Jill Baker, CFA is an independent financial analyst, business writer and editor, with strong financial analysis skills and current focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing. Jill has significant expertise in Asia, especially Hong Kong and China.
After covering financial services on the buy side in the public equities and convertible bond space for 18 years, I did a late career master's in finance (NYU Stern School and HKUST). I lived in Hong Kong where I was the lead researcher for "The Greening of Asia, the Business Case for Solving Asia's Environmental Emergency," by Mark Clifford. What I learned opened my eyes to the existential issues of resource scarcity, and the need to de-carbonize energy grids, worldwide. My work at Asia Business Council focuses on the business case for sustainable investments. I often profile businesses and business leaders who are creating positive change by aligning their business's natural resource use with the changing needs of the planet. My work as a financial analyst includes deep dives into corporate strategy and regional energy policy.
Asia Business Council
Asian Review of Books
South China Morning Post
WRITING AND EDITING
Forbes.com Blogger, Asia Desk
2013 – present
I write about the big themes of our time, including climate change, technology, and public health. My focus is Asia, which as a region faces unique challenges with climate change, and unique opportunities with new technologies to enhance the lives of its fast-growing middle class.
My writer’s page is here. Articles/themes include:
• Virus Fighter Peter Piot: On The Road To A Covid-19 Vaccine
• E-Commerce and Fintech Players Fight For Share in Indonesia’s Hot Market
• Tesla’s Newest Board Member Talks About Changing the World Through Japan’s $1.5
Trillion Pension Fund
• Solar Leader China Is Slashing Its Subsidies on Solar Power
• Scourge of the Seas: How China Is Tackling the Ocean’s Plastic Problem
• Asian Companies Are Working to Protect Against Climate Change. Will It Be Enough?
• Why India Thinks It's Worth $1 Trillion to Stay in the Paris Climate Accord
Adjunct Fellow, Asia Business Council, Hong Kong 2011 – present
I became involved with Asia Business Council while in Hong Kong working on my late-career M.S. in Global Finance (awarded 2013) at New York University, Stern School and HKUST, Hong Kong. While there, I have contributed to research on Human Capital and Society, Technology and Innovation, Urbanization, Sustainability, Risk and Resilience, and Public Health, in a series of ongoing briefings.
Briefings are available on Asia Business Council website; topics include:
• Leadership in a Time of Crisis: Asian Businesses Respond to COVID-19 (Fall 2020)
• Lessons From the Future: Boosting Growth in an Aging Japan (Spring 2020)
• Digital Technology for Inclusion: the India Story (Autumn 2019)
• Public Health, Climate Change, and Technology: Innovating Toward a Healthier Asia
• Shenzhen, Beijing, and Silicon Valley: Chinese and U.S. Technology Clusters Vie for Supremacy (Autumn 2018)
• Building Resilience in Businesses and Supply Chains in Asia (Spring 2018) • Artificial Intelligence in Asia: Preparedness and Resilience (Autumn 2017)
• Out of the Gobi: My Story of China and America, Wiley, 2019, an autobiographical work by Hong Kong-based financier Weijian Shan, chairman and CEO of PAG Asia. PAG is one of Asia’s largest independent alternative investment management groups. In 2017 and 2018, I worked with two other editors on this powerful memoir and commentary, which may be one of our era’s most important books about China. As a team, we crafted the author’s book proposal, and edited and fact-checked the manuscript.
• Money Games: The Inside Story of How American Dealmakers Saved Korea's Most Iconic Bank, Wiley, 2020). My background in banking and finance helped as I edited Shan’s copy in stages, before he sent it to Wiley. Money Games is the inside story of deal-making by American private equity firm Newbridge Capital, which negotiated with the Korean government to acquire and restructure one of the country’s largest banks.
• The Greening of Asia, The Business Case for Solving Asia’s Environmental Emergency, by Mark L. Clifford, executive director of Asia Business Council. (Columbia Business School Publishing, 2015). From 2013 to 2015, I was the lead researcher for the book; I provided company-level and economic research, uncovering growing pains and significant over- supply in the Chinese solar industry, and chronicling the development of China’s massive wind turbine industry for Part I (Energy: Sun, Wind, and the End of Coal), Chapter 1 (The Sun Kings), and Chapter 2 (Blowin’ in the Wind).
Research Advisor, Terra Alpha Investments March 2016 – July 2020
As a research advisor, I worked part-time, covering financial services and utilities stocks for Terra Alpha, which seeks to own shares in publicly traded companies poised to benefit from the transition to a low-carbon economy. Among my results: I initiated the firm’s utility strategy, researching decarbonized energy generators across the globe and ensuring the companies Terra Alpha owned were on a decarbonization trajectory in-line with the Paris Accord.
I especially enjoyed mentoring younger analysts, working with senior management on growing the business, and encouraging diverse opinions and a culture of healthy debate.
Senior Financial Services Analyst, Advent Capital Management March 2008 – January 2010
Financial services sector analyst for Advent, a convertible bond specialist with $6 billion of institutional assets under management.
• Using convertible bond pricing models, I identified mispriced bonds in the financial sector with strong return potential during the financial crisis of ‘08/’09.
• Among my results: During the financial crisis, I identified TARP and bank stress-testing as positive catalysts for U.S. banks, recommending preferred stock positions that contributed significantly to Advent’s outperformance.
Senior Financial Services Analyst, Ark Asset Management January 2002 - March 2008
Financial services equity analyst for Ark’s $5 billion Large Cap Value fund
Castlerock Partners March 2001 – October 2001
Financial services equity analyst
Knott Partners, L.P. June 1995 – March 2001
Financial services and consumer goods equity analyst, long/short equities
Morgan Stanley Equity Research November 1994 – June 1995
Research associate for sell-side Telecom Strategist
Marshfield Associates October 1992 – November 1994
Research associate for value-oriented long-only asset manager
Certified Financial Planning Certificate at New York University, 2016
Completed business journalism course at New York University, 2014
New York University, Stern School and HKUST, Hong Kong, M.S. Global Finance, 2013
CFA Institute, Chartered Financial Analyst, 1998
George Mason University, B.A. Economics, 1992
Member of the board and chair of the Finance Committee of the Foundation for Child Development, March 2015 to June 2018. Among my results: Led the foundation’s search for a new advisor for its $100 million endowment; significantly reduced annual investment expense and upgraded talent.
In my free time I enjoy running half-marathons, and am a voracious reader with extremely eclectic tastes in music. My husband is a painter and a board-member of Independent Curators International (ICI), Bang on a Can, and Copper Canyon Press.