Luke studied his MSc in International Economics, Banking and Finance here in 2004, which has set the foundations for his successful career and his position as Managing Partner of T&D Capital.
Name: Luke Xie
Degree course: MSc in International Economics, Banking & Finance
Year of graduation: 2004
Current employer: T&D Capital
Job title: Managing Partner
Why did you choose to study at Cardiff University?
In the year of 2001, I was working as a dealer in a Chinese local Securities Company. At that time, I felt my career was stuck in a limited area which I could predict in coming years. Meanwhile, I realised that China was emerging with the absence of new financial professional talents as a new member of the World Trade Organisation. After some comparable research, I found Cardiff University was the best choice for me, with its brilliant history and remarkable reputation. As the capital city of Wales, it has friendly folk and a historical and cultural environment which could make studying and living better for a foreign student like me.
Tell us about your course. How was it different from studying back home?
When I carried out research into good universities, I was impressed by Cardiff University’s Master’s course in IEBF (International Economics, Banking and Finance), which could be seen as one of best financial programmes in the world. The IEBF course was designed for the students who have a basic economical foundation and are willing to pursuing personal success in the field of banking and finance.
At that time, Chinese financial research was relatively weak, especially the new business mode, like derivative products. Equity investment and asset management were just a fresh concept for most Chinese financial staff. For me, studying the IEBF course just opened a Pandora’s Box to find a new world. I would also take the opportunity to thank Professor Kent Matthews, who was always inspiring me to think differently by providing theoretical and practical cases. Without the brainstorming we did in the IEBF course, I would never have found the inspiration for my new career and secured my current position.
What did you enjoy most about studying here?
One of the most enjoyable and beneficial experiences from my time at Cardiff wasn't necessarily the course itself, but learning how to think properly for myself. Based on previous experience, for most Chinese students like me, I was always thinking that education means listening and accepting one voice. But studying in Cardiff University is a different case. My classmates and I could exchange different opinions widely and openly in every subject and finally make an agreement even if it was ridiculous. From that moment, I realised that decision making cannot rely on one way thinking. The combination of Eastern and Western ways gives me a more logical understanding.
What was the best thing about living in Cardiff?
I really enjoyed the moderate life style (shopping centres, bars and pubs, public market), convenient civil system (public library, theatres, cinemas, sports centres) and historical environment (City Hall, Roath Park Lake, Bute Park, restaurants in Cardiff Bay), and my favourite thing was the Summer Fair. This city has the feel of one which is big and modern but also feels cosy and peaceful at the same time.
Provide a brief summary of your career since graduating.
My first job after graduating was an investment banking role, supporting Narada Group doing listings in the Hong Kong stock market during the year of 2005-2006. I was also involved in the Trust, with the purpose of benefitting the China stock market during 2007-2008. Then with the Chinese private equity booming, the target became transforming into Group Asset management (more private Equity) from 2009 to 2017. Nowadays, as the Managing Partner, I am in charge of investment strategy of the new investment company, T&D Capital.
What is your current role? What’s a regular day like?
My current role is Managing Partner of T&D Capital.
T&D Capital is a financial company which includes financial consulting, advice and fund raising. As a Managing Partner, besides the strategy making, my daily work also includes meeting potential investors and industrial partners, and necessary project due diligence.
How has your Cardiff University education contributed to your success?
China’s financial industry, especially Private equity, has increased dramatically since the year 2000. Thanks to my Cardiff University education, I adjusted to my role changing from local stock dealer to global investor smoothly. My Cardiff University education provided me with a global view and theoretical knowledge to find value in every project. My professional attitude makes me never give up on high standards and raise the bottom line. My university education has driven me forward to continue learning new knowledge, not only from book but also from wider society. Every stage in my career has been part of my education.
What is your fondest memory of your time in Cardiff?
When I lived in Cardiff, my friends and I chose to rent house next to Bute Park. Therefore, I had more opportunities to get close to the nature. The best way to relieve the pressure of coursework was to go for a run in Bute Park, and so I guess it also became my fondest memory.