Regional News: Arizona
Investment Strategy Firm, Fundamental Income, Launched and Co-Founded by Alexi Panagiotakopoulos
By Giuliana Harris
Panagiotakopoulos has always been immersed in his culture. He described how he “was raised Greek, then American,” he continued, “My father is from Athens, Greece and my mother is from Manhattan, NY, and her family is from Patra. I spoke Greek first, then learned English. My Greek culture is the foundation of who I am.” Adding to his home-life, Panagiotakopoulos grew up involved in the Greek Orthodox Church and the Greek Culture. As he shared, he participated in “Greek School, Greek Dance, Sunday School, Festivals, and every event you could imagine.” He is still very active in the Arizona Greek community.
If there’s one thing Alexi Panagiotakopoulos champions, it is the concept of a steady and consistent work-ethic. A firm believer in dedicated time and drive, Panagiotakopoulos has accomplished much since receiving his B.S. in Finance (Magna Cum Laude) from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in 2011. In 2018, Panagiotakopoulos and his partner Chris Burbach co-founded Fundamental Income, an Investment Strategy Firm. As their website states: “The Company created its inaugural index, the Fundamental Income Net Lease Real Estate Index (NNNLSCTR) calculated by NASDAQ, to help define and track the rapidly expanding publicly-traded Net Lease Real Estate sector. Fundamental Income is the Index Provider to the NETLease Corporate Real Estate ETF, (NYSEArca: NETL), launched by Exchange Traded Concepts.” Panagiotakopoulous spoke with me to detail the work of his firm as well as his professional journey, and how his Greek-American culture has influenced it all.
In describing how his culture affected him, he talked about how his friends have noted a certain work ethic, and tenacity, in him from his upbringing. “I don’t wait for things to come to me, I go and get them…” Panagiotakopoulos stated. His upbringing drove home the value of a good, steady work-ethic. His parents owned restaurants for 33 years, which he was raised with. Reflecting, he said, “I watched my parents and many people in the Greek community come to the United States with nothing and they have created everything – success in life, business, and family. I witnessed the American Dream from the inside and realized I could chase that and have that too.” Prior to co-founding Fundamental Income with Burbach, Panagiotakopoulos earned valuable experiences working for SMS Financial and STORE Capital. When asked about the evolution of his career, he said that he has always kept the task of learning at the forefront. “I spent my career working to learn as much as I could, in multiple industries, so one day I could go off and try to create my own success,” he stated. “As a result, I am an empiricist, who has gone on endless interviews, internships, work trips, conferences, and coffee meetings to learn as much as I could, from as many people as I could,” Panagiotakopoulos detailed.
In describing the company’s work, Panagiotakopoulos stated: “Fundamental Income was founded to identify and create investment strategies rooted in solid, understandable fundamentals that are expected to generate sustainable income with predictable growth. The firm’s principals have extensive experience in net lease real estate, capital markets, and credit opportunities.” In addition, he stated, “Partnering with Chris Burbach to launch our own investment strategy firm and working closely with Wall Street partners is a dream come true.”
When asked what advice he would give to young business owners and young professionals who are pursuing their professional interests, Panagiotakopoulos touched on the value of never letting difficulties get you down. He said, “Never be afraid to take the shot when the game is on the line. If you fall 7-times, find the courage to get up the eighth time.” He went on to describe further how he believes in the idea of “creating your own luck.” In closing, Panagiotakopoulos shared, “If you work hard, prepare and put yourself in front of opportunities, that inflection point will occur on its own. Too many times, young folks say, ‘Man, so-and-so is lucky,’ or ‘they got lucky,’ but fact of the matter is: the harder you work, the luckier you get.”
Email the author: Giuliana