“It’s not about being fast, it’s about being timely. There’s always a sequence of events, there’s always a time for everything.”
Role: Head of Investments in Asia at Pictet Wealth Management
Based in: Hong Kong
Evelyn Yeo, Head of Investments at Pictet Wealth Management in Asia, has grown up basing her principles and values on the teachings of Lao Tzu, a legendary Chinese philosopher. “Those teachings helped me realise that with a framework one can draw strength and guidance, regardless of the situation.”
With over 20 years of experience in the investment industry, Evelyn came from UBS as Asia Pacific Head of Investment Content and Sales Management for four years. Before that, she was Julius Baer’s Head of Investment Office and Mandate Consulting for Asia for six years. When was the first time she heard of Pictet? It was in the early 2000s, “I was doing fund due-diligence at Deutsche Private Bank. My role was to look for the best investment in every category and I had discovered the Water fund, which at the time was a fascinating form of global equity.”
In Asia, the Pictet Group has been operating in Hong Kong since 1986 and in Singapore since 1995, employing more than 290 staff across both offices. Out of which, 52 are relationship managers.
Evelyn’s role is to reinforce the capabilities of Pictet Wealth Management Investment Platform from Hong Kong by creating highly intellectual content and mapping out an efficient sales process. Where did she begin? “Firstly, by aligning with the established frameworks in Geneva – to leverage and harness synergies – and secondly, by adapting current practices or processes to Asian needs so that we can move with the different and evolving needs of our clientele in the region.”
As Head of Investments, she defies the approach of ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to a well-executed communication strategy. Instead, she believes “when considering the format, engaging clients with simple digestible and appealing messages can be decisive.” So keep away from jargon? “There was even a joke back in the days at my previous company that we did not need to encrypt our emails because if they were sent to somebody by mistake, no-one would understand the topic of the message.”
Meanwhile, as the investment landscape in Asia grows, with it comes challenge and competition. How to cope? “This is where we need both the left and right brain – to be both structured (in the way we dissect problems) and creative (in the way we think about solutions). At the same time, we also need to have an open mind to realise that at the end of the day, challenges or problems occur because of disagreements, different points of view. All these could be overcome once we realise that we have a lot more in common than we think.”
Almost two years at Pictet, half of the time in confinement, Evelyn shares with us what these last 6 months have been like for her, “a lightning bolt that has drastically changed the way we live, the way we think, and hopefully inspire some of us to revolutionise the world.” A great mindset to plant seeds for future growth.