GP Parmenion Soparfi (société de participations financières) is an implemented investment consultancy firm based in Luxembourg. In 2018 our founders reached an agreement with China-domiciled GP Group. As part of GP Group we can further strengthen our presence in Asia in general and China in particular (for more news about our agreement with GP Group, see below).
The five key themes in our global approach are:
- Don’t try to reinvent the wheel,
- ‘Changing World’,
- ‘New Finance’, and
Following a top-down approach, the first theme (“don’t reinvent the wheel”) implies that we try to incorporate global grandmaster or local master asset managers with proven track record within our solutions whenever feasible, conditional on these best-of-breed master players have a proven track record. Our independent manager selection team will provide portfolio managers with suggested top players that could be incorporated in our solutions.
Changes in the relative importance of countries, with emerging and frontier markets (EMFM) countries growing relatively faster than developed nations, are also a factor to reckon with (“changing world”). But beware: EMFM is not a homogenous block, but a combination of countries that each deserve separate treatment, thereby making local partnerships very important. Our agreement with GP Group can be seen in this light, with us gaining entry to the largest EMFM market together with a local master player.
We believe that changes in regulation, technology, client perception and new products/strategies will have a major impact on the financial services industry in the years to come. The Googles and Amazons of this world could be threatening the dominant position of major banks, with crowdfunding and even the rise of new money (e.g. bitcoins, loyalty programs etc.) challenging those banks even further. Passive investing and the possibilities of “Post-Modern-Portfolio-Theory” quantitative investing and innovative hedge fund strategies will have a big impact on the asset management sub-sector as well. Changes in the insurance and investment banking subsectors can also be expected. Not just do we incorporate this theme (“New Finance”) in our general portfolio strategies for listed equities, it is also a big theme in our private equity and venture capital activities in EMFM countries.
Last but not least, ethical and sustainable investment strategies are gaining traction not just in the portfolios of Western investors (institutional and even private) but also in emerging and frontier markets countries. The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN-PRI) are now not just embraced by so-called ESG-investors in their portfolio and direct investment strategies, but there is also growing awareness that Islamic Finance and Shariah-Compliant investing are basically closely related to this new approach. With respect to ESG in EMFM we believe in the fairness of a relative approach: demanding the same level of ESG from companies in newly developing countries as in the West is like the latter getting the opportunity to lock in the advantage they got from being non-ESG in their growth phase by now blocking that opportunity for EMFM companies. We try to avoid that in our relative approach.
2003 – 2011
During the period 2003-2011, our CEO/Head of Risk Management JP Cerutti and CIO Erik L van Dijk worked separately on the main pillars of our Investment Philosophy. Cerutti on his Risk Budgeting Approach, that plays a pivotal role in our Risk Management and Van Dijk – together with Nobel Prize Laureate dr Markowitz (see also Financial Analysts Journal March/April 2003) – on an innovative portfolio rebalancing and asset allocation concept.
In 2011 Parmenion Soparfi was launched by Jean-Philippe Cerutti. He felt that this Risk Budgeting Approach could add tremendous value to family offices and smaller institutional investors that were struggling with the correct incorporation of alternative strategies (both liquid and less liquid) within a broader portfolio setting. And especially with the problem of when and how to hedge certain portfolio components.
In 2014 Cerutti met Erik L. van Dijk. Van Dijk has an extensive institutional and academic background in quantitative hands-on asset management and is also known for his expertise in EMFM and Ethical and Islamic finance.
Cerutti and Van Dijk agreed to join forces in 2015 so as to optimize a joint business model. They both reached the conclusion that the combination of the two pieces of IP would enable the creation of a suite of investment solutions that could provide tailor-made, best-of-breed solutions to family offices and (smaller) institutional investors who take core themes like ‘professionalization’ and ‘globalization’ serious in a changing world in which EMFM becomes more important.
In 2016 Fatima de Vos joined as the third key staff member. This strengthened the company in the fields of New Economy/FinTech and Investor Relations. With her extensive background in online marketing and communication, the aim is to have Fatima work out a modern way of interacting with clients and prospects that will neatly align with regulatory requirements on the one hand, while fitting nicely with our vision regarding the New Finance on the other.
After extensive talks in 2016 and mainly 2017 we reached an agreement in 2018 with GP Group from China. Aim is to provide Chinese offshore investors with a solid approach to globalization ‘Parmenion style’, while on the other providing us with enormous opportunities in the domestic Chinese market. Using their expertise in private equity and venture capital (PEVC) the collaboration will also strengthen our position in emerging and frontier markets PEVC.
CEO & Founder
Jean-Philippe founded Parmenion in 2011. He has about 25 years of relevant investment experience, dealing with institutional and private (family office and ultra-high net-worth) clients. He started his investment career at Société Générale in Paris, where he became head of Proprietary Trading and Technical Research. In 1997 Cerutti moved on to Credit Suisse and became an award-winning hedge fund manager, winning with his fund a ‘Best in its Category’ award in 2002. In 2008 he was appointed Chief Investment Officer of a multi-family office based in Geneva (MIF Group) with a strong client base in Switzerland and the Middle East, before founding Parmenion in 2011.
Over the years, Cerutti has worked on his trading and risk management framework, which in essence consists of a ‘Risk Budgeting’ approach that enables the user to impose tighter risk controls on the one hand, while making it possible to make money both in bullish and bearish financial market environments on the other. This Risk Budgeting system is a key element in Parmenion’s concept.
Jean-Philippe does hold several board member- and directorships in (multi-)family offices, investment funds and asset management companies.
ERIK VAN DIJK
Erik is our experienced CIO and a specialist in emerging and frontier markets (including investment valuation), asset allocation, portfolio construction and the selection of investment managers. He is also known for his work on Islamic Finance as an ambassador for a more integrative approach.
At the heart of Parmenion’s Investment Concept lies van Dijk’s joint work with Nobel Prize Laureate Dr Harry Markowitz with whom he worked together for almost a decade. Their seminal paper on Asset Allocation and Portfolio (Near) Optimization entitled ‘’Single-Period Mean-Variance Analysis in a Changing World’’ was published in the Financial Analysts Journal (March/April 2003), with an independent test by MIT professor Mark Kritzman c.s. showing the added value of the approach several years later.
Van Dijk has about three decades of relevant investment experience at both the academic and professional level. Not only did he work for brand name investment managers like Fortis Investments (Netherlands/Belgium) and United Asset Management/Old Mutual (USA/South Africa), but he was also involved in several private equity and venture capital initiatives. He has been a well-known asset manager and consultant in the institutional European investment market during the last 20 years and in the Middle East during the last 10 years. In the academic field Erik has worked as lecturer and visiting lecturer Corporate Finance and Investments at several business schools and post-graduate institutions in the Netherlands and abroad.
Erik has published a book on Quantitative Investment Analysis (in the Dutch language) and numerous papers in academic and professional journals. The 90-page chapter on Return and Risk in the Handbook of Asset and Liability Management (ed. Zenios & Ziemba, North-Holland Science Publishers, 2006) was co-authored with Dr Markowitz.