Tell us about yourself?
I was born and brought up in Geneva, Switzerland before coming to London for university. I am now a final-year student in Mathematics and Economics at the London School of Economics. My professional experience revolves mainly around three internships: one in private banking and two at a family office in Geneva.
This was really the driving force behind some of the key decisions made during the process of setting up the fund. In my free time, I play football and recently started boxing.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
“It’s all about how good the idea is.” I’ve learned that you don’t need a multi-million dollar idea to have a successful startup. Success is hardly ever in the idea but rather in the execution of the idea.
There are many student-led investment funds across the world but the key to differentiating ourselves from them is our innovation – we seek to constantly expand and improve our fund by listening to feedback and taking inspiration from our peers.
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
Keep building and growing. Competition in this saturated market of student funds is high, and students are generally quite busy so putting in the hours for our fund is at the bottom of the priority list. To keep our analysts motivated, we need to continuously come up with new projects to add excitement and make the work worthwhile.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
I believe my ability to come up with new ideas and my drive to implement them is what sets me apart as an entrepreneur. I often take inspiration from other funds or from articles I read to expand our fund and differentiate ourselves. This includes setting up a structure such that we are able to have a large number of analysts from across the world working in an organised manner, and working on new projects such as a quant team that develops codes to automate trade executions.
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
Organisation, leadership, and multi-tasking. And chasing after people to get work done.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
At the start of the Covid pandemic, like many other young adults, us five partners opened our own investment accounts and started experimenting with the markets. After a few months of trial and error, we realised that having a team of analysts creating reports and working towards a common goal would yield far better results.
Moreover, it’ll give the opportunity to university students across the world to work directly with the markets, get feedback from those who have experience, and network with each other. As a result, BlackBoar Capital was founded.
Where do you see your business in five years?
Our main objective is to have a significant amount of outside funding within the next five years. We are currently in the process of obtaining the relevant licenses to manage outside capital. We are also working to appoint a board of directors consisting of experienced professionals in the industry. We hope that once this is established, we will be able to attract outside investors. In addition, we hope to increase our team from 40 to around 100, working across 10 different sectors. Lastly, we hope to have set up a quant trading team that uses algorithms to predict market behaviours and automatically execute trades.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
The biggest challenge to obtaining outside funding is to gain the trust of our investors. After all, we are just students. We hope that by demonstrating financial maturity, strong organisation skills, and continuous communication, we will be able to prove to our investors that their capital is in safe hands.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
Our fund is nothing without our analysts, which is why I believe our biggest success story is hiring a driven, passionate, and intelligent team of analysts. The hardest part of any student fund is keeping the analysts motivated and eager. I am delighted at the fact that our team is continuously coming up with new ideas (just recently our head of Energy and Natural Resources developed an ESG framework for the fund on his own initiative) and working hard despite the pressure of coursework and applications.
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
We’ve had a few potential investors reach out after hearing about our fund through our website and our LinkedIn page. However, as we did not have the right infrastructure in place yet, the deals fell through. We hope to directly reach out to potential investors once we have everything in place.
We have also had analysts reach out after hearing about us through word of mouth; since our fund is global (we have teams in Europe, North America, and Asia), we’ve had interest from across the world.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
Be passionate. Starting and maintaining a successful startup is hard work. You’re more likely to sustain the effort required if you love what you do or why you’re doing it. Moreover, passion is contagious – if you’re passionate and excited about your projects, those around you will feel it and will also be more motivated.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
Personally, I hope the future brings further self-development. I hope the experiences and projects I work on help me advance my skills, improve my weaknesses, and better myself as both a leader and a colleague. As a business, I hope the future brings continuous innovation, growth, and profits. It’s an ambitious target but we want to expand and become the largest student-led investment fund in the world.