When British-born Dominic Scriven went on a research trip to Vietnam with a group of colleagues from London's financial district at the start of the 1990s, he would never have imagined that that short business trip would change his life forever. He was already on track for a successful career as a fund manager in both the City of London and Hong Kong. On his trip to Vietnam, however, he discovered an exotic country full of potential with a fantastic culture. A few years earlier, in 1986, the state-controlled country had launched a number of radical political and economic reforms which clearly offered opportunities for the inquisitive investor. This was where his future lay; this was where he wanted to live.
Proud owner of the "labour medal"
Just a few years after moving to Vietnam, Dominic Scriven founded the investment company, Dragon Capital. He was 31 years old at the time and the company started out with just eight employees and assets under management of USD 16 million. 24 years on, assets under management have grown to USD 2.3 billion, making the company the biggest investor in Vietnamese stocks, other than the country's government. The fund management company currently manages six different funds focusing on Vietnam and South East Asia. Dominic Scriven and Dragon Capital therefore play an important role in both the economic, but also political development of the country. This was highlighted in 2014 when Scriven was awarded the distinguished "Labour Medal" by the then Vietnamese president, Truong Tan Sang. Since 2000, economic growth in Vietnam has been among the highest in the world.
A driving force in Vietnam's development
Scriven's commitment to Vietnam extends beyond the core business of Dragon Capital. In addition to being a major collector of Vietnamese propaganda art, he is involved in a number of public Vietnamese offices, helping to develop the country's policies, welfare and economy. The Vietnamese government recently launched a major privatisation programme and a number of reforms to open up the financial markets to foreign investors. This is work that Scriven has been heavily involved in, as well as advising the government on the development of a pension programme. He also plays a prominent role in the struggle to preserve Vietnam's wildlife and biodiversity.
An introduction to Vietnam and frontier markets
At SKAGEN's New Year's Conference, Dominic Scriven will take participants on a time journey through Ho Chi Min City from 1994 to the present day. He will share his experiences and view of developments in Vietnam and South East Asia from an investor's perspective. He will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of various industries in Vietnam and provide his outlook on the future of the region as a whole. Scriven has been investing in frontier market stocks for more than 24 years and has experienced the Asian economic revolution at first hand.
Dominic Scriven will be presenting at SKAGEN's New Year's Conference in Copenhagen on 11 January 2018.