Kenneth Nealey is the founder and CEO of LaoCann Capital. We spoke to him about the company’s history, values and the impressive personal attributes that make him an inspirational, and highly successful leader of a global finance company.
Based in Vientiane, Laos, LaoCann Capital specialises in delivering investment banking services to high net worth individuals, governments and larger corporations.
Led by Kenneth Nealey, the company offers a range of services, including assisting clients with divestitures, mergers; private placements; financial restructuring; and financial advice. The emphasis is on finding bespoke solutions that are targeted to the unique needs and characteristics of every client, helping them achieve the full potential from their investment portfolios.
From tiny acorns, oak trees grow
Kenneth’s career in the investment world began at the age of 20, when he purchased his first property on Canada’s Vancouver Island. Just six months later he was able to leverage the capital on the property to buy a second home – an incredible feat at such a young age – but it wasn’t all plain sailing. Seeking funding for the second property was met with negative responses from a number of mainstream brokers, so he was forced to approach a lender with a higher interest rate.
For many, this would have been too uncertain and daunting an option, but Kenneth had a plan, and he knew that if he stuck with it, everything would work out. As the property market in Canada at the time was continuing to climb, he was able to take advantage of the boom in Victoria British Columbia and Edmonton, Alberta. This, coupled with his exceptional eye for investment opportunities, enabled Kenneth to continue to purchase rental properties that yielded excellent results, meaning he was able to enjoy a flourishing property portfolio while still in his 20s.
At the age of 30, he took his entrepreneurial spirit and sense of adventure outside of Canada, travelling from Mexico to Thailand, China and Vietnam, before eventually settling in Laos.
During this first visit, he had a strong feeling that Laos was a country heading for a boom. Projections – combined with Kenneth’s sixth sense for opportunities – suggested that it soon be on par with other ASEAN countries around it, so he decided to return in a few years to seek out new opportunities in this exciting landscape. His instincts were right. With support from the United Nations, Japan and Germany, the country now has a booming Chamber of Commerce that focuses on promoting private businesses. The most recent round of State-Owned Enterprise reform in 2019 ensured that SOEs are empowered to become profitable ventures, with the new regulations providing a fairer, more honest system for all.
Investments built on trust
LaoCann Capital is now a global private market investor responsible for some of the most successful, sustainable and market-leading businesses in Asia.
Kenneth and his dedicated team of finance professionals invest, develop and seek out high return investments that grow capital for clients and their portfolios. The investment process typically begins with a preliminary understanding of the nature of the investment and whether they’re a good fit for the company. With a huge number of applications, what sets successful applicants apart from their competitors are key components such as potential for growth, responsible management, high returns and the opportunity for long term, mutually beneficial partnerships. LaoCann is dedicated to building lasting relationships based on integrity, trust, openness, respect, along with the highest possible standards of professionalism.
Leading the Blockchain Revolution
Blockchain has revolutionised the finance industry, making the process more efficient and manageable than anyone could have imagined just a decade ago. LaoCann Capital is at the forefront of this revolution in Asia, not only leveraging the latest fintech but also actively pursuing asset tokenization for fungible and non fungible tokens alike.
“Without Labour, Nothing Prospers” – Sophocles
Every year, over 470 million entrepreneurs establish businesses around the world, but only a handful achieve long term success. Successful people come from all walks of life and a huge range of industries, but they commonly share a special set of characteristics that set them apart. Vision, diligence, passion and willingness to take risks are among the most prevalent attributes among this special group of people, and it’s certainly true of Kenneth Nealey.
A typical day in his life starts at 4am, with a 1.5 hour exercise routine religiously undertaken while listening to an audio book. Meditation is an important part of his day, providing calm, quiet time for reflection and grounding before reviewing his schedule. Once in the office, the day is filled with meetings and deal structuring, until finishing at 11pm. Back at home, there’s an hour of study before writing the following day’s plan, followed by some breathing exercises before bed.
Kenneth eats little, and drinks lots of water and coffee. His four hours of sleep a night place him in the ranks of other leaders such as Margaret Thatcher, Richard Branson, Donald Trump and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey; all famous for thriving on just a few hours of shuteye.
Kenneth’s management style is motivational and inspirational, leading by example and believing that the only time someone really fails is when they quit. Speaking to Business Worldwide Magazine, he shared his advice for new entrepreneurs seeking finance:
“Take the first step. Write it down and make a plan. You do not need money to start, but you must start. It costs nothing to begin your plan. Do as much work as possible in the area of your business and never give up. When you start writing things down you will see, and the resources you need will start to appear in front of you. Study your craft. There are millions of books and successful entrepreneurs that have most likely done what you are wanting to do. Learn from them. Use the internet. Google it!”
The bigger the challenge, the greater the rewards
Clearly of the “live to work” mindset, Kenneth says he’s married to his work and is driven by seeing new deals being formed and developed. He loves seeking out new ventures, believing the bigger the challenge, the greater the rewards. His golden rule is “do unto others as you would be done by”, and his ultimate aim is to leave a legacy of empowering others to achieve their goals – as long as those goals are well intentioned and positive for the world.
The ethos that drives LaoCann Capital’s work is centered around taking care of people. The team is dedicated to looking after clients and providing a personal service that enables them to reach their financial goals in the safest, most efficient way possible. This is a company that thrives on getting things done and finding solutions and opportunities, rather than barriers. Kenneth summarised, “I personally understand what it takes to build something from nothing and there is always a way. If you want the best returns, come to us.”
To find out more about LaoCann Capital, visit the company website at https://laocann.com/