Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Is There a Match for Tech Between China and Israel?


Catherine Leung is a principal and co-founder of MizMaa Ventures, a Hong Kong-based investment firm that focuses exclusively on Israeli technologies. Leung formerly was vice chairman of JPMorgan Asia investment banking for 20 years until 2015, where she spearheaded efforts in Greater China. During her tenure, JPMorgan was named the best foreign investment bank in Hong Kong at various times by The Asset magazine and also FinanceAsia. She has been involved in many high-profile IPOs, mergers, acquisitions and other transactions. In this Knowledge@Wharton interview, Leung shares her views on technology, innovation and the opportunities for collaboration with Israel’s tech industry.
An edited transcript of the conversation follows.

Knowledge@Wharton: Israel is well-known for its tech prowess and rich start-up culture. Hong Kong, meanwhile, is one of the world’s largest financial centers, and so it seems like the two would be a great match just on the face of it. In fact, the name of your company, MizMaa, is a combination of two Hebrew words that mean East and West. Why did you make the change from investment banking and why the focus on Israel today?

Catherine Leung: You only have so long of a working life, I would say. People can say, I want to stop [working] at 50, people can say I want to stop at 60, some people don’t stop at 70, it depends on what your perspectives are, but there is going to be a limit to the work life. And I think that having done 20 years of investment banking gives me plenty of perspective, plenty of experience and plenty of scars and celebrations and victories. Where the world is now, the most interesting thing I think is actually tech.