Rachel Lau is Managing Partner at RHL Ventures. RHL Ventures is a Southeast Asian based private investment firm that focuses on growth capital investments in the South East Asia and the US region.
Before setting up RHL Ventures as a partner in February 2016, Rachel was Vice President at Heitman Investment Management in Hong Kong and Australia. Rachel helped managed USD$4bn of global long-only and absolute return equity strategies, focused on the Asia Pacific region. Prior to this, Rachel worked as an investment analyst with Dutch investment manager, NN Investment Management, which manages USD$225bn. In her tenure with NN, Rachel worked in the Asian Equities team in Hong Kong, Emerging Market Debt team in Atlanta and Multi Assets Strategies in New York. She conducted fundamental analysis on global companies in Asia, Latin America and USA, across different capital structures, be it equity, debt or derivatives. Rachel has deployed billions of dollars of long term capital to meet outsized returns for institutional investors.
Rachel graduated from Australian National University with a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction (double major in Accounting and Finance) and received a Master of Law (major in Business Law) from the University of Sydney. In addition, Rachel represented Malaysia in the sport of rhythmic gymnastics in various tournaments and the British Council as a delegate in the Young Global Citizen Summit to solves issues on global poverty and human rights.
Rachel serves as President of the Malaysia Gymnastics Federation and on the Leadership Team of the Hong Kong chapter of Ellevate (formerly 85 Broads), a 34,000-member global network of professional women; and sits on the Program Committee of EMpower, a global not-for-profit organization that supports at risks youths in developing countries.
In 2018, Rachel was named as 50 People who are Redefining the Way We Live by Business Times Singapore and was selected as Milken Institute Young Leaders Circle, a non-profit, non-partisan global think tank that is determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health.
Rachel sets herself apart by thinking creatively. She believes in hard work and conducting detail due diligence on a company before investing.
In the process of translating grand transformational themes into an investment portfolio, Rachel seeks to understand the underlying drivers of the business and stress tests a range of outcome before making an investment decision. She believes that in forming an opinion, it is most important to understand the unknowns and risks that comes with each investment. She believes that returns are not only generated by identifying companies with good growth, but also by avoiding pitfalls. That is really more an art than a science, the key is to capitalise on local contacts and rigorous due diligence.
Rachel likes investing in simple, predictable, free cash flow generative, resilient and sustainable businesses. These businesses should ideally have strong growth opportunities and scarcity value. Where possible, she looks to invest in high-quality businesses at a price that is not reflective of the intrinsic value of the business as it is.
Rachel believes that mispriced assets are emerging because of the mismatch of expectations between financial capital holders and business needs. Financial capital holders are constantly pressured to look for quick profits and therefore, exerting a similar pressure for businesses to compromise on investing for long term growth. Great companies are not built in a day and therefore, she believes that RHL will be able to counter that pressure by providing patient capital that provides partnership in connecting entrepreneurs with the resources, connections and capital know how.