APAC CEO of the Year Awards 2023

Most Influential Investment Group CEO 2023 - China We recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Yizhou HE (Joe), CEO of Australian Capital Equity (ACE) China, who has devoted his entire career to finance and investing. Joe is a seasoned professional with vast experience in industrial investments and cross-border mergers and acquisitions worldwide. His overarching career objective is to contribute to the growth of the industry and capital market. During our interview, we gained valuable insights into Joe's work and his journey towards becoming an award-winning CEO. Australian Capital Equity is a prominent investment holding group in Australia with a diversified portfolio of six ASX-listed companies and numerous other assets worldwide. The group has strategically acquired most of these assets through mergers and acquisitions, and has implemented effective post-investment management strategies such as managerial support and industrial synergy to maximise their value. Over the past 26 years, the group has made significant investments in China, including large-scale industrial investments, private equity, and fund investments. ACE greatly emphasises the ability to invest and operate effectively within and outside China. Joe shares, "I have spearheaded ACE's strategic overhaul in China, transitioning from asset-heavy industrial investments to private equity and fund investments with a market focus, and established a new investment team with local roots.” Influential organisations and institutions have widely recognised Joe’s accomplishments, foresight, and potential. He was honoured with the "Investment Achievement Award to Israel" for his success in cross-border M&A and investments. The Hainan Provincial Government recognised his contributions to developing the Hainan FreeTrade Port by naming him a "Highlevel Talent of the Hainan". Joe has spoken at the Boao Forum for Asia numerous times and was selected as a "Boao Youth Leader." He has also served as a board member of the Shenzhen Chamber of Commerce, the most significant business association in southern China, and is currently the Vice Chairman of the Zhejiang Youth Entrepreneurs Association, the most prominent youth entrepreneur association in eastern China. Joe says, "Attending globally renowned conferences, being part of various NGOs, and directing the Hainan University Foundation have given me a comprehensive understanding of issues from multiple perspectives. This experience has been invaluable in my current position." Joe is a self-proclaimed perfectionist dedicated to spending extra time on company operations and postinvestment management. His unique selling point (USP) lies in his rigorous strategies combined with refined operations, which often lead to better results and greater success. Joe's impressive career trajectory includes a stint at Fosun Group, a prominent investment group in China, where he started as an analyst before being quickly promoted to chief representative in Israel within a year. During his time there, Joe made numerous trips to Israel for investigative and research purposes, establishing work relationships with local government officials, consortia, and international institutions. This experience has given him a unique perspective and valuable insights that he brings to his current role as head of ACE China. For instance, Joe's communication and relationship coordination skills enabled him to handle emergency and crisis public relations effectively. As a CEO of a multinational company in China, he faced common challenges such as eliminating misunderstandings, conveying information accurately, acting as a communication bridge, and skilfully managing the development of situations in the most favourable direction, given cultural differences and varying national conditions. Joe has displayed exceptional grit and resilience in handling these challenges, enabling him to manage diverse situations easily. As the CEO of ACE China, Joe's fundamental business strategy is to “always prioritise longterm goals, take the difficult but correct decisions, and choose the right people to carry them out.” Developing an accurate timing strategy in the investment industry can be challenging due to its cyclical nature. There are several approaches to consider, but Joe prefers selecting sectors and projects with long-term social value and promising prospects at the outset of decision-making. He invests time and resources in nurturing these ventures and patiently waits for the industry to take off, allowing the project to grow organically. Joe is excited to share how his adherence to this long-term strategy has paid off over the past few cycles. He credits the success to having the right people in charge of tracking and driving the company's growth, resulting in increased winning rates and multiples over time. Outside his work, Joe is also an advocate of noble altruism and continuous self-improvement. He firmly believes that one can significantly contribute to society by improving oneself. Advocating for concepts such as "educational equity" and "volunteering anytime, anywhere," Joe has been committed to community development and social services for a long time. He led donations to impoverished students, served as a mentor to help students solve learning and work-related problems, and supported young scholars in conducting original research by establishing a research fund. Joe also participated in various public welfare causes for over a decade, such as water purification projects, school clinics for children, finding homes for orphans, streetlights in rural areas, etc. In the international arena, such as Boao Forum for Asia and Fortune "Always prioritise long-term goals, take the difficult but correct decisions, and choose the right people to carry them out."