You built your career in Asia. What first drew you there?
Honestly, the career came second; my fascination for Asian cultures came first. In college, I was particularly interested in Japan, so I moved to Kyoto in 1990 to study the language. While living there, I became interested in the Asian financial markets. That led me to a 23-year career with Goldman Sachs, living in Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore.
Spending my professional life in countries other than my own has in many ways shaped who I am. It has given me a deep respect for the importance of diversity, helped me become comfortable outside of my element, and made me naturally inquisitive.
What inspired your shift from the financial markets to operations?
It was less of a transition than you might think. My work at Goldman Sachs always had a business operations component to it. I built and managed diverse businesses across the Asian region, entered new markets, and scaled opportunities. All of this helped me develop a long-term perspective and strategic way of thinking. After retiring, I spent time on boards and as an advisor helping start-ups and entrepreneurs with some of the more fundamental aspects of growing and operating their businesses. I’m genuinely excited to be able to apply this experience on a meaningful scale at the Vision Fund.
How does your previous experience inform your current work?
My financial background informs my areas of focus, which include fintech and financing. Those two are obvious focus areas for me; however, I do see that broadening over time as more of our portfolio companies look for ways to expand their businesses into the Asian region. Managing the diverse commercial, regulatory, and cultural landscape in this part of the world is not always straightforward.
Everyone at the Vision Fund thinks strategically about our ecosystem and looks for synergies that can have wide-ranging benefits across our portfolio.
What's the most exciting aspect of your work with the Operating Group?
I get to work with some of the most visionary companies and founders in the world. Many of these companies could reshape the world we live in. And then there are my colleagues: I’ve been so impressed by the talented people at the Vision Fund. On the operations side, we all vary in background but share a similar drive. We’re not here to make the investments; we’re here to cultivate growth and expand opportunities. Everyone at the Vision Fund thinks strategically about our ecosystem and looks for synergies that can have wide-ranging benefits across our portfolio. It's a very inspiring environment.
How do you approach your work with founders?
It’s about results. I’m happy to work with our portfolio companies anywhere I can add value. I’m not there to share unsolicited advice or to add pressure. It’s about investing the time to understand their challenges and opportunities and find ways to help. Developing a relationship with the founders and their teams is paramount. In the end, it’s about trust and developing a shared vision.
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