Daniel’s role is to invest in external hedge funds and asset managers, supplementing our internal investment teams and bringing additional sources of return to GIC. He focuses on market-neutral and trading-oriented strategies and is responsible for sourcing, structuring, and managing a large number of relationships globally.
At home, Daniel is a busy father to three pre-schoolers and one old dog. He and his family moved to Singapore from San Francisco in 2018, and contribute to local community initiatives that address issues such as hunger and mental health.
Why did you decide to join GIC?
I wanted a big career challenge for myself and a chance for my family to establish roots overseas. I knew GIC would provide a great opportunity, but after being in small and close-knit investment teams in my previous jobs, I had some reservations about joining a large global institution.
During the interview process, I realised that GIC’s investment teams were leaner than I had anticipated and exercised a great deal of day-to-day autonomy. This reassured me that GIC’s size and ambitious mandate would not get in the way of making an important impact.
My understanding of GIC’s culture became much clearer soon after I joined. I expected it to be quite hierarchical, with little interaction between different levels of the company, but that is definitely not the case. I have enjoyed working with everyone from entry-level talent to our Chief Investment Officer.
What does your typical workday look like?
Three kids’ worth of natural alarms go off well before my iPhone and ensure that I’m showered, caffeinated and mostly functional before 8am. That’s when I check up on the overnight market action before getting ready for work.
I start my workday on calls with hedge funds in the US to catch them before their day ends. Sometimes I’m evaluating a fund for a potential new investment, and sometimes I’m speaking to a fund in which we are already invested. By noon I’ve usually done a few calls and typed up some notes on performance, portfolio actions, and any interesting market observations. I send these notes to our team, as does everyone else. We have a lot of email traffic, and navigating it efficiently is definitely a skill.
I update spreadsheets with performance and risk data before heading to lunch. Pre-COVID we would often go out for team lunches.
The rest of the day goes by mostly with research, checking up on Asian markets, and meetings and calls with our Asian and European partners. I try to avoid doing too many calls with the US in our evening, but every few days will do some before signing off.
What do you like most about working here?
Few companies in our industry have our levels of resources and access. From my point of view, I can communicate with nearly anyone in the investment industry to help us achieve our goals. It’s a welcome perk that elevates my satisfaction with the job.
GIC is a large organization with offices all across the world. We are most likely conducting business even where we do not have offices. Our staff and culture reflect this reality, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve. The GIC I know is a welcoming and inclusive environment, and I hope that we can make it that way for everyone.
How would you describe the learning & development culture at GIC?
Working at GIC is like taking an open-book investment exam. Any answers you seek are available through your network; the difficult part is figuring out how to apply them. There is no limit to the growth you can achieve here. I rarely go through a day without learning something new.
What you should know before joining GIC
Examine the data and form your own narratives. Traditional media sources are fine for context and discussion, but original thought is what counts the most. Debating with a colleague at GIC is often far more productive than reading about dot plots on Bloomberg or the Wall Street Journal.
There is always someone smarter and more skillful than you, even if you haven’t found them yet. The sooner you accept that as a positive thing that can motivate you, rather than a negative thing that can discourage you, the better. A humble mindset and desire for self-improvement can take you very far.