In a series of interviews conducted by Hedge Funds Club boss Stefan Nilsson, we are aiming to get under the skin of interesting people related to the hedge fund industry. The interviews focus on the people and the good life. Here’s our chat with Gerben Oldekamp at Circle Partners in Singapore.
From where and how do you get your daily general news updates?
Through my phone and laptop. Typically Bloomberg and BBC World News. Currently, due to the whole situation, also the local newspapers in the countries we are active: Hong Kong, Singapore and The Philippines.
What do you do to unwind on a weekend?
I have got four sons and they typically take up most of my time. If we’re in Europe we visit the Stadion Feijenoord to watch the best football team in the world, Feyenoord Rotterdam. In Asia, we watch them on TV. Further, since I’m away most days of the week, basically anything the kids enjoy most in the daytime. Going to a restaurant with my wife at night and then drinks in my local later on make the day complete.
Can you name a great book you have recently read?
I read a lot of books, on planes, in taxis, etc. All non-fiction and in old-school format. I could not mention only one that stood out.
Your soundtrack of choice?
Very diverse. From house music – inevitable growing up in the nineties in The Netherlands – to rap and pop music.
What drink do you start the day with and what drink finishes it?
A cup of English breakfast tea, no milk, to start and a glass of fresh milk to finish it.
What’s the worst money mistake you’ve made?
The houses I bought in my life have generally both been bought and sold at the wrong time.
Have you ever had a great mentor and what did you learn?
With the risk of being labelled a suck-up, the three founding partners of Circle Partners, to a large and lesser extent, have all taught me a lot of valuable business lessons and have given me the opportunity to develop.
What gives you energy?
Success and good reports from clients give me a lot of energy, but also communication and interaction with people in general. It’s what I miss most in these days.
How do you stay grounded and focused as a person in these turbulent and fast-changing times?
I mainly live out of a suitcase and lead a diverse life. I have found it quite difficult to adapt to reality – and tried to delay matters until “normal life” would resume – but I’m starting to face the fact it will take some considerable time for things to be as they were. The stories of family and friends that were badly hit by the crisis bring valuable reality checks.
Can you name a terrific restaurant that you love?
Formerly Hong Kong-based chef Harlan Goldstein last year opened a restaurant in Thailand – Comfort by Harlan – and I have been a very regular visitor. I’m a big fan of his simple but fantastic cooking.
What’s your favourite museum in the world?
I’m not a regular museum visitor, but the Imperial War Museum in London made a big impression.
Are you active on social media and what do you actually use it for?
LinkedIn mainly, I’m not on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Do you have any secret guilty pleasure that you are prepared to reveal here?
I collect match-worn football shirts, match programmes, banners etc. Pretty sad for a man in his forties, which my kids do not fail to constantly point out.
What kind of battle dress do you normally put on for work?
A suit always, I have managed to lose the tie when moving to Asia.
Do you celebrate your wins? If so, how?
Certainly, to me, that’s very important. We have quite a young team and together with our friends and contacts in the industry, we very much enjoy having a drink or two. It keeps me young too, mentally, at least!
What makes you happy?
A cliché, but definitely the family. Seeing your kids happy, gives the best feeling of all.