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RiskVal CEO Explains How Taiwanese Entrepreneurs Can Break into the Wall Street Financial District

Reported by Yahsin Huang, senior international business reporter in Business Next.

Jordan Hu, a Taiwanese entrepreneur, founded a startup, RiskVal Financial Solutions in New York in 2001. Seventeen years later, it’s still going strong. It provides international financial trading and risk management solutions to customers including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

With a 50-strong office in New York and a 10-strong office in Taipei, RiskVal provides on-demand software relating to analytics and trading systems in fixed-income, credit derivatives, equity and foreign exchange.

Hu recently shared his experiences of being a Taiwanese entrepreneur in the Wall Street financial district with Business Next at his firm’s New York headquarters.

Q: What do Taiwanese startup companies need to think about before launching a business in the U.S.?

A: You need to think about three things.

First of all, you need to identify a niche market that your startup business can tap into. The fundamental problem a startup founder faces is searching for solutions to small, specific problems that the market really needs.

Second, you need to understand your market and understand the value the market places on your products. It helps if you have worked in the industry before as this gives you an insight into whether your product is relevant or not.

Last, the timing of doing business with large corporate clients is very important. You need to be ready to present your best product whenever big investment banks ask for it.

Q: Why would large American banks be interested in investing in a Taiwanese startup?

A: The reason why large banks are interested in investing in a startup is because they dislike the idea of putting in a lot of manpower into tasks that are repetitive. Taiwanese entrepreneurs need to remember that large American banks already have highly-talented engineers and programmers working for them. It’s not like they don’t have top technology and engineering talents.

Q: Is it difficult for Taiwanese startups to do business with large financial companies in New York?

A: Yes, it’s a very competitive industry. It’s difficult for Taiwanese startup founders as non-American outsiders to break into the Wall Street market if they have no Wall Street experience. They wouldn’t have the advantage of word-of-mouth endorsements.

Startup companies need to prove that their products are ready to launch because it increases your chances of getting funding and the investment amounts that they’re dealing with are huge. We’re talking about investments of US$50 million to US$100 million. It’s like being a soldier fighting on the front line in a never-ending battle.

Q: You have built up more than 200 trading strategies since 2001. What’s your secret?

A: Our aim is to help companies make better decisions and help investors evaluate risks by quantifying various factors and then making decisions. It's like playing a game of chess. You have a variety of ways to play. You need to think of decisions as if they were a chess move.

News source is from Business Next.


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