• Thu
  • Nov 27, 2014
  • Updated: 4:09pm
NewsHong Kong
HEALTH

Financial industry mourns sudden deaths of Keith Li and Mark Liinamaa

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 March, 2013, 11:01am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 March, 2013, 10:17am

Hong Kong's financial community was in shock yesterday after the deaths of two industry professionals within days of each other, partly blamed on work stress.

Li Kai, chief executive of Bosera Asset Management (International), the Hong Kong-based offshore arm of Bosera, died of a brain haemorrhage during a bus journey to Shenzhen, his friends and colleagues said. Li, 41, was also known to his foreign colleagues and clients as Keith Li.

His colleagues at Bosera, one of the mainland's largest asset management houses with more than US$30 billion of assets under their wing, were informed of his death yesterday.

Separately, Mark Liinamaa, a middle-aged senior research analyst with Citigroup's Asia natural resources team in Hong Kong, died of a heart attack during a business trip to Laos earlier this week. Many of his colleagues were informed yesterday.

A Citigroup spokesman declined to comment, saying the case was a "personal matter".

Li and Liinamaa are the latest members of the financial industry - where work pressure has soared since the global financial crisis began in 2008 - to die suddenly, at relatively young ages.

"Working in the financial industry has become a contest of body strength, in many cases," Ba Shusong, an influential economist with the mainland's cabinet think tank, said on his personal microblog in response to the news of Li's death.

Working in the financial industry has become a contest of body strength, in many cases

Wu Sheng, a well-known mainland private equity fund manager, died in 2011 at the age of 40. In 2009, Sun Yanqun, a senior executive in charge of investment portfolios at JPMorgan's fund management joint venture in Shanghai, died at the age of 41, mainland media reported.

A person who worked with Li described him as "a nice person who kept a very low profile". He said Li divided his time between Shenzhen, where Bosera is headquartered, and the Hong Kong office, which opened in 2010.

As many mainland firms expand to Hong Kong, frequent road or air travel between the city and mainland offices is typical for employees.

Hong Kong-based analysts and fund managers often must travel to the mainland for research or to make sales.

Li joined Bosera in 2003 when the mainland's mutual fund industry was in its infancy. He previously worked for the international asset management firms Invesco and Merrill Lynch.

In the past few years, Bosera has boasted several big global institutions among its clients, which it helps invest in the mainland's capital markets through the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors scheme.

Bosera is also one of the fund managers that oversees a large portion of the assets in the mainland's national pension fund.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

whymak
Boot Camp for Journalists.
What is the purpose of a title to a report or story?
Should anecdotes in a report – often the core of the piece – serve the confirmation bias of the writer's own hidden ideological dogma and agenda?
Could one uphold a set of necessary and/or sufficient conditions and use it to carry a statistical link across the threshold into the territory of cause-and-effect?
Why are you reporting surveys without mentioning sample size -- the manner in which it is chosen, the standard errors of a statistic and potential unknown side effects from hidden variables? This is akin to economists’ ceteris paribus.
These are venial sins in journalism. Interpreting silly results in surveys as people’s will makes it a serious venial sin.
Take one data point, worse, using a single anecdote to confirm an outlier, and generalize it into the outcome of a regression analysis. This is a near mortal sin.
Of course, the ultimate mortal sin is using undefined gibberish as truth backbone to every opinion piece and report. Democracy, Capitalism, Rule of Law, Speech Freedom everywhere, but not a drop to drink.
Rotten Fruit is trash without redeeming social grace. SCMP is no worse than The Economist, WSJ and NYT.
RobinDeCaro
THIS REPORT IS GOSSIPING TABLOID
You say this man who died a sudden death on bus suffering a brain disease and links his misfortune to high working pressure of his top position in the fund and the 2008 turmoil.
You have not report the health background of him but arbitrarily say his disease is linked with his career as a financial person.This sort of gossip should exist in social gatherings but mass media.
Your move shaken the credibility of the press;unless the majority feel the same as you-it is strictly business.
shayliu
The quality of SCMP is deteriorating so badly that I am about to cancel my yearly subscription.
It is like saying a garbage man died of long cancer because the smell is so bad. Does it make sense??
glouey
SCMP has lowered itself to be an English Apple Daily...
impala
What a ridiculous angle to take on these tragic deaths. You fail to present anything that suggests that their deaths are remotely work related.

Do your homework please before jumping to conclusions that make for sensationalist headlines. Statistics 101:
1. The Hong Kong financial services industry employs about 210,000 people. It is reasonable to assume these are (nearly) all aged 15~65, and that their age distribution is not fundamentally different from the general population.
2. Therefore, we can also safely assume that out of these 210,000 employees, around 117,000 (56%, same proportion as the general population) will fall in the DoH's 15-45 statistical bracket.
3. Hong Kong in 2011 counted 3,095,000 (rounded to k) people aged between 15 and 45. Of those, 124 died of a heart disease that year, and 55 of a cerebrovascular disease. So a total of 124+55=179 in a year for heart attacks and brain haemorrhage.
4. So that is 1 death per year of those two causes for every (3,095,000/179=) 17,290 Hongkongers aged between 15~45.
5. The 117,000 finance workers aged 15~45 can therefore expect (117,000 / 17,290=) 6.7 deaths in their midst due to heart disease or cerebrovascular diseases every year.
6. Sometimes 2 of those deaths will randomly occur within 1 week of each other.

Please report back when you have found statistical proof that finance industry workers are more likely to die at a young age of allegedly stress-related diseases. I will be highly interested.
johndoe
There is no evidence in the article that links the brain haemorrage with the nature of his job duties as implied by the headline.
It could have been caused by drinking, smoking, a tumour, or many other known coagulation disorders.
RobinDeCaro
Please study statistics scientifically before jumping to conclusion.Leaders of the world travel much more so they should die young,is this your logic?
Don't conclude that the sky is so small when you lie at the bottom of a well,you frog.
SpeakFreely
Hey if you are a consultant in North America you travel almost 365 days or at least 10 months a year! What a big deal? I saw many consultants in the 50s. Financial guys make unbelievable and insane money but I must say their pressure is not a lot higher than other industry. Recently in Bloomberg saying the big firm MD, below partner level, made 1 to 3 M Usd a year. Many of them are just salesman by all means. Do they really deserved that?
I would say at the end of the day is not only the job kills you, it is how you organize your time to do exercise and how discipline you look at your diet. A taxi driver could kill himself easily if he is not watching these 2 elements, nothing to do with jobs.
RobinDeCaro
Someone killing themselves are tragedies,do not abuse for whatever reason.Or you place yourself on a high ground to cover your whatever.
RobinDeCaro
I found some comments in SCMP should be posted in the English channel of HKGolden.com.
Their uncontrolled temper and speech violence reflects their frustration and failure in life and how they are brought up.
Got your Ferrari?Still using your rusted automobile?

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