The Hedge Funds Club Good Life Interviews – Part 48: Allen Wu

In part 48 of the Hedge Funds Club’s popular people-focused Good Life series of interviews, HFC boss Stefan Nilsson checks in with Allen Wu, Head of Operations at Krypton Fund Services in Singapore for a chat about Coldplay, being too risk-averse, a favourite rustic Italian restaurant and using TikTok for laughs.

From where and how do you get your daily general news updates?

Usually during my daily commute to the office to catch up on news using the apps on my phone, such as BBC, CNN, CNA and Straits Times. The push notifications help a lot to keep me updated on breaking news.

What do you do to unwind on a weekend?

My niece and nephew would visit over the weekends so my time is usually spent playing, or annoying, them. Else, I would usually watch some series or movie available on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Can you name a great book you have recently read?

“Billion Dollar Whale” by Tom Wright.

Your soundtrack of choice?

I listen to a lot of Coldplay from time to time but on a daily basis, I am usually on Spotify’s “Mood Booster” playlist.

What drink do you start the day with and what drink finishes it?

Always a “Kopi C Siew Dai” which means coffee with evaporated milk with less sugar. I try to keep to one serving of sweetened drinks, so would usually end the day with a glass of water.

What’s the worst money mistake you’ve made?

Not investing at an earlier age and being too risk-averse.

Have you ever had a great mentor and what did you learn?

I have always told my friends that I have been extremely lucky to meet great mentors over the last seven years. But if I have to list one piece of advice, it has to be not being myopic. It’s still something I remind myself of and share with my friends that is applicable in all aspects of life.

What gives you energy?

I enjoy problem-solving and analysing models. Even after a long day, my brain clicks into a transcended gear when I problem-solve or analyse models or problems.

How do you stay grounded and focused as a person in these turbulent and fast-changing times?

I think it’s extremely important to remind myself that I have to continue pushing for improvement and development. I never thought of myself as a smart person, so in order for me to try and differentiate myself from others, I have to thrive to improve to stay relevant.

Can you name a terrific restaurant that you love?

iO Italian Osteria at Hillv2. It’s a rustic Italian restaurant chucked at a corner of the west of Singapore, a hidden gem!

What’s your favourite museum in the world?

I am not a big fan of museums, looking at art pieces or historical artefacts. I prefer to read or watch a documentary about it.

Are you active on social media and what do you actually use it for?

I am active on most social media platforms. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. LinkedIn mainly to keep in touch with people and update myself on what’s going on with people in the space. Facebook and Instagram to catch up with my friends. I also go onto TikTok at times to get a good laugh watching the latest trends, which can be silly at times!

Do you have any secret guilty pleasure that you are prepared to reveal here?

I enjoy cooking a lot and I tend to experiment with the recipes, by adding stuff that usually does not go into a particular cuisine in. Some worked out well, some usually end up in the bin.

What kind of battle dress do you normally put on for work?

I tend to dress for the day. I believe that being comfortable is key to productivity so it’s usually a comfortable tee with pants and shoes. When I have meetings then I would aim to look sharp by going formal.

Do you celebrate your wins? If so, how?

Yes of course! Nothing beats celebrating over a good dinner and whiskey.

What makes you happy?

Being around the closest people in my life. It doesn’t have to be an occasion, just spending time together makes my heart full.