Cheah Cheng Hye: The Warren Buffett of the East
Occasionally an investor, money manager, or entrepreneur is dubbed the “new Warren Buffett.” In the case of Cheah Cheng Hye, however, he has been granted a somewhat different cognomen: the “Asian Warren Buffett.”
Cheah Cheng Hye – who, besides the Warren Buffett of the East, has also been called “Goldfinger” – is the co-founder and chairman of Value Partners Group. This firm, which was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Hong Kong, also has offices in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore and London.
Mr. Cheah Cheng Hye’s firm offers a diversified asset management portfolio for institutional and individual clients in the
Under Cheah Cheng Hye’s steady leadership, Value Partners Group has exceeded all expectations, with 170 awards and prizes to date. And, while the firm’s core businesses are deeply rooted in the Greater China region, they are constantly seeking to extend their presence internationally.
How did Cheah Cheng Hye earn his reputation as The Warren Buffett of the East? He makes it perfectly clear in his message to investors: he seeks out the very best investment opportunities among under-followed and out-of-favor stocks in the Asia-Pacific region. His firm’s core investment creed of value investing has not changed since day one, and it has generated consistent, reliable yield averaging 15% annually for their clients, along with recognition from their peers.
Born in 1954 in Malaysia, Cheah Cheng Hye wrote for the Asian version of the Wall Street Journal; later, in 1989, he worked as the head of research and a proprietary trader at Morgan Grenfell & Co. When he co-founded Value Partners Group, Cheah Cheng Hye oversaw $5 million in assets under management; now he oversees $17 billion.
Much like Warren Buffett, Cheah Cheng Hye adheres to the well-worn value-investing principles originally espoused by Benjamin Graham. He also emphasizes the importance of cash flow and corporate governance, asserting that these considerations are crucial in emerging markets. Moreover, Cheah Cheng Hye believes in conducting thorough on-the-ground research; in fact, Value Partners Group makes over 2,500 company visits annually.
And, like Mr. Buffett, Cheah Cheng Hye knows the importance of not chasing after hype and hoopla. During the time when other investors were chasing dot-com stocks, for example, he avoided them – and we all know what happened to the majority of those companies. In contrast, when Chinese carmaker BYD Auto’s shares suffered a precipitous decline, Cheah Cheng Hye visited the firm – and became the second-biggest shareholder in BYD Auto after determining that they had been unduly marked down. Eventually, Value Partners Group reaped a massive HK$600 million profit.
With results like this and a staunch value-investing approach, it’s hard to avoid making comparisons to Warren Buffet. But make no mistake: Cheah Cheng Hye is an investing legend in his own right – East, West, and everywhere in between.