Cathy Dong, Director, InnoTrend Holdings

Cathy Dong, Director of Malaysia-based InnoTrend Holdings, discusses how her team makes investments in the US and Asia. She also shares best practices for fund managers seeking to build relationships with family offices.


In this episode, Cathy and I talked about:

  • How her team allocates to hedge funds, VC and PE.
  • Important criteria required for fund managers to make her short list.
  • Her investment focus areas.
  • How she is looking for more ‘interesting’ and differentiated fund managers.
  • The importance of performance and positioning rationale during bear markets.
  • The importance of ‘fit’ and getting to know what interests a family office.
  • What NOT to do in the capital raising process.


3:43 | “First, I think you need to (ask) what are you achieving? Are you doing more wealth preservation or wealth growth? For us, I think our traditional business style, we are just very traditional. They’re all heavy assets, brick and mortar. But on the investment side, we’ve adopted a very aggressive approach. We have a higher risk profile actually.”

7:15 | “…we are looking at now more interesting fund managers. I believe we all have access to those big names or multi, multi-strat, or those platforms at the multi-billion size, either through banks or through just our investment approach. I think they are a good way to maintain because they just deliver what the market is doing …But for our, say next year outlook, for our allocation, we actually prefer more interesting fund managers or managers with more character. In that sense, you’re more differentiated from the others. ”

14:04 | “We talk to the fund managers, and see if they can explain clearly what they are investing or why they are investing. …I think why is more important than what.”

“And then the most important thing now, is how they perform in a bear market. …We actually care more about what’s your rationale in the bearish market.”

21:13 | “Some (fund managers) also approach us on LinkedIn. I think LinkedIn is a good way.

“You have to specify what makes you different. I think many fund managers, they just reach out to us, and they just give a lot of data, but it’s not really important when you reach to us. …It’s more like, why are you here? Or why do you think you are different? I think your position is very important.”

24:11 | “I think it’s about simplifying your strategy. Some managers use very complex terminology, or some calculation or methodology, and a lot of very complex things to explain, but people do not really understand. They do not feel you are sophisticated because they didn’t get you. It’s just better to simplify your strategies in three or five sentences and just summarize what your strategy is. I think that would be better.”


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