It Changed My Life: Grades do not equal talent, says Danny Yong, one of Singapore's richest men

In 1997, Mr Danny Yong was almost rejected by JP Morgan, the company which started his career in finance. Today, he is on a mission to disrupt Singapore’s hiring practices by helping firms look more at personal attributes rather than education.
Mr Yong, at the age of four, with his father, a store supervisor. When he was 10, his father died, and he later set up the Yong Hon Kong Foundation, which has donated millions to charitable causes, in his memory. Among the various initiatives that mi
Among the various initiatives that millionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist Danny Yong has helped set up includes Tangent, a social enterprise which champions more enlightened hiring practices instead of one which prizes only good grades. Another initiative, Ray of Hope, is a fund-raising platform for donors to help Singaporeans who have fallen through the cracks.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID
Mr Yong, at the age of four, with his father, a store supervisor. When he was 10, his father died, and he later set up the Yong Hon Kong Foundation, which has donated millions to charitable causes, in his memory. Among the various initiatives that mi
Mr Yong, at the age of four, with his father, a store supervisor. When he was 10, his father died, and he later set up the Yong Hon Kong Foundation, which has donated millions to charitable causes, in his memory. PHOTO COURTESY OF DANNY YONG

Look beyond grades and be open-minded when hiring, hedge fund founder urges bosses

American author Daniel Handler - under the pen name Lemony Snicket - wrote a series of dark children's novels called A Series Of Unfortunate Events.

If Mr Danny Yong were to chronicle his rise from poor boy to millionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist, he would probably call it A Series Of Fortunate Events instead.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 07, 2019, with the headline 'Sometimes it pays to go off at a Tangent'. Print Edition | Subscribe