What motivates you?
A strong intellectual curiosity and a passion for problem solving. Being part of a team of world-class investment professionals with a truly inspiring vision is another great source of motivation.
What’s been the steepest learning curve of your career so far?
I would describe my entire career journey as one very steep learning curve. Having started at a bulge-bracket investment bank, I then became part of a team responsible for the global private equity funds and investments of Fosun Group, the largest private-sector investment conglomerate in China. My time in Shanghai forced me to quickly develop an understanding of a new market and business culture. At the same time, I was travelling globally to execute investments that would allow us to connect world-class companies to China’s growth momentum. Since joining Eight Roads, I have also had to quickly build my skill set in new areas of the TMT sector, such as fibre optics and data centres.
Which sector or investment trend are you most excited about at the moment and why?
Developments like the Internet of Things, Autonomous Vehicles, Virtual Reality and Big Data. Working with our portfolio companies like Colt Technology Services, I am closely involved in investing directly in the critical data centres and fibre infrastructure that will enable these developments. Our access to proprietary capital and longstanding expertise puts us in a uniquely strong position to pursue such investment opportunities. The rise of the 'Experience Economy' is another exciting trend that I follow closely, especially as it relates to our portfolio company, Picsolve.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
One of my Oxford professors told me that “excellence is not a skill, but an attitude”. I still think that it is the best piece of advice I have ever received.
The company you wish you’d backed and why?
Alibaba Group. I was based in China at the time of Alibaba’s IPO, working for a company that, like Eight Roads, was an early backer. During my years in China, I saw first-hand how Alibaba revolutionised Chinese e-commerce and made itself an indispensable part of the life of the country’s rapidly growing urban middle class. It stands out as an example of what entrepreneurial vision, adaptability and determination can achieve, even in the most complex of markets.