NUS Business School Alumni, BBA 1993
Managing Partner, Better Lives Trust
Tell us more about yourself and your background
I am a history buff, investment entrepreneur, husband and father. I graduated from NUS Business School in 1993 and have been in the investment management business ever since. The growth of hedge funds was at its nascent stage, and it was an opportune time for a fresh finance major. My career took flight with the industry literally, being expatriated to Geneva, New York, Hongkong with Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and returning to Singapore with J.P. Morgan as the Managing Director for Alternative Investment for Asia Pacific, all before turning 40. This is why I am so committed to giving back. Better Lives Trust, a socially conscious investment boutique which I co-founded with my wife, pledges a fixed portion of its profit to charity annually, supporting Women, Children and Education.
When did you start your giving journey? Do you remember your first time?
Like many, I started with giving a little to buy a flag from volunteers along the streets. However, my first significant giving project was the annual NUS Rag & Flag, which I had the privilege to head up one year as the Projector Director for the entire university. The event was graced by the President of Singapore, his excellency, Wee Kim Wee. We had a record number of charity floats built by all Faculties and Halls of Residences and raised over two hundred thousand dollars, a record sum. I had such a blast working with like-minded colleagues. Above all, the experience of making a meaningful impact on the lives of those in need changed my life forever.
What led you to give to NUSBSA Bursary Fund?
A good friend got me onto the Board of NUS Business School Alumni sometime in 2001/2002. Years later, when I was working on Wall Street, the same friend asked if I would like to join him to be amongst the pioneer donors to the NUSBSA Bursary Fund. It was a no brainer for me as I have always wanted to establish an award in the name of my mom, a lifelong primary school teacher. The rest was history.
What advice would you give to those who not know where and how to start in Giving?
There will never be a better time to give what you can today. Knowing that you made a difference is a gift to yourself that never stops giving back.