Didier Le Menestrel

Alpha Bravo

Agressor was discreetly launched one November, bearing the slightly unique name of a second-class superhero 1. 28 years down the line, La Financière de l’Echiquier has come out top of the 2019 Alpha League Table 2, the leading ranking for the best alpha vehicles over one year. Excellent recognition of the talent of the asset management teams and the work achieved in recent decades.

Over the past 28 years, I have strived to reconcile short- and long-term strategies. To achieve long-term success, it is always wise to avoid fleeting fashions and the “short-term upheavals” mentioned by the long-term historian Fernand Braudel in Le Temps du Monde 3. Upheavals are never far away and you must always come armed with a strong dose of optimism!

Optimism was abundant in 1991 when, with Christian Gueugnier, we embarked on the asset management adventure. At the time, the industry had not yet been invented and we cultivated it with care. We placed our belief in companies, the best possible ecosystem to grow the capital entrusted to us, taking care to protect ourselves from market trends and short-term high-handedness.

We set out in search of these visionary and bold entrepreneurs, whose visions carried them above and beyond stormy waters and built with them for the future, supporting them in their projects. There were those who inspired us, Norbert DENTRESSANGLE, Gilles Martin, the founder of EUROFINS, Bernard Arnault and LVMH, as well as extraordinary shareholder projects which stood the test of time, such as that of AIR LIQUIDE. And then there were those who failed to impress, and who were quickly forgotten.

But our greatest investment, our greatest achievement, was La Financière de l’Echiquier. A story written with a major goal in mind: staying the course and cultivating our difference; building a company with strong values by thinking outside the box and avoiding established dogma. Values which are represented and shared by the Financière de l’Echiquier Foundation, my pride and joy…

It is this trust in mankind and his ability to adapt to all kinds of situations that stays with me the most. Qualities that make up the DNA of La Financière de l’Echiquier.

Let us remain agile and bold, creative and free to innovate without bending to pre-contrived paths. Let us champion our uniqueness and our entrepreneurial drive.

In short, as a famous entrepreneur once said “stay hungry, stay foolish”4, and share this wonderful enthusiasm without restraint!

 

Didier LE MENESTREL
with the help of Géraldine Fanara

 

1 “Agressor, Agressor, are you sure that a name like that will attract investors?” Head of the COB (ex-AMF), November 1991
2 Drawn up by SIX
3 The masterful history of the European economy, to be shared with all
4 Steve Jobs, Stanford, June 2005