Ionko Chuklev: AF Alumni 2015

December 23rd, 2020 News

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Currently I am a senior associate in a London-based financial data firm, CFO of a Bulgarian protein bite startup and deputy chairperson of the local association of robotics. I think those appointments represent best my diverse professional profile, interests, and background. My day-to-day work is often a blend of finance, law, technology, strategy sessions and meetings. I love being part of fast-paced, continuously challenging projects and doing international travel.

What motivated you to apply for the program?

My passion for finance, investing and especially hedge funds. Back in 2015, I knew in order to compete in the challenging world of finance, I needed deep level understanding of alternative investments and the program seemed a perfect fit for this. Also, I was enthusiastic for spending time in the financial capital of the Europe and getting to know peers from all over the world and exchanging ideas with them.

 Tell us about your experience on the program?

Back in 2015 when I joined the program, it focused on Alternative investments with hedge fund strategies being a core module but private equity, venture capital and commodities also being strongly featured in the curriculum.

My summer school was one of the first that featured four guest lecturers holding C-level positions in the field of hedge funds and private equity. An interesting fact is that four years after the program, our paths with one of these guest lecturers crossed again in the City.

I also cultivated strong relationships with peers from three continents, who I keep a connection with even five years later. My overall experience at LSE was both memorable and formative as it showed me I can compete with finance and economics students from all over the globe in a friendly and straightforward manner. This left a mark on my professional ambitions and aspirations going forward as I had new, higher goals for my professional development.

How have you applied what you have learned from this course?

I can give four specific examples through the last four years how I applied my knowledge from the course.

Firstly, my understanding of multiple investment strategies has helped me to win a spot on the Bulgarian team in one of the biggest trade competitions in Rome in 2016.

Second, my specialization in alternative investment vehicles allowed me to work on a project in the US financial center of New York in 2018 and to spend most of last year working between Sofia and the European financial capital - London.

Third, my understanding of the psychology that drives venture capital investing decisions and the process of constructing and servicing the VC portfolio has helped me and my team raise pre-seed funding for our startup.

And fourth, I still join the events of the LSE Hedge Fund Society with which I became acquainted with in 2015, so my knowledge base and contacts in the alternative investment sector continue to grow.


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