Mehdi El Jazouli
After more than a decade in the financial world, Mehdi El Jazouli, CEO of Perpetua Investment Group noticed that there are opportunities in the market with big potential of returns but considered at a large institution’s level, time consuming, humanly difficult to manage and regulatory challenging or simply just not scalable. “We took the institutional world and tried to bring it down to the level of companies that would not be noticed mainly because of their size and their slow processes,” he says. “We decided to focus on niche businesses, then scale them at their maximum to package the whole as one large investment business.”
Perpetua Investment Groupwas born from the association of a prolific entrepreneur with a strong long-term vision and a man of action who shared the same vision and able to engineer the game plan to put it into motion. Mehdi is the latter of the partners.
One of Mehdis skills key to Perpetua’s success is his ability to capturing trends and his speed in executing strategic plans. His perseverance and rigor combined with the optimism of his partner helped shape Perpetua’s singularity and success. Perpetua Investment Group created and owns Park Partner GP, the investment Manager of two funds:
(i) Park Capital, an alternative fund investing in companies through straight equity or convertible debt, focusing on listed companies mainly in Europe, and (ii) Polaris SPC, a quantitative hedge fund.As it is essential for Perpetua to have its interests aligned with its investor’s, Perpetua Investment Group is also an investor in both Park Capital and Polaris SPC.Polaris SPC, a quantitative trading fund, is their newest fund launched a few months ago. “We are extremely excited by this project that took a year in the making. It is a limited fund in terms of scale as it cannot exceed 100 million dollars in asset under management (AUM).” The profile of returns is highly competitive which again fits their vision in keeping control over the money they manage versus the returns being targeted. “Indeed, it is keyfor us to keep the right balance between the AUM and the return we achieve. We would ratherseek less AUM to always reach our target than having too much AUM and beingpressured and take bad decision to keep it up,” says Mehdi.
According to Mehdi, the way the company hires people is unconventional. “We do not look for the perfect resume with Ivy league schools and background. We look for specific and complementary qualities that if put together would make a highly performing team,” he explains. “In most institutions, you find people from similar background and experiences which makes it difficult to bring out of the box ideas. Therefore, we wanted to mix different backgrounds and personalities to be able to let creativity to be at the center of our company.”
Their biggest achievement as a young company is the successful launch of their two funds, Park Capital and Polaris SPC, with two very different strategies and skill set needed. They started the venture almost three years ago with three people and are now twenty-five and have invested more than 200 million dollars. “We successfully managed to execute many projects with a solid pace of growth and implemented each one of them with a new approach consistent with our vision. However, these are unprecedented and challenging times,” says Mehdi. “We had to take measures inside and outside the company. Internally, we migrated fully to work from home mode and started as early as February for the safety and wellbeing of our team. To be fully efficient and reactive, we had to rapidly adapt and implement new processes of decision making on investments and reinforce measures of control.”
The world of investment is wide and there are many ways to make it big. Mehdi is convinced that to be successful one must have a long-term vision shared with long time investors. “There will never be a perfect time to take the plunge and create your own company. But if you have always felt that you want to create something of your own, you must get out of our comfort zone, follow your vision, and work hard with an open mind,” he says. “And whether you succeed or not it will be the greatest experience of your life and as we say, we never lose, we either win or we learn.”