Founding Partner & Chairman
Charles was born in Aleppo, Syria during World War 2 as his father was head of the Free French in the Middle East. After Syria, Charles moved to Greece (for the Greek Civil War) and Algeria (for the Algerian War of Independence). He moved to Toulouse for his graduate studies in economics and then received an MBA from SUNY Binghamton. Charles started his financial market career at the Banque de Suez in 1970. In 1974, he left to create Cecogest, an independent research firm providing institutional investors advice on tactical asset allocation. In 1981, following the appointment of communist ministers by François Mitterand, Charles decided to leave France, and moved to London where he established Cursitor-Eaton Asset Management, a money management firm where he was CIO. In 1995, when Cursitor-Eaton had reached US$10bn in assets under management, Charles and his partners sold the firm to Alliance Capital, where he remained until 1999. In 2000, Charles launched Gavekal in Hong Kong with his son Louis-Vincent and friend Anatole Kaletsky. The key driver behind Gavekal was the idea that China was set to be an ever-bigger part of the global economy and financial markets. Charles moved to Hong Kong in 2003 and remained there until 2015 when he moved back to France.
Today, Gavekal manages around US$1.8bn for European institutional investors in the Asian markets. Gavekal also publishes research on global macroeconomics (under the “Gavekal research” brand), China macro (under the “Gavekal Dragonomics” brand), Chinese internet companies (under the “Gavekal Redtech” brand) and provides investors with corporate due diligence on Chinese corporates (under the “Gavekal Fathom” brand). More than 900 companies, financial institutions and high net worth individuals in 33 different countries currently subscribe to a Gavekal research product. Charles remains Chairman of Gavekal and is one of eight working partners.
When Charles moved back to France in 2015, he helped launch two separate think-tanks:
- The first, l’Institut des Libertes, publishes policy papers and aims to promote “classically liberal” positions in French political debates. The l’Institut des Libertes’s weekly newsletter currently enjoys a readership of some 50,000.
- The second, l’Institut de Formation Politique aims to train young politicians, elected officials and civil servants younger than 35 years old, to the core skills necessary to making sound financial decisions in the future—such as how to read a balance sheet, how to understand financial products, etc. The l’Institut de Formation Politique offers free six-week night classes for which the waiting list is becoming ever longer. Charles’s hope is to ensure that future generations do not repeat the mistakes of his own.
In his spare time, Charles reads and sometimes writes books. His first book, Des Lions Menes Par des Anes, written in 2001 at the time of the euro’s launch, was a best seller in France and has gone through several re-prints. His first book written in English, Our Brave New World (co-authored with Louis), published in 2005, was a top-100 seller on Amazon that year. His latest book, Clash of Empires: Currencies and Power in a Multipolar World, also written with Louis, reviews the investment consequences of the breakdown in the US-China relationship.
When he is not reading or writing Charles can be found on the side of the pitch of the Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque, the professional rugby team he owns with his son Louis, and which he hopes will soon return to its glorious recent past.
Charles has been married to Chantal since 1966. Together they have 4 children and 11 grandchildren.
For Charles's article archive please click here.