This week, we speak with Mark Mobius, known as “the Godfather of Emerging Markets.” Mobius has spent more than 40 years working in and traveling throughout developing economies. Prior to launching the eponymous Mobius Capital Partners in 2018, he served as executive chairman of Franklin Templeton Investments’ emerging markets group, which he helped to grow from $100 million across six markets to more than $40 billion in 70 countries. Mobius has a Ph.D. in economics from MIT and has authored 12 books.
We discuss how he ended up in finance, after working in a variety of fields and traveling through Asia. He was captivated by Japan in the 1980s. His experiences led him to recognize the potential of investing outside of the U.S. Today, when he is not traveling, he splits his time between Dubai and Singapore.
There was no playbook for EM investing, and so Mobius learned by doing. He also explains some of the more colorful mistakes he made over the years, and how he used these to improve his process. One of the things he learned was to always speak with potential investments’ employees at levels far below the C-Suite. You get a sense of hiring and corporate culture from these employees; you might also find out about some of the hidden problems the execs were not sharing.
We also chat about how Singapore has become the food capital of Asia, and what it is like to eat dangerous food, like Fugu in Japan and Scorpions in Vietnam.
A list of his favorite books is here; A transcript of our conversation is available here Monday.
You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Dr. Charles Strom, who has been advancing genetic testing for more than 3 decades, pioneering DNA testing for criminal forensics and paternity applications. He spent 16 years at Quest Diagnostics, as Medical Director for Genetic Testing, and dramatically expanded the range of diagnostic tests the company performs. Currently, he is CEO and Cofounder of Liquid Diagnostics.
Mark Mobius Current Reading
Double Entry by Jane Gleeson-White
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
The Little Book of Emerging Markets by Mark Mobius