Hedge Fund Huddle podcast

Women in hedge funds

Episode 5, Season 1

In honor of International Women’s Month we take a close look at the topic of Women in Hedge Funds. Recent studies show that less than 5% of hedge funds are women owned, yet, according to Forbes, since 2019, female hedge fund managers have outperformed their male counterparts. Chauwei Yak is the founder and CEO of GAO Capital and joins us to share some of her thoughts behind the numbers and how she found her way to success in the industry.

Host: Jamie McDonald

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  • Jamie: [00:00:00] Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of Hedge Fund Huddle. I'm your host, Jamie McDonald, and today we are talking about women in hedge fund, a very important topic, but also a timely one considering last week was International Women's Day. Today, our guest is Chauwei Yak. She is the founder of GAO Group and has been working in finance her entire career. We're going to talk about really why there aren't more women in hedge funds, but also the role of women in hedge funds today and how that might be changing going forward. So I'm really looking forward to this one. So without further ado, Chauwei, welcome to the show.

    Chauwei: [00:00:36] Thanks for having me. Hi once again, I'm Chauwei from GAO Capital and I'm super excited and also a little nervous given that this is my first podcast ever.

    Jamie: [00:00:47] Well, there's no need to be nervous whatsoever. So International Women's Day, it's celebrated in Singapore and obviously you being a female led company, did you do anything in particular to recognize that?

    Chauwei: [00:00:57] Well, we went to get the one for one Starbucks.

    Jamie: [00:01:02] So there were offers in Singapore for women working on the day?

    Chauwei: [00:01:06] Yeah, well, they didn't restrict it to just women. I guess shops were just celebrating women. And they say like, if you're a man, you can also get the one for one.

    Jamie: [00:01:16] Good. Well, at least something is being recognized all over the world. So let's dive straight into it, because in preparation for this podcast, I was looking at some statistics and I guess a few of the questions I'm looking to answer in this podcast, the main one being is why aren't there more women in hedge funds generally? I think the question should there be more women in hedge funds is a pretty easy one to answer, I think, of course there should be. A lot of it's got to do with environment. I think, men have quite a bit to answer for and we'll get into that. But just to run off a couple of statistics, this is a research report from Bella Research Group, which found that less than 5% of hedge funds are women owned. And Aberdeen Standard estimates that women manage only 1% of hedge fund assets. So Chauwei, what I would love you to do is give us a bit about your background, but then I want to finish by discussing exactly that point.

    Chauwei: [00:02:09] So I went to Penn and then most people from Wharton go to investment banking or consulting, so I went to investment banking, was in London, then Tokyo, then back to New York, and then after that became Director of Research at Family Office / Funnel Fund in New York. And then one month before the Lehman crisis decided that I wanted to start my own firm. Well, obviously, at that time, I didn't know that was going to be the crisis. But it turned out to be good because then I was just in cash and carries, and so that was a good start to the firm. I started out being more of a allocator where I was investing in other hedge funds and doing some macro overlays myself. And then about four years ago, I decided to have our own internally run hedge fund and that coincided with the start of COVID. So another very timely and auspicious time to start something. But that's kind of like where we are today. So we have three funds today in the firm. So that's kind of kind of a quick and brief introduction of myself. And talking about like, I guess, women in hedge funds, right? So it is telling that I'm the only participant in this in this show because, well, there are women in hedge funds. In fact, I saw a number of my friends on the top 50 women in hedge funds list, but then most of them are in marketing compliance, legal and we can address why women gravitate towards those roles. But there are women hedge funds. It's just that they're not very obvious because they're not in the investment roles or the management roles. And then I guess your question about why they are not that many women running hedge funds, was that the final and most important question?

    Jamie: [00:03:55] No. So, I mean, want to get onto the fact of why there aren't more women in hedge funds, but I just want to dig a little more into your background. And if I can ask you to cast your mind back to when you were leaving Penn, did you know that you wanted to have a career in finance and it was something that you were determined to have? And also just in terms of environment and culture, was it what you expected?

    Chauwei: [00:04:16] So as I said, well, most people went to investment banking or consulting and the former being the majority. So that's where I ended. And so, I mean, like there was no oh, I really wanted to be something else once I got into Penn. But before I got into Penn, I was rejected from another school to do aeronautical engineering because I wanted to build rockets. So kind of like because I was rejected from engineering, I ended up in a school that's well known for finance. And so it just seemed like going with the flow.

    Jamie: [00:04:48] Yeah, no, I completely understand that. And how about the environment for you? I think your first role was at UBS in FIG. What kind of environment was that for women?

    Chauwei: [00:04:57] Well I trained in London. But then when I actually started working, it was in Tokyo. When I started working it was 2002, and so I was recruited right after 9/11 happened. So there weren't a lot of positions in the US for foreigners, male or female. And then when I was at UBS Investment Bank, not just for FIG, I was the only analyst in the whole IBD, you know, in the whole world because they wouldn't hire a lot of people at that time. So Japan doesn't rank very highly in the gender equality ranking. So you can imagine that it wasn't it wasn't like super smooth sailing. But I would say that, maybe because of kind of the training I got in school, you kind of like learn to just, like handle things, right? So it wasn't thinking that, oh, I'm like, I'm having such a tough time because I'm a girl, right? Because it's more like, okay, it's tough because it's investment banking and everyone has a tough time. Of course, there are people out there who would maybe make some comments here and there, but I learned to have this kind of a not a thick skin, but a Teflon skin where it just like kind of glides away. So that was kind of my experience as a female. And I mean, there weren't really other females and my whole FIG team were, you know, was male.

    Jamie: [00:06:10] And let's talk a bit about when you founded and launched GAO Group. There's some statistics from the same report I was alluding to earlier that in terms of being able to raise money and initial capital at hedge funds, the statistics speak for themselves. It's far easier for men to raise money than for women, which is a lot to do with track record and that will obviously change over time. But just give us your own experience. I mean, I know you started as a hedge fund allocator, so that was probably very good training indeed to be able to have a look inside hedge funds to see how they operated, to see what made a good hedge fund in terms of performance. So why don't you talk us through that process. What sort of mindset did you have to have to be a good hedge fund allocator? And then how did you go about starting your own?

    Chauwei: [00:06:53] Being an allocator I’d say way easier than I guess raising money for your own fund because you're giving people money, right? So everyone's nice to you whether you're male or female.

    Jamie: [00:07:06] Well, it depends what your performance is like because sometimes your investors may not be. I mean, you famously avoided giving money to Bernie Madoff so you clearly could spot a fraud.

    Chauwei: [00:07:17] Yeah, but obviously it's harder, I would say, to be recognized as a good allocator as well if you're female. What I have in my favour might be the race because everyone seems to think Asians are good at math. So at least I got that part. Then being a female, well, as I said, there are always people who pooh pooh you or whatever. But then I think the majority of the men out there, or maybe I've been very fortunate to meet men who both became mentors or good colleagues or really helped me in my career. So the allocator part, being a female in the allocation role was, I would say, rather smooth sailing. And then when I transitioned to launching my own firm, so well, first I have to go get my own clients, right? So then they have to believe that I'm good. So that part was that maybe it needed a bit more convincing of people to do. But I strongly believe, and both when I I first launched the firm and when I launched my own in-house fund, the idea that I had was that as long as you're good, you will raise money eventually.

    Chauwei: [00:08:22] So yes, there's a lot of literature out there which says that men find it easier to raise money, but it could be like their strategies were different. So there were some comparisons given in a report that we had previously discussed, but then maybe it pointed to men having a larger size allocation, but it could be because they're not running multi strand multi-manager funds versus women who maybe running a single strategy. For myself, we started with 15 million three years ago. And then today we have more than 100 million and we started during COVID. So it's just difficult for everybody, like every new fund, not just mine. And when I look back at, I guess, my other friends, some male fund managers had started with 3 million. And today that fund manager, who is my classmate from school, he's 3 billion. So I think it's just difficult for a lot of people. And even if we started smaller, maybe because we're not as well known or maybe like network, blah, blah, blah, you know, if you're good within three years, you probably grow quite quickly if returns are good.

    Jamie: [00:09:24] So I wanted to ask about the qualities you think are incredibly important for someone who's a decision maker, for an investment manager. What do you look for? And I know you're going through a bit of a hiring phase yourself at GAO Group. What qualities do you look for in someone who you think would make a great analyst? What qualities do you look for someone who could be a great portfolio manager? I'm really trying to give an idea to people who may be listening, you know, the kind of qualities that you look for when you when you're hiring.

    Chauwei: [00:09:51] For analysts, which would include both full time hires and interns, we look for people who are passionate, motivated, driven. And then it could be demonstrated not just by being very good at numbers, right? So people come in and say like, okay, I have a stock pitch and they pick some well-known company. Maybe they pick Tesla or Apple or whatever, right? But then, like, we're really looking for things that might be outside finance, but you're super passionate about and became very good at it. So I'll give you the example of myself, how I got hired, right? So when I got hired,  you put on a resume everything is great. And then if you're from Penn, it's actually quite challenging because everyone looks great, right? So I put down that my interest and passion is anime. And they asked me, how passionate or how good are you at anime watching? So I said, I'm so good that I became fluent in Japanese watching anime and they tested me right. And I know this is a very important thing because when I went and when I started in the firm in the Tokyo office, everyone knew about this and then they would buy me mangas, which are comic books and stuff. When recruit, I look for people who really show that they're really passionate about things, they do their best and they really become very good at it and obviously like being driven and motivated and being able to be to do all sorts of stuff. I have some candidates who come in and say, okay, I want to only spend 20% of my time doing non- equity research, you know, tasks. So, those are people that if you really have a fixed mindset of what you should do to get good at your job, then no.

    Jamie: [00:11:21] I guess that's also a lesson for all of us, that if you're being interviewed, have some kind of hook, be memorable, but also be highly interested and very passionate about what you're doing. So just on that same thread, what qualities do men have that make them better at portfolio management and what qualities do women have that make them better at portfolio management. And I understand these are gross generalizations because, you know, it's not it's not as simple as that.

    Chauwei: [00:11:45] Okay, we'll start with men. So I think maybe men are more upfront about presenting ideas. Maybe they're a bit more shameless, right? And I'm kind of in that category. So you really tell people, this is what I think works. And so you're not afraid that you'll be wrong. You're just like, okay, this is this is how we should do it, blah, blah, blah, blah, right? And again, I'm like, I'm not like a psychologist, right? I took one class on psych in school so that's the extent of my expertise. But maybe like women are more like, okay what could go wrong? Like the risk factor is higher and they're afraid that, oh, you know, maybe I should think a bit more before I speak. And portfolio management is not about using a computer and managing the portfolio, right? So you have to discuss the team. And so you have to convince people of your ideas as well. So for  ourselves as well, we have the portfolio manager, I'm the CEO, I'm on the risk committee. There's a Chief Risk Officer. You know, every week we have a meeting where you have to defend your ideas. You have to explain why something's in the stock. So you have to be better at communicating your ideas. And maybe, maybe some women are not as good about that, maybe less confrontational. I don't know. Maybe they're nicer people.

    Jamie: [00:12:55] I always used to think when I was hiring where I worked that there was a very fine line between confidence and overconfidence, having too much ego. And actually, again, I caveat all of this by saying these are gross generalizations and obviously this is coming from a man, so I hope it doesn't come across too biased. But having too much confidence is the kind of thing that can blow you up, because when you are so emotionally involved in a position, you fail to become objective about it, which is what you should always be. And I saw that one element being the most likely thing to ruin your performance as a portfolio manager. It was basically outright stubbornness, and I think it was a trait that was more obvious in men than it was in women and wondered if you felt the same.

    Chauwei: [00:13:43] I feel the same generally, right? So I'll talk about my experience as an allocator, right? So I've invested in funds that didn't do well as well, right? So when I would talk to the manager before he blew up and he would be like, Oh, I'm not wrong, I'm just early, right? Or the market doesn't understand me, or there are so many stupid people out there, right? But then it's never their fault. Because if you're early, then you're wrong, right? You should just cut and then wait to fight another day. But I've seen that more in men. But then to caveat, there haven't been a lot of female managers I've invested in. So it's not a very fair comparison. But in our own firm, I would say, you know, we adopt a very no ego I guess style of investing. We're not attached to any particular position. And I have two male portfolio managers and they think the same way. So so I don't know whether it's because I'm like the female boss and attract like minded people or, or maybe they were just like that to begin with. But then definitely I agree that ego is what kills the portfolio. I mean, for us, downside risk management is very, very important. And I have seen male portfolio managers who just refuse to believe that they're wrong.

    Jamie: [00:14:58] Yeah. That accounts for most of them, I think. Chauwei, I'm sure you actually are an inspiration to so many people and I hope there's a lot of women listening to this who get a lot of confidence from what you're saying today. But in terms of how things are changing now, do you think we will start to see more women in hedge funds? And you talked about psychology earlier. I was always taught that when it comes to hiring, there is a natural self bias, you know, putting ego to one side. People naturally try to hire people similar to them. They go, Oh, I can see a younger me in this person. And I guess that would naturally mean men hire men and women might hire women. But do you think as the role of man in society generally is changing? And I do mean men helping out with children more and women going back to work more. Do you feel that we're going to see more and more women in hedge funds?

    Chauwei: [00:15:49] I think there will be more women in hedge funds versus maybe some other fields in finance with less transparency about performance. Just because if you're in an investment role in hedge funds, it's very obvious if you're good or not. So there will be more, I think more and more women will come in just because they feel that they will be recognized despite being a woman. But there are some fields where, we had previously discussed this, fields like maybe private equity or real estate where there are fewer women. Because I feel that in those fields it's more really about the relationship, you know, the access to the good deals and that sort of thing. And so I do feel on a relative basis, there will be more women coming to hedge funds when they see that they are not going to be discriminated or their performance is going to be rewarded.

    Jamie: [00:16:33] And just on performance, this is an article in Forbes citing several studies that indicate female hedge fund managers, this is since 2019, have outperformed their male counterparts. A study by Goldman Sachs found that 48% of female managed hedge funds beat the market between the market low in 2020 through August, compared to 37% of male led funds. Additionally, women led funds held up better in the pandemic meltdown that hit bottom in March 2020. I know, Chauwei, you had a relatively good performance through the pandemic, through 21 and 22. Do you feel that that is an accurate representation? I mean, it's very difficult to generalize between men and women I know but I'm taking a research report from Goldman Sachs. But, you know, there's clearly evidence that women are just as good, if not better than men at portfolio management. So what are the barriers to more of them becoming portfolio managers?

    Chauwei: [00:17:24] I think in the first place, you need more women to come into hedge funds and then stay on. So this is just a numbers thing. And I think on a junior level there are quite a lot of women as analysts, right? So they usually come from investment banking or similar fields. And so these are type A women already. I'm not saying I'm a type A woman, but typically they are. So in the earlier parts and the stages of their career, when people are in their 20s, I think there's not much difference in the number of male and females. So what happens is attrition. So in order to have more women stay on, such that they are in positions where they can manage the portfolio or in a management position, then you need to convince more women that it's fine to stay on. And I think it's not that they can't take the stress, it's all high stress. And I think women getting into these fields know that it's high stress. I think no one is going in and saying, oh, my God, it's like so stressful, I didn’t know that.

    Chauwei: [00:18:22] No one's doing that. But it's society's expectations, I think, and what they expect of themselves. When we talk about, okay, yes, there are more men picking up the slack and like they're doing household chores and stuff. That's debatable. My own husband runs his own hedge fund and I think it's quite uneven, the household chore proportion. But then that's not a really big deal. I think a lot of women then start to think that, okay, they have to maybe be the perfect wife, perfect daughter, perfect friend, perfect everything, perfect mom. And then it becomes really stressful. I was just reading articles about successful women CEOs, especially during International Women's Month. And then it shows them all as being like super glamorous, perfect hair, perfect makeup and think it's really stressful for women to achieve all this. But you look at the male hedge fund managers, they all look far from like George Clooney.

    Jamie: [00:19:25] Stress has taken its toll.

    Chauwei: [00:19:27] But also because there are also women who, and I have friends who have left the industry, but they're not unhappy about it. They just have more things, other things they want to do and could be philanthropy, it could be something in the arts and in a way, society allows them to do it. So if you think about the other way around, right, let's say a husband and wife, both are in the hedge fund industry and then the husband is like, okay, I want to quit and go to floral arrangement or something. But then in Asia, it's very difficult for the men to say, I want to do something else. So in a way, women being able to do something else, it might even be not so great for men.

    Jamie: [00:20:02] I think you mentioned that there's been a particularly a rise in women in China in portfolio management, and you said that was possibly an offshoot of the one child policy. I wondered if you could talk about that a bit.

    Chauwei: [00:20:14] So actually, while I was searching for another fellow panelist on this recording, I reached out to women in the industry and said, hey, do you know another portfolio manager? Hey, do you know another PM? So I actually found quite a few and they so happened to be all focused on China or Chinese managers. And when I spoke to some of them, they said that it's because when they were growing up, they were also just as good in math, for example. So there was no discrimination or no saying that, hey, you're a girl, you can't do STEM subjects because everyone only has one child, so you're just a golden child. And you have like two sets of grandparents above you telling you that you're the best. So that led to more women saying that, okay, I'm I grew up in an environment where everyone said I was good. Plus, in China, there's great support for childcare like the grandparents help out and so I think they're more free to explore what they can do.

    Jamie: [00:21:08] Well, it certainly seems like things are levelling out. My wife is at Goldman Sachs and they've now given as much paternity leave as maternity leave. And there's a creche at Goldman Sachs now where you can drop your little child if you need to. So I think there's certainly more changing in the world of finance to be more forgiving for women or indeed people or parents who want to have families. But Chauwei, you mentioned earlier about stress, and I wondered if you wouldn't mind, sorry if this is too personal a question, but how do you deal with stress yourself? I mean, you've kind of got a 24-hour job because markets are always turning. How are you able to switch off your phone? How do you relax? How do you keep a good work life balance?

    Chauwei: [00:21:47] Well, first of all, I think I stress people around me more than I stress myself. I'm just this type of very hyper person. But I do try to de-stress because as I mentioned earlier on, I acknowledge that I'm not perfect. I can't cook, I get takeout, I get the Roomba to do a lot of vacuuming. I tried meditation, it wasn't very successful because I remember doing the gong therapy. I was thinking, oh, this is such a good business, oh, the margins are insane. So I tried but not that successful. But it also helps that my husband is in the same industry. So he understands why I have to stay up late. He's also up late.

    Jamie: [00:22:27] I was going to say, do you talk shop quite often with your husband or do you have rules that you don't talk about markets for certain points during the week?

    Chauwei: [00:22:34] No, we don't have such rules. I guess we try and talk about other things too, but then like invariably it leads to that topic. But I was going to say, I think the way I do it is I don't try to separate work and life too distinctly in the work life balance equation. So I try to incorporate it such that it's part of my life. We go on holidays, we bring our laptops, we check on Tripadvisor whether the Wi-Fi is good. I just came home yesterday from work because the aircon repair guys here work from home so you try to kind of work around things. At least that's what I try to do.

    Jamie: [00:23:09] So Chauwei, one of the main points of this discussion with you today is to try and give some advice, some transparency to women out there who want to work not just in finance but at hedge funds. You've not only navigated that world successfully, but to start your own hedge fund yourself is incredibly impressive. And what advice can you give people out there who may be listening, who are in finance and thinking of starting their own fund? I mean, let's broaden it slightly and say if you're looking to start your own fund. I think you started with friends and family and then you expanded. So if you could just talk about the hurdles you had to overcome and what advice you may give.

    Chauwei: [00:23:47] Well, certainly for me, when I was starting my own funds, so that was four years ago, right? So when I was trying to do the advisory thing, I guess being an allocator was easier, as I mentioned. So when starting your fund it’s different again. And then when I started, there was COVID, so I had to stay in Asia. And actually it's more difficult in Asia, I think, than compared to my experience in in the US, especially in New York, because people think less in terms of performance and they think more in terms of relationships. So it is a bit tougher. But then I would say that since I've overcome this, then I think people can definitely overcome this, if you're good. Obviously try to keep your costs down low because you might need to stretch out for a bit longer, but it will happen. So even in markets that you try and then with friends and family, maybe you didn't raise a lot. So as I said, we started with 15. It wasn't a lot. You think about the management fees, it wouldn't even be able to cover like my salary if I were to market at market price. But yeah, you stick it out. So I guess the overall advice to people or women who want to start their own funds is definitely you can do it. It might not be easy, but then if you stick to it and you're good, the rewards would come. And don't worry about trying to look perfect. No one's perfect.

    Jamie: [00:25:05] I think that's very good advice, no matter what line of work you're in. Was there ever a time where you just thought. I just want to quit. I don't want to do this anymore. Can I go back to my job in investment banking where I knew what my salary was and it didn't matter if I was sick one day because someone else will cover for me. Anything along those lines?

    Chauwei: [00:25:23] Yeah, every other day. It’s funny that you said like going back to being an investment banking analyst because, you know, there was this PowerPoint that the Goldman interns produced about how they had to work so hard and they're going to die and that sort of stuff. So most people wouldn't think of being an investment banking analyst as being a great alternative option. But I have thought many, many times that I want to go back because then I don't have to worry day to day. I don't have to worry about paying the bills. So the funny thing is that when I was working for somebody else, I always thought I was underpaid and now I always think everyone's overpaid. So the stress thing is different, right? When you're working for somebody, someone takes care of a lot of things. And going back to my chief everything officer title, right, I have to worry about the non sexy bits of being in a hedge fund. So everyone thinks of my hedge fund manager as being like all super cool. It's like what you see on HBO, but it's nothing like that at all. So at least for somebody who's starting out, you have to worry about compliance and throw out the trash, you know, making sure people like clock in or record down who they're talking to. So a lot of nitty gritty things. But overall, I'd say the satisfaction of having your own fund is great. Maybe it's a bit like having a child. I don't know. I don't have children, but I would assume it's kind of like that.

    Jamie: [00:26:48] So I wanted to ask about culture. You mentioned people can watch HBO and have probably incorrect ideas about what life is really like. And I think films like Wolf of Wall Street did not do the industry any favours. But the culture has come a long way, I think, over the past 20 or 30 years. Would you agree with that? And would you say now that it's less of a boys’ club and that enough has been done, or has the industry still got a long way to go just in terms of internal culture at some of these shops?

    Chauwei: [00:27:17] So I must start by saying that I didn't experience these like dwarf throwing or whatever was shown on Wolf of Wall Street, despite being Wall Street. So I think there was some exaggeration. And then I started investment banking when I was in Japan. And I have a bit of a story to this. So they sent me to Japan Airlines air stewardess training. So I must be the only investment banker in the world out there who was sponsored by the firm to go for JAL etiquette training. So we had to learn how to, like pour a beer with the label facing up.

    Jamie: [00:27:50] I’m sorry - they sent all women? They sent all women to do this?

    Chauwei: [00:27:53] Oh, no, no. Well, I was the only woman, so they sent me.

    Jamie: [00:27:57] Oh, my.

    Chauwei: [00:27:58] But it's kind of funny. Okay, bear with me for a sec. So I mean I was the first foreigner woman they hired. So then they sent me to this Japan Airlines air stewardess etiquette training. So then I had to learn also not to sit cross legged, you have to sit at a 45 degree angle. And then there'll be a test. So you can imagine they're all like air stewardess girls around me. And then I failed the test three times. And I'm a very competitive person. I get really high scores in all my tests and they say, okay, Chauwei, please come back to work, don't go training anymore. Okay, I lost my train of thought being so excited about describing my experience. What was the question again?

    Jamie: [00:28:39] The question is really about how the culture has changed a lot over the past 20 years. But has it changed enough and what more do we need to do?

    Chauwei: [00:28:47] Well, I think there's some, I guess Asian expectations which would never really change. But now people are a bit more careful about what they can say, what they can't say. Just like a couple of months ago, some client who had never seen me in person, we just communicate over emails like he came, he thought I was the tea lady. I mean, that sort of thing still happens, right? But now people are more like, Oh, I'm so sorry about that. But then going back to like how some people always say, Oh, there's a boys’ club, right? So I'm just wondering, like, is it a boys’ club? Because there's just more men, right? And men doing things they like to do. Obviously not going to like strip clubs and stuff. I think that's a completely like a no no now. So that's great, right? Because I heard like people saying that, oh, it's such a boys’ club because they go play golf or they go drink beer and I like to do that too. So it's not like a boys thing. It's just this is like what people like to do. You know, we play poker and whatever, right? Anyone can play.

    Jamie: [00:29:43] It's true. I mean, when I started in finance, there was definitely an out of office culture, which was like, you know, come and drink beer with the guys, come and play golf with the guys. And it was more common that the men were more senior. So it was an easier way. It was easier for men to make friends with more senior people because they had similar interests, which is obviously completely unfair.

    Chauwei: [00:30:01] Well, it's unfair if you don't play it. I know a lot of male colleagues who don't play golf too, so is it unfair to them? So we have to think about what we want to change it into. So people are saying that, okay, let's move away from the boys’ club. So what do we move towards? I've been in these discussion groups with women in finance, and then they're like, okay, maybe we should have more Sunday brunches. I mean, I don't want to go to a Sunday brunch. So for anyone who wants to go to finance and I think generally people are pretty smart there, so maybe they gravitate towards like poker card games or that sort of thing, you know, just have like an open mind. We started playing like a really cool card recently called pool. And then I didn't know that game, somebody else introduced it to me. But then we're like, okay, it's a great game. So maybe have like a more of an open mind and not say like, Oh, that's a guys’ thing, I don't want to go join that. I'm going to protest. I think everyone just wants to get along. And in fact, a number of my male junior staff, they're always like, Oh, I'm always afraid I'll say the wrong thing.

    Jamie: [00:31:06] Well, yeah, my wife's at Goldman Sachs and there's definitely a move right now to have more sort of women's groups meeting up together to talk about whatever issues inside and outside the office they may face. So I think there's definitely objectives being done at certain firms to try and give women more support, just like we all need support in at work. But Chauwei what does the future hold? Are you looking to grow the business? You say you're hiring at the moment. Are there other strategies you're looking to move into?

    Chauwei: [00:31:32] Absolutely. We're looking to grow the business. We are incorporating more AI into our strategies and risk management tools. So we're hiring people who are not only passionate but hopefully can code both male or female. So I think the future is looking good for us. I'm based in Singapore. There's a lot of wealth coming to our little tiny country and we're also the government is very supportive of the finance industry. So we're definitely looking to grow. And I think the industry is looking very positive for us.

    Jamie: [00:32:06] Very good indeed. So last question. I know you have some links to SVB and Signature Bank. I can't exactly remember, but I was wondering if you saw the collapse coming?

    Chauwei: [00:32:16] No, When I was at UBS, we did the IPO for Signature Bank, so that's the only link I have, okay. So I have that in front. I have the tombstone actually in my office. So I kept it away in the box before the whole crypto market emerged. And then when crypto was developed rapidly, I took it out again because then it's cool to be associated with Signature Bank. And then now it's collapsed. I thought it happened really quickly and we're not in crypto. We personally had some proprietary, we dabbled a little bit to try it out and then we realized that it's not good for us. So we were completely out before this whole debacle, but I certainly didn't see it. So I got out of Madoff, right? I didn't participate in it. And so in this, we also didn't participate in crypto or had any money with these two banks but didn't foresee it this time around.

    Jamie: [00:33:06] Well, Chauwei, congratulations on everything you've achieved to date. It sounds like you're perfectly poised to go from strength to strength. I'm sure there'll be people, both men and women, who would love to get in touch with you. Is there a best way?

    Chauwei: [00:35:40] I think there's a contact link on our company website – gao-cap.com - but then you can also contact me on my LinkedIn. I think it's a search away would appear. I try to harness the artistic or liberal arts side of me by writing posts mainly about my failure to do household chores. So you can contact me there.

    Jamie: [00:33:39] Great stuff. So there's some very creative writing to look forward to as well. Chauwei, it's been an absolute pleasure chatting to you today. Thank you so much for your time. Best of luck with everything and we hope to see you again soon.

    Chauwei: [00:33:49] Thanks for having me. Go Girl Power!

    Jamie: [00:33:53] Thanks very much for listening. And if you like what you heard, please give us a follow wherever you get your podcasts. The information contained in this podcast does not constitute a recommendation from any Refinitiv entity to the listener. The views expressed in the podcast are not necessarily those of Refinitiv and Refinitiv is not providing any investment, financial, economic, legal, accounting or tax advice or recommendations in this podcast. Neither Refinitiv nor any of its affiliates makes any representation or warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in this podcast and any and all liability therefore, whether direct or indirect, is expressly disclaimed. For further information, visit the show notes of this podcast or refinitiv.com.

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