Co-Founder & Managing Partner
As the Co-founder and Managing Partner of TNB Aura, Charles leverages his fund management, VC and PE investment experience, and analytical capabilities and heads up the group’s venture capital initiatives in South East Asia.
Prior to TNB Aura, Charles founded Capital Associates, a boutique advisory to mid-market VC funds in the SE Asian region, as well as worked as a management consultant with Booz & Company with a key focus on corporate strategy and M&A. Charles also served as Entrepreneur in Residence at Groupon in Shanghai. Currently, Charles continues to serve as an Non-Executive Director of Aura Group, and has been responsible for all facets of the Group's activities in Asia. Charles has been instrumental in establishing Aura Group in Asia and driving its fund management and wealth management initiatives.
Charles graduated from Harvard Business School as a George F. Baker Scholar (top 5% of class) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales (first-class honours, and recipient of the University Medal).
Share an uncommon opinion/belief that you have.
“Steady improvements and rapid iterations are often more valuable than a perfectly laid plan”. In our world of venture, being bold of purpose, welcoming of change, and willing to walk the unbeaten path leads to the uncommon reward. On this journey, success is closely tied to the speed at which one learns from feedback.
This too holds true for us at TNB Aura. Since 2015, we started with a simple belief to bring our unique brand of “thesis-led, high-conviction and value-added venture investing” to SE Asia, and each day we iterate and move closer to that goal is a rewarding one.
Name your top 3 hustle essentials.
Morning workout – This is my time to “boot up” before the rest of the world wakes. As an early-riser, I’m usually up pre-dawn 3-5 days a week at the gym, outdoor suspension training, or something else that allows my mind to ease into gear.
Good night’s sleep – I find people too often trade off effort vs. sleep. The realization, admittedly only after I hit my 30s, was that the most urgent and important demands in life are typically non-linear / non-rote, therefore the ability to retain mental dexterity and malleability is critical. And a good night’s sleep is absolutely essential in providing this.
Purpose and alignment – I enjoy investing time in pursuing high levels of purpose and alignment as many aspects of my life as possible, whether this be how TNB Aura and our teams are designed, to how I (try) to encourage the right behaviours with my kids. When this works, the whole really does become significantly greater than the parts.
Outside of the office, what do you have heart for?
Ongoing growth – I try to pick up something new every few months (e.g., a new language, skill, etc.). It’s unlikely I’ll ever become a master at the said activity, but over time, the pursuit of greater knowledge and skills is enough in and of itself!