James Hay, founder of the Pangolin Asia Fund, recently spoke with the AWANI Review’s Ibrahim Sani. The interview is worth a watch, although it requires a couple of steps to access. You first need to create an account with AWANI Review and then search for the article (dated Jan 31st, 2018).
Among other things, Hay discusses how he started Pangolin. From 1993 to 1998, he was a stockbroker in Malaysia. When he lost his job during the Asian Financial Crisis, he took whatever savings he had and invested the money in a few well-managed, undervalued Malaysian companies (including Nestle Malaysia and Public Finance). He then went backpacking for a year. When he came back, the portfolio had doubled. Over the next 5 years, his Malaysian portfolio went up approximately 11x. This initial capital gave him the financial backing to start his own business.
When he started Pangolin in December 2004, they only had about US$1.6m in assets under management. He eventually started marketing and the money started to come in, but it took a very long time to get to where they are now. They are now >US$120m in assets under management and have produced annualised returns of 12.84% since inception.