The Hedge Magazine interview

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 14.47.15Interviews with alternative investment company founders, leading fund managers and industry experts, published in Hedge Magazine since 2012. Selected features: 

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* Gemma Godfrey, founder of Moo.la. “What’s exciting is that now, with technology, you can make it cheaper to provide this service to people. If you can lower the cost of providing this service, then you can open it up to more people.”

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* Erik Serrano Berntsen, CEO and co-founder of Stable Asset Management. “I was looking at starting businesses, and it so happened to be hedge fund businesses. […] What excites me is finding people who want to do something new, set up something they’re proud of, make money for people but also create working environments that are rewarding.”

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* Carl Hall, partner at Alder private equity and author of The Environmental Capitalist. “In five-ten years from now, everything is going to be electric or plug-in hybrid. Those technologies are completely taking over,” asserts Hall. “Once change starts, it goes much faster than you think.”

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* Jean-Francois Comte, co-founder and managing partner of Lutetia Capital. “This may explain why Comte is so methodical when talking about how Lutetia gets its edge: “People can come out of that environment with something of a military thinking – there’s this discipline. In M&A, at that level, there’s no margin for error. One of our staffers used to say to new recruits: ‘The difference between this and war, is that you get to go home’.”

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Dixon Boardman, founder and CEO of Optima Fund Management. “I have befriended many of the managers we have money with. I’ve got to know them well and see them socially, and I know their children. It’s old-fashioned, but I think to know someone really, really well, to know what’s going on in their lives, means you know when they’re focused. […] But let me tell you, we don’t always get it right!” Boardman laughs. “But we get it right more often than we get it wrong.”

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* Ramon Vega, founder and CEO of Vega Swiss Asset Management. “What you’re trying to do, as manager, is make your people feel good, and feel important. Then they are loyal to you, because you made them feel like that. Then you start to have a winning team around you.” The problem is that lots of bosses actually don’t like managing: “They want to go and fix it themselves! But I don’t know any football manager who goes onto the pitch himself if the striker doesn’t score.”

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* Lee Freeman-Shor, portfolio manager at Old Mutual European Best Ideas fund, and author of The Art of Execution. “I’ve always had a natural interest in what’s now called behavioural finance psychology. … I suppose my natural interest in psychology led me to look in the right areas to solve that problem: how the best investors can be wrong most of the time, and still make a ton of money.”

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* Aref Karim, CEO, CIO and founder of Quality Capital Management. “Why does QCM exist? Why are you running the business still?’ It’s because I’m very passionate about it, and more importantly it’s because there’s almost a philosophical and societal purpose behind it.””

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