Star Magnolia Capital in Search of Hua Mulan
***** THIS IS A JOB DESCRIPTION *****
Her Name is HUA Mulan:
Star Magnolia Capital was named after a white-flowering tree originating from the highlands of the Japanese island of Honshu where her founder was born. Her seeds were planted in Hong Kong and blooms in Shanghai and Singapore. However, there is another star magnolia that inspired us. Her name is HUA Mulan.
HUA Mulan is a legendary folk heroin in China. Some people call her China’s Jeanne d’Arc. By disguising herself as a man, Mulan joined the military force to protect her family and home from the nomadic hordes. The legend of HUA Mulan survived thousands of years in the form of poetry, songs, plays, film and animation. It is not just a coincidence that Star Magnolia’s Chinese name is Xing-Hua-Mu-Lan (星华木兰). ‘Xing’ means a star; ‘Hua’ means a flower and ‘Mu-Lan’ means magnolia. HUA Mulan took a sword to keep her ailing father from conscription and to protect her home. She successfully fought for more than 12 years and chose to return home after rejecting a high rank in the government. She is also a symbol of challenging tradition and convention. These are the values we always aspire towards. At the same time, Star Magnolia Capital is built and supported by many ‘HUA Mulans’ and in search of other ‘HUA Mulans’.
Star Magnolia Capital is a Multi-Family Office:
Star Magnolia Capital is a multi-family office founded in 2012 with offices located in Singapore and Shanghai. Star Magnolia’s investment philosophy is grounded in long lasting relationships with excellent managers – thus we employ the endowment approach to our investments. We invest in both the global public and private equity markets. We believe that good research will help us identify great opportunities and think that curiosity is the most important asset.
The endowment approach is an investment philosophy pioneered by Dr. David Swensen, former CIO of Yale University’s investment office. Today, most of the large endowments, foundations and family offices in the United States and Europe employ the endowment approach. However, it is still rare in Asia—only a handful of investors in Asia follow this approach.
Our website is www.starmagnoliacapital.com. You can find a lot of information about us here. First, you should start reading Interview with Shinya Deguchi to understand the founder’s vision and mission. Then, you should read “Principles”, which is the very first document written after the firm’s establishment in 2012. This is Star Magnolia Capital’s constitution and we haven’t changed it for the last 10 years. It is also helpful for you to read our recent case study which will help you to understand our philosophy of “becoming experts at finding experts”.
If you find the case study informative, you can continue reading our endowment approach whitepaper trilogy and other articles published on our Substack: Present Value of the Future.
An Endowment Approach for Asian Families (link)
An Endowment Approach for Sustainable Philanthropy (link)
The Importance of Being Diligent for the Endowment Approach (link)
Learn and Share:
Star Magnolia Capital is not only a place to work, but also a place to learn from each other and to find the meaning of your life as an investor. Since we focus on research, traveling to different countries and meeting amazing people are an essential part of the process. You will encounter something new everyday.
From 2023, we started “Learning and Sharing Sessions” where analysts will learn the fundamentals to becoming better investors. You can view our schedule via this link. We also organize a week-long Learning and Sharing offsite where you will spend 24 hours with your colleagues together in a remote area that is different from the typical office environment. We use Capital Allocators as a key resource of our intellectual developments (Star Magnolia Capital is affiliated with Capital Allocators China, an official licensed partner of Capital Allocators).
You must enjoy the intellectual challenges as our investment and research process are as dynamic as the markets. At the same time, we focus on building long-term relationships with our investment managers who focus on the long-term opportunities.
We also encourage our analysts to complete the CFA Program unless they haven’t completed relevant degrees.
About the Role:
The investment associate will support Star Magnolia’s existing manager portfolio as well as identify new relationships and conduct research. This position will be based out of our Singapore office. We operate in a hybrid environment. As a multi-family office with a global outlook, we are looking for someone who can be flexible with late-night calls and has the willingness to go beyond their comfort zone to dig deep into areas of research. You will be responsible for:
Sourcing for new investment ideas and conducting due diligence
Conducting quarterly research reports on macro trends or thematic topics
Monitoring existing managers within the portfolio
Preparing investment documents and presenting ideas to the investment team
We encourage our teams to travel the world in order to identify and confirm attractive investment opportunities. We recently published an article written by Tiffany Liu, Senior Associate, about her due diligence trip to Indonesia (link). This is the type of work we conduct before our investments.
About the Applicant:
Singapore citizen or Singapore permanent resident (we do not support a visa)
Based in Singapore, or willing to relocate at your own cost (office is based in Singapore)
2-5 years of work experience
Strong willingness to learn, be curious, and ask questions
Flexible with taking early-morning or evening meetings
Open-minded and willing to push for your opinion
Some relevant experience is preferred
A diverse background and work experience
Language: English, Mandarin (a plus)
Notice how we did not include any specific requirements in education background or work experience because we welcome anyone who is interested in investing and has a strong passion for research and learning more. We welcome candidates with high degree of curiosity in many different areas. For example, Mr. Michael Moritz, a legendary venture capitalist, was a journalist for the first 10 years of his career. He was already 32 years old when he joined a meager venture capital firm called Sequoia.
Renumeration and Welfare:
We have a different renumeration philosophy as we encourage our colleagues to become rich not by the base salary, but by the performance-based bonus. Thus, we set our base salary less competitive to other financial institutions. The performance-based renumeration not only encourages meritocracy, but also alignment of interests with our stakeholders. We also do not negotiate on the base salary. All Senior Associates will get paid basically the same base salary, which is expected to increase at a slightly faster rate than the inflation. This rule also applies to both Associates and Junior Associates. We are also very transparent about the remuneration, that is, everybody knows what you are getting paid.
Monthly Base Salary
Associate (SGD 5,300) or Senior Associate (SGD 9,100)
Discretionary and performance-based bonus
All employees participate in the bonus pool
50% of annual bonus will be deferred over 1-4 years and linked to the investment performance
Flexible working hours and style during the weekdays
Q&A Sessions with Mr. Shinya Deguchi (LinkedIn):
You can join an Ask Me Anything session with Star Magnolia Capital’s founder, Shinya Deguchi, after his 10-15 min introduction of the company.
Please send your resume and cover letter to email@example.com with the email titled as “Investment Associate Application: [Your Name]”. We will not consider the application without a cover letter.
c/o Indigo Investment Advisors Pte. Ltd
541 Orchard Road, #18-03, Liat Towers, Singapore 238881
c/o Indigo Investment Advisors
No 1155, Fangdian Road, Room 2101A-02, Kerry Office, Pudong, Shanghai
You are welcome to reach out to any of our current colleagues of Star Magnolia Capital.
We also encourage you to reach out our former colleagues.