December 2019

Behind the business card: Home is where the heart is

Baijing_YuBaijing Yu, analyst/portfolio manager, Comgest Previous job: Senior associate, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. How many years in the region? Eleven. What do you consider to be your home town? Fujian, China. Educational background: Economics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. First job in the funds industry: Analyst, Comgest’s Asian research team in Hong Kong. What is the toughest challenge you’ve faced in your professional life? When I left the transaction-centric investment banking industry to join long-term active fund management, the learning curve was steep. While I had the necessary financial knowledge, I had to build an in-depth awareness of both the industry and company. To navigate the equity asset management space, I had to familiarise myself with bottom-up investing and learn to weather the market volatility/noise to make long-term investment decisions. What advice would you give to someone who is beginning their career in the funds industry? Invest time to understand the companies you invest in and are in charge of, be open-minded and curious, learn from your mistakes and don’t panic. If you could change one thing about the funds industry, what would it be? I believe the fund industry can adopt more big data and data analytics technology to improve operational and research/decision-making efficiency. What is your greatest ambition? I hope to build a social enterprise to help the underprivileged one day, leveraging on my career in the funds industry to create further value for society. What’s the best investment you’ve made? The time I spent learning to be a quality growth investor and to be contrarian with a long-term view. The best personal investment I made was investing my time to share our family experience for my son’s cleft condition with other concerned parents at the Hong Kong Cleft Association. I wanted to help others to give back and to raise awareness that cleft is a very curable structure issue. Favourite country to visit for a holiday? Croatia. Favourite type of food? Fujian cuisine. It reminds me of my roots as I have been away from home for 20 years. Favourite book or film? Green Book. Aside from the Oscar-quality acting and directing, the message on racial equality and to never judge a book by its cover was profoundly demonstrated through its modest yet straightforward storyline. Your house is burning. Your family is safe. You have time to rescue one thing – what would it be? The handwritten letters from my parents when I was studying in the US. ©2019 funds global asia

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