(Nov 6): When Lin See-Yan retired in 1994 after an illustrious career as a central banker, a friend challenged him to try his hand at running a commercial bank. The vagaries of such an enterprise, however, were nothing new for the former deputy governor of Bank Negara Malaysia.
Instead, Lin’s passion for technology and the opportunity to hone his business acumen led him to the thrilling domain of venture capital. “I spent four years at Pacific Bank after retiring. But the bank had to be sold because the owner was OCBC Bank and the regulations barred foreign entities from holding more than one bank. So, after Pacific Bank was sold to Malayan Banking, I decided to give venture capital a try,” he says.
“I did it on the side while doing my financial consultancy work. I had always wanted to dabble in venture capital, from when I was an Eisenhower fellow in 1986. Eisenhower fellows are very unique animals — they are given a scholarship to study in the US and the course allows them to do whatever they want in the country.