Part 1 – Introduction: Tokyo and Seoul: A short Asian roadshow

  • Part 1 – Introduction
  • Part 2 – AA 167 JFK-NRT 777 Purportedly First Class; Narita Express
  • Part 3 – Visiting Tokyo in 1970: Hotel Okura
  • Part 4 – NH 1161 HND-GMP 777 Economy: Wow!  So this is what they have back here?
  • Part 5 – Hotel on a Hill: Grand Hyatt Seoul
  • Part 6 – KE 85 ICN-JFK A380 Business Class
  • Part 7 – Conclusion


Since joining the new firm, I’ve been meaning to get out meeting with investors out in Asia.  Lining up the window to get away for a full week – that didn’t interfere with a holiday in Asia or the US, or other business I had going on – took a bit of time.  Thankfully, it all came together for early February.  We were only able to bake in meetings in Seoul and Tokyo for this trip.  I will need to include Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei in future visits.

I met with about 15 different investors between Tokyo and Seoul – for roughly 1.5 hours each.  This many meetings – largely on the same topic – can be quite tiring.  You ask yourself, “Did I already say that” about various topics as you work through your mental agenda.  Language is also an issue in some situations.  While invariably some firms have people who worked in the States for many years (where language isn’t an issue), the more senior your meetings get in the region, the more difficult it is to communicate.

While I won’t bore you with the nature of my meetings, it is safe to say that the institutional investor community is coming out of the thaw from the financial crisis.  Whilst they have a ways to go to get back to the ’07 days, I left knowing there is a hunger for my product in the region.  This is good – in that now I know I’ll be back again soon!

Times are a little tougher on the travel budget these days.  Whereas in the old days, we flew in First across the Pacific; now we are relegated to Business on these long flights.  We used to be able to pick our carrier; now we have to take the full service carrier with the lowest non-stop Business fare.  We used to be able to stay at any hotel; now we must navigate a dreadful approved list.  Worst of all, we are now required for flights less than four hours (even international flights) to sit in the Economy cabin.  Gasp!  Thankfully, a little bit of travel skill makes these “hardships” a little more workable.

Within these extremely difficult limitations ;) , I’m pleased to say the trip went very well from a travel point of view.

Let’s begin…