written by Stephen Cranston
“Being Greek, I am delighted that I have finally opened up my own corner shop,” says Kimon Boyiatjis, founder of boutique asset manager, Trident Capital. Trident has had the most successful debut of any of the recent start-ups, gathering R3,1bn in its first six months. Typically, start-ups budget to take at least two years to gather R2bn.
After a long career running bond funds at Syfrets, Nedcor Investment Bank and Abvest (and winning several awards), Boyiatjis (45) set up his own shop in May, focusing on fixed interest funds and a R300m hedge fund. In January he will start running a real return unit trust on behalf of the Lion of Africa Group. “I want to concentrate on managing money, and not be sidetracked by all the distractions of corporate life.
I broke my back in a sailing accident in December and had time to think about what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.” Boyiatjis’s entrepreneurial skills were learnt at home. His parents ran dryclearners, liquor stores and a supermarket. On holiday from the elite St John’s College in Houghton he would work in the shops. “It ingrained in me the basics of business: that you have income and expenses and keep what’s left over. We get so specialised in investment that we sometimes forget we have clients who need to live off what we make for them – we have a responsibility not to lose their money and often don’t take this seriously enough.”