Ole Rollag

My great, great grandparents were Norwegian immigrants from Rollag, Norway. My grandparents left South Dakota for New Mexico after WWII. As a young veterinarian, the only job my grandfather could find was working as an agricultural veterinarian in rural New Mexico. He took his wife in a Model-T with $25 dollars to get there. He lost his wallet in Oklahoma and had to ask his dad for a loan to make the trip.

25 years later, he made good after lots of hard work. He was honest, friendly, and ultimately successful. He is my role model.

I was able to rise through the ranks fairly quickly, having started in 1996 as a Runner for Dean Witter on the bond floor of the CBOT to working on the Systematic Desk at Carr Futures (now NewEdge). At that point, I decided to do my MBA at HEC Paris in 1999. Unfortunately, every time I do a degree there is a recession or something bad going on and December 2001 was no exception. Fortunately, I was able to find a fund management position at Societe Generale managing credit and credit derivatives. After about 3 years, Nordea was looking to enter into hedge funds and I was hired as one of the key people to start the platform in Luxembourg; later I was managing the platform.

2008 changed the lives of many people, including mine. At the time I was looking to launch an Event Driven Long Volatility fund and was stopped dead in my tracks by the crisis. Hindsight being 20/20, it was probably the best thing that happened to me. At the time, the world really didn’t need Ole Rollag as a fund manager. However, there was a need for management consulting in asset management. As a consequence, I set up Perfecta Partners.

I was very nervous about setting up Perfecta Partners in 2009 after having worked for big banks for nearly all of my career. But with a lot of work, it became profitable fairly quickly. Murano was a concept that was so unique, we spun it out of Perfecta in 2011.

Working in a small business is intimidating. It feels like the training wheels are off! However, I am amazed how supportive everyone is. What I love about this industry is how nearly all of it is small business, even working with the largest companies in the industry we find that there is an enterprising mentality and lots of mutual support and sympathy. Not only that, but I am privileged to work with some very smart, capable and enterprising colleagues that share in the excitement of seeing something grow… from nothing.