In the high-flying world of investing, Lei Zhang maintains a relatively low profile. Yet since he was seeded by David Swensen (Trades, Portfolio) of Yale Endowment with $20 million in 2005, he has achieved a ~40% compounded annual return (28x not adjusting for inflation), making him one of the best-performing investment managers. To put it into perspective, Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) has achieved a compounded annual return of ~22%, albeit for the past 50 years.
Today Lei Zhang’s Hillhouse Capital, named after a street near Yale where Lei received his MBA and master’s in public policy, manages ~$18 billion. Thought not just focused on tech, Lei is best known for backing several most successful Chinese Internet entrepreneurs and startups (e.g. Tencent [TCEHY], JD.com [JD]). On April 29, Lei paid a visit to the “temple of value investing,” Columbia Business School, to share his investing and life lessons. Below are my syntheses of his wisdom. Continue Reading »