Interview with Yvonne Yan
1. What is your job title and role in your company? What’s your major in college and/or graduate school?
Managing director in wealth management of private banking sector. Business administration MBA degree, started investing, before was in corporate banking, then landed into public companies, switched in 9 yrs.
2. What’s the vision, mission and general organization chart of the your company?
Global bank, different lines—corporate, consumer (retail), investment solution (private and asset mgmt.) catering to diff segments.
3. Could you tell me how you collaborate with other corresponding business functions (ie.
Marketing, Finance, R&D and Product , Human Resources or others) ?
Talk to the product teams (providers) inside of the company on a daily basis, relationship manager, oversee it as a whole to bring in asset on a daily basis. Need ideas from the product team (equity research, trade ideas, come up with ideas in bond market, treasury/wealth, wealth succession plans on behalf of client).
4. Could you please elaborate how the external operating environment (ie. politics, social system, culture, language, policy, competition and economics etc.) affect your management?
The regulatory body is the main problem. HK monitory authority supervises all the banks in HK. We need to work closely with internal legal counsels (internal lawyers) to make sure it is compliant with regulations. We need the resources, time and energy to make sure it is compliant. What we do is at the mercy of market.
5. How do you set long term goal, short term (annual) objectives, strategies to manage your operations?
This is default. Every year we settle what we plan for next year, we constantly have to fine tune plans according to the changes in market, respond to change in regulations. It’s very dynamic.
6. How do your company and your department get funded? How do you develop and manage the budget plan?
Public company—general public, listed mainly in US, headquarter in Paris. Main board lists our shares, public for funding.
7. What’re the major measurements for your job? How do you you manage and operate your operation?
Main parameters is how much money you make and asset you can bring to the company.
Qualitative—corporate citizenship (cannot breach in any regulations).
8. What are the major challenges in your management job?
Regulations. After 2008 financial crisis, a lot has been changed—has been more stringent and strict.
What we can do now is much more refined and restricted. Extremely hard to do business after the crisis. We are in post-crisis, clients have been demanding, risks shrinking.
9. What are the major motivators that keep motivating you?
Family is the major motivator, for own wellbeing. Strive on improving their work environment, I can manage it quite well. We are more like mentors, maybe the opportunity to teach young bankers based on our past experience (quite precious).
10. What is your leadership style?
More demanding and authoritative, lots of participation listen to staffs. I make decisions quickly.
11. Can you go through an average day of your job for me?
Reading emails, Bloomberg, what’s happening overnight, all major econ announcements, and make decisions for the day, talk to investment opportunities. It takes lots of time to read all this, also internal meeting minutes—make solid recommendations. Spend some time to come up with solutions for clients to consider. Talk to the product guys to talk about pricing—specific targets client found interesting. Voice lot the orders. Place orders, execute according to what we recorded. And other nitty gritty things. We get a lot of calls from managing.
Stocks & Investment Questions
1. Q: What are your objectives in investing?
Professional: manage assets on behalf of clients
Personal: create capital gain, preserve $, beat deflation
2. Q: Do you go through the risk/return trade off process every time you trade (consider investment risk, yield, duration, liquidity, tax consequences)?
Yes everything of course. Risk is the most important.
3. Q: Walk me through the high points and low points in your resume. What were your greatest accomplishments and challenges? What risks did you take?
(laughs) I normally ask my interview candidates that.
4. Q: How are major world events affecting the stock market?
There are a lot—like system risks and geopolitical risks.
5. Q: What questions would you ask your investment banker?
Risk tolerances vs long term goals
Family succession. Eg. plan ahead for second, third generation
Purpose of asset management
Trusted, license person, advisor
6. Q: If you had $10 million, how would you invest it?
I would put it in a long interest environment, I would put it in the US and Europe now. I would save as little cash as possible in hand. I would put 90% in equity and 10% in high yield bonds.
For example, the new Fed chairman has been very dovish, the US econ is very fragile and the job market hasn’t been coming back, so I don’t see solid reasons in not investing in the US.
Europe is at beginning of bottom up process of econ crisis (since 2008, two crises), and the debt crisis two years ago, gov bond is defaulting in pick countries. It has been 2.5 yrs since then and they have been bottoming up, they’re at an infant stage of such recovery.
ECB (European central bank) just lowered their interest rate 2 weeks ago, it’s almost a guarantee that people will be forced to invest in the equity market.
I think the most important part of stocks is understanding and keeping up with the market, the world economy, and also, understanding what your goal for investment is. Talking to product teams on a daily basis and being mindful of the regulatory body are everyday tasks. As the market is unpredictable, goals and plans are constantly fine-tuned. It's also important to make decisions quickly. The main thing to consider when investing is risk, the objective is to create capital gain, preserve $, beat deflation. This seems like a very demanding job that requires quick reflexes and a mind that can process and predict numbers (and the economy) fast.
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