Actus des entreprises

Homage to Pierre Cohen-Aknine, iconic figure of the French-Korean business community

Homage to Pierre Cohen-Aknine, iconic figure of the French-Korean business community

Mr. Pierre Cohen-Aknine, FKCCI member and a pioneer and pillar of the French-Korean business community, sadly passed away in a motorbike accident on September 10th, at the age of 64.  

Born in Paris in 1958, Pierre first arrived in Korea on April 27, 1981 to work for the trade office at the French Embassy.  While the average period of stay is 4 years for expatriates in South Korea, Pierre developed his activities as a true entrepreneur for more than 40 years in the country, making him an iconic figure of the French-Korean business community. He has, among many other activities, imported and launched in Korea various fashion brands, industrial equipment, as well as cigars, wines and other F&B products.  

Constantly learning on the way, he endorsed many roles in producing, licensing, importing, representing various products on the market. In 1995, he started importing Cuban cigars and ran 'Pierre Cigar Bar', then ‘Pierre Cigar Divan where customers can enjoy whiskey, coffee, wine and cigars in Sowol-ro, Namsan, and Bongeumsa-ro, Gangnam. In 2015, he founded the wine & spirits company Kavod, now run by his son Mathias Cohen. He also published two magazines, F1 racing and Seoul Club, and organized various events. Last but not least, he even had teaching experience as assistant professor since 1993 at Jungang University in marketing and public relations. 

“I consider myself as a Keep Walking entrepreneur, according to the slogan of Johnny Walker”, he said in an interview to Le Petit Échotier (May 2021), “It means that my ideas are born in the making”. “I meet people as I move forward. Then I start an activity, then another and yet another”, he added. Pierre, as a free spirit inspired throughout the course of his life journey, was representative of a generation of entrepreneurs who always dared to start new adventures and felt from the beginning that the Korean land was perfectly suitable to his character and search for opportunities. When arriving in Korea “everything was new and possible. It was up to me to explore and make my way here”, he added in the interview. As such, Pierre contributed to the opening of the Korean retail market to foreign products and paved the way to various brands and companies. 

As an exemplary figure, Pierre is leaving a rich legacy to the French-Korean business community. “Our thoughts go to his family and friends; Pierre will be remembered at the FKCCI and you can be sure that we will keep alive his unique spirit!”, said David-Pierre Jalicon, FKCCI Chairman. 

The funeral was held at Soonchunhyang University Hospital Funeral Hall on September 13th. He will be buried in Israel. We express our deepest condolences to his family, friends and associates for this tragic loss. 


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