The Year Ahead
January 19, 2008
GaveKal was started in the late 1990s in London by Charles Gave, Louis-Vincent Gave and Anatole Kaletsky. At first, GaveKal was a pure research firm, focusing on macro economics and tactical asset allocation for institutional clients around the world. As the number of research clients grew, and as GaveKal became more profitable, cash-flows were constantly re-invested to further future growth. Specifically:
September 2002: Opening of the Hong Kong Office
In September 2002, Louis left London to launch the GaveKal Hong Kong office. The logic at the time was that growth in Europe was likely to remain stale, while growth in Asia would surge ahead. We felt that our research clients would request from us a more thorough understanding of what was happening in Asia and so opened the Hong Kong office.
In October 2005: Opening of the Denver Office
By October 2005, we became convinced that the changes in business structures that we alluded to in our book Our Brave New World were so important that we took the decision to invest to understand more profoundly what was happening at the corporate level in America, and elsewhere. We asked Steven Vannelli, (until then a client as a Portfolio Manager at Alexander Capital) to join us. Steven quickly built up a team which includes Clay Allen (whose technical analysis is now a regular feature of our work), Jennifer Thomson and Jill Rakowski.
October 2006: Merger with Team from Asia Absolute & Launch of GaveKal
Platform Company Fund
Confronting the reality that our equity processes in the GaveKal Asian Balanced Fund were simply not adding the value we had hoped, we decided that we needed help. We thus turned to old friends, Alfred Ho (ex CIO of INVESCO in Hong Kong), Peter Kim (ex Head of Equities of HSBC in Korea), Marco Lai (ex operations manager at INVESCO Hong Kong), Marc Hubert (ex analyst at Goldman Sachs), to join us and by the end of the summer, our Asian portfolio management team was strengthened significantly.
May 2007: Opening of the Middle East Office
Another aspect of our business where, frankly, we were found wanting, was on the commodities/energy side. Indeed, we mostly missed the later part of the great commodities bull market as our liquidity based models highlighted that investing in this asset class, in the later part of the cycles, was simply too dangerous. To remedy this situation, we hired a highly experienced energy strategist and trader, Ahmad Al Abdallah, formerly with Shell. Ahmad opened an office for GaveKal in the Middle-East starting in April 2007.
Louis-Vincent Gave, CEO After receiving his bachelor's degree from Duke University and studying Mandarin at Nanjing University, Louis-Vincent joined the French Army where he served as a second lieutenant in a mountain infantry battalion. After a couple of years, Louis-Vincent left the army and joined Paribas Capital Markets where he worked as a financial analyst first in Paris, then in Hong Kong. Louis-Vincent left Paribas in 1999 to launch GaveKal Research with Charles and Anatole in London. In 2002, Louis-Vincent left the London office and returned to Hong Kong; the idea at the time was that Asia was set to become an ever more important factor in global growth and that, consequently, GaveKal needed to offer its clients more information, and more ideas, relating to Asia. Louis-Vincent contributes frequently to the research and was the main author of our books Our Brave New World and The End is Not Nigh. Louis-Vincent manages the overall business from our main office in Hong Kong. Louis writes a weekly column, every Monday, for the Mingpao Daily in Hong Kong. Louis-Vincent is a French national. He speaks French and English and is rusty in Spanish and Mandarin. He is married with two sons.