Wary Investors Turn to Lie Pros

December 29, 2010

Wary Investors Turn to Lie Pros

Deception Detectors Find a New Niche

KYLE STOCK

When screening a fund manager, investors like to see experience and a consistent record or returns. Elizabeth Prial, however, looks for dilated pupils and uneven breathing. Ms. Prial, a psychologist and former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, has spent most of her career looking for lies in the statements of mafia hitmen and terrorists. Now, she is on the hunt for the next Bernard Madoff, selling her deception-detection skills to institutional investors and others with large pools of money who want to know if prospective fund managers are telling the truth. “It’s usually very clear,” she said. “I’m 90% confident in most of the things that I can see.” Amid the rush to fortify the nation’s still-rickety regulations in the wake of the financial crisis, affluent investors are turning to behavioral specialists, looking to find things in faces and phrases that may not be revealed in financial statements.J.J. Newberry, a lauded California-based human lie detector, has trained almost a dozen investment professionals in workshops typically reserved for police officers and government agents.

Mark Frank, another deception detection consultant who teaches at the University of Buffalo, said in recent months he has repeatedly turned down requests to analyze subjects for Wall Street firms.

Detecting Deception

There is no universal movement or “Pinocchio’s nose” that denotes a lie. But here are several things that people known as “deception detection” professionals look for when examining a money manager’s truthfulness.

Pupils changing size:

Often corresponds to extreme emotion, including fear.

Irregular breathing:

Can flag nervousness and agitation.

Microexpressions:

Split-second facial expressions that portray various emotions (despair, fear or anger).

Crossing legs:

Liars typically try to distance themselves from an untruth; crossed legs can be a manifestation of that.

Motionlessness:

Often caused by the extreme focus associated with telling and maintaining a lie.

Quick verbal responses:

Often indicates a premeditated, scripted statement.

Eccentric screening techniques are nothing new to Wall Street. Seigmund Warburg, founder of the giant London-based investment bank S. G. Warburg & Co., was notorious for subjecting customers and employees to psychological tests. He was particularly diligent about evaluating hand-writing samples of would-be workers, in attempt to uncover character flaws.

Ms. Prial, 43 years old, has assessed almost 50 fund managers on behalf of prospective investors. Though she still consults for the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, her private sector employer is Insite Security, a New York-based firm that also sells standard due diligence and workplace disaster-preparedness plans. Insite’s clients—pension funds, affluent families and private-equity companies—pay about $10,000 a meeting for the service.

Ms. Prial, slim, dark-haired and unassuming, is introduced as an associate and sits quietly while the would-be fund manager is interviewed by Insite’s client. She watches and listens for the myriad subtle signs that researchers have linked to lying: facial twitches, changes in breathing tempo, and shifts in language patterns.

Professional human lie detectors said that people are uncomfortable with untruths and will show that in certain ways, such as microexpressions—brief flashes of fear or other emotions in a face—or concealing motions like crossing one’s legs or touching one’s face. Lies in speech are often flagged by a switch from the first person to the third person, as when a subject suddenly begins speaking on behalf of “the firm” or “the team.”

“The most accurate indicator is the pupil size changing,” Ms. Prial said. “If you can be close enough to see that, then you’re golden.”

But deceptive “tells” are not universal, which is where the psychology comes into play. Human lie detectors said the practice is most effective when the analyst can establish a pattern of behavior and then flag transgressions from that pattern.

“I can’t say ‘Oh, when they scratch their nose, they’re lying,'” Ms. Prial said. “It’s more like: ‘What does this person look like when they’re telling the truth, and when do those characteristics disappear?'”

Traditional polygraphers and investigators employ many of the same interviewing techniques as Ms. Prial. Skeptics, however, abound. A federal initiative that trained about 3,000 airport screeners in similar techniques has sparked debate. In a May report, the Government Accountability Office called into question the effectiveness and the scientific foundation of deception-detection techniques.

Jim Roth, founder of corporate intelligence firm The Langley Group, said the results can be inconsistent and less than telling.

“If you did nothing but deception detection, I don’t think it gets you very far,” he said. “In my world, I would characterize it as a small tool.”

Mr. Roth said straightforward analysis can be more useful. When investigating a company for potential weaknesses, his firm looks for less subjective things: an exodus in the ranks of middle management, a spike in the ratio of accounts receivable to revenue, and unusual share sales by top executives.

Even professional lie detectors say that their work is fallible. Humans lack “a Pinocchio’s nose,” and some people simply can’t be read with accuracy.

Insite wouldn’t reveal its clients, and Ms. Prial doesn’t keep any written record of her work. Christopher Falkenberg, a former Secret Service agent who founded Insite, said the value of the service is in identifying “hot spots,” areas where some more probing might reveal a lie or information that a subject is trying to conceal.

Mr. Falkenberg said the idea to hire Ms. Prial was triggered by the fraud cases against Mr. Madoff and Allen Stanford, who slipped by formal federal inquiries many times.

“It occurred to me that had the victims called us, we would have utilized very standard due diligence techniques,” he said. “But I can’t tell you that we would have been able to find the very nuanced covers that were evidence of these scams.”

Ms. Prial, a relatively passive mutual-fund investor, is still getting used to the ways of Wall Street, after years spent analyzing criminals and terrorists.

People on Wall Street are better liars, she said. Fund managers she screens are more self-aware than common criminals or terrorists and thus more skilled at covering up their deceptions, she added.

Ms. Prial also said many honest investment professionals have behaviors that point to narcissism, a trait that often goes hand-in-hand with deception. She has had to learn that an inflated sense of self isn’t a suspicious anomaly on Wall Street.

How to Spot a Liar: Pamela Meyer

By Pamela Meyer on April 12, 2012

Baseline your subject: Obtain a reference point for measuring changes later. Have a normal conversation with someone and note how they typically move their hands and feet, what their posture is, the style and duration of their laugh, and their fidget patterns. Later in your interview, note which questions create significant shifts from this baseline. Nonverbal clues can be revealing because liars don’t rehearse gestures, just words. They freeze their upper body, oftentimes look down, lower their voice, slow their breathing and blink rate, slump, and then exhibit relief when the interview is over. Interrogators will often end an interview prematurely just to look for that relief—that shift in posture and relaxation. Pay attention to science and not myths: We think liars won’t look you in the eyes, but it turns out an honest person will only look you in the eyes about 60 percent of the time.
An easy verbal cue to watch for is people resorting to formal, rather than relaxed, language. For example, the “noncontracted denial”: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,” rather than “I didn’t ….” They may tell their stories in perfect chronological order. Try to get them to tell their story backwards! They can’t do it. Honest people remember stories in the order of emotional prominence, but liars will recount a story in chronological order. Memory rarely works that way. Liars may also use past or present tense inappropriately. Scott Peterson famously self-corrected when interviewed by Diane Sawyer about the murder of his pregnant wife. He said: “She was amazing … I mean she is amazing.” He signaled to interrogators that he thought she was dead. — As told to Sommer Saadi

 

Pamela Meyer

8/26/2010 @ 12:40PM

How To Avoid Being Lied To

Liespotting is what I call the critical modern skill you need to take back the truth in a world cluttered with spam, fake digital friends, doctored résumés, massaged numbers, partisan media, ingenious identity thieves and world-class Ponzi schemers. You need it because sophisticated modern technology and the instant nature of contemporary communications have multiplied the opportunities for lying and deception to the point where it is now an epidemic.

When you acquire liespotting skills, which I describe in full in my bookLiespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, you become more confident and more secure. You can detect, handle, counter and even cancel the injurious effects of being on the receiving end of lies and deceit. As you sharpen your analytic skills, you become less tentative and more informed, less speculative and much more confident in your perceptions and judgments. So you become more trusting, not more wary; less suspicious, not more paranoid.

Here are four tips for keeping from being lied to and to catch it when it happens.

Tip 1: Learn who tends to lie, and understand their motivation.

Deceptive people tend to be what are called high self-monitors. They keep their emotions in check while they read others well, having a natural ability to view the world from another person’s vantage point.

Researchers who study deception have found furthermore that extroverts lie more than introverts and that those with power tend to be more comfortable lying. Also, we feel more comfortable lying to people we find deceptive themselves–so it pays to be honest and known for your integrity. People feel less guilty lying to someone they see as a wrong-doer.

The lies we tell tend to fall into two categories: offensive lies and defensive ones. The former would include lying to get something not otherwise easily available (for instance, bribing someone to cinch a deal), or lying to create a positive impression (overstating your involvement in a charity or boosting sales projections in a sales meeting when the whole team is watching). Defensive lying would include telling an untruth to avoid punishment or embarrassment or to protect someone else–which is one of the most common motives for deception, especially among women.


Tip 2: Know the basic verbal and nonverbal clues, and use them as red flags to ask questions.

Classic verbal clues include:

–An unrelaxed avoidance of contractions, for emphasis: “I did not” rather than “I didn’t.”

–Excessive specificity: “I did not steal that $200″ rather than “I’ve never stolen a dime in my life.”

–A retreat to distancing language: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

–Repeating a question in full to buy time to formulate a response: “What time did I lock the safe and leave the office on Monday night? Let me think …”

–The compounding of the repeat-the-question-in-full dodge with the follow-up-with-a-qualifying-statement ruse: “What time did I lock the safe and leave the office on Monday night? Let me think. As far as I can recall … to the best of my knowledge … as far as I know …” The Watergate hearings marked the apotheosis–or nadir–of the overuse of qualifying statements.

Nonverbal clues follow classic patterns, too:

–Liars often freeze their upper bodies.

–They rub or touch their eyes.

–They curl their feet inward, or point them toward the nearest exit.


–They fiddle with objects on a desk, or place objects on the desk, like purses or briefcases, forming barriers.

–They make excessive eye contact in fealty to the myth that truth-tellers always look you in the eye.

–They express post-interview relief with a sigh, a false smile or a pronounced change in posture when they think the tough questioning is over.

Tip 3: Watch out for contempt–and flee from it–when choosing business partners or team members.

Contempt is the ultimate red flag. The corner of a lip will pull in and up on one side of the face; on the same side a nostril may contract in a dismissive sneer. Contempt is the only asymmetrical facial expression, so it’s easy to spot once you’re aware of its signs. One researcher has successfully tracked it in couples as a predictor of divorce. When someone is angry at you, you’ve still got traction with them, but when they display contempt, you’ve been dismissed. It’s a poisonous emotion, especially when paired with deception. Once someone shows it, it rarely goes away.

Tip 4: Don’t place team members under unrealistic stretched goal pressure.

Research suggests that employees and colleagues given “stretch” goal targets or put under extreme performance pressure can become paralyzed at the prospect of failure, and they are then most likely to lie about their work or fudge numbers to protect their jobs–especially if their compensation is pegged to unreachable stretched goals. They will often feel they have no choice but to dissemble so they can meet their numbers. Avoid that whole situation.

Pamela Meyer, the author of Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, is an expert on deception detection and a certified fraud examiner, and she holds an M.B.A. from Harvard. She writes about deception in popular culture on her blog, Liespotting.com.

 

 

January 24, 2011

More to a Smile Than Lips and Teeth

By CARL ZIMMER

In the middle of a phone call four years ago, Paula Niedenthal began to wonder what it really means to smile. The call came from a Russian reporter, who was interviewing Dr. Niedenthal about her research on facial expressions.

“At the end he said, ‘So you are American?’ ” Dr. Niedenthal recalled.

Indeed, she is, although she was then living in France, where she had taken a post at Blaise Pascal University.

“So you know,” the Russian reporter informed her, “that American smiles are all false, and French smiles are all true.”

“Wow, it’s so interesting that you say that,” Dr. Niedenthal said diplomatically. Meanwhile, she was imagining what it would have been like to spend most of her life surrounded by fake smiles.

“I suddenly became interested in how people make these kinds of errors,” Dr. Niedenthal said. But finding the source of the error would require knowing what smiles really are — where they come from and how people process them. And despite the fact that smiling is one of the most common things that we humans do, Dr. Niedenthal found science’s explanation for it to be weak.

“I think it’s pretty messed up,” she said. “I think we don’t know very much, actually, and it’s something I want to take on.”

To that end, Dr. Niedenthal and her colleagues have surveyed a wide range of studies, from brain scans to cultural observations, to build a new scientific model of the smile. They believe they can account not only for the source of smiles, but how people perceive them. In a recent issue of the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences, they argue that smiles are not simply the expression of an internal feeling. Smiles in fact are only the most visible part of an intimate melding between two minds.

“It’s an impressive, sophisticated analysis,” said Adam Galinsky, a social psychologist at Northwestern University.

Psychologists have studied smiles carefully for decades, but mostly from the outside. When the zygomaticus major muscles in our cheeks contract, they draw up the corners of our mouths. But there’s much more to a smile than that.

“A smile is not this floating thing, like a Cheshire Cat,” said Dr. Niedenthal. “It’s attached to a body.” Sometimes the lips open to reveal teeth; sometimes they stay sealed. Sometimes the eyes crinkle. The chin rises with some smiles, and drops in others.

Cataloging these variations is an important first step, said Dr. Niedenthal, but it can’t deliver an answer to the enigma of smiles. “People like to make dictionaries of the facial muscles to make a particular gesture, but there’s no depth to that approach,” she said.

Some researchers have tried to move deeper, to understand the states of mind that produce smiles. We think of them as signifying happiness, and indeed, researchers do find that the more intensely people contract their zygomaticus major muscles, the happier they say they feel. But this is far from an iron law. The same muscles sometimes contract when people are feeling sadness or disgust, for example.

The link between feelings and faces is even more mysterious. Why should any feeling cause us to curl up our mouths, after all? This is a question that Darwin pondered for years. An important clue, he said, is found in the faces of apes, which draw up their mouths as well. These expressions, Darwin argued, were also smiles. In other words, Mona Lisa inherited her endlessly intriguing smile from the grinning common ancestor she shared with chimpanzees.

Primatologists have been able to sort smiles into a few categories, and Dr. Niedenthal thinks that human smiles should be classified in the same way. Chimpanzees sometimes smile from pleasure, as when baby chimps play with each other. But chimpanzees also smile when they’re trying to strengthen a social bond with another chimpanzee.

Dr. Niedenthal thinks that some human smiles fall into these categories as well. What’s more, they may be distinguished by certain expressions. An embarrassed smile is often accompanied by a lowered chin, for example, while a smile of greeting often comes with raised eyebrows.

Chimpanzees sometimes smile not for pleasure or for a social bond, but for power. A dominant chimpanzee will grin and show its teeth. Dr. Niedenthal argues that humans flash a power grin as well — often raising their chin so as to look down at others.

“ ‘You’re an idiot, I’m better than you’—that’s what we mean by a dominant smile,” said Dr. Niedenthal.

But making a particular facial expression is just the first step of a smile. Dr. Niedenthal argues that how another person interprets the smile is equally important. In her model, the brain can use three different means to distinguish a smile from some other expression.

One way people recognize smiles is comparing the geometry of a person’s face to a standard smile. A second way is thinking about the situation in which someone is making an expression, judging if it’s the sort where a smile would be expected.

But most importantly, Dr. Niedenthal argues, people recognize smiles by mimicking them. When a smiling person locks eyes with another person, the viewer unknowingly mimics a smile as well. In their new paper, Dr. Niedenthal and her colleagues point to a number of studies indicating that this imitation activates many of the same regions of the brain that are active in the smiler.

A happy smile, for example, is accompanied by activity in the brain’s reward circuits, and looking at a happy smile can excite those circuits as well. Mimicking a friendly smile produces a different pattern of brain activity. It activates a region of the brain called the orbitofrontal cortex, which distinguishes feelings for people with whom we have a close relationship from others. The orbitofrontal cortex becomes active when parents see their own babies smile, for example, but not other babies.

If Dr. Niedenthal’s model is correct, then studies of dominant smiles should reveal different patterns of brain activity. Certain regions associated with negative emotions should become active.

Embodying smiles not only lets people recognize smiles, Dr. Niedenthal argues. It also lets them recognize false smiles. When they unconsciously mimic a false smile, they don’t experience the same brain activity as an authentic one. The mismatch lets them know something’s wrong.

Other experts on facial expressions applaud Dr. Niedenthal’s new model, but a number of them also think that parts of it require fine-tuning. “Her model fits really well along the horizontal dimension, but I have my doubts about the vertical,” said Dr. Galinsky. He questions whether people observing a dominant smile would experience the feeling of power themselves. In fact, he points out, in such encounters, people tend to avoid eye contact, which Dr. Niedenthal says is central to her model.

Dr. Niedenthal herself is now testing the predictions of the model with her colleagues. In one study, she and her colleagues are testing the idea that mimicry lets people recognize authentic smiles. They showed pictures of smiling people to a group of students. Some of the smiles were genuine and others were fake. The students could readily tell the difference between them.

Then Dr. Niedenthal and her colleagues asked the students to place a pencil between their lips. This simple action engaged muscles that could otherwise produce a smile. Unable to mimic the faces they saw, the students had a much harder time telling which smiles were real and which were fake.

The scientists then ran a variation on the experiment on another group of students. They showed the same faces to the second group, but had them imagine the smiling faces belonged to salesclerks in a shoe store. In some cases the salesclerks had just sold the students a pair of shoes — in which they might well have a genuine smile of satisfaction. In other trials, they imagined that the salesclerks were trying to sell them a pair of shoes — in which case they might be trying to woo the customer with a fake smile.

In reality, the scientists use a combination of real and fake smiles for both groups of salesclerks. When the students were free to mimic the smiles, their judgments were not affected by what the salesclerk was doing.

But if the students put a pencil in their mouth, they could no longer rely on their mimicry. Instead, they tended to believe that the salesclerks who were trying to sell them shoes were faking their smiles — even when their smiles were genuine. Likewise, they tended to say that the salesclerks who had finished the sale were smiling for real, even when they weren’t. In other words, they were forced to rely on the circumstances of the smile, rather than the smile itself.

Dr. Niedenthal and her colleagues have also been testing the importance of eye contact for smiles. They had students look at a series of portraits, like the “Laughing Cavalier” by the 17th-century artist Frans Hals. In some portraits the subject looked away from the viewer, while in others, the gaze was eye to eye. In some trials, the students looked at the paintings with bars masking the eyes.

The participants rated how emotional the impact of the painting was. Dr. Niedenthal and her colleagues found, as they had predicted, that people felt a bigger emotional impact when the eyes were unmasked than when they were masked. The smile was identical in each painting, but it was not enough on its own. What’s more, the differences were greater when the portrait face was making direct eye contact with the viewer.

Dr. Niedenthal suspects that she and other psychologists are just starting to learn secrets about smiles that artists figured out centuries ago. It may even be possible someday to understand why Mona Lisa’s smile is so powerful. “I would say the reason it was so successful is because you achieve eye contact with her,” said Dr. Niedenthal, “and so the fact that the meaning of her smile is complicated is doubly communicated, because your own simulation of it is mysterious and difficult.”

 

Book Excerpt: Lie Spotting

By Pamela Meyer on October 22, 2010

http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/oct2010/ca20101022_509226.htm

Typically, the lies you will hear during a negotiation are lies of omission. In one study, 100 percent of negotiators actively lied about or failed to reveal a problem if no one directly asked them about it.

Liars are far more comfortable concealing information than falsifying it, because concealment doesn’t require them to concoct, remember, and then tell a story. It’s easier to feign confusion or pass the omission off as a mistake should the deception eventually be noticed. The liar can claim he was planning to mention the relevant fact but got sidetracked; maybe he didn’t know it was important; he might simply have forgotten to bring it up; and, in any case, it’s all a blur now. He can no longer even remember what was discussed on that particular occasion.

Regardless of whether or not a lie of omission is a “real” lie, the fact is that many such falsehoods eventually become lies of commission–outright falsification–once the opposing side does think to inquire about them. [Psychologist and pioneer in the study of human emotions] Paul Ekman calls lies of omission “concealing lies” and lies of commission “falsifying lies.” According to Ekman, a concealing lie often becomes a falsifying lie when the liar feels that the victim is challenging him. This speaks directly to the fact that a good negotiator should not put a liar in a position in which he feels he has no choice but to lie.

Since negotiations are frequently the starting point for business relationships, it’s just plain good business to steer clear of the cycle of distrust and deception that so often entraps participants at the negotiating table.

What makes a good negotiator? Lots of people will tell you that he’s shrewd, astute, and somehow naturally gifted at wheedling exactly what he wants from a transaction. The facts are otherwise. A good negotiator is willing to do the homework–to put in far more prenegotiation time planning, strategizing, and analyzing than his opponents will know. The real work of a negotiation takes place before anyone comes to the table. If you want to learn the surefire ways to close a durable, lie-proof deal, you’d better be ready to work hard.

USE WIN-WIN TACTICS

• Avoid False Promises. Think hard about the promises you make. Researchers have found that making false promises is one of the most damaging bargaining tactics negotiators employ. Imagine you’ve accepted a job to run a global operation, only to discover your new employers were planning to shutter most of its foreign business. Negotiators known for such false promises suffer significant reputational damage and can have difficulty recovering. Though misleading a partner during negotiations can bestow a short-term advantage on the liar, ultimately it causes so much long-term damage to one’s reputation that it’s not worth it.

• Declare Your Honest Ways. People feel justified in lying when they think they’re dealing with a liar. Therefore, you should take every opportunity to bolster your company’s honest reputation and your own personal reputation when negotiating. Those who might have considered lying, because they think it’s the only way to “win,” will be relieved to know they don’t have to be on guard around you. When GM introduced Saturn in 1990, the brand won an immediate following not just because it was a well-priced, well-designed small car, but because people loved the no-haggle sales experience GM had also introduced with the Saturn. Saturn managed to make fair dealing a brand hallmark. If more businesses were to do the same, negotiations of all kinds would become far less stressful.

• Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. As with most activities, investing time is what gets the best results. The success of savvy negotiators is a result of the tremendous amount of planning, strategizing, and data analysis–in other words, the hard work–they do before they ever start bargaining.

Your preparation should start with a checklist that includes:

• Information You Need That You Don’t Have. Draft questions that allow you to ask for the missing data in a way that’s appropriate to the bargaining process. Try to anticipate what will be covered throughout the negotiation and decide when you’ll bring up each question.

• Information You Will Be Expected to Share. Imagine what you would want to know if you were sitting on the other side of the table, and be prepared to provide it in the same detail you might request of others. Prepare for the unexpected as well. Make sure to have all your data printed out or backed up well ahead of time, so that a mistake doesn’t make you look as if you’re trying to hide something when in fact you’re just a victim of poor planning or a technological glitch. For example, let’s say you’re merging a Web site with a larger one in the market. At the last minute, your buyer requests the traffic data directly from the server logs that would back up your contention that you’re the second biggest site in your market. You readily agree…and then your servers crash, your buyer gets skittish, and the deal falls through. Nothing raises red flags faster than promising information and then being unable to procure it. Don’t let this happen.

• An Outline of How You Believe Your Bargaining Partner Perceives You. This should include specific beneficial outcomes you think he’ll gain from a closed deal.

• Your Real Bottom Line. What’s a guaranteed deal breaker? What’s the likely outcome should you decide to walk?

• The Issues That Must Be Discussed. Tedious, but a necessary discipline; list them ahead of time in detail.

• The Concessions You Are Willing to Make. Talk possible concessions through ahead of time with all members of the negotiating team so the group presents a unified front as the difficult work of parsing through concessions arises.

TAKE CONTROL OF THE SETTING

Demand a Face-to-Face Meeting. Yes, your travel expenses might go up if you want to protect yourself against deception. It’s worth it. Face-to-face meetings should be your priority whenever possible.

Set the Stage. If you have control over the meeting environment, make it warm and friendly. Some might suggest creating an environment that is purposely intimidating, but it’s not necessary. A relaxed meeting environment encourages your negotiation partner to let down his guard. He will be more inclined to reveal what you need to know.

Make sure that the setting provides a clear view of his face and body. A jittery foot could suggest a case of nerves, but if he twitches just as you start asking questions about company debt, you’ll realize you may need to probe the issue in more depth.

Once you’ve developed a rapport with your negotiating partner, consider bringing in a third party to witness the negotiation. In fact, you could encourage the other party to do the same, thus transmitting your intention to tell the truth. When you signal that you’re intending to be truthful, others will be far less motivated to deceive you.

Reprinted with permission, Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception by Pamela Meyer, St. Martin’s Press, 2010

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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