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AAAIM High ELI
35 minutes | May 18, 2022
Ed Cong, Principal, Marathon Asset Management, “My Path to becoming a Hedge Fund Portfolio Manager”
Podcast Specific Introduction (unique for each podcast): Our guest for today’s podcast is Ed Cong, Principal at Marathon Asset Management, which was founded by Bruce Richards and Louis Hanover in 1998 and currently manages over $23bn as of this recording. Marathon is among the few storied asset management firms that has built an amazing brand over the past 20+ years. Ed joined the firm in 2006 and has risen to become a member of the investment committee. Not only has Ed survived over 16 years at a top hedge fund, but he has thrived, helping the firm navigate the global financial crisis in 2008 and being a critical member of the team that helped manage the US Treasury Public-Private Investment Program. Structured credit has transformed significantly over the past decade and it takes a different type of intellect to pivot and evolve with the market’s demands – that’s Ed, he has been at the center of it all! So what does it take to succeed as a hedge fund portfolio manager. Ed shares his path and some sound advice along the way. Without further ado, here is our conversation with Ed Cong.
44 minutes | May 4, 2022
Sadek Wahba, Chairman and Managing Partner, I Squared Capital Title: “Doing Good and Doing Well by Investors”
Our guest for today’s podcast is Sadek Wahba, Chairman and Managing Partner of I Squared Capital. He is an American economist and investor who focuses on infrastructure investments. Sadek began his career as an economist for the World Bank, where he worked on the social dimensions of structural adjustment. He subsequently joined Lehman Brothers and then Morgan Stanley, where he worked on structured financing. While with Morgan Stanley, Sadek launched Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners and was Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Stanley Infrastructure. In 2012, Sadek made the entrepreneurial leap and formed I Squared Capital, a U.S.-based private equity group that invests in infrastructure projects in the U.S. and in developing economies, particularly China and India. As of this recording, I Squared Capital manages over $30 billion in assets. The firm’s assets are focused in the energy, utilities, transport, digital infrastructure and social sectors in the U.S., Europe and in select high-growth economies including China, India and Latin America. I Squared Capital's portfolio companies employ over 12,000 professionals. You often hear the saying that nice guys finish last. This is certainly not the case for Sadek. Without further ado, here is our conversation with Dr. Sadek Wahba.
45 minutes | Apr 11, 2022
James Liang, Founder, Skyline Ventures, “PDD, SHEIN, TikTok… Why Venture in China continues to thrive?”
Our guest for today’s podcast is James Liang, Founder of Skyline Ventures, a Shanghai-based venture capital firm that invests in outbound opportunities from China to the rest of the world. James has an impressive background given his 10 year experience in venture capital, including almost 4 years at Sequoia Capital China in his formative years. As many of you know, I am a big champion of the underdog and James’ story resonates with all of us that didn’t have all the advantages growing up. Like many families growing up in the 1980’s in rural China, James’ family was poor. But thorough grit, determination, hard work, education, and some luck, he managed to make it and has now launched an independent venture capital firm. James shares his perspective on why China will continue to have a competitive advantage as the global manufacturing powerhouse for the world. Without further ado, here is our conversation with James Liang.
38 minutes | Mar 31, 2022
Seamon Chan, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Palm Drive Capital. “Channeling Buffett: Why we started our Venture Capital in our 20’s”
Our guest for today’s podcast is Seamon Chan, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Palm Drive Capital, a venture capital fund that invests in early-growth companies with strong ideas and teams both in Silicon Valley and emerging tech centers around the world. Along with his Co-Founder and Stanford classmate, Hendrick Lee, Seamon launched Palm Drive Capital in 2014 while still in their 20’s after being inspired by Warren Buffett who said that “his only regret was not starting Berkshire Hathway earlier in this career.” Seamon takes us through his upbringing and early influences and shares his story about how he broke into the venture capital industry, culminating in launching Palm Drive Capital. Since starting their firm, Palm Drive has successfully raised Funds I, II, and III and have had a number of early exits which he talks about in the podcast.
55 minutes | Feb 23, 2022
Gayatri Sarkar, Founder and General Partner, Advaita Capital “A Venture Capital Firm focused on Minority Entrepreneurs in Tech”
Our guest for today’s podcast is Gayatri Sarkar, Founder and General Partner of Advaita Capital, a venture capital firm she started in 2021. Advaita’s mission is to put more women and minority entrepreneurs on a path to IPO leveraging their expertise in DEI and ESG in making mainstream tech investments. Many of you may know Gayatri from her She-VC videos on youtube, a podcast she launched to quite simply get more women funded. Through story telling and conversations, She-VC has featured women GPs, women LPs, and managers all around the world. Gayatri is as unique as they come, wonderfully optimistic, and possesses the grit to become successful. Without further ado, here is our conversation with Gayatri Sarkar.
40 minutes | Feb 9, 2022
David Chiang, Chief Investment Officer, Pritzker Family Foundations. “Career Success, Family, Community Impact and a decent golf game...who says you can't balance it all?"
Our guest for today’s podcast is David Chiang, Chief Investment Officer of Pritzker Family Foundations where he leads Ganesh Investments, the company that provides investment advisory services to the Funds and Partnerships group of PSP Partners and its affiliates. Ganesh Investments also provides investment advisory services to multiple Pritzker families and their foundations. Prior to joining Ganesh Investments in 2021, David was the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Idyllic Partners, an outsourced CIO firm. Previously, David served as Head of External Funds at Soros Fund Management, Managing Director at Wilshire Private Markets and has also worked for GIC. David earned dual BA degrees in Business Economics and Psychology from Brown University and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School Management. He currently serves on the Board of The Opportunity Network, a non-profit focused on helping underrepresented students gain access to high quality education and career opportunities. Without further ado, here is our conversation with David Chiang.
62 minutes | Jan 26, 2022
Shuo Chen, General Partner at IOVC and Faculty at UC Berkeley “Early Stage Venture Capital Investing”
Our guest for today’s podcast is Shuo Chen who is a General Partner at Innovation Overflow Venture Capital, also known as IOVC, where she has invested in 60-plus seed-stage startups focused on the future of work. Shuo is also on the faculty of UC Berkeley College of Engineering and Singularity University, where she has taught and mentored hundreds of students since 2010. Shuo’s investments have been acquired by companies from Goldman Sachs to Instacart, and she's helped close deals with the likes of Amazon and NASA. Shuo serves as one of 13 voting members on California's Mental Health Commission, and has served as Chair of the Board of Decode, an innovation community co-hosted with UC Berkeley and Stanford. Shuo previously worked at Goldman Sachs and PwC, and co-authored a book on financial regulations in 2019. Without further ado, here is our conversation with Shuo Chen.
59 minutes | Jan 12, 2022
Cynthia Tseng, Partner, Fairview Capital Partners “Diversity as Source of Competitive Advantage”
Our guest for today’s podcast is Cynthia Tseng who is a Partner at Fairview Capital Partners, one of the longest running private equity fund of funds in the business. I hold Fairview in very high regard given that diversity has been woven into the fabric of their organization since the firm’s beginning. Fairview was founded in 1994 by Laurence Morse and Jo-Ann Price and prides itself on being one of the top managers for sourcing, evaluating and partnering with emerging managers in the venture capital space. I’ve known Cindy through our time together serving on AAAIM’s board and I’ve always found Cindy to be pleasant, thoughtful and insightful. Cindy takes us through her journey from immigrating to the US at the age of 9, through her formative investment banking years, and finally pivoting to the fund of funds private equity business when she landed a role with Fairview in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis. Without further ado, here is our conversation with Cindy Tseng.
45 minutes | Jan 5, 2022
Roger Sit, CEO, Sit Investment Associates, Inc. “40+ Years of Excellence in Money Management”
Our guest for today’s podcast is Roger Sit, CEO, Sit Investment Associates, Inc which manages $16.6 billion in assets for institutional and individual clients with investments in both domestic and international markets. As the global chief investment officer, Roger leads the firm’s Investment Policy Committee and directs investments in custom separately-managed accounts, private investment funds, and mutual funds portfolios. Prior to joining Sit Investment Associates, Roger was vice president and senior equity research analyst at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York for seven years. He joined Goldman Sachs & Co. after receiving an M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School. Following graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy with military distinction in 1984, Roger was an officer in the U.S. Air Force. He served six years of active duty with financial management responsibilities at Headquarters Space Division and rose to the rank of captain. While serving in the military, he earned an M.S. degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California. Roger currently serves on the boards of Convergent Capital, Huntington Bank, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and The McKnight Foundation. Roger chairs the board of the Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization co-founded in 2005 by Gene Sit, Roger’s father. As the leader of one of the oldest Asian American money management businesses in the US, Roger is a role model for all of us at AAAIM. What a pleasure it was for me and AAAIM Co-Chair, Brenda Chia, to interview Roger for this podcast. Without further ado, here is our conversation with Roger Sit.
54 minutes | Dec 29, 2021
Sarah Chen, Co-Founder & Investor, The Billion Dollar Fund for Women / Beyond the Billion. “Finding My Passion: Unlocking the Female Potential in Venture Capital”
Our guest for today’s podcast is Sarah Chen, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of The Billion Dollar Fund for Women/ Beyond The Billion (BTB), a global consortium of 100+ venture capital funds and limited partner investors that have now pledged to and are actively deploying beyond US$1Bn to be invested into women-founded companies. Previously, Sarah pioneered a corporate venture capital spin-out within a $13Bn Asian conglomerate, investing into later-stage biotechnology companies. Determined to see more women at the helm, Sara sits on multiple boards, including 131 & Counting, a bipartisan effort to fete the unprecedented number of women serving in the House and Senate, encouraging more women to run for office in the US; She also sits on the board of Lean In Malaysia, which she co-founded, a platform accelerating women into leadership in Muslim- majority Malaysia. Named Forbes Under 30 VC and Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, Sara is a recognized speaker, commentator and advisor on venture capital, innovation and women. Without further ado, here is our conversation with Sarah Chen.
70 minutes | Dec 1, 2021
Soo Chuen Tan, Founder and President of Discerene Group. "Channeling Buffett: Never Overpaying, Being Patient, Holding Stocks Forever..."
Our guest for today’s podcast is Soo Chuen Tan, Founder & President of Discerene Group, an investment firm he started in 2010 channeling core investment principles practiced by the great value investors of our time. If you were to sketch out how a value investor should invest: never overpaying for stocks, being greedy when others are fearful, not being afraid to be contrarian, being patient, having an ownership mentality, understanding moats and competitive advantages, holding stocks forever…. Soo Chuen has implemented all of these disciplines and more at his firm. As an Asian American founder of an investment firm that has surpassed the $1bn AUM mark with over a 10 year track record, Soo Chuen is as a rare breed in the business. I was happy to get to know Soo Chuen as he is humble, genuine, and a true gentleman practicing as pure a form of value investing that you learn in text books. As many of you know, I went to Columbia Business School, and it is refreshing to hear someone who has built a great firm following this philosophy. Despite the fact that Soo Chuen is a graduate of Harvard Business School, we won’t hold this against him. Beyond investing, Soo Chuen’s intellect and how he thinks about complex systems, cultures, peoples, and economies shines through throughout the podcast. I know you will enjoy his views on the world. Without further ado, here is our conversation with Soo Chuen Tan.
59 minutes | Nov 24, 2021
Carey Lai, Founding Member and Managing Director, Conductive Ventures, “My Path to starting my own Venture Capital Firm”
Our guest for today’s podcast is Carey Lai, Founding Member and Managing Director at Conductive Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in expansion stage companies with a focus on software, hardware, and technology enabled services. In 2016, after a 12 year career in venture capital working for two of the best in the business: Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) and Intel Capital, Carey left his job in pursuing the dream of most venture capitalists, starting his own venture capital firm. After over a year, 150+ investor meetings, and failing to secure enough capital to run their strategy, Carey and his partner concluded starting a fund was not in their cards. In 2017, as Carey began to look for a job, his fortune took a turn for the best and he landed a $100 million seed commitment from an investor to launch his own venture capital firm. How did he do it? Well, you are in the right place to hear his story and the lessons learned during his journey.
61 minutes | Nov 17, 2021
Aaron Yoon, Assistant Professor of Accounting & Information Management, Northwestern University “Becoming a Leading Academic on ESG Investing”
Our guest for today’s podcast is Aaron Yoon, Assistant Professor of Accounting & Information Management at Northwestern University. According to the Financial Times, his research on ESG was a turning point on how investors viewed and integrated ESG information and the methodologies suggested in his research have been widely implemented by asset owners and investment managers. He has presented his research to academics, regulators, and practitioners around the World and his work has been regularly cited in outlets such as Barron's, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Forbes, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He also received multiple awards for his research and teaching, including the Chair's Core Teaching Award from Kellogg, Crowell Prize for Best Paper in Quantitative Investing from PanAgora Asset Management, Best 40 Under 40 Professors Recognition from Poets & Quants, and the Best International Accounting Dissertation Award from the American Accounting Association. Professor Yoon earned his Doctor of Business Administration from Harvard University; he also earned his masters in Economics and bachelors in Economics and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences (MMSS) from Northwestern University. Prior to academia, he worked as an equities salestrader and research analyst at Credit Suisse, and also controlled air traffic in the 8th US Army as a Korean augmentee. Joining me on the podcast is Susan Oh, a 25+ year veteran and widely respected investment professional at the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS), who we featured on Episode 11 of our podcast. Susan is a Director and Head of ESG Research where she is responsible for strategic ESG initiatives across the total plan, leading sustainability research with a focus on culture and transformative innovation to create long term value for the plan. I was thrilled to have Susan join me as co-host for this podcast to interview Aaron. Without further ado, here is our conversation with Professor Aaron Yoon.
61 minutes | Nov 3, 2021
Tanya Kemp, Managing Director, Private Markets at SFERs/ Anita Ng, Managing Director, Private Investments at Cambridge Associates "Private Equity Perspectives from Two Female Powerhouse Allocators"
We have two special guests for our podcast today: Anita Ng, MD for Private Investments @ Cambridge Associates and Tanya Kemp, MD and Head of Private Markets at San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System. Anita has more than 25 years of investment experience, 15 of those managing client portfolios at Cambridge Associates (a global advisory investment firm responsible for advising on over $500B in aum). She is a trusted advisor to a broad group of institutional clients, including endowments and foundations, public pension plans, and private clients. In 2020, Anita was named in Chief Investment Officer’s annual list of Knowledge Brokers, a list of the most influential investment consultants and advisers. Prior to joining Cambridge Associates in 2006, Anita was a technology investment banker at CIBC World Markets, Credit Suisse First Boston and Banc of America Securities and earlier in her career, worked in Hong Kong at Merrill Lynch. Our co-guest is Tanya Kemp, Head of Private Markets.SFERS is a public plan with over $34B assets. Tanya rose up through the ranks from inv analyst in VC then PE and head of Pvt mkts overseeing a $14 billion portfolio comprising private investments across leveraged buyouts, venture capital, growth equity, real estate and natural resources strategies. Prior to joining SFERS, Ms. Kemp was Risk and Performance Analyst with Missouri State Employees Retirement System. She holds an MA, MBA, CFA and CAIA designations. She has received numerous awards including Private Equity Buyouts “Trailblazers: Ten women pioneering new paths in private equity” in 2016; Trusted Insights Top Public Pension Investment Directors 2021, Rising Star 2021 Venture Capital Journal. Anita and Tanya are two highly talented, engaging women in our industry passionate about investing and their roles. What a pleasure it was for me to speak with them together during this podcast. Without further delay, here is my conversation with Anita and Tanya.
65 minutes | Oct 20, 2021
Randy Cohen, Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer and Co-Founder, PEO Partners “Building the Holy Grail: Liquid Private Equity Replication”
Our guest for today’s podcast is Randy Cohen, Senior Lecturer in the Finance Unit at Harvard Business School. Randy is one of the most likeable professors in the business and has been at the top of teaching profession for over 20 years at HBS and MIT.More recently, along with his co-founder, Jean-Louis Lelogeais, Randy launched PEO Partners, an asset management firm that specializes in liquid private equity alternative offerings. I truly enjoyed my wide ranging conversation with Randy as he shares his perspective on the path to becoming a professor, the obstacles he has overcome being blind, and why he thinks PEO Partners is really the next big idea in finance.
61 minutes | Oct 6, 2021
Les Baquiran, Founder at Alpine Capital Advisors “Building Relationships and Connections”
Our guest for today’s podcast is Les Baquiran, Founder of Alpine Capital Advisors, a leading placement agent that advises and raises assets for asset managers and businesses. Les is well known in the industry and, during the early months of the COVID pandemic in 2020, launched the Alpine Annual Asian Leaders in Investment virtual summit that has taken place the last two years in honor of Asian Awareness Month and in the support of UNICEF. I found Les to be particularly insightful and humble and a real master at cultivating and building relationships. Les takes us through his professional career before launching his own independent placement agent firm after having great success at Park Hill. Throughout the podcast, Les shares valuable advice on how he has been able to navigate the business of finance to become a true role model for the AAPI community. Without further ado, here is our conversation with Les Baquiran.
58 minutes | Sep 29, 2021
Christina Qi, Chief Executive Officer, Databento “Not being Afraid to Fail”
Our guest for today’s podcast is Christina Qi, Chief Executive Officer of Databento, an on-demand market data platform she co-founded after spending several years running a high frequency trading hedge fund. Earlier this year, Christina and her co-founder raised $7.5 million in seed funding to build out “their data-as-a-service” solution for the financial industry. I very much enjoyed interviewing Christina as I found her to be quite authentic and transparent about her failures and missteps in her career. But as the great Winston Churchill once said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss in enthusiasm.” Christina has accomplished much in her early career including being named on Forbes “30 under 30” list in finance and she is absolutely a role model for the AAAIM community. I discovered Christina through linkedin as she is very generous about sharing her wisdom and experience for entrepreneurs looking to start their own firms. Christina takes us through her upbringing in Utah, path to MIT, and subsequent launch of her hedge fund from her dorm room after failing to secure a permanent full time offer after a Wall Street summer internship. Without further ado, here is our conversation with Christina Qi.
62 minutes | Sep 22, 2021
Dave Liu, Author, The Way of the Wall Street Warrior “What 30 Years on Wall Street and Silicon Valley has taught me as an Entrepreneur, Advisor, Investor, and Philanthropist”
Our guest for today’s podcast is Dave Liu, a 30-Year Veteran of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. Dave is an entrepreneur who has started multiple companies, advisor who has raised over $15 billion for hundreds of companies, and investor in multiple billion dollar exits. He is passionate about advancing new ideas in technology and entertainment, and supporting philanthropic causes for disadvantaged groups. He is a creator who enjoys writing books and drawing cartoons. I asked Bennett Kim, one of AAAIM’s founding board members, to conduct this podcast with Dave as they have been good friends since attending Harvard Business School together. Dave shares many lessons he learned along the way in achieving career success. AAAIM thanks Dave for taking the time to take us through his personal and professional life journey.
52 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
Sona Menon, Partner Head of North American Pensions and Outsourced CIO at Cambridge Associates, “My Path to becoming Outsourced CIO"
Our guest for today’s podcast is Sona Menon who is a Partner at Cambridge Associates. Sona serves as an Outsourced Chief Investment Officer and adviser to institutional clients such as pensions, endowments, and healthcare institutions. She is directly responsible for overseeing over $20 billion in assets. Cambridge Associates is a global investment firm that focuses on building and managing investment portfolios for institutional clients such as endowments, foundations, pensions, and private clients. They have over $500 billion in assets under management/advisement. As a woman and minority, Sona is a role model for us all, rising through the ranks at Cambridge Associates over her 20 year career at the storied firm. What a pleasure it was for me and AAAIM Co-Chair, Brenda Chia, to interview Sona for this podcast. Without further ado, here is our conversation with Sona Menon.
56 minutes | Sep 1, 2021
Eric Nierenberg, Chief Strategy Officer, MassPRIM, “Building a Diverse Team and the Value of Diversity”
Our guest for today’s podcast is Eric Nierenberg, Chief Strategy Officer for the $80 billion Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (MassPRIM) where he has been responsible for hedge funds and low vol strategies and over time, became the CSO. He is a “jack of all trades”, leading a team in asset allocation, risk mgmt., research, Real Assets and the Portfolio Completion Strategies effort. PRIM is known for a more active investment approach oftentimes including more esoteric strategies but also direct investments and SMAs allowing them to invest with and support highly talented but smaller, emerging managers. Eric is well known in the industry and has received numerous awards as a top allocator and rising star, CIO Magazine’s “Forty Under 40”, Institutional Investor "Allocator Voice", the list goes on. While a top investment allocator, he is also a prized professor at Brandeis’ International Business School. Eric takes us through his personal and professional path from equity portfolio manager to public service as an allocator at a public plan to academia. Hear how he his experiences growing up in a diverse community in Miami and working at large international academic institution at Brandeis ingrained in him the importance of diversity and being a strong mentor and sponsor. He is clearly passionate about the value of diversity. I found my conversation with Eric to be enlightening and endearing as he talks about the importance of helping others to achieve greatness. He is extremely intelligent, thoughtful and caring and while viewed as a highly talented investor, he is also well deserving of the moniker “ fantastic mentor and Best boss ever!” Without further ado, here is my conversation with Eric Nierenberg.
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