Bryan Goh, CEO and CIO of Tsao Family Office in Singapore, has had a long career in alternative investments and finance, including stints at Oaks Family Office, First Avenue Partners, DBS Bank, Bordier and Arab Bank. He also once founded and ran a fine watches retail business. HFC boss Stefan Nilsson checked in with Bryan for a chat about leverage, lively debates, the British Museum, water replacing vodka, Jan Hammer and much more.
From where and how do you get your daily general news updates?
The usual sources: the FT, the Economist, the Independent and the Guardian.
What do you do to unwind on a weekend?
I run and cycle. More.
Can you name a great book you have recently read?
“The Silk Roads” by Peter Frankopan.
Your soundtrack of choice?
Something instrumental like Jan Hammer, Vangelis or Mahavishnu Orchestra.
What drink do you start the day with and what drink finishes it?
Long gone are the days when vodka bookended the day. Now it’s water and the very occasional gin martini.
What’s the worst money mistake you’ve made?
Not applying leverage, since governments have become not very discerning pawnshops.
Have you ever had a great mentor and what did you learn?
My first boss. After all the analysis he always said, give it a shot and do more if it works and stop if it doesn’t, but just do it.
What gives you energy?
A lively debate.
How do you stay grounded and focused as a person in these turbulent and fast-changing times?
Understand the causes of things. Explore and don’t be too concerned about the dead ends and blind alleys.
Can you name a terrific restaurant that you love?
Kababgy el Azhar Farahat for truly great stuffed pigeon.
What’s your favourite museum in the world?
The British Museum. So much of Asia and the MENA are in it.
Are you active on social media and what do you actually use it for?
I stopped using Facebook years ago when I did a count of the hours spent there.
Do you have any secret guilty pleasure that you are prepared to reveal here?
On the advice of counsel, I decline to answer.
What kind of battle dress do you normally put on for work?
A suit, truly the uniform of servitude. These days with online meetings, a black jumper to go with the sweats.
Do you celebrate your wins? If so, how?
With a suitable delay.
What makes you happy?
Figuring out how things work.