Here in London – Part I

Here in London - Part I

The English capital allowed them to carry out ambitious projects. Investors, collectors or restaurants tell us why these French people on the banks of the Thames responded to the call of the city-world.

Frederick Court, Multicultural Investment

Frederick Court. – © DR

He is the creator of Felix Capital (Latin for happiness), an investment fund that includes Business of Fashion, Coupe and Forbes in its portfolio.


Why did you go to London?

Growing up in Nice, I had the dream of finding London and its city, with no connection to the financial world. It was more of a dream and ambition than a very concrete plan and, fortunately, it came true. I came down with my suitcase in 1995 to start an investment bank in Lazarus.


Where do you live?

In basewater. I have always lived between Latbrook Grove, Notting Hill and Basewater since I came to London.


What do you like here?

I still feel like a tourist, it “exotic”, the city constantly amazes me, and its energy is what makes everyday life so much easier, more entertaining and enjoyable.

What are you not used to?

I’re from London “or worse, Felix Capital, an English company, is a venture capital firm I founded in 2014. Benefits from the experiences of everyone beyond the UK.


What has this city given you?

London has been a great site for me, I have learned a lot there, and Felix has been able to capitalize on the opportunity by capitalizing on the talents, communities and infrastructure there, especially the cross-cutting creative industries, technology and finance. .


What has Brexit changed?

Brexit is very sad. Every day we see that there are no new talents coming to London especially due to visa problems. In fact, we talk a lot about people leaving because of Brexit, but a lot about people who don’t come, training and coming here to build projects or businesses. I think about myself being able to land in London at the age of 21 and turn it into a land of opportunities, it is so hard now. Today, at that age, I would not come to London because the immigration process is so complicated that I would be in Paris, Berlin, Stockholm or Lisbon, where the chances are high and Europeans will circulate freely. This is an opportunity for France and Europe, besides, after Brexit, we have invested more internationally and very little in the UK. I think this trend will stick for a while, however I hope that over time London will become the ever-existing talent magnet.

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Do you ever plan to leave London?

Yes, of course I’m from Nice, and when the time comes, Nice will be my site again. I lose sight of the Mediterranean every day.

Hélne Nguyen-Ban, Art Without Borders

Helen Nuyen-Bonn.
Helen Nuyen-Bonn. – © DR

A fashionista for a while, an enlightened collector led by his Parisian gallery VNH until 2018, he is now developing an innovative project that combines art and technology.


Why did you go to London?

Frenzied desire for change, but above all the company wants to raise my three daughters in an international environment. That was in 2013, when my eldest entered college.


Where do you live?

In South Kensington, in the Frog Valley of London, I wanted to avoid, but in the end, it was optimal for me because it is so close to the French lycee Charles-de-Gaul. In this international London environment, I wanted my daughters to immerse themselves in French culture and literature.


What do you like here?

Undoubtedly, the unparalleled eccentricity and openness of the world. New York is also very “classy”. Eight years later, I was still fascinated and inspired by the idea of ​​going to dinner with ten different nationalities and the most impossible crosses. London is a city with a concentration of world-class universities, which attracts bright students from all over the world.


What are you not used to?

I got used to everything even when it was dark at 3pm – an achievement for me who lived mostly under the African sun.


What has this city given you?

He gave me the opportunity to meet talented people who inspire in all fields. In particular, in my contemporary art ecosystem full of museums, institutions, schools, art galleries and so on. Very incredible and weird. It is a great honor to meet a Zimbabwean artist, a Sri Lankan observer and a Slovenian collector on the same day.

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What has Brexit changed?

Often in divorces, all parties have unfortunately failed, at least in the short term. At this point, the direct effects are an unnecessary “red tape” that complicates and slows everything down! I hope Europe and the UK can re-establish their differences and their interdependence.


Do you ever plan to leave London?

Yes, because life is too short and the world is too big to live in one place. I lived the first half of my life in Africa and the second half in Europe. My dream now is to go and settle on the continent where I feel the closest viscera of my Asian ancestors!

Astrid Simon, influential woman

Astrid Simon.
Astrid Simon. – © DR

After developing Net-a-Porter’s digital strategy, the young woman founded her consulting and management company in 2018 that specializes in influence and digital talent. Formerly a member of Forbes Magazine’s Under 30s 30 – Europe – Media & Marketing “list by 2020, he works with Camille Sarrier in particular today.


Why did you go to London?

Following a job offer for Net-a-Porter, I moved to London in the summer of 2015, where I completed my final training. I thought I should only stay there for a year, but, seven years later, I still haven’t left and I feel better and better there.


Where do you live?

I have lived in Notting Hill for many years and it is a very exciting neighborhood and its “village” environment makes me want to walk for hours. Am I at least 1 hour 30? A day in the neighborhood and I never got tired of it.


What do you like here?

Dynamics, open-mindedness, cultural richness and a plethora of career opportunities. I also became a major drinker at Bubble, although it took three years for London friends to convince me. It is ultimately like the echo of the intoxicating atmosphere of Parisian brass and terraces. I love English too!


What are you not used to?

The geography and extent of London! Each trip takes an average of 45 minutes, which is a real barrier to improving my working hours. So despite sacrificing the size of my apartment, I have always chosen to live close to my office. I was never used to the English accent. I avoid going on dates in places with a lot of noise because I only understand one of two words. What does not help is that my French accent is even stronger. Sometimes I like to play this language barrier to play smart and get out of awkward situations: “Sorry, I do not understand!”

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What has this city given you?

Life in London has allowed me to thrive and especially to develop a more open mind. I decided to leave Paris at the age of 22 because at that time I felt locked up in traditions, social and cultural codes that did not suit me. London and its cultural diversity allowed me to explore different editions about myself and an aspect of my personality that did not dare to publish within my French and Parisian entourage.


What has Brexit changed?

I personally thought I personally did not feel the effects of Brexit, but I felt a strange feeling when I finally had to apply for my visa in 2020 and officially obtain “immigrant” status. Having lived in the United Kingdom for more than five years I was soon fortunate, but it is true that it reminded me well of the reality of leaving the EU. We had to adapt professionally to the increase in delivery costs and customs duties and the more complex travel conditions in Europe.


Do you ever plan to leave London?

I know nothing. I often have the desire to return to Paris because most of my relatives live there and I am very impressed with the new developments I have observed in recent years, especially in the field of technology. But, over time, I fell in love with London, the city that makes me happy. For a long time, I could not choose between the two, and I hope I secretly like the idea of ​​this double life between London and Paris and these two editions of mine.

Frederick Dett



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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

"Alcohol evangelist. Devoted twitter guru. Lifelong coffee expert. Music nerd."

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