Christopher Wong Zhi Yi: An Expert In Crafting Efficient Investment Strategies To Meet Business Objectives

Christopher Wong Zhi Yi: An Expert In Crafting Efficient Investment Strategies To Meet Business Objectives

Christopher Wong Zhi Yi,  Chief Investment Officer

Christopher Wong Zhi Yi

Chief Investment Officer

Being home to some of the most successful businesses in recent times, Asia is seen as one of the most lucrative investment grounds by PE firms and investors alike. Thus, the role of a Chief Investment Officer (CIO) has of late garnered widespread prominence among both investment firms and other business organizations. As a result, we are seeing a large number of individuals gathering the limelight in recent times due to their vast industry experience and skillful investment strategies. One such leader who has been spearheading his company’s successful investment journey is Christopher Wong Zhi Yi, CIO, Crewstone International Private Equity Investments. CEO Insights Asia recently had a chance to interact with Christopher about his career so far and various aspects about his organization. Below are the excerpts of the exclusive interaction.

Tell us about your professional journey so far, and the various experiences you garnered along the process.

I was always drawn towards the investment & funding space and started my career at the age of 22 with the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) as a Fund Accountant, where I gathered rich experience of various factors & aspects involved in the investment domain by managing 12 different funds simultaneously. Later, I joined IBM as its Country Financial Controller for the Philippines, where my role was to ensure the accuracy of financial historical data by leveraging proprietary models to predict quarterly and annual revenue. Additionally, I oversaw the overall finances of the organization within the country and worked closely with project managers and on-ground teams to ensure the timely & successful completion of all software projects in the region.

What are some of the qualities you imbibe as a successful business leader?

I strive to drive my team towards success by recognizing their strengths & weaknesses and assisting them to further strengthen their skills in their area of expertise. Thus, my approach to leadership is based on ‘protection’ and ‘mentorship’, which helps me to create a conducive environment that enables success at all levels and is beneficial to all stakeholders. I strongly believe that a true leader is one who not only leads by inspiration but also fosters a culture of support and guidance for his/her entire team. Thus, a successful leader must encourage his/ her associates to think creatively and explore new ideas without being fearful of mistakes or failures.

Tell us about Crewstone International and its different service offerings.

Founded in 2011 by Izmir Mujab and Datuk Wira Jalilah Baba, Crewstone International is a Malaysian PE firm offering services across four areas – Fund Management, Capital Raising, Financial Advisory, and Bridge Financing. Our investment approach is based on the core principle of ‘preservation of wealth’, wherein we have two flagship funds – Crewstone Real Estate Fund and the Crewstone New Horizon Debt Fund. While the Crewstone Real Estate Fund focuses on commercial real estate assets across prime locations, Crewstone New Horizon Debt Fund focuses on mezzanine loans which are well-known in the industry for their rapid turnaround of capital.

Two factors that clearly describe Crewstone are young & nimble

Two factors that clearly describe Crewstone are ‘young’ and ‘nimble’. We have a very young management team comprising individuals from diverse backgrounds, each having profound knowledge of their respective fields of work. Their diverse industry experience has enabled the organization to look at every investment option not only from numbers and market perspective but also keeping in mind other verticals related to a particular investment. Currently, we are one of the only 19 licensed PE firms managing Malaysian taxpayers’ funds. Thus, we are on a mission  to provide innovative solutions and drive success for our clients, while simultaneously contributing to the growth and development of the region.

How do you strive to develop efficient investment strategies for your company?

My association with Crewstone started in 2021 when I came on board as an Associate. Currently, I hold the role of CIO at Crewstone, wherein I am responsible to formulate investment strategies. Three major factors that I keep in mind in this process are the target audience, investment objectives, and market sentiments, as they enable us to come up with investment policies that guarantee high RoI. One example of this is our Crewstone New Horizon Debt Fund which was created with the sole intention of serving investors seeking high returns for their investments, but without the extended lock-up periods usually associated with PE funds. We are able to successfully execute this via our bank and corporate guarantees.

What is the future roadmap set for yourself and Crewstone?

I envision taking Crewstone to even greater heights by exploring new investment opportunities that are in parallel with the ever-changing demands & requirements of our customers. For this, I will be closely coordinating with our core management team to develop innovative USPs for ourselves in the industry by creating investment funds that guarantee substantial returns. We will continue focusing on achieving excellence by going the extra mile to offer investment solutions that are best-in-class and exceed every client's expectations. Overall, I aspire to make Crewstone one of the most trusted and well-recognized investment firms across the Asian region.

Christopher Wong Zhi Yi, CIO, Crewstone International Private Equity Investments

Christopher holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting & Finance from Lancaster University, UK. He is very passionate about investments and started his investment journey at the ripe age of 10 years old using the money he saved from his allowances.


• Hobbies: Swimming, Driving and Reading

• Favorite Book: ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek

• Favorite Cuisine: Chicken rice

• Favorite Travel Destination: Tokyo

Current Issue