From an Italian bank to a British pension fund
Talkative by nature, Matteo Dante Perruccio readily admits that finance was not his first choice. "
I started by taking acting lessons,he emphasises. It’s fantastic training for any profession which involves assessing people and negotiating, since it enables you to develop your powers of observation and build your capacity for empathy, a quality which is cruelly lacking at the current time in the world of business." At the same time, this art lover also developed an interest in international affairs, which led him quite naturally to the world of finance. After obtaining a bachelor of arts degree and a master’s degree from American universities, this professional, of Italian origin, but who grew up in the United States, began his banking career in New York at Banca Intesa Sanpaolo. He then worked at American Express Bank between 1992 and 2000, and later joined Pioneer Investments, which was purchased in May 2000 by the Italian bank UniCredit: "At that time, funds of hedge funds were very fashionable", he recalls. At the end of 2002 the Italian bank finalised the purchase of Momentum Asset Management, a specialised British asset management company: "At the time it was acquired, the company had some 950 million euros under management,he adds.When I left the company in 2006 the amount had increased to 5 billion euros." He nourished an ambition, however, to become involved in a more entrepreneurial project. He thought that he had found the right opportunity in 2006 at Olympia Capital Management, based in Paris, but the experience was short-lived. However, his move to Hermès in 2008 lived up to his expectations: "BT Pension Scheme had managed for several years an important fund of funds but they finally took the strategic decision to outsource the portfolio management for funds of hedge funds to Hermes BPK Partners." Set up in January 2009, Hermes BPK Partners now has 22 employees and 1.7 billion dollars of assets under management. Moreover, it claims to have an unusual, innovative model, whereby each co-founder receives the same remuneration: "We have launched an innovative category of shares including a performance claw-back clause, explains Matteo Dante Perruccio. And every three years, we examine the performances achieved over that period: if we are above the ‘high watermark’(historical valuation peak, Editor’s Note), we keep the performance fees; if we are below it, we return to investors all the fees which we have not earned. This model reflects our fundamental conviction that we have to be good partners and that our interests have to match those of our investors."