Robert Ebert is a technology investor and conservationist. Previously he was the Head of Equities at Deutsche Bank for Asia, Japan, and Australia, along with serving as its Co-Global Head of Equity Sales. Since 1996, Robert has held several senior roles throughout various divisions within Deutsche Bank, including in New York, London, and Tokyo. Born and raised in the UK, Mr. Ebert spent 30 years in Finance, including 17 years overseas.
Before Deutsche Bank, he spent many years at Morgan Stanley in Tokyo and London. After he left Deutsche Bank, Mr. Robert Ebert started his independent investment firm that specializes in technology, medical and cybersecurity investments, as well as helping to fund solutions for water and food problems. He currently does not use any external funds but is currently investing his own money.
Robert is happily married and has a daughter who is finishing a Masters Degree at UCL. They spend a lot of time traveling around the world and he and his wife are actively involved in animal conservation and habitat preservation.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I had worked in the banking and financial industry for many years and met some fascinating and influential people, who were familiar with investing. They introduced me to some incredible people who are looking to change the World in the medical and technology fields.
I find it inspirational to be around people capable of changing the way the human species lives, dies and functions daily. Being able to help them realise their goals and along the way potentially improve quality of life for many, whilst also making some money is a way to bring balance into my own life and into the lives of those I love.
How do you make money?
I make money by investing in people and companies with great ideas who want to be able to bring them to a wide audience. Obviously, there is an economic rationale behind investing, but the thing that really interests me is backing technology that will make us stronger, liver longer, safer, and smarter and to eradicate suffering. I make money when the companies I invest in succeed in meeting their goals, but I have the most joy when a product is brought to market by a company I have helped that will improve the quality of life of many people.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took me a long while to make a profit because most companies take years to make sustainable returns. I have a lot of patience and have found some great technologies and companies that have a good business plan. However, my investment strategy is normally based around finding the very best, creative talent. The best people always find a way to make problems disappear. They will find a way to make an average product into a World-Class one if their early attempts were not good enough.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
It wasn’t so much doubt as it is the realities and risks of investing in businesses. Some new companies will become close to being an overnight success and others will fall flat after years of battling to stay alive. It is very unpredictable. When one invests in theses types of ideas and companies, it is likely that 80% of the time they will fail. That can be very hard to handle as an investor, especially if you suffer several back to back losses. I can be quite conservative and I can become risk averse, which means I can miss opportunities. I came from a very humble background and it was battle for me to make money, so losing it I find particularly painful.
I am working on educating myself better in terms of distributing my risks and on how to build a more diverse portfolio of companies.
How did you get your first investor?
I currently do not use external investors money.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works well to generate new business?
I am not currently marketing my business. Any funds currently deployed are my own.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Deciding not to return to the Investment Banking industry, a business I loved with a passion for 30 years. I want to be able to control my time more effectively, spend more time with those I love and also be able to have a more positive impact on the quality of life of people on our planet. Of course I want to continue being successful, but I very much want to do that hand in hand with helping to change the future direction of the human condition.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Hard work, determination and a very good nose for talent. I like to work with people much smarter than me. Fortunately, there are lots of those!!
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
It always has been and always will be, helping people to cultivate their greatest dreams and bring them to reality.