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Emerging-Market Investing -- How the Pros Do It

By Ben Steverman - 2011-12-09T17:28:30Z

Photograph by K-King/Getty Images

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Lost in Translation

When traveling in China, Weyman Gong, a Chinese native, sometimes pretends he doesn't speak the language. The strategy has come in handy. A principal at Signature, a $2 billion multi-family office, Gong once overheard a conversation in Chinese between two executives that contradicted what they then told Western investors in English. "People in China will lie to your face without blinking an eye," he says. In this case, the managers could claim it was just an exaggeration, but it taught Gong a lesson: "In emerging markets, you absolutely need a local partner" to navigate such issues.

Read the full special report.