NDIGI conference discusses Chinese investment and market conditions // The Observer


The Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing (NDIGI) welcomed Vivian Lin Thurston, CFA, partner and portfolio manager of investment firm William Blair, to speak at the Empower Asia Speaker Series on Wednesday evening.

The event, organized in partnership with the Asian Business Society and Smart Woman Securities, covered investment issues in China and other markets under Thurston’s expertise.

Thurston’s colleague at William Blair’s, Kelly Allison, moderated the fireside discussion.

The discussion opened by presenting Thurston’s educational and cultural background. Thurston was born and raised in China and received her LL.B. in Sociology from Peking University in China. She then moved to the United States and obtained her Masters in Sociology and Masters in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

China, when Thurston was growing up, was in the first phase of opening up to the world. Thurston expressed his gratitude for being “lucky to experience this whole country trip [becoming] more market oriented. However, Thurston said that this first phase saw many problems such as hyperinflation and corruption. The structural barriers of the institutions Thurston worked in, such as state power, inspired her to pursue some sort of American dream, she said.

While explaining why she moved to the United States, Thurston compared capitalism and the free market in the United States to the relatively state-controlled economy of China.

She said she was grateful to be able to continue her career in the United States and that her favorite aspects of life in America are the “freedom to learn, to grow, the freedom to explore, and the freedom to have life. ‘open mind”. Thurston declared this freedom. is useful for investing.

Thurston spoke about his degree in sociology, calling it a relatively rare major for people with careers in finance. When asked how this degree impacted her work as a financial analyst, she said she mostly learned how to learn and do research. For this reason, she advised students not to rule out social science training.

She urged the public to focus on their own desires, abilities and motivators when navigating career options rather than pay or other superficial external motivators.

Thurston has incorporated his personal experiences and his love of research to explain what it means to appreciate his profession. Referring to her background in sociology, she said she was learning something new every day.

“Whether it’s the market, whether it’s the business, whether it’s the industry. You have to keep an open mind, ”Thurston said.

As a portfolio manager and partner, Thurston said she was responsible for making tough decisions on a day-to-day basis. She advised students to consider whether they can handle a work environment that demands demanding work and confident decision-making.

In addition to sharing career advice, Thurston also spoke about investing in China. She said it is important to “put things in a historical perspective, not just a political one” when thinking of the Chinese market. China is still going through “tremendous change and growth” and it is essential to take this into account to understand the investment opportunities there, she said.

During the student question-and-answer session, Thurston explained how quickly Chinese monopolies such as the Alibaba Group have grown and the recent Chinese crackdown on tech companies.

“China has already overtaken the United States in many ways, such as online / mobile payment and e-commerce,” Thurston said.

The article originally referred to the Notre Dame Institute for Global Investing as the Notre Dame Institute of Global Investment. The Observer regrets this error.

Keywords: company, Empower Asia Speaker Series, Vivian Lin Thurston, William Blair


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