Magazine issues » May 2016

BEHIND THE BUSINESS CARD: Going the extra mile

Lai-Yeu-HuanSingapore fund manager Lai Yeu Huan, of Nikko Asset Management Asia, talks about his hunger for success, watching every calorie and the moral of The Shawshank Redemption.

Name: Lai Yeu Huan

Company and job title: Senior portfolio manager, Nikko Asset Management Asia

Previous company and job title: Associate director, Lion Global Investors.

How many years in the region: Ever since I was born, apart from three years studying in the UK.

What do you consider to be your home town? Johor Bahru in Malaysia. I was born there, but have spent most of my life in Singapore.

Educational background: Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science.

First job in the funds industry: At Lion Global Investors. I was an equities analyst covering the real estate sector.

What is the toughest challenge you’ve faced in your professional life and what made it so challenging?
My corner of Nikko Asset Management has seen a number of changes. I joined DBS Asset Management in 2008, which was acquired by Nikko in 2011. After that, there was the integration with our acquisition of Treasury Asia Asset Management in 2013. Periods of integration are challenging. There was a lot of business-as-usual work to handle, process and management changes, and clients and people to hold on to. The integration went well and we came out the stronger for it.

What achievement in your job are you most proud of?
I’m proud to be part of the small team managing our Singapore equity strategy, which has won multiple awards over the last year for our performance.

What advice would you give to someone who is beginning their career in the funds industry?
Be hungry. Start anywhere that you can. Get the CFA [chartered financial analyst] charter. Always give more than is expected of you. That’s how you build a reputation which will open doors for you.

If you could change one thing about the funds industry, what would it be? To see fund sales in Asia moving away from the sales charge and trailer fee model. And to see Asian investors allocating their savings to funds strategically, i.e. not for quick short-term gains.

What is your greatest ambition in life and why?
It comes back to family. To provide well and to raise my two girls well.

What’s the best investment you’ve made and why?
I was a sell-side analyst for five years before joining the funds industry. I consider those years to be my most formative. The hard work was probably the best investment I’ve ever made.

Tell us something about you that most people don’t know: 
I count every calorie that I eat and burn, except on holidays. It’s helped me gain great control over how much I weigh.

Favourite country to visit for a holiday and why:
I love holidaying in South East Asia. It’s rich, diverse and authentic, and it’s my backyard. Bali and Yangon are my favourites so far

Favourite type of food and why: 
South East Asian of course. The complexity of the cuisine is incredible, and the influences from cultures throughout Asia is mind-boggling.

Favourite book or film and why:
The Shawshank Redemption. It reminds us that anything can be achieved with determination and meticulous planning.

Your house is burning. Your family is safe. You have time to rescue one object. What would it be and why:
My hard disk. It has all my data inside, including my family photos.

©2016 funds global asia

Digital Features

Digital Features

How Covid has kickstarted the move to automation in Asia

Oct 15, 2021

Leo_ChenFunds Global Asia talks to Calastone’s Leo Chen about the impact of the pandemic on the adoption of automation across Asia’s funds markets.

Inside view: What investors are missing without a dedicated China equity allocation

Sep 27, 2021

Simon CoxeterWithout dedicated China equity allocations, investors miss an exceptional opportunity to enhance their portfolios’ prospective risk-adjusted returns, and fully capitalize on the diversification and alpha offered by China’s public equity space.

Executive interview: PGIM CEO on where the ESG flowers should bloom

Sep 27, 2021

David_HuntDavid Hunt, president and chief executive of PGIM, tells Romil Patel about leading a top 10 global asset manager in times where “empowering and encouraging the kind of investment decisions as close to the assets as possible gets you the most power” and more.

Inside View: Why infrastructure debt is Asia’s growing asset class

Aug 16, 2021

The infrastructure investment needs in Asia Pacific are enormous – underpinned by strong economic growth, relatively underserved existing infrastructure and favourable macro and demographic themes, writes Simon La Greca of AMP Capital.

Executive Interviews

Executive interview: PGIM CEO on where the ESG flowers should bloom

Sep 27, 2021

David Hunt, president and chief executive of PGIM, tells Romil Patel about leading a top 10 global asset manager in times where “empowering and encouraging the kind of investment decisions as...

Executive interview: Nicolas Moreau’s orderly transition

Jul 12, 2021

Nicolas Moreau, CEO of HSBC Asset Management, is moving to Asia as the firm looks to connect more directly with the region’s growth story. ESG is also a key focus – including the ‘just’ carbon...

Roundtables

Roundtable: How well geared are Japanese assets for a new world?

Jul 12, 2021

As we prepare to emerge from Covid, experts look at overcoming demographic issues through a combination of good tech and corporate governance, improving productivity and meeting an ambitious government carbon emissions reduction target. Chaired by Romil Patel.

Hong Kong roundtable: Increasing China’s prominence as an asset class

Mar 04, 2021

Our line-up of experts in Hong Kong considers the importance of fixed income ETFs, sustainability and the prospects of increasing China in the indices. Chaired by Romil Patel.