and some other countries. His long stays in different cultures have left their mark on him: his ability to lead multinational teams, he speaks five languages.
15 highly qualified Managers from seven Nations work in his team for the southern Überseequartier – that fits to the gateway to the world and the port. He says: “Respect, listening, honesty, leadership, and transparency are the most important factors for success.” The cultural diversity has a positive effect on the job: “Together we want to create something new for Hamburg; something unique for the people. For this, we have to think out of the box, and be creative.” Jacques Boursault is a team player who can also accept mistakes – the person must admit them and learn from them. A project as large and complex as the southern Überseequartier is a challenge for every individual. “That’s why we all have to pull together, stand up for each other, and support one another.”
For Jacques, team work at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield means: employees call each other by first names, have interest, and listen precisely. He chooses his answers calmly and carefully and supports these with his gestures. With an intensive look through his elegant glasses he looks deeply into the eyes of his interlocutors, giving them the feeling of being taken seriously, understood and appreciated.
For Jacques Boursault his family always takes first place. “My wife always has accompanied me from the beginning of my career. Otherwise I wouldn’t have accepted jobs abroad.” Since his family, now including a 13-year-old son, complies with his current place of staying, Jacques shares his free time with his family. At the most, he is separated from his family for three weeks, and is at home in the evenings and on each weekend, spends holidays with his family traveling or in his own house. He says: “My employees are not allowed to write e-mails from Friday evening on till Monday early morning.” “Those who work a lot and intensively also need breaks.”
He would neither advise his son against nor urge him to become an engineer. “I told him to follow his heart and do the job he loves; then happiness will come by itself.” For Jacques, happiness and a balanced life is based on three things: family, work, and hobby.
After 30 minutes the mobile phone vibrates for the first time: a reminder for the next appointment. Good standing also includes excellent organization, where the mobile phone can be put aside sometimes – even if you are the top construction manager of a billion-dollar project with 14 single buildings and a total area of 419,000 square metres.
Seven Questions to Jacques Boursault:
- Sea or mountains? The sea, we have a house by the sea.
- Coffee or tea? Café au Lait in the morning.
- Beatles or Rolling Stones? Rolling Stones, but preferably David Guetta.
- SUV or cabriolet? Cabriolet, I have a 25 years old German cabriolet.
- Train or plane? Trying to avoid using plane for environment preservation reasons.
- Crime thriller or romance novel? Daily newspapers; I love daily newspapers and read two French daily newspapers, Le Monde and Les Echos, on the iPad during the trips.
- Cooking or restaurant? I love eating at home.
Information about Jacques Boursault:
After completing his engineering studies at the National Graduate School of Engineering in St. Etienne in 1997, his path led him to Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield via the large French construction company Bouygues, where he held several management positions. Before his engagement in the southern Überseequartier Jacques Boursault was Head of Construction Poland. There he was significantly involved in the construction of the Galeria Wroclavia in Breslau, which celebrated its opening in October 2017. Since December 2017 he has been working in the same function in the southern Überseequartier in Hamburg.