Monica Hsiao is a Hong Kong-based hedge fund manager managing an Asian credit investment strategy at her own firm Triada Capital. Hedge Funds Club’s Stefan Nilsson had a quick chat with Monica about her career path, setting up her own shop and capital raising.
You were a corporate lawyer, then you were a prop trader in a few investment banks before joining CQS as a PM. Was the lawyer-prop trader-portfolio manager journey part of a career plan or did it just evolve that way?
My journey from law into finance was not planned out looking forward but made sense when I connected the dots looking backwards. I enjoyed the strategic thinking required in deal-term negotiations but wanted to see how that played out in practice. Legal knowledge and having a framework of thought is helpful in so many aspects of what I do today, from diligence to the investment process.
You launched the Triada fund in 2015. What made you leave a big and well-known hedge fund firm to set up your own shop?
I left CQS to start my own fund because I saw that the Asia public credit market was growing at light speed and although most funds had Asia liquid credit as part of a larger multi-strat platform, I believed that the market was established enough to warrant a stan-alone fund focused on Pan-Asia long-short credit trading. Looking back, I kind of wished I had started my own fund much earlier! As much as it’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears, I have learned a lot about myself.
You launched small and have managed to grow your fund size. What has been the hardest part of raising capital?
Raising capital requires a lot of patience – and luck. In many meetings, we have had to be the ambassador to push Asia credit as an asset class and pitch why public credit markets are interesting for allocators to consider. All of this first to convince people just to look at our asset class before we get into “why us”.