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耶鲁毕业生张磊:研究能力造就亿万富翁投资人

更新时间:2015-4-5 9:05:50 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Chinese Billionaire Zhang Lei Spins Research Into Investment Gold
耶鲁毕业生张磊:研究能力造就亿万富翁投资人

HONG KONG — With an $18 billion war chest, he is one of China’s richest investors. Yet on a recent trip to San Francisco, Zhang Lei and his entourage crammed into a three-bedroom house in the Mission District, rented through Airbnb.

香港——他是中国最富有的投资人之一,拥有180亿美元资金可供支配。然而,在最近前往旧金山的行程中,张磊和随行挤在教会区(Mission District)的一套三居室里,房子是在Airbnb上租的。

He also ordered water from Instacart, the on-demand grocery delivery service. A few days later in New York, he bought food through Google Express.

他还从食品杂货送货服务商Instacart订购水。几天后,他在纽约时,通过Google Express购买了食品。

Of course, it is not as if he could not afford luxury hotels and restaurants. Instead, it was research. Mr. Zhang just wanted to get to know some of the businesses he might one day invest in.

当然,这不是因为他负担不起豪华酒店和餐馆,而是在做研究。张磊只是想对自己有朝一日可能投资的业务有所了解。

Starting 10 years ago with $20 million from Yale University’s endowment, Mr. Zhang was an early backer of companies like Tencent and JD.com, businesses that have shaken up traditional industries across China. Now he thinks these companies could stir things up globally.

10年前,从来自耶鲁大学捐赠基金的2000万美元起家,张磊成为了腾讯和京东等公司的早期投资人。这些公司已经让中国的一些传统产业产生了翻天覆地的变化,现在,张磊认为它们可以在全球范围内带来巨大影响。

“China could be one of the engines to this whole global innovation revolution,” Mr. Zhang said in an interview at the Hong Kong office of his firm, Hillhouse Capital Group, in one of the city’s tallest skyscrapers, with sweeping views of Victoria Harbor.

“中国可以成为整个全球创新革命的引擎之一。”张磊在其公司高瓴资本集团的香港办公室接受采访时说。这间办公室位于该市最高的摩天大楼之一里面,将维多利亚港的景色尽收眼底。

Across the ocean in Silicon Valley, Mr. Zhang represents China’s new entrepreneurial class. He has consulted with the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, and visited with start-ups like Airbnb.

在硅谷的海洋中,张磊代表着中国新兴创业家阶层。他曾向马克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)和杰夫·贝佐斯(Jeff Bezos)这样的人请教问题,也参观过Airbnb等初创公司。

To outsiders, Hillhouse is a mysterious firm led by a secretive man who happened to strike gold early on. To his investors — which include the endowments for prestigious universities like M.I.T. and Yale, sovereign wealth funds, and wealthy entrepreneurs — he seems incapable of making a bad bet. But as China’s economy hits a series of economic road bumps, his next set of investments could define his legacy.

在外人看来,高瓴是一个神秘的公司,由一个碰巧在早期挖到了金矿的神秘男人执掌。而在张磊的投资人看来——其中包括像麻省理工(MIT)和耶鲁大学(Yale)这类名牌大学的捐赠基金,以及主权财富基金,还有富有的企业家——他似乎从来不会压下糟糕的赌注。但随着中国经济遇到一系列问题,他的下一波投资可能会为他职业生涯盖棺定论。

The firm says little about its investors or its investing record, emphasizing only that it holds on to investments for long stretches. One investor said that Hillhouse had returned a yearly average of 39 percent since it was founded in 2005.

该公司对投资人或投资记录少有提及,只是强调公司坚持长期投资。一位投资人表示,高瓴自从2005年成立以来,平均年回报率为39%。

With bulging coffers, Mr. Zhang and Hillhouse are looking to the United States in search of more opportunities.

带着鼓鼓的钱包,张磊和高瓴正在美国寻找更多机会。

In his most recent deal, Hillhouse teamed up with the Mayo Clinic to bring one of America’s best-known health care institutions to China.

在最近的交易中,高瓴联手梅奥诊所(Mayo Clinic),将美国最知名的一所医疗卫生机构带到了中国。

His break came when Yale’s endowment took him on as an intern. It was an unconventional arrangement. The office did not typically take M.B.A. students as interns, but Mr. Zhang had impressed David F. Swensen, the chief investment officer.

他的突破点发生在耶鲁大学捐赠基金招收他当实习生的时候。这不是一个常规性的安排,他们通常不接收MBA学生当实习生,但张磊给首席投资官大卫·F·斯文森(David F. Swensen)留下深刻印象。

“Almost immediately, Lei was exceptional in that he had really great insights,” said Dean Takahashi, senior director at the Yale endowment, adding that Mr. Zhang was able to identify what was going to be a great business. He was also an inveterate networker, introducing successful Chinese entrepreneurs through the Hillhouse Club, which he founded on Yale’s campus and named after Hillhouse Avenue, where some of his classes were held.

“几乎立刻就能看出,张磊非常出色,有着极为不凡的洞见,”耶鲁大学捐赠基金的高级主管迪恩·高桥(Dean Takahashi)说。他称张磊能够看出哪些公司可以变得很出色。而且张磊也很善于建立人际网,他在耶鲁大学的校园里创办了高瓴俱乐部,并通过它引入了成功的中国创业家。这个俱乐部的名字来自于高瓴大道(Hillhouse Avenue),他的一些课程就是在那里上的。

“It was like, why in the world does this kid from China have these insights?” Mr. Takahashi said.

“我们很好奇,为什么这个来自中国的小伙子会有这些洞见?”高桥说。

At the endowment, Mr. Zhang was sent to research industries like timber and would return weeks later with inch-thick reports. This tradition has carried on at his firm. Analysts spent years researching before Hillhouse struck the deal with the Mayo Clinic.

在捐赠基金实习时,张磊被派去木材业这样的行业做研究,几周后回来,他会交出1英寸厚的报告。这个传统也在他的公司延续了下来。在高瓴与梅奥诊所达成交易之前,分析师们花了几年的时间进行研究。

After his first year at Yale, Mr. Zhang took time off to research China’s expanding private sector, knocking on the doors of entrepreneurs like Jack Ma of Alibaba, Robin Li of Baidu and Pony Ma of Tencent, and cultivating friendships. He returned to the United States after the Internet bubble burst, in 2001.

在耶鲁度过第一年之后,张磊花了一些时间来研究中国不断扩张的私营部门,并敲开了创业家的门,比如阿里巴巴的马云,百度的李彦宏和腾讯马化腾,张磊与他们建立了友谊。互联网泡沫破灭后,2001年,他回到了美国。

Four years later, with an M.B.A. in hand, he persuaded Yale to give him $20 million to invest in new companies in China. His initial pitch was met with hesitation. He was green, former Yale endowment colleagues recall, so green that he did not know whom to hire. Mr. Zhang called up old friends. One friend declined the offer but suggested his wife.

四年后,拿到MBA学位的他说服耶鲁大学给他2000万美元,投资中国的新公司。当初他向大家推广这个主意时,人们犹豫不决。当时,他很青涩,前耶鲁大学捐赠基金的同事回忆,以至于都不知道要雇用谁。张磊给老朋友们打了电话。一个朋友拒绝了他提供的工作,但推荐了自己的妻子。

“I said, ‘Are you serious? You’re just going to dump me and send your wife?’ ” Mr. Zhang recalled. The wife, Tracy Ma, is now the chief operating officer of Hillhouse and No. 2 at the firm.

“我说,‘你是当真的吗?你不理我,把老婆扔过来?’”张磊回忆说。这位朋友的妻子马翠芳(Tracy Ma)现在是高瓴的首席营运官和第二号人物。

One of Mr. Zhang’s first bets was on Tencent; he bought the stock in 2005. Back then the company was best known for its QQ messaging service and was worth less than $2 billion. Today, Tencent is an Internet giant worth more than $160 billion.

张磊最早压下的赌注之一是腾讯;他在2005年买了该公司的股票,腾讯当时最知名的产品是QQ通讯工具,公司价值不足20亿美元。如今,腾讯已经成为互联网巨头,价值超过1600亿美元。

“Looking back now I think, wow, Tencent was so cheap,” Mr. Zhang said. Hillhouse still owns the stock.

“现在回想起来,我觉得,哇,腾讯当时那么便宜,”张磊说。高瓴目前仍然持有腾讯股票。

Other investments yielded knockout returns. In 2010, Hillhouse invested $255 million in JD.com. Four years later, that stake was worth $3.9 billion at JD.com’s initial public offering. When Tencent paid $215 million for a 15 percent stake in JD.com in 2014, Mr. Zhang was involved behind the scenes, according to two people involved in the deal who were not authorized to speak publicly.

其他投资也获得了丰厚的回报。2010年,高瓴向京东投资2.55亿美元。四年后,京东首次公开募股,这些股权的价值已升为39亿美元。2014年,腾讯公司斥资2.15亿美元购买京东其15%的股份时,张磊曾在幕后参与这笔交易,据两名无权公开发言的知情人士透露。

Hillhouse’s buy-and-hold strategy makes it more of a private equity firm than a hedge fund. Its investors are willing to lock up their money for extended periods.

高瓴的买入并持有股份的策略,让它更像是一家私人股权投资公司,而不是对冲基金。其投资人愿意进行长线投资。

This gives Mr. Zhang leeway to invest in private companies like Blue Moon, a Chinese consumer goods producer. In 2006, when Mr. Zhang first met the husband-and-wife team who founded Blue Moon, they were selling liquid hand soap. He stayed in touch. Several years later, they called him up to say they had created a new kind of liquid detergent.

这给张磊提供了空间,让他可以更方便地投资给私人公司,比如中国消费品生产商蓝月亮。2006年,当张磊第一次见到创办蓝月亮的夫妻二人时,他们正在销售洗手液。他与两人保持了联系。几年后,他们打电话告诉他,自己开发了一种新的液体洗涤剂。

A light bulb went on. At that time, in 2010, most multinational companies were selling powdered detergent in China because they thought consumers would not pay more for liquid detergent. But Mr. Zhang believed they would, and he persuaded Blue Moon to expand heavily in liquid detergent, bankrolling its expansion in exchange for a stake in the company.

一个念头随即在张磊的脑海中闪现。当时是2010年,大多数跨国公司都在中国销售粉状洗涤剂,他们认为消费者不会花更多的钱购买液体洗涤剂。但张磊不这么认为,他说服蓝月亮大力拓展洗衣液市场,并为其扩张提供资金,来换取该公司的股份。

Now, Mr. Zhang wagers it can be a multibillion-dollar brand that will compete with the likes of Tide. Hillhouse has made similar bets on companies like Gree, now a leading maker of air-conditioners globally, and Midea, an electric-appliance manufacturer.

现在,张磊已压下赌注,认为蓝月亮可以成为一个价值上百亿美元的品牌,与汰渍这样的品牌一争高低。高瓴也在格力、美的等公司进行过类似的投资,前者目前是全球领先的空调制造商,后者是家电厂商。

“I’m seeing an uprising of Chinese entrepreneurs who are able to upgrade themselves versus the relatively slow-moving multinational companies,” Mr. Zhang said, adding that American companies can learn a thing or two from their Chinese counterparts, who have learned to leapfrog traditional industries.

“我看到中国企业家的崛起,他们可以提升自己,与动作相对缓慢的跨国公司抗衡,”张磊说,中国公司已经学会了超越传统产业,美国公司可以从他们那里学到一些东西。

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