Founding Partner & Chief Executive
To boldly go...
William Jones, founding partner and CEO of fund governance and service provider ManagementPlus, grew up in a multicultural environment that has helped him build a global business.
A life-changing event
William Jones was head of the legal department with Goldman Sachs Asset Management International in London in September 1999 when a car accident changed forever his perspective on life – and started a process that has led to Jones heading ManagementPlus, a global provider of directorship and other services to the alternative and traditional asset management industries.
He was brought up, he says, to understand that hard work and dedication are critical to success in any endeavour – be it the international financial services industry, learning languages (bilingual in English and Spanish, he can also conduct business meetings in French and Italian) or playing the drums.
But the accident led Jones to the “life-awakening” realisation that work is not everything, and prompted him to leave his well-remunerated post with Goldman on a journey that led him to launch the business that is now Management Plus in February 2006. At the same time, his life outside the office has been transformed by marriage and the arrival of two children.
On the learning curve
Growing up as an only child taught Jones to make friends and to take pleasure in talking to people (“sometimes I talk too much,” he confesses). After studying literature at Princeton he returned to his native New York to acquire a law degree and an MBA at Columbia University, then start his career as an associate with two of America’s leading business law firms, Shearman and Sterling and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.
Moving into the financial industry with Princeton-based Commodities Corporation, his responsibility for legal matters relating to hedge funds and other alternative investments led to involvement in multiple aspects of fund operations, including client relationships, product development, risk and other systems, marketing and sales, and advising on jurisdiction and service provider selection.
The transition when the firm was acquired by Goldman, Jones says, was his “fastest learning curve”, teaching him that regardless of the size of company or the rank of a job title, the asset management business is always about dealing with the same issues and concerns – client always first, investor protection, compliance, robust process.
A global perspective
ManagementPlus started out providing independent director services in Gibraltar and Singapore, subsequently setting up operating companies in Luxembourg (today the heart of the business) and the Cayman Islands and a marketing presence in London and New York.
As ManagementPlus expands to offer management company services for both UCITS and alternative funds (hedge funds as well as PERE), Jones says he still enjoys being his own boss and leading from the front – in the manner of his hero, Captain James Kirk of the USS Enterprise.
Facts & Figures
Place of birth: New York, USA
Languages: English, French, Spanish and Italian
Hobbies: Chess, movies and war history
Cities: New York City, London, Paris and Tokyo
Places: Home. And a beautiful beach
Books: Anything by Jorge Luis Borges and “The Intellectuals” by Paul Johnson
Restaurant: Trattoria Il Riccio (Luxembourg)
Music: Funk jazz and motown
Artwork: Impressionism and my children’s art work
Global Head of Legal, Compliance and Risk (Alternative Fund Services) at Bank of Bermuda/HSBC
Partner at Agora Capital Management Ltd, a manager specialising in customised alternative investment products
Head of Legal of Goldman Sachs Asset Management International in London