An incredible season's end for Maximilien Drion!

An incredible season's end for Maximilien Drion!

MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO WORLD CUP (MARCH 25-28, ITA)

Not everything was going smoothly before I went to Italy and before the last competitions of the winter. Indeed, very painful stomach cramps have spiced up my days before the start of the race, to the point that I even started questioning my participation. Finally, I decided to make the trip and hoped that my stomach cramps would go away as quickly as possible.

It was in front of the majestic Dolomites, in Madonna-di-Campiglio, that the final of the World Cup was going to take place. With 3 races in 4 days, the program was going to be tiring, but also exciting! Even if before I started these competitions, I considered my season to be successful, I wanted to come and lay a nice icing on the cake that was this winter 2020/2021.

The sprint (25.03)

We started with the sprint on Thursday. Luckily my stomach pains were gone when I woke up. So I was fully focused on the race of the day. This winter, I had twice managed to reach the final 1/2 so I was starting with the ambition to do at least as well.

I achieved a good qualifying round (6th time) and thus easily qualified for the quarterfinals, which divides the 30 best times into 5 quarterfinals with 6 racers. In the quarter, I made a correct round and finish 3rd, but I am not sure to go to the semifinals. The first two of each quarter qualify directly for the semi-finals. The two racers who achieved the best times in the quarterfinals among those who did not finish in the top two of the series are also qualified, they are called “lucky losers”. Since I finished 3rd in my series, my position was in suspense. I had to wait until the five quarterfinals have taken place to find out if I will be drafted thanks to my time. To my satisfaction, I am one of the two lucky losers! It means I am in the semi-finals. My goal is achieved but you are getting to know me… Deep down, I don’t want to stop there! To reach the final, I must finish in the top 3. Again, I made a very nice race and finished 3rd! Head to the final!

In the final, we are therefore 6 athletes, so I am guaranteed to finish in the top 6. Even a 6th place would mean my best career performance in this discipline. On the starting line I was standing alongside some of the big names in the discipline: Arno Lietha, Robert Antonioli, Thibault Anselmet, Nicolò Canclini and Nadir Maguet. I am not intimidated and I am ready to show them what the little Belgian is capable of. The start of the final is given, it goes fast, very fast, I found myself in 5th position at the bottom of the foot part. At the top of the foot part, I am 4th. I manage to close the gap with the podium. The legs are burning but that is the case for everyone. I came in 4th position at the top, which will also be my position at the bottom of the descent.

4th in sprint! The best result of my career in any discipline! I am extremely pleased with this result. But I will have to wait before celebrating this result, another race awaits me the next day…

Vertical (26.03)

The vertical race was held on Friday afternoon, it was quite hot and the snow was very wet. There were approximatively 600m of elevation between the start line and the finish line. I felt very good during the warm-up before the start and so I had planned to opt for a pretty offensive strategy.

I started in the 4th row, but I quickly came to place myself in the top 10 and then the top 5. I finished 5th at the world championships a few weeks ago so I thought it was a calculated risk to come and put myself at the forefront so quickly. The first part of the course was quite flat. My skins were gliding extremely well on that wet snow. I did not feel that despite my quick start I was putting myself in the “red” zone. I was feeling good and I did not want to let go the firsts. As the slope starts to rise, I pass in 3rd position! I don’t understand what’s going on but I feel great, I don’t care and keep the same pace. In front of me, Davide Magnini leads the race, but I do not want to let him create a too large gap. So I move to second position and I am now 10m behind Davide.

Then comes a flatter part, again I feel like I am gliding great. I manage to catch up with Davide without creating any extra effort. A little further I even take the lead! But I don’t want to take the lead too early, the race is still long. At that time, there must be about 250m of vertical drop. Surprisingly, despite the fact that I am doing the race of my life, I manage to remain extremely calm.

So here I am in first position, but it is not the right strategy. I am very lucid, I analyze everything. I slow down a little bit to let Davide and also Werner Marti, who managed to join us, overtake me. We are all three skis in skis. Davide-Werner-me. As from the start, Davide sets the pace. Little by little, I see that Werner loses a little distance from Davide. So I pass Werner and places myself between him and Davide. Werner is losing some ground. The race will be between Davide and me. I still feel great. Sometimes, instead of staying behind Davide, I come to stand next to him. I want to show him that I’m here and that I’m ready to respond to all his accelerations.

There is only 100m of the vertical drop left. In my head, I feel unbeatable. I feel ready to attack. I remember my end of the race at the world championships in Andorra where I passed 3 competitors in the last meters of the race. If I attack now, and I start running with my skis on my feet, I have to maintain that intensity until the finish. On paper, I’m more explosive than Davide and in training I proved several times that I was able to make long efforts at very high intensities. I will attack.

Here we go! I’m going! Nothing can stop me. My only thoughts at the time were “Keep running”, “Don’t look back” and “No one will catch you.” Even when the slope rises, I kept running, I promised myself that I would run till the finish. There are two arches to cross. The first one is red but it’s not the finish. A few meters after this arch is a second, which marks the finish. As I cross the first arch, I briefly turn around to see where Davide is. I managed to create a nice gap! At that moment, I savor, I put my two poles in one hand and when crossing the finish line, I raise my fist and shout with rage!

I JUST WON A WORLD CUP !!

No one believes what just happened… and me neither! I am shocked, moved, happy, proud, grateful. In my head and in my body it’s a fireworks display. What makes me even more moved is to see all my competitors and friends come to congratulate me and share my joy. This moment is etched in me forever.

I’ll let you relive my description of the race through this video (men’s race from 00:45).

The individual (28.03)

After a day’s rest was what was going to be my last competition of the season. I will admit to you that it was slightly difficult to fall asleep after experiencing such emotions during the vertical… Another event disrupted the atmosphere at the hotel. The evening before the individual, the Swiss team was notified of the fact that all Swiss athletes were not going to be allowed to start the individual race due to an error made by the swiss team staff in connection with a non-compliance with the covid protocol. And since I stay with the Swiss team, I had to wait a few hours before knowing if I would be able to start the next morning. Finally, I am allowed to start (it has advantages to race for Belgium) and tries to focus on the race to come.

After my 4th place in the sprint and my victory on the vertical, I told myself that I also had a nice card to play on the individual. So I plan to try my luck thoroughly. The course consisted of 3 climbs and descents for a total of 1700m of positive vertical drop. In the first climb, I’m in contact with the first ones. At the bottom of the first downhill, I’m in 8th position. My best result on an individual is a 10th place (this winter at the beginning of February in Flaine). Unfortunately, things started to get complicated for me shortly before the top of the second climb. I lost a few places but thanks to a good descent I managed to stay in the top 10 at the foot of the last climb.

I’m “empty”, the last climb is going to be difficult. The racers I had overtaken in the descent quickly caught up with me and were followed by others. At that moment, I see two options: give everything to the end and finish in a bad state to get a 15th or 16thplace or slow down a little and enjoy my last climb of my last race of an incredible winter. I chose the second option. I chose to have fun, to enjoy and to finish that last climb with a smile. At the finish, I am 18th, which is still a good result but is a bit far from my exploits of the two previous races. That’s it, it’s over, it was my last race of the winter! And what a winter!

Thanks to my great results during the last stage of the world cup, I managed to climb up to the 8th position on the overall ranking! And that even though I missed the first world cup stage of the season because of Covid! All the Swiss had already returned to Switzerland as they were not able to start the race. Only a coach could stay for me to bring me back to Switzerland. Although I would have liked to enjoy a little more of the atmosphere of Madonna-di-Campiglio, we decided to return quickly after the race.

On the way back to Switzerland, my father called me to tell me that he was planning to climb to the top of the Bishorn (4150m) the next morning. I say “why not” … And so, the next day, after having done 3 races in 4 days in Italy, I’m going to do my “recovery” training on a summit of more than 4000m. I also had a little surprise in the bag… Since I hadn’t really been able to celebrate my results in Italy the day before, I took a Belgian beer with me to the top of the Bishorn and enjoyed it up there!

TOUR OF THE VAL D'ANNIVIERS (03.04)

The fact that the competitions are over does not mean that there is no more snow in the mountains. A project was close to my heart and I had been thinking about it for several weeks and I promised myself to carry it out if the conditions allowed it.

This project is the Tour du Val d’Anniviers in ski mountaineering: connecting Vercorin to Chandolin via Zinal on a route I imagined. To my knowledge, I was the first to realize it.

According to my calculations, there was about 5000m of vertical drop and 60 kilometers of distance. I had estimated to 8 hours the time to complete the route. My forecasts were not too bad as there were 5200m of vertical drop and it took me 7h44 to reach Chandolin from Vercorin. It was a great experience, and I had a lot of fun during this long effort.


FFG is proud to sponsor Maximilien Drion

Very good results confirmed at the World Championships!

VAL MARTELLO WORLD CUP

Val Martello, in South Tyrol, is one of the regions of Italy where German is the main language. A sprint and an individual race were waiting for us. My feelings at the time of approaching these competitions were not excellent because of I had some stomach aches that bothered me for a few days. But I was counting on my motivation and determination to make a difference.

During the sprint, I made a good qualifying run but to my surprise I only achieved the 29th time of qualifying! In Flaine, I had the best time... Fortunately, it was enough to go to the next round. To motivate myself and wake up, I even went so far as to put snow in my neck. In 1/4 I made a good race, but unfortunately, I made too many mistakes and finished 5th in my quarter and got a 21st place as final rank. A little disappointed but my feelings would not have allowed me to do much better that day.

The next day, the individual race was a great one. The weather was perfect and the course very technical. The sensations were a little better. I make a quick start to get straight into the rhythm. At the top of the first of the 3 climbs, I thought that I might have started a little fast and that I would pay for it on the next climbs. But it was the other way around, until the end of the race I managed to keep a high pace and take back some competitors to finish in a very nice 14th place! I was really happy with that!

 

 

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN ANDORRA

The World Championships are held every two years and therefore each athlete had ticked off this event for a long time hoping to be at the top of his form. 4 races were proposed: the sprint, the relay, the vertical, and the individual. I didn't have the opportunity to participate in the relay because you have to be 4 racers, but the other three races were more than enough for me.

I had set myself an ambitious goal before these championships: to be in the top 10 in all 3 disciplines. In the sprint, I pass the qualification without any problem and then I won my quarter final. So, I'm in the semi-final final and I'm sure to finish in the top 12. The level is extremely high, and fatigue begins to be felt. I finished 5th in my semi-final, which is not enough for me to go to the final, but it allows me to get an excellent 10th place!

After a day of rest took place the vertical. I knew the course by heart because I got my best results there: 3rd at the European Championships in cadet in 2014, 2nd in the World Cup in junior in 2017, 1st in the World Cup in U23 in 2019. On the morning of the race, I immediately noticed that I was having very good sensations. I did my best to stay calm and focused and not get carried away by the excitement.

   

   

I made a good start and quickly put me in the top 10. Halfway through the race, I pointed in 8th position and told myself that if I could manage to keep that position until the finish, I would be super satisfied. A few hundred meters from the finish, I see that I was quickly getting closer to the riders in front of me. I made the effort to join them and then after a few seconds, I told myself "and why not...” I started running with the skis on my feet, I passed two Italian competitors and saw a Spaniard about 20 meters ahead. Without cutting my effort, I join him, pass him and without turning I back I go straight to the finish line. If you've done the math, you'll understand that I just finished 5th at the world championships! A few seconds after the finish, I can't believe it, it's amazing! The emotions are immense. I had tears in my eyes for the few next hours...

The world championships are not yet finished, there is still the individual race, the most important race of the championship because it represents the best what ski-mountaineering is. Unfortunately, bad weather conditions forced the organizers to change the route. The course was much less exciting but the most important thing for the athletes was to have a race to be able to express themselves on.

I did a good start, but soon I saw that I couldn't keep up with the best athletes. So, I dropped a little in the ranking, but I fought till the end to get the best result possible. I'll finish 17th. Summary of my results: 10th in the sprint, 5th in the vertical and 17th in the individual.

TEAM LONG DISTANCE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

 

A few days after my return from Andorra, it was already time to leave. Direction Arèches-Beaufort, the site of the legendary Pierra Menta race. A course of almost 3500m of vertical drop awaited us and the best teams in the world were going to compete there for the title of long distance world champion.

As a Belgian, the difficulty for me was to find a teammate... I managed to motivate Gauthier Masset, a Belgian who also lives in Vercorin in Switzerland to race with me. Even though there was a small difference in level between the two of us, I was really happy to do this race with him and I look forward to making more in the future.

There was also another Belgian team present in Arèches. So, we were 4 Belgian riders, it was really great to share this experience with them.

@360dsm

 


Allnews - Le dernier "free lunch" à Wall Street

Les paramètres de risque et de rendement des investissements doivent être examinés dans le contexte de leur interdépendance au sein du portefeuille.

Avec des volumes records de dette à rendement négatif et des marchés actions se négociant à des multiples élevés, les investisseurs sont confrontés à un environnement difficile en 2021. Le portefeuille équilibré traditionnel d’actions et d’obligations a bien servi les investisseurs au cours des 40 dernières années, avec des taux toujours plus bas et des actions qui ont grimpé en flèche. Mais ces derniers temps, ce portefeuille est devenu de plus en plus déséquilibré, car la partie obligataire offre un portage limité et n’est plus en mesure de fournir une protection adéquate lors du prochain ralentissement. La diversification est-elle toujours le seul «free lunch» en matière d’investissement, comme le suggérait autrefois le prix Nobel Harry Markowitz?

Lire la suite

 


Finance Corner – Forum Finance nommé meilleur gérant indépendant suisse de plus de 1 milliard

La société de gestion genevoise Forum Finance a remporté le prix du meilleur gérant indépendant suisse octroyé par les WealthBriefing Swiss EAM Awards 2021, dans la catégorie reine des sociétés dont les avoirs en gestion dépassent CHF 1 milliard.

Décernés par un jury indépendant composé de consultants spécialisés et de représentants des banques dépositaires et des fournisseurs de solutions technologiques, ainsi que d’autres experts de l’industrie, ces prix récompensent les meilleures sociétés de gestion suisses, ayant « fait preuve d’innovation et d’excellence en 2020 ».

Forum Finance a depuis plusieurs années renforcé sa structure et son organisation, comme en témoignent la licence LPCC et son enregistrement auprès de la SEC américaine. Par ailleurs, afin de répondre à l’évolution des besoins des clients, Forum Finance a investi dans ses ressources d’analyse, de gestion et de conseil patrimonial, ainsi que dans la technologie.

Lire l'article


Allnews - Forum Finance primée aux WealthBriefing Swiss EAM Awards 2021

La société genevoise dirigée par Etienne Gounod est désignée meilleur gérant indépendant suisse dans la catégorie reine des avoirs en gestion dépassant 1 milliard.

La société de gestion genevoise The Forum Finance Group SA a remporté le prix du meilleur gérant indépendant suisse octroyé par les WealthBriefing Swiss EAM Awards 2021, dans la catégorie reine des sociétés dont les avoirs en gestion dépassent 1 milliard de francs.

Décernés ce matin lors d’une cérémonie de remise retransmise par vidéo-conférence, ces prix récompensent les meilleures sociétés de gestion suisses, jugées par le panel d’experts comme ayant «fait preuve d'innovation et d'excellence en 2020». Le jury indépendant se compose de consultants spécialisés et de représentants des banques dépositaires et des fournisseurs de solutions technologiques, ainsi que d’autres experts de l’industrie.

Lire l'article

 


Forum Finance crowned best Swiss independent asset manager at the WealthBriefing Swiss EAM Awards 2021

 


 

 

 

 

Geneva, 4 March 2021. Geneva-based asset management company The Forum Finance Group SA has won the prize for best Swiss independent asset manager at the WealthBriefing Swiss EAM Awards 2021, in the premier category of companies with assets under management over CHF 1 billion.

Announced earlier today during a prize-giving ceremony broadcast via video-conference, the awards recognise the best Swiss asset management companies, deemed by the panel of experts to have ‘demonstrated innovation and excellence during 2020’. The independent jury comprises specialist consultants, representatives of custodian banks and technology solution providers, as well as other industry experts.

In the case of Forum Finance, Stephen Harris, CEO of ClearView Financial Media and Publisher of WealthBriefing, explains: "Judges were impressed by the global nature of its client base along with its Swiss national presence. Strong consistent organic growth has been balanced by canny anticipation of new regulations and wealth planning expertise to make a most worth winner in this category".

Having anticipated the changes in the wealth management market, Forum Finance has for several years been strengthening its structure and organisation, as evidenced by the CISA licence granted by FINMA and its registration with the US SEC. In addition, Forum Finance has invested heavily in its research, investment management and wealth advisory resources, as well as in technology, enabling it to respond effectively to changing client needs.

Unlike too many independent asset management firms, for which the question of ownership handover is acutely important, Forum Finance has established a clear and robust governance that has enabled a smooth transition from one generation of partners to the next. Its multi-generational management and transparent rules allow it to avoid succession problems and open up capital to new talent.

"We are very honoured by this accolade, which crowns more than 25 years of efforts to build a company able to meet the expectations of a demanding private clientele, eager for personalised solutions and a very attentive service," said Etienne Gounod, Managing Partner and CEO of Forum Finance. "Our future development is based on two axes. Firstly, organic growth, thanks to our business model, which attracts private wealth managers looking for a solid structure that has managed to retain a human dimension. Secondly, through external growth, thanks to our size, which enables us to finance our expansion projects and play an active role in the consolidation process that our industry is undergoing".

For additional information, please contact :

Egon Vorfeld                                                                                    Ricardo Payro
The Forum Finance Group SA                                                        Payro Communication Sàrl
T: +41 (0)22 311 84 00                                                                   T: +41 (0)22 322 13 17
E: vorfeld@ffgg.com                                                                       E: rp@payro.ch

 

About Forum Finance

Founded in 1994 in Geneva, Forum Finance offers private banking and asset management services to a high-end clientele. It has some 20 employees who manage and supervise CHF 1.5 billion in assets. The company is regulated and supervised by the FINMA under the CISA licence and is registered with the SEC.

 


WealthBriefing – The magazine

Forum Finance is proud to receive the WealthBriefing award: Swiss EAM with assets over 1bn.