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Patrick Bourbon

Patrick Bourbon, CFA

(+1) 312-909-6539


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Table of Contents


The BFM Team

Ivan Leveille Nizerolle, CFA, FRM

Ivan has close to thirty years of experience. He began his career with Banque du Bâtiment et des Travaux Publics in the treasury Department. In 1989, he moved to the Crédit Agricole Group as a derivatives products and interest rate trader on the French and German markets. He moved to Chicago in 1999 and was an analyst focusing on the arbitrage and multi-strategy managers based in North America, before becoming a Senior Portfolio Manager, Managing Director of Credit Agricole Asset Management Alternative Investments (CAAM AI), which had $15 billion under management.
He is an expert in asset allocation and mutual funds due diligence.

Ivan has the French equivalent of a Masters from the University Paris-Dauphine in Financial Markets and Business Management. He also has a Master's degree in Economics from the University of Paris-Sorbonne and a Masters in Engineering from the Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics (ESTP).



Gilles de Barbeyrac
Gilles has spent his whole career in credit risk and market risk functions. Gilles worked in the Risk Management department of Calyon Financial (a derivatives brokerage firm that merged with Fimat in 2008 to form Newedge) from 1999 to 2008. He became its Counterparty Risk Manager in 2006.
Gilles is now the Credit Risk Manager of RBC Investor Services BankFrance, a depositary bank which is part of the Royal Bank of Canada group.

Gilles also successfully passed the CFA exam in 2004 (Level 3). He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from University Paris Dauphine and an MBA in finance from Loyola University Chicago.

Laurent Barocas
Laurent brings more than fifteen years of experience in financial markets serving both Buy-side and Sell-side global institutions. Most recently Laurent joined Bloomberg’s Portfolio Risk & Analytics product team to focus on the development and commercialization of Bloomberg’s portfolio capabilities. Laurent started his career in Chicago as an Interest Rates Specialist for ABN AMRO fixed income investment portfolio. Then he moved to London in senior portfolio specialist roles within investment banking research departments at Citi and Lehman Brothers. Laurent transitioned in 2008 as a Director to Barclays Capital Index, Portfolio & Risk solutions team.

Laurent holds an MSc in Computer Sciences from Paris-Dauphine University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.

Juan Carlos Espina
Juan joined the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago in 2004, and has played many different roles with increased responsibilities within risk management. Currently he works as a Vice President of Credit Analysis for unsecured credit covering Federal Fund, Reverse Repo and Derivatives counterparties.
Before, he worked in risk management at Bank One (JP Morgan), and has corporate banking experience in Latin America (Banco del Caribe – Scotiabank). Juan also has commodity trading exposure (Chicago Board of Trade).

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Agronomics (Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1996), and a Master of Science in Finance (Illinois Institute of Technology, 2000).


Fabienne Legger
Fabienne brings over 15 years of senior international expertise in the area of Strategy, Operations, Business infrastructure/transformation, Compliance and International business expansion. She started her career within Euronext Group (formerly SBF – Bourse de Paris) where she led a number of leadership and consultancy roles in Europe, U.S. and APAC, including 2 years in Chicago, where she was part of the team which worked on the technology swap between Euronext and the CME (trading/clearing). Then she moved to Switzerland and expanded her know-how to the brokerage, banking and insurance sectors. She worked for key global players such as Interactive Brokers, Credit Suisse, E*TRADE and SwissRe, and held senior management positions as Head of Regional Business and/or Operations.

Fabienne holds a Master's degree in Business Administration and Management. She is passionate about “making business work” in profitable, sustainable, and socially responsible ways. She considers Operations as a key strategic competitive business asset.

Pierre Monperrus
Pierre is a Director with over 13 years of Management Consulting experience at PwC. Pierre specializes in financial effectiveness and process improvement initiatives. He has significant experience transforming finance functions to assist corporate and private equity clients quickly integrate acquired companies.
Finally, Pierre also has expertise in audit approach & risk management.

He holds a Master in Corporate Law and a Master in Business Management. He is currently a part time student (executive program) at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Sagar Sheth
Sagar is currently Managing Director and Head of Chicago for MKM Partners. Sagar previously served as a Director in the Global Markets Group at Deutsche Bank where he was a top ranked Institutional Equity Salesperson. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Sagar spent nearly four years at UBS Investment Bank in the Equities Group. He also held positions as an Associate Quantitative Analyst at UBS Global Asset Management and as a Business Analyst at Morgan Stanley’s Discover Financial Services Group. He has a broad background in business development and has built a vast network of executives that stretches across the globe.

In his personal time, Sagar is an Adjunct Professor at the IIT Stuart School of Business in Chicago teaching a course on Investment Banking, Global Markets and Hedge Funds. Sagar also gives back to the community as a member of the Board of Directors of the Israel Idonije Foundation, and is an active supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Foundation for Educating Children with Autism, as well as a variety of other nonprofits.

Sagar received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and he graduated from University of Michigan with a Bachelors in Economics. He is also a licensed Illinois Real Estate Managing Broker and holds multiple securities licenses.
Find practical tips you can use to help you make better and more informed decisions.

Did you know that your vision can literally "trick" you? Did you know that human attention is limited and that we can't analyze all the information we receive?

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BFM Videos

Over the past few years, we’ve carefully assembled practical tips and videos you can use to help you make better and more informed life decisions. 


See examples of cognitive illusions, and learn why humans make predictably irrational decisions.


For example, did you know that your vision can literally “trick” you whenever it can? That human attention is limited and that we can’t analyze all the information we receive? Let's watch this video:

The butchers' and dietitians' story: discover the difference between brokers and fiduciaries.


BFM is a fiduciary (like a dietitian).


Behavioral Finance: overconfidence and the role of psychology.









Both doctors and pharmacists play an important role in health care, but when you’re feeling ill you know whom you visit first.

Pharmacists are experts in their field, but they aren’t diagnosticians. That’s why you visit a physician first — to get a diagnosis and, when warranted, a prescription. And to protect you from the risk that a physician might try to sell you pharmaceuticals you don’t need in order to make a profit, you buy the drugs from the pharmacist. This eliminates the potential for a huge, and medically dangerous, conflict of interest.

This same logic applies to financial planning.

Some practitioners in the financial field make a living by earning commissions when you buy products they recommend. This creates a financially dangerous conflict of interest, because the advisor doesn’t profit unless you make a purchase.

The solution is simple: Don’t buy products from advisors whose compensation is largely dependent on the commissions they’ll earn when selling them. Instead, hire a fee-based advisor whose compensation is aligned with your best interests. (Source: Ric Edelman)

In the case of BFM, we do not accept any commissions. We are FEE-ONLY. Thus, instead of a conflict between us, our interests are aligned.



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Will investing in Emerging Markets (EM) provide a comfortable retirement and more financial security?

At BFM, we help clients make better financial decisions to create peace of mind.

Our core beliefs are:
• Asset Allocation is the most important determinant of performance            
• A globally diversified portfolio reduces risk         
• A disciplined investment process is critical         
BFM enables its clients to increase their wealth through independent financial advice with no conflict of interest. We neither sell products nor receive commissions. 

Executive Summary
Emerging Markets (EM) have:
• A growing middle class and domestic consumer
• A young and growing population
• Stocks that are not expensive
• High growth rates  
• Low debt

In summary, portfolios with a portion invested in EM may be good strategy to reach long-term goals.

If you grew up during the 1970s and 1980s, you were used to seeing “Made in Japan” imprints on many toys and household items. Later, “Made in China” emerged to be the new norm. Today, the prevalence of emerging economies is widespread.
As a global investor, BFM acknowledges that emerging markets cannot be ignored.

Following the great performance of the S&P 500 of more than 200% (total return) since March 2009, we are no longer bullish on U.S. stocks (see June 2014 charts).

Home country bias is a universal tendency for people around the world so U.S. or French investors are no different; they are prone to emphasize U.S. or French stocks in their portfolios. After all, the companies behind these stocks are more familiar. The last few years, the U.S. economy fared much better than many others, and the U.S. stock market has performed very well. In contrast, global diversification has been touted as a superior strategy for equity investors because investing in stocks in many markets around the world, reduces the concentrated risks of investing in one market alone.

Our research team has decided to shift its focus to Emerging Markets (EM).

Thirty years ago, EM made up just 1% of the world equity market capitalization compared to 11% in 2013 (which may be underestimated). They comprise 51% of world economy (GDP on a purchasing power parity basis), representing 82% of global GDP growth and more than 80% of the world population. They are in better shape today and are less risky than during the past crisis. EM are already too important to ignore and they are a good source of diversification for portfolios. We understand that in a roaring stock market, our philosophy of “prudent diversification” can be challenging. Here is a good insight from one of the greatest investor: 
“The only investors who shouldn’t diversify are those who are right 100% of the time.”
Sir John Templeton


At BFM, we believe the fundamental long-term investment case for EM is good.

There are many reasons to be optimistic about EM. Many countries have sound macroeconomic, financial, and policy fundamentals. Other positives are the urbanization, industrialization, strong economic growth, catch-up growth from low per capital income, companies that have better profitability and higher dividend per share, a good demographic (for most of EM countries), a more stable middle-class, and the rise of a consumer society. We believe these good fundamentals will serve investors well in the long run.
By 2030, middle class spending is expected to increase six-fold in the Pacific region. The number of millionaires in China already passed the one million mark in 2010. The number of billionaires is expected to grow more than 80% in China, 63% in Russia, 67% in Brazil and 36% in Turkey.


We saw a massive structural shift in credit standing during the last decade. EM are actually creditors to the rest of the world. They hold nearly 80% of global foreign exchange reserves.

Potential risks include volatility, inflation, currency, and political risks. Also, the unwinding of Quantitative Easing (monetary policy to stimulate the U.S. economy) could result in a stronger dollar. China is experiencing a slowdown. Furthermore, EM experience more corruption and less transparency. Despite all this, we believe the emerging markets remain an attractive source of mispriced opportunities and that some mutual funds managers are best suited to exploit these inefficiencies.

List of Emerging Markets Countries


1. GDP Growth 

Country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product = Economy) Goes Through Cycles


EM contribute the most to the world growth. Their growth rates are twice the level of advanced economies. By 2025, there is a possibility of 4 Emerging Markets Countries being in the G7.

EM have Become a Bigger Portion of the World Economy (GDP) and Stock Market Capitalization

EM are Growing Faster (Higher GDP Growth) and Have Lower Debt 


2. Young and Growing Population

EM Population is Growing Fast

The Working-Age Population is Larger


3. Increasing Purchasing Power

EM Consumer Market is Growing Fast (Lead by China and India)

EM New Consumers with Low Debt are Entering the Global Market


4. Higher Returns and Not Expensive

EM Stocks' Returns Outperformed Advanced Economies (AE)

EM Stocks Do Not Seem Expensive Relative to Other Countries' Stocks 

But EM Returns are More Volatile...

EM experience huge swings: a 39% gain in 2007, for example, followed by a 53% tumble in 2008, and a 78% rebound in 2009.


5. Low Debt

The Debt Burden of EM is Lower


EM Have Low Public Debt and Better Fiscal Balance



BFM recommends globally diversified portfolios that include emerging markets!





6. Appendix - Past Newsletters




We would welcome the opportunity to know you better, introduce ourselves, share with you the work we do for our clients, and position ourselves as a useful resource for you. It would be a wise first step towards achieving your vision.


Getting to know you, your needs and motivations, is almost as important as you evaluating our capabilities to help you meet your financial goals. We do not charge a fee for our initial consultation during which we review your portfolio, and listen to your goals and objectives.



What type of clients do we have? Our clients are located across the globe including North America, Europe and Asia. We have an unbiased approach in selecting our clientele i.e. our client base is broad encompassing expatriates, executives, entrepreneurs, working professionals, and business individuals. We welcome all clients from individuals with wealthy multi-million dollar portfolios to individuals who currently have negative net worth. 

We have no portfolio size minimums.

Learn more about our straightforward flat fee conflict-free compensation model.


We have discovered that one of the most valuable things we do for our clients is guiding them on selecting better mutual funds and making sure they have enough assets as long as they live. If you have any ideas on how we should connect with people in such situations, your advice would be a great help.



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This newsletter is not investment advice or trade recommendations. Many factors beyond those discussed in this newsletter exist in determining a proper investment allocation and whether global investing is appropriate for each individual investor. We welcome all questions and comments regarding investing and retirement concerns.