#MeetLFDE Enguerrand Artaz
Tell us about your career path.
I started with archaeology, specialising in the Merovingian period. Having got my MSc, in 2009 I switched direction. The financial crisis and resulting cuts to research and cultural budgets persuaded me to start over. I worked towards a Masters at the Nancy Institut d’Administration des Entreprises. As part of this, I did a final year internship in product marketing with BNP Wealth Management in Luxembourg, followed by spell volunteering as a junior manager of dedicated funds, which gave me a first taste of portfolio management. This kind of career switch is more common in Anglo-Saxon economies than in France.
In 2014, I joined La Financière de l’Echiquier (LFDE). I started off supporting the portfolio management team, before rapidly specialising in economic analysis alongside the CIO. In 2018, I took over portfolio management of the flagship fund of the Asset Allocation team, which counts 4 portfolio managers working under a Deputy CIO and currently has EUR 1.2 billion under management.
How has the Covid-19 crisis changed asset allocation? What do you see in the future?
Looking into the future is always exciting. There is little doubt we are at the start of a major trend. For 30 years interest rates and inflation have been falling. Now, we are moving into a world where this will likely turn on its head, despite the best efforts of central banks. We have probably passed peak globalisation and are likely to see a growth in protectionist thinking and relocalisation of supply chains. Governments will then rediscover the idea of taxes and borders, which are naturally inflationary, further complicating pressures from the climate challenge and the massively important energy transition, which could also boost inflation, at least when it comes to the price of energy.
So, we need to rethink asset allocation if we are to keep creating value. Particularly the composition of multi-manager and wealth funds, which are traditionally held back by heavy bond weightings. This process is already under way at LFDE’s asset allocation portfolio management team.
What are you passionate about?
I have plenty of passions. Particularly travel… I was lucky enough to do a 6-month tour through South-East Asia just before the lockdowns, continuing an established LFDE tradition of getting off the beaten track. I also love football, which is a fascinating world.
And then, most of all, my biggest passion is writing, especially fantasy but also science fiction. One of my latest short stories, “Football Redemption”, mixes the two. I also published my first novel in 2017. A second, plus a collection of short stories which mainly explore the fantasy universe sketched out in the first novel are also in the pipeline. The short story is a great exercise in writing style. I thoroughly recommend it. It is great training for a writer and may sometimes be better suited to our hectic modern lifestyles.
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