Valentin Loirat


Independent Agent


How to get hired by a British country club without speaking English, why I recycle rare plant seeds, and what to do when an angry wild boar charges you.


When Voltaire said “we must cultivate our own garden,” he meant we should never rest. Not many can claim to live this maxim better than Valentin. Raised in Guerande, Brittany, he spent his youth learning how to grow fruits and vegetables, tracking wild animals in the nearby woodlands, and biking to La Baule – Europe’s longest sand beach. Heavenly years. But when he was eighteen, with zero foreign experience, he suddenly decided to make a solo trip across the English Channel to Jersey. Beset by problems, through guts and initiative he ultimately turned it into a formative adventure, one on which he learned the joy of hard work, the power of cross-cultural exchange, and that difficulty can be reimagined as opportunity. These principles he carried into his professional life, acquiring an entirely new skill set so he could make the big switch from communications project management to recruiting, which he knew would better suit his goals. We are happy he’s fulfilling them at Zensho Agency. “The autonomy of our consultants and the culture are unique in the industry,” he says. “Here you are both the manager of your business and the member of a family.” At work and play, Val is indeed a non-stop doer. He enjoys having philosophical debates with friends as much as cheering for FC Nantes, reads everything from the classics to murder mysteries, is an aspiring painter, and above all (because why not take Voltaire literally as well?) an expert gardener. Together with his wife, he’s been growing radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, soy beans, paprika, basil – even mango and lemon trees. He’s really growing on us too.

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Values: A message to our awesome tribe

Years from now, you may not remember the particulars of deals you closed at Zensho (or what the returns were). You will remember your colleagues and how it felt to work with them. The imprint you left on the world.

We invited you to join our tribe because you impressed us as someone who shares values intrinsic to our culture. But just to ensure we’re totally on the same page, here they are, spelled out in black and white and trimmed in our corporate colors.

Freedom is Zensho’s central pillar. Beyond the mere state of being free, for us the word carries with it a sense of obligation: “Freedom to…” What follows should define you as a person. Of course, to provide your business community with amazing service, but also to engage and give back to the world. And that’s where Autonomy comes in. Unlike the general implications of self-rule, ours leads not to detachment but to a broad and radical sense of interconnectivity. One that enables each of us to commune with others in infinite ways. Together, these two values empower you like nothing else on earth, and they’re here waiting for you.

So, what do we ask in return?

Transparency means not only having open books, but being one yourself. No secrets or ulterior agendas. It is to share personal and industry information without seeking to leverage it for profit or motivate others in any way. Its cousin, Clarity, is about including precision and context in the communication process. At Zensho, we always try to anticipate the details a fellow partner might need and supply them up front.

Which leads us to…

Collaboration. That is, to cooperate meaningfully. Because only through recognizing individual strengths can we thrive as a whole. For us, collaboration requires presence as we listen and respond, evolving toward a collective goal represented by the name of our charity initiative: Ayni (reciprocity). This can’t exist without Collegiality. How we care for each other and the tribe as a whole, share both opportunity and responsibility with open hearts – that’s what empowers us to excel as a firm.

With these six in place, our seventh value happens all by itself.

Harmony. When your environment manifests balance between all people and things – even forces that oppose each other – life just flows. Living completely becomes a state of being. After all, that’s the very meaning of Zensho.