CVCA Member Profiles

CVCA New Member Profile: Brilliant Phoenix Capital Management

Brilliant 1

In our ongoing series highlighting new members at the CVCA, we’re taking you behind the scenes to shed light on the impactful organizations in our community.

Say hello to Brilliant Phoenix Capital Management!

Tell us about Brilliant Phoenix Capital Management

Founded in Vancouver in 2016, Brilliant Phoenix Capital Management Inc. is a licensed private investment firm, holding Exempt Market Dealer licenses in both British Columbia and Ontario. 

We started with a primary focus on traditional lending investments, but recognizing the significant potential in the technology sector, we expanded our portfolio to include venture investments in early and late-stage tech start-ups. Our footprint extends from North America to Israel. Our investment strategy allows us to offer our clients the benefits of both stable cash-flow returns from our lending portfolio, as well as the high potential capital gains from our tech-focused venture investments.

Our team is a blend of seasoned professionals with diverse expertise, spanning academia to industry. Our team members include distinguished professors from leading Canadian universities, experienced Wall Street veterans, and knowledgeable pension fund managers. This unique mix of perspectives allows us to leverage a broad range of investment opportunities worldwide, ensuring that Brilliant Phoenix maintains its commitment to prudently expanding its global presence and driving valuable returns for our clients.

What is the investment philosophy that guides Brilliant Phoenix?

At Brilliant Phoenix, our investment strategy is guided by a dual focus, providing us with a distinctive advantage to diversify our portfolio and establish stability in the dynamic global economy. 

On one side of our investment spectrum, we have a keen interest in technology. We not only invest in early-stage tech startups that showcase potential for transformative impact but also in growth and late-stage private companies, like SpaceX, Tanium, etc. which are traditionally only accessible to institutional investors. This allows us to tap into the high growth potential and dynamic innovation of the tech industry. 

On the other side, we anchor our portfolio with mortgage investments in the Greater Vancouver area. This focus provides us with a more liquid, stable investment that cushions against market fluctuations, ensuring reliable returns throughout various market cycles. 

Our strategy’s unique composition, balancing the stability of real estate investment with the potential upside of tech investment, allows us to navigate the changing economic landscape effectively. This dual focus enables us to leverage both short-term stability and long-term growth potential for the benefit of our clients.

Who are the key people at Brilliant Phoenix?

Cindy Chen, founder of Brilliant Phoenix, is an experienced professional in private equity and venture capital, with over a decade of specialization in lending fund management and tech company investments. She kickstarted her career by establishing her first lending investment fund in Vancouver and now effectively manages several portfolios at Brilliant Phoenix Capital Management Inc. 

Among these portfolios are an early-stage tech fund focused on Israeli companies, an AI fund, a lending fund, and numerous Special Purpose Vehicles investing in late-stage tech firms across North America. She is particularly known for her strategic investments in transformative ventures such as SpaceX, SengLED, and Tanium.

With her foundational education from Fudan University and Washington University in St. Louis, and additional training from Stanford University’s VC Unlocked: Silicon Valley program, Cindy continues to be a dynamic force in the industry, championing disruptive tech investments.

Prof. Chunhua Wu, serves as a tenured Professor of Marketing and Division Chair of Marketing at the Sauder Business School, University of British Columbia. He brings a wealth of knowledge to his role as a director at Brilliant Phoenix Capital Management Inc., primarily drawing from his deep understanding of the economic and market impacts of technology, gained from extensive research and study in the field. His research, published in top-tier marketing journals, covers a wide range of topics, from online advertising platforms to behavioral pricing in the online diamond market. 

In addition to his research, Prof. Wu has a distinguished teaching record at UBC Sauder, where he imparts knowledge on subjects like Pricing Analytics, Market Research, and Business Analytics to a diverse set of students, earning him the UBC Killam Teaching Prize. 

Furthermore, Prof. Wu’s decade-long involvement with the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL), a leading Canadian incubator, underscores his dedication to fostering the growth of startups. This hands-on experience coupled with his academic expertise ensures that he brings a unique perspective to the investment decisions at Brilliant Phoenix. His insights and deep understanding of market trends and technology contribute significantly to the Brilliant Phoenix’s successful investment strategy.

Garnet Andrews, is a seasoned expert in compliance and pension investment management, boasting a career span of over 25 years. He previously served as the Director of Investment Management at TELUS, where he adeptly managed and invested pension assets. Throughout his career, Garnet has demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the complex regulatory environment governing investments. His core competencies encompass the creation and execution of compliance monitoring programs, the formulation and submission of regulatory reports, and conducting comprehensive compliance training. Furthermore, Garnet’s experience extends to board pension committee governance and the development of rigorous internal control processes. As a Certified Investment Manager (CIM), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and Certified General Accountant (CGA), Garnet brings a wealth of qualifications to the table. His proven acumen in successfully navigating compliance risks and deep industry insights are instrumental to Brilliant Phoenix’s compliance and investment management strategies.

We also have Jedi Lu(Indigo) as a partner, who with his 10 years of VC investment experience and background as a former VP Technology at Weibo, leads our firm’s efforts in identifying and investing in AI and Web3 opportunities.

Vivian Yuan, another partner, leverages her 15 years of wall-street work experience in asset management, along with her CFA and CPA qualifications, to provide strong backend support and financial oversight.

What is your Brilliant Phoenix excited about?

At Brilliant Phoenix, we’re fascinated by the game-changing potential of technology and its capacity to incite transformative shifts across various sectors. 

In the immediate horizon, our enthusiasm is driven by the prospect of backing high-potential tech startups that are revolutionizing their respective fields. In particular, our interest lies in AI, which we believe is on the verge of reshaping multiple industries. Our investments are targeted towards AI companies specializing in model development and infrastructure. Moreover, we’re committing considerable time and resources towards deep technology, early-stage Israeli startups that possess disruptive potential and are poised to address global challenges while enhancing the likelihood of successful returns. 

Looking towards the long term, we foresee technology’s role in molding our world becoming increasingly prominent. Concurrently, we maintain our commitment to fostering growth in the Greater Vancouver area through real estate investments. As we navigate the future, we are keen on facilitating the introduction of innovative Israeli technologies to Canada and North America. We believe these markets, with their robust support for technological development, provide fertile ground for the growth of our tech startups, while simultaneously contributing positively to the local economy and job market. Aligning our investment strategies with these evolving market trends and opportunities is something we anticipate with great excitement.