It was February, 2013 when Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer surprised Silicon Valley and business world by forbidding Yahoo staff from working remotely from home. “Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings,” Ms. Mayer said in a company memo. Although there was backlash from supporters of work flexibility, then 37 year-old CEO seemed to have some insight about innovation.
If Mr. Dong-hun Jang, the CIO of Korea’s Public Officials Benefit Association (POBA) missed the “ASK 2016 Global Private Debt & Equity and Hedge Fund Summit” hosted by the Korea Economic Daily in May, he may have never met officials from ILS Advisers and Leadenhall Capital Partners and there would be little chances for innovation in POBA’s asset allocation. Mr. Jang told us that he learned about catastrophe bonds during casual meetings with these firms at the ASK Summit and started considering investing in this asset class after being fascinated by its risk-return characteristics.
Just being the first to buy cat bonds amongst Korean institutional investors may not be the greatest innovation idea. This episode, however, reminds us of how important it is to gather together in a physical place and share ideas. The Internet can’t replace the role of “gathering,” especially when it comes to high-level intelligence. This is why we recommend you to use ASK Summit and the Korean Investors to meet, support, educate and share ideas with Korean institutional investors.
With warmest regards,
June 7, 2016
Chang Jae Yoo
Editor, The Korean Investors
Senior Reporter, The Korea Economic Daily.