The son of a famous French banker, who was chairman of the Societe General bank, Saint-Geours was a high-flyer in the French education system, graduating in political science from the famous Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris before attending the country's most famous civil service academy, the Ecole Nationale d'Administration, the school attended by most of the modern French Prime Ministers.After graduating in 1975 he joined the French Ministry of Finance and worked as a forecaster for Finance Minister Jacques Delors - who went on to become head of European Commission. He did a series of government jobs in finance, including being an advisor to the President of the National Assembly. His last job in finance was as the chief technical advisor to the Secretary of State for the Budget.In 1986 Saint-Geours left government service and joined the finance division of the privately-owned Peugeot Citroen car company. Within two years he had risen to become Financial Director of the company and in April 1990 was appointed Deputy Managing-Director of Automobiles Peugeot, in charge of sales and marketing, motor sport and sponsorship.The appointment coincided with Peugeot's decision to enter sportscar racing and Saint-Geours oversaw Jean Todt's successful Peugeot 905 sportscar campaigns in 1991, 1992 and 1993, culminating in an historic 1-2-3 finish in the Le Mans 24 Hours.Todt left the company to join Ferrari when Saint-Geours told him that Peugeot could not afford a complete F1 team. This did not stop Saint-Geours from pursuing an F1 role as an engine supplier and he masterminded the ill-fated deal with McLaren. This was followed by three years with Jordan (1995-97) and then three years with Prost (1998-2000) but Peugeot failed to win a single race.In January 1998 Saint Geours was named managing-director of Automobiles Peugeot by Peugeot Citroen PSA Group chairman Jean-Martin Folz.