By Polina Rodygina
Guido Maria Brera is the Director and Head of Investments for Kairos Partners. Born in 1969, he graduated of Rome’s La Sapienza University and co-founded Kairos Group, the first asset management company in Italy, in 1999. At the beginning of December, Brera — along with Diego Della Valle and Antonio Calabrò — came to Bocconi to speak at the ‘La vocazione sociale del capitalismo italiano’ (The Social Mission of Italian Capitalism) event. We at Tra I Leoni took this opportunity to interview him.
Q: First of all, as I understand, trust and reputation are very important in asset management, and when you were starting Gruppo Kairos in 1999, how did you manage to convince your first customers to buy your services?
A: We offered them to be partner of us, so we gave them a few percentage of the capital for free. That was fantastic. And then, after that, we have been able to demonstrate to them that we were very good fund managers and so they continued to be Client and Partner.
Q: Fantastic. Recently — and you spoke about this as well, about the quantitative easing— so, European Central Bank and Federal Reserve System have been diverging policies, and Federal Reserve System is going to raise interest rates, and European Central Bank is going to eventually lower them. So, how does it affect, if it does, your investment decisions?
A: Yes, because it will be a sort of currency war. The investment decision is based by the fact that… I mean, we tend to invest in Europe, because it’s a little bit quicker currency in this moment, that’s why probably in this moment we are much more positive for Europe than for the US.
Q: In general, how do you manage risk at your enterprise? I’ve heard that recently there has been a trend of increasing attention on risk management.
A: We take a lot of care of risk management, but sometimes using common sense is much better than using risk management.
Q: Thank you so much. And the final question. Today you have achieved a lot and your firm is very successful, so what are your next projects?
A: The next project is my… I’ve written a book and then I’ve got an Internet site called ‘I Diavoli’, where we explain exactly the, I mean, how things work in finance, but not simply saying finance is good or bad, but simply taking a picture, a real picture of what’s happening in the world, because finance is above politics sometimes.