Editorial Board Spotlight: Candid Q&A with Iu Jin Ong

We showcase Iu Jin Ong, co-founder and managing partner of Augventive, a Hong Kong-based single family office, and a member of AsianInvestor's Editorial Advisory Board. Through a series of quick-fire questions, we attempt to uncover the man behind the success story.
Editorial Board Spotlight: Candid Q&A with Iu Jin Ong

Iu Jin Ong has been a driving force behind Asia’s family office evolution for nearly three decades.

As a member of AsianInvestor's editorial board, Ong brings a wealth of experience and insight to the table.

Iu-Jin Ong

From his role as the co-founder and managing partner of Augventive Limited, a Hong Kong-based SFC-licensed corporation managing a single family office with assets exceeding $200 million, to his  contributions in helping to develop best practices for the family office industry in Asia, Ong has an impressive track record.

In the first of a two-piece series with Ong, we put him in the hot seat of our rapid-fire question round, with the aim of peeling back the layers and uncovering the man behind the success story.

1. What’s a typical morning look like for you? What’s the first thing you do and do you have any rituals?

The main focus of my morning is being around the breakfast table with my kids before they take the school bus. But I only have coffee myself as I’m quite into intermittent fasting and my first meal is usually lunch, or even dinner.

In the cooler months in HK, I might do a hike nearby. One of the perks of having your own business is not having to be in the office at a specified time!

2. What's the most unconventional piece of investment advice you've ever received that actually worked?

I like to think I’m the one usually giving the unconventional advice! I don’t how “unconventional” this really is, but I tend to be a contrarian. Buy low, sell high is what I learned in my first job as an FX trader.

Also read: The book that steered POBA's ex-CIO towards alternatives

3. Do you have any hobbies/play any sports?

I hike and (occasionally) sail on other people’s boats…  

4. If you could have lunch with any historical figure in finance, who would it be and what would you ask them?

I would love to have had met Steve Fossett and talked about his business acumen, and more so his record-breaking adventures.

5. What assets do you think are currently being overlooked by most investors?

Overlooked implies undervalued, and there are plenty of publicly traded equities that are undervalued based on book value, cash or yield. We have some of these investments, and perhaps we will be right.

6. What's the most important lesson you've learned from a mentor in your investment career?

To be disciplined in taking your stop-loss.

7. If you could invest in any sport or sports team, which would it be and why?

As an investment opportunity, it would be a team sport with a large following in a populous emerging market – China, India and Indonesia come to mind. Perhaps soccer or basketball, but we certainly don’t yet have the domain knowledge at this time.

8. Which region do you believe will be the next major player in the global financial market?

The Middle East, as a source of both capital and investment opportunity.

9. What do you think will be the biggest challenge for asset managers in the next decade?

It’ll always be the same. Having the correct benchmark and outperforming it.

10. What are you keeping a close eye on?

We are keeping an eye on Labuan as an investment jurisdiction, as we think it can become a relevant place for business in Asia.

Also read: How a $50,000 student-managed fund shaped POBA ex-CIO's career

11. Beyond financial acumen, what personal attribute do you look for when hiring for your investment team?

Trustworthiness and core values are by far the most important attributes of all.

12. What is the most significant way in which your leadership style has evolved over your career?

It’s no longer a specific goal in itself to have a large team to lead or manage. People management is very time consuming.

13. What is one investment decision you made that surprised even yourself?

Once upon a time I bought a meme coin I knew nothing about, and I didn’t take profit when I should have. Perhaps those are two surprising decisions, not one…

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