‘Patient opportunist’ who won’t miss the boat
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.”
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