February 26, 2019 Share

Songbird Capital: From Wall Street to Nassau Street

Jie Hayes received “Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business” award in 2017

Jie Hayes launched her own Registered Investment Advisor firm, Songbird Capital in 2012 after a decade working at Citigroup Alternative Investments in risk management, investment research and portfolio management. As a mother of three, being closer to home was an important factor. Getting to know the individuals and companies whose money she managed turned out to be a rewarding part of pursuing her passion for investments in the old Dutch-style building at the corner of Nassau and Bank streets in Princeton.

The business became much more personal just like in the colonial days when Princeton was still vying to be the regional financial center. Jie knows the personal situations of her clients and crafts investment portfolios that conform to their unique needs and support their goals.

Jie’s experience in institutional investing certainly gave her the investment acumen to manage people’s money, but establishing a boutique investment firm was a whole new experience. There were legal matters, regulatory registrations and filings, office space and furniture to find, local signage rules to navigate, and the matter of choosing a name and logo.

Jie came from a musical family in China with both parents and her sister involved in music professionally. Her husband likewise comes from a musical family, so it’s no surprise that they play together, and both pursue music in one way or another. The passion for music is how the name Songbird Capital came about. Jie was learning to play “Songbird” by Christine McVie (Fleetwood Mac) and fell in love with the name and lyrics. It represented the confluence of all her passions from pursuing her own dream in business, to music, to doing the right thing for her clients and family.

Leon Rainbow, the Trenton-area fine-art-graffiti fusion artist, realized her vision for the Songbird logo, which is now registered as a trademark along with the name Songbird Capital.

Songbird Capital has built its impressive track record based on detailed investment research and attention to operational details. It doesn’t hurt that Songbird has a very competitive fee structure and focuses on investments with similar cost efficiency for clients’ benefit. Songbird’s goal is to offer high quality investment management with industry competitive fees.

Jie says the recent volatile markets are the kind of environment where her foundational experience in risk management can add the most value for clients. She believes that a disciplined investment process and thoughtful portfolio positioning are paramount for her clients to confidently weather the next Tech Bubble or Great Recession.

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In 2017 Jie was honored by the Asian American Business Development Center as one of the “Outstanding 50 Asian American in Business” for her 18 years of experience and achievements in asset management.

Songbird Capital, 14 Nassau Street, Princeton. 609-924-5300. www.songbird-capital.com.