‘Pa­tient op­por­tunist’ who won’t miss the boat

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HK | BUSINESS - By DUAN TING in Hong Kong tingduan@chi­nadai­lyhk.com

Yun­feng Fi­nan­cial Group boss Li Ting calls her­self a “pa­tient op­por­tunist”, putting new and mean­ing­ful tasks to the test and em­brac­ing the chal­lenges.

“You have to re­act quickly at all times, grab the fleet­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the mar­ket and cor­rect the er­rors im­me­di­ately, oth­er­wise, you’ll never get it again,” says the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the fi­nan­cial ser­vices arm of Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group, al­lud­ing to the Chi­nese say­ing “once you’re past Suzhou, you’ ll miss the boat.”

Li prides her­self on an im­pres­sive ca­reer record — land­ing her first job at lead- ing world wealth man­age­ment cor­po­ra­tion State Street as a risk man­ager with the trad­ing desk — af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Wal­lace E. Car­roll Grad­u­ate School of Man­age­ment, Bos­ton Col­lege.

Her dili­gence in stud­ies won her the chance to work for State Street. She re­calls hav­ing de­tected a text­book er­ror and bring­ing it up with her pro­fes­sor at uni­ver­sity. She was given top marks for that ini­tia­tive and when she ap­plied for a post at State Street, the cor­po­ra­tion rang up the uni­ver­sity fol­low­ing a rec­om­men­da­tion by the pro­fes­sor.

Li ex­presses grat­i­tude for hav­ing “grown up” with State Street for 14 years and be­ing given the op­por tu­nity to as­sume var­i­ous roles in Hong Kong and the United States, in­clud­ing port­fo­lio risk man­ager, port­fo­lio man­ager for US fixed in­come, head of risk of Asia Pa­cific, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and head of China mar­ket de­vel­op­ment, se­nior man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and head of Asia ex-Ja­pan.

She felt it was a break­through when she was a p p r o a c h e d b y Yu n f e n g ’s man­age­ment, al­low­ing her to em­bark on a new jour­ney with a com­pany she has now been with for the past two years.

She saw the po­ten­tial for de­vel­op­ing the ro­bot-ad­viser to fill the mar­ket va­cancy and build up an ecosys­tem link­ing busi­ness in­sti­tu­tions with re­tail in­vestors.

Li de­fines her job at Yun­feng as be­ing very dif­fer­ent from her pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence, work­ing for a well-es­tab­lished fi­nan­cial en­ter­prise where peo­ple still have a “safety zone” to fol­low the rules while in a startup com­pany.

“Then, you need to be re­ally fast and ac­cu­rate, and no one will tell you if you’re go­ing in the right or wrong di­rec­tion.”

Li also of­fers a rather in­ti­mate warn­ing for the younger gen­er­a­tion — a rolling stone gath­ers no moss. They have to be stead­fast and clear in their work and dis­card the men­tal­ity that they must hit their first pot of gold be­fore 30.

“Peo­ple in their 20s should fo­cus on im­prov­ing their abil­i­ties. You should be clear about your core strength and de­velop it to the fullest. It will pay off one day.”

PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY

Yun­feng Fi­nan­cial Group CEO Li Ting says the hard­work­ing and ded­i­cated at­ti­tude of the Chi­nese peo­ple has con­trib­uted to the rapid spread of tech­nol­ogy on the main­land. Li Ting, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Yun­feng Fi­nan­cial Group

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