We talked to David Drake of LDJ Capital about its Multi-family office with a global footprint and local presence.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
David Drake: We are doing well, and thankfully, all of my family members are safe and healthy. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I spent a lot of time with my family inside our home. Both of my parents are still alive, and I have young children; all of them are very vulnerable to the disease. So I am doing my best to keep them safe from COVID and ensure that we are all safe by staying clean, wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance, and eating healthy as we live during the pandemic.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded LDJ Capital.
David Drake: I was born in Stockholm, Sweden and I was fortunate to have a scholarship opportunity to study in the US, and I flew here. I started my business after that, and I have been doing so for the past 20 years. I had the chance to participate in the creation of the 2012 US JOBS Act on crowdfunding and acted as a representative of the US Department of Commerce to the EU in Brussels and Rome. I have hosted events in my place called The Soho Loft for celebrities and personalities from various fields. I participated in numerous conferences as a speaker and as a thought leader in venture capital, finance, and investments. My family office, LDJ Capital, has been affiliated in areas such as real estate, banking, hospitality, tech, entertainment, and digital assets like cryptocurrencies and has since expanded our network across other countries.
How does LDJ Capital innovate?
David Drake: I think that adaptability and meeting what the market demands or needs are two ways of how our company continues to innovate. It’s important to look for ways in which we can improve and make better business decisions, be knowledgeable in different regulations and frameworks in order to familiarize ourselves with any new industry, and learn something new from every experience. The best example would be this current pandemic and how everything shifted towards the “new normal” lifestyle.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
David Drake: We have witnessed how global markets and industries were affected by the current pandemic in the past six months. With the implemented lockdowns and quarantine periods, this pandemic spared no one. The majority of businesses are still reeling from the effects of COVID-19 in terms of both micro and macro perspectives. As a family office, we are looking at how to offset the losses and turn investments around where there is less volatility. We are looking for solutions to properly navigate our business that minimize the damages and losses during this pandemic.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
David Drake: We inevitably need to cut costs at this time. There was a decrease in face-to-face transactions, and we turned to remote business transactions and work-from-home set up to ensure everyone’s health and safety. During this time, I attended and spoke at virtual meetings and conferences made possible by modern technology and social media platforms. It’s amazing how we all stayed connected with each other no matter how far the distance and the time difference between our global offices. Sure, these are tough times, but we need to keep on moving forward.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and LDJ Capital in the future?
David Drake: I have to admit that the level of stress and anxiety has been at an all-time high. My family office is actively looking for ways to conduct our business that place everyone’s health and safety as the top priority. We will look for more investment opportunities and see how the financial markets perform in the post-COVID era. This period has been a learning experience for all of us, and we had to adapt to the situation and keep doing our best for a better future.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
David Drake: There are a lot of family offices in the world, and we all do what we have to do. The industry is very dynamic and competitive, so it’s always better to find your edge among the other businesses and stay true to your brand. As for my family office, we’ll just keep on adapting to market trends and working on how we can improve our businesses and investments globally. Innovative ideas can come from anywhere, and I believe that there are a lot of opportunities to explore alternative platforms and underdeveloped markets and industries to see how it will turn out in the future.
Your final thoughts?
David Drake: Due to our current situation, I know that it’s easy to feel down and anxious, especially when dealing with investments. This pandemic will soon be over since there are updates of vaccines being developed to fight the virus – that’s a silver lining. We can always find joy in the simple things in our lives, like spending more time with our family and being safe inside our homes. The time will come that we can go out safely again, but now we have to endure and do our best.