Managing Partner, Americas, Asia
What’s the most unexpected thing you ever did?
My whole career was pretty unexpected.
I was born in 1973 in Beijing, China. My family and I immigrated to Vancouver, BC, in 1979. In 1991, I graduated from high school and matriculated at Harvard. I was Chinese; I was male; I was at Harvard. The odds of me becoming a doctor were overwhelming. Culturally, the hierarchy is this: doctor, lawyer, engineer.
But a college internship taught me that I would hate being a doctor. So I went to my guidance counselor and talked to her about the kinds of work that really interested me. She said, “Have you considered finance?”
What brought you here?
I believe the founders we work with are setting the fundamental architecture for the world’s next macro financial landscape. I find their intellectual joy and sense of personal achievement contagious. I remember when I started my career at Merrill Lynch on the trading floor—the feeling was electric. It was like an alternate universe. I feel the same way now. We’re able to see the future through the eyes of the founders. That’s fascinating.
What emerging trends are catching your attention these days?
The truth is that innovation is happening everywhere, all the time. My own focus area is more in financial technology. That’s an industry in the midst of upheaval, and the really interesting thing about this moment is that it's the startups versus the behemoths: many small, aspirational disruptors challenging a few massive players that dominate the financial industry. So we’re looking for founders who are seeing the sweet spot for disruption, and have enough substance that we can help them become the financial institutions of the future.
We are looking for opportunities to support big leaps that can reshape the market and the technology that drives it.
What do you want to accomplish in your work with founders?
We are really not interested in making investments solely for the sake of profit. When we work with founders, we are looking for opportunities to support big leaps that can reshape the market and the technology that drives it. We are always asking, What is going to improve the global system? What might fundamentally alter it in terms of how we do things? What might create something significantly better?
If a young person came to you for advice, what would you tell them?
Fortune favors the bold.
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