Tag Archives: byron wien

Mentorship and The Smartest Man

I’ve always enjoyed reading Byron Wien’s “The Smartest Man in Europe” papers and now it shall come to an end as the previously anonymous gentleman, Edgar de Picciotto, has passed away. Here’s a snippet and link to the article, definitely worth the read.

Over the years I learned that he didn’t think like other investors, and I wondered about the formative events in his background. He was descended from a mercantile family whose roots stretch back hundreds of years to the days when they operated canteens along the Silk Route, providing food and weather protection to travelers moving to and from China and India. Born in Lebanon and educated in Europe, he came to the United States for training in finance. Sensing great opportunity as Europe recovered from World War II, he settled in Geneva and began managing the wealth that was accumulating on the continent. He was an early investor in hedge funds and his reputation as a person who could identify secular change, talent and undervalued assets ahead of others grew over the years.

Source: Blackstone

The Smartest Man is Wild about Innovation

Just after I posted last week’s discussion w/ the smartest men in Thailand piece I was sent the last column by Byron Wien’s w/ his discussion with the smartest man in Europe, here’s a snippet below and a link to the rest, as usual its a must read.

For the past fifteen years I have written annually about a person I have come to call “The Smartest Man in Europe.” For new readers, he is a finance person in his 80’s who has built his reputation by identifying important trend changes early and putting serious money behind his conclusions. Descended from a mercantile family that operated canteens selling food and weather protection along the Silk Route, he was educated in Europe, trained in New York and returned home to take advantage of the wealth-creating opportunities resulting from the post-war recovery. Listening to conversations around the dinner table, he was encouraged to focus on the major events early, and his success is a product of this skill. That success is reflected in his homes and other comforts he enjoys. His art collection spans centuries, from Canaletto to Koons, but what keeps him vibrant is ideas.

Source: Blackstone