Charlotte Zhang of Group Health Foundation
LP Rising Star Winner and Associate Director of Investments at Group Health Foundation
We are pleased to introduce you to Charlotte Zhang, associate director of investments at Group Health Foundation.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
My parents immigrated to the U.S. in their late twenties with nothing but forty dollars in their pocket, two suitcases in hand, and a nebulous dream for what a better future could look like for their kids. My father’s $800 graduate student monthly stipend was stretched thin supporting him, me, and my mom and without welfare programs in place I likely would have suffered malnutrition as a child. But from these humble beginnings, I saw throughout the course of my lifetime how dramatic of an impact education made on improving the circumstance of my family and altering my personal trajectory. I’m personally passionate about bringing educational opportunities to underserved demographics because I truly believe that investment into human capital is the most effective way of improving society’s collective well-being.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
What wakes me up excited to go to work every morning is having the opportunity to learn something new every day, which feeds my eclectic interests and insatiable intellectual curiosity. In this role I have access to established and emerging GPs who are often times some of the most intelligent, articulate, ambitious, and fascinating individuals you have a chance to encounter and have the unique privilege of learning about companies, industries and geographies from them. This compounds my understanding and knowledge of a range of topics by leveraging their synthesized insights gathered over years of investment experience and lessons learned. I view each of my meetings with GPs as an opportunity to take a one-on-one course in their field of expertise guided by my particular vein of questions.
What do you love most about working at Group Health Foundation?
The opportunity to build an investment program tabula rasa and our unconstrained approach to investing, which unleashes the team’s creativity and curiosity. Unlike many other institutional LPs, we do not abide by asset allocation targets but rather have two broad portfolio guidelines in terms of running a 0.7 equity beta and 40% max in illiquidity. At GHF, we employ a thematic approach to proactively sourcing investment opportunities, focusing on areas where there are either tremendous inefficiencies to be exploited or compelling innovation and growth to participate in. The current investment themes include technology disruption, healthcare innovation, and opportunities resulting from the growing middle classes in China and India. I’m personally interested in the applications of AI in enhancing the efficiency of investment processes from sourcing to due diligence and post-investment value-add.
What’s the most amazing place you’ve visited that you urge everyone to see (once everyone starts traveling again!)?
One of the most remarkable experiences I’ve had abroad is hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I did it in the summer of 2018 after hearing rumors that it would close to the public at some point due to the large amount of foot traffic causing erosion to this archaeological site, which is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are various ways to get to this 15th century Incan citadel ranging in levels of difficulty depending on your comfort level with hiking and camping. Tucked amongst the mountain ridges, the views are breathtakingly beautiful, and you can’t help but wonder at how difficult it must have been to build such an elaborate structure with no modern machinery and only pure physical toil at your disposal. I’d highly recommend visiting to see it for yourself.