Welcome to our Meet the Team post! We’re speaking with Jean-Luc Nouzille, co- founder of Bristlecone Value Partners. Read on to get to know Jean-Luc:
- Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Paris, France but was raised mostly in Provence along the Mediterranean.
- Do you intend to return to your native country?
My wife and I met in Provence while she was studying abroad. We anticipate eventually splitting our time between the West Coast and the South of France.
- What compelled you to get into the financial advisory business?
I was one of those kids who got attracted to investing early, during high school. I remember watching the movie “The Thomas Crown Affair” with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway and asking my parents what the main character’s profession was. I bought my first stock (Air Liquide) at the time using my savings account and the reaction of my parents was: “You want to buy what?” The more I learned about investing and the more I liked the idea that one could gain financial independence and security through investing. Helping others do the same came later once I moved to the U.S.
- To you, what are the most challenging things about being a financial advisor?
Even after more than 30 years working in finance, there are still new situations that come up. Every client is unique. One of the most difficult issue remains to help clients to stay the course during big bear markets. Having lived through several brings perspective. Over the years, as someone with roots in two countries, I’ve also developed expertise in assisting clients with cross-border investing issues. Those keep evolving every year with new laws and regulations.
- What inspired you to start Bristlecone?
It all started with the recognition that to create an environment where we could genuinely place our clients’ interests ahead of our own, we needed to be independent. What David Fleer (Bristlecone’s co-founder) and I understood was that managing other people’s money is about trust. We wanted our own families to do well alongside our clients, not from our clients. This is what Bristlecone is about.
- What is the funniest thing that’s happened to you as a financial advisor?
When I moved to Los Angeles back in 1991, I was fortunate to be hired by someone who became a mentor. He was Jewish and observant. My comprehension of English had room for improvement, and one day, when he mentioned to me that he was going to New York on the “red-eye”, I asked him if the “Redai” was a Jewish holiday.
- Any hobbies?
Traveling. Both here in the US and overseas. My wife and I love our National Parks, and we’ve visited a few from Alaska to the Four Corners, including the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest near Bishop, California.
- When you aren’t working, what do you do to unwind?
Time with family and friends. I also like outdoor activities particularly bicycling, running and hiking. I call it moving meditation.
- You’re given the ability to have dinner with anybody in the world (real, fictional- dead or alive). Who would you choose and why?
I love reading biographies, but if I had to pick one person it would be Siegmund Warburg. He was a remarkable man: a spy for MI6 at the onset of WWII, a very successful banker, and an early supporter of European integration.
Don’t forget to be on the lookout for our next Meet the Team Post!