MEET THE TIN MEN
We see value in what may not glitter.
On promising bedrock, we mine,
Hand to shovel, relentless,
Until the ore is yielded.
And then we share.
There is tin enough for all hands.
The Tin Men
This manifesto encapsulates the essence of our strategy and approach, and our name is derived from the immigrants who came from all over China, India and Malaya to toil as miners in the Southeast Asian tin belt, which included Malaysia, and to a lesser extent, Singapore.
Singapore has almost no natural resources of its own to speak of, but tin was one of them, albeit in small quantities. In fact, there is a region in Singapore called Bukit Timah, meaning “Tin Hill” in Malay.
In the same way that our ancestors came to Southeast Asia searching for veins of tin ore – a black, seemingly unpromising substance whose value increases when refined to its eventual shiny form – we look for fundamentally good businesses that are often ignored by others and work alongside founders to unlock their true value.
We get stuck into the business in the way tin miners had to get down and dirty to extract the mineral. Hand in hand, we work side by side with entrepreneurs to grow revenue and value for all.
We share value creation with everyone.
To help deserving entrepreneurs realise the full potential of their ideas and businesses in Southeast Asia.
THE FOUNDING TEAM
Started and exited 3 technology businesses since 1995
Incubated a $1M portfolio up 5x over 2 years
23 years in technology across the software, media, advertising, internet and telecommunications sectors
MNC ‘intrapreneur’ (Microsoft and WPP) starting and growing new businesses across Asia
Strategy consultant serving enterprise clients
Invested in, and incubated seed-stage startups, generating revenue as their head of sales and channel partnerships, and managing their financial operations
Member of the former iJAM grant panel of the Singapore government that provided early financing for technology startups
Degree in Computer Science from the National University of Singapore
Fund’s board representative or independent director/advisor at over 25 technology firms
16-year career spanning venture and large-capital investing (Temasek and JAFCO), management consulting and research (INSEAD)
Involvement with growth ventures across a wide array of enterprise tech sub-sectors, countries (Singapore, India, Australia, the US), and stages (from pre-revenue to large, mature firms) has given Murli a ringside view of the issues founders need help with in order to realise success
Was awarded a government scholarship to read engineering at the National University of Singapore, and later obtained the CFA Charter and a Master of Science from a joint programme of the Nanyang Technological University and Carnegie Mellon University in Financial Engineering
INSEAD Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Tin Men's tweeter-in-chief
Been on the Internet since the early 90s and a self-taught – but sadly lapsed – Perl programmer. Some data science experience, including coding an artificial neural network model from scratch (no libraries!)
A senior investments executive who has spend many years developing a trusted network with industrials, commodities companies and private equity firms
Blissfully married father of two cheeky children and avid footballer
16 years of experience at blue chip investment bank (Morgan Stanley), private equity (TH Lee), and corporate business development and M&A (Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Trafigura Group), including closing on >15 transactions with total value of >US$7bn
Frontier markets transaction experience spanning eight countries across Asia Pacific and the Middle East
Made several angel investments in startups and is a hands-on investor who takes on board seats, drives fund-raising, and sets up strategic partnerships for his portfolio companies
First Class Honours in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge, and an MBA from Harvard Business School
BOARD OF ADVISORS
Chairman, Lakeshore Capital
Chairman of several Asia-focused private equity funds focusing on Southeast Asia, China, and Central & South Asia
Former Asia Managing Director of CDC Group plc
Board Member across Asia and Africa, including Japan Strategic Capital Co Ltd, Schroder AsiaPacific Fund plc and Vietnam Infrastructure Ltd
Former Joint Chief Executive at Tokai Bank Europe and Managing Director for the Asia Pacific region at Morgan Grenfell & Co. Ltd
MA from Christ Church, Oxford (1972)
Tan Chin Hwee
Chief Executive Officer, Asia-Pacific, Trafigura
Previously Founding Partner of Apollo Management (Singapore) and MD of Amaranth Advisors
Director of Singapore Press Holdings, Keppel REIT, KKH Health Endowment and Lien Aid
Trustee of Nanyang Technological University
Member of Finance Centre Advisory Panel of Monetary Authority of Singapore
Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum
Voted by the Hedge Fund Journal among the emerging top 40 absolute return investors globally
Vice President, Asia Pacific, Autodesk
More than 20 years of sales, marketing and leadership expertise, with extensive experience within the Asia Pacific region
Previously ran Southeast Asia for a News Corp Group company
Former CMO of Microsoft APAC in their consumer business
Former in-country Managing Director of Thailand and COO of Indonesia for Microsoft
Speaker at TEDx and the Bloomberg ASEAN Summit
MBA in Retail and Distribution from University of Stirling
Lee Ah Boon
Advisor, Fullerton Financial Holdings (a unit of Temasek Holdings)
Several consumer banking roles at Citibank Singapore since 1990, including CEO of Singapore, CFO, and Head of Credit Cards
Started up and helmed Citibank’s China consumer business, growing it to 25 branches in eight cities
Joined Barclays Bank in 2009 as International Technology Head
COO at Fullerton Financial Holdings until his retirement
Serves on the Board of NIB Bank Limited and Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad
Accountancy degree from University of Singapore
Professor of Entrepreneurship, INSEAD
Researches the people side of entrepreneurship, particularly in the context of emerging markets
Director of the INSEAD Leadership Programme for Senior Executives (India) and Certificate in Leadership Effectiveness
On the editorial review boards of leading academic journals
PhD from London Business School
Pre-academia, Bala helped set up and grow new speciality chemical businesses for Unilever India