Dris Uptus

Dris Upitis

Co-Founder & CEO

I was born and raised in Minneapolis. My dad immigrated to the US when he was five and taught me the importance of hard work and financial security, while I learned the joy and possibilities of big dreams from my mom. My grandfather, who escaped Latvia during World War II, often said, “Rich or poor, it’s good to have money.” That seemed like sound advice, and I took it to heart in elementary school, setting a goal of achieving financial security ASAP. I fell in love with investing in high school, which led to jobs in Chicago (as a research analyst at Credit Suisse) and New York City (as a portfolio manager at Viking Global Investors).

I was fortunate to be able to walk away from Wall Street in 2011. A couple of years later, I was in the process of starting a traditional investment firm when a close friend asked a simple question: “what for?” I could not come up with a good answer. I did not need the money, I no longer wanted to focus on large companies in the public market, and the world did not need another firm charging investors high fees to buy and sell stocks. I vowed to never again do something purely for the money, which was both an exciting and scary moment. On one hand, I had dedicated three decades of my life to achieving financial security, so it felt wonderful to be free of that self-imposed burden. On the other hand, what would I choose to do with the rest of my life?

In 2017, I co-founded a not-for-profit (Atlas Project) whose mission is for everyone to be personally responsible and in contribution to others. I’m consistently inspired by what’s possible when small groups of committed people come together to make a difference for others. Over the next two years, I began to grasp the potential to merge my love of working with people as they grow with my passion for investing. Slowly, the model of a very different type of investment organization emerged.

I co-founded Arete Choice to make this combination of financial and human capital available to the companies who most value it. Our first focus is on people. Believing in the enormous potential of employees and providing them with the opportunity to achieve excellence can be incredibly fulfilling for individuals, their families, and the businesses that employ them. We’re all excited to demonstrate what’s possible by focusing on people first and becoming leaders in this movement.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to meeting you and exploring the possibility of working together.