Clement Perette spent over twenty years working his way up within the financial sector in Europe, building an impressive career in Paris and London. During that time, he held high-level positions within some of Europe’s top banking institutions, including Barclays, until he retired from the industry in 2013 in an effort to create a more balanced lifestyle. He moved to Geneva, Switzerland where he took a few years off, but his drive couldn’t be subdued long and he simultaneously started two new endeavors in 2015: a job in asset management at RAM Active Investments, and his philanthropic passion project on ocean conservation “Call of the Blue.”
Ocean conservation and asset management are two things that seem to have almost nothing in common. How have you come to be so involved in both?
After decades of working within the incredibly rewarding but high stress European financial market, I feel so lucky to have had the ability to take a step back and re-evaluate where I want to spend my time and energy. I have absolutely loved my career — investing, trading, and the decisions you make within that realm are invigorating ways you can implement your own opinions, and being able to confront your ideas and strategies and then utilize them as always been a real excitement for me. But in 2011, I relocated to Paris and took a four-month sabbatical from my work at Barclays during that transitionary period. In that time, I rented a 47-foot boat and sailed her across the Atlantic between the Basque Country, Portugal, Madeira Islands, Cabo Verde, and the West Indies. It was then that my passion for the sea I had since childhood was reinvigorated, and it planted a seed in my mind of utilizing my skills towards ocean conservation. I soon came to the realization that working on the capital market floor wouldn’t be conducive to meeting that goal, and so I retired from it in order to create a more balanced lifestyle for myself and my family. I now split my time between asset management at RAM and my work on “Call of the Blue” and “Ocean Souls.”
What are “Call of the Blue” and “Ocean Souls?”
“Call of the Blue” is a photobook authored and photographed by my dear friend Philip Hamilton. It features full-page photos taken by Philip of underwater scenes from oceans across the world, as well as narrative contributions from over 50 of the top biologists and scientists and 20 other such key contributors to ocean conservation including explorers, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, actors, singers, authors, and athletes. Through these aesthetic marine life photographs, we hope to bring awareness to the public on the importance of protecting our oceans, as well as promote a wide range of biodiversity projects for marine life.
My latest project “Ocean Souls” is an upcoming film I will be an executive producer on in collaboration with the non-profit The UPROAR Fund and Philip. This film will delve into the lives of whales and and dolphins, focusing on both their beauty and scientific significance. We hope to raise awareness by showing the animals’ intelligence, social behaviours, and ability to feel emotions, especially in the context of Iceland and Japan’s continued commercial whale hunting.
How do you manage your time on a daily basis between these two ventures?
I do my very best to have an even split of my time between my professional life in asset management and my work on ocean conservation. As a senior portfolio manager at RAM, I co-manage the global bond total return fund. With our clients being mainly institutional investors looking for a safe, liquid, and diversified fixed income fund, I am able to give them the time necessary to fulfill their needs while also leaving myself room for attention to ocean conservation. I spend most of my day within that realm working with clients, as well as reading and researching investments in the capital markets.
In the evenings, I devote my time to calls and emails for both “Call of the Blue” and “Ocean Souls.” For the book, I managed the philanthropic and and fundraising efforts, using my network gained during my time in the capital markets for financing and sponsors. I also do travel quite often for the projects to meet the scientists, as well as spend time in the water.
I am also in the process of joining UPROAR as a non-executive board member. UPROAR manages The UPROAR Fund, looking to raise funds and awareness for conservation projects. In the coming weeks as a part of my engagement with UPROAR, I will be spending two to three hours each day using my experience within the corporate world to help develop the company. Although this does add considerable time and energy expenditure to my day, having the opportunity to make a difference thanks to “Call of the Blue” and UPROAR is a truly fulfilling experience.