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Meet the hedge fund manager-entrepreneur who’s passionate about sustainable investments

Yacht Luxe CEO Liyann Seet puts sustainability at the heart of her investing strategy.

Meet the hedge fund manager-entrepreneur who’s passionate about sustainable investments

Yacht Luxe CEO Liyann Seet believes it's important for luxury brands to incorporate sustainability into their branding and production processes. Photos: Mediacorp Studio 3

The world of finance and investments is evolving. And championing this wave of change is Ms Liyann Seet, executive director and hedge fund partner at Sunova Capital Management. 

“When we make investments, we make sure we invest in firms that have a good ESG (environmental, social and governance) framework. For instance, are they sustainable? Do their branding, production and packaging consistently incorporate eco-friendly values?” she said.

A glamorous fixture in socialite circles, Ms Seet first discovered a love for investing as a banking and finance student at Singapore Management University (SMU) over a decade ago. She was part of the SMU Student Managed Investment Fund club and had invested a five-figure sum in the portfolio, which yielded an impressive 40 per cent annual return. 

“That was when I knew I had a passion for investing,” she recalled.

The 31-year-old has since built a successful career spanning the fields of corporate and investment banking, private equity for international banks, and real estate investment with one of the largest real estate developers in Asia.

“I set very high standards for myself in everything that I do,” she shared. “I set a goal and vision, and once I know clearly what I want, I just keep running towards it – and I always get there.”


In the midst of the pandemic in 2021, Ms Seet began her entrepreneurial journey while concurrently holding her full-time job with Sunova.

“I saw a problem in the market – there was no easy way for people to book yachts and there was no transparency in pricing. So, I decided to build the ‘Uber of yachts’,” she said.

Yacht Luxe was born, and today, Ms Seet runs one of the largest fleets of yachts for charter in Singapore. Not one to rest on her laurels, she is planning to enter other markets with a thriving yacht culture, such as Hong Kong, Miami and Monaco. The company offers a range of other services, like yacht management and customisation.


Recognising that luxury and sustainability can sometimes be an incongruous proposition, Ms Seet is conscious of her carbon footprint and makes an effort to reduce it. For instance, Yacht Luxe’s managers advise customers to install solar panels or have an onboard battery system to help minimise its use of fossil fuels.

It also works with the International SeaKeepers Society to promote oceanographic research and conservation. Its activities include organising citizen-science expeditions that offer the community the chance to participate in small marine research initiatives.

“These expeditions do not require scientists to be aboard, but they allow the yachting community to participate in ongoing research projects that depend on the participation of non-scientists within the community,” she said.

“One of our main projects supported by citizen scientists is Biscayne Bay Water Watch, a community-based initiative that uses volunteers with boats to help collect water samples in order to monitor water quality in Biscayne Bay,” she added.

Recognising that even small steps can add up to a big difference, Yacht Luxe also provides environmentally-friendly biodegradable utensils for food consumption and doesn’t allow plastics and balloons on chartered yachts.

On a personal note, Ms Seet tries to “burn calories instead of fuel” and would rather walk than drive to nearby places. The car lover, who professed to having owned several sports cars in the past, said she is considering switching to an electrified vehicle, such as Bentley’s new Flying Spur Hybrid.


The Flying Spur Hybrid is the most environmentally friendly Bentley to date. With an all-electric range of more than 40km, the hybrid powertrain achieves a significant reduction in fuel consumption and is perfect for short city drives.

As with all Bentleys, the Flying Spur Hybrid is manufactured at Bentley’s home in Crewe, the world’s first carbon-neutral factory for luxury car production, in Cheshire, England.

These are all part of Bentley’s Beyond100 commitment towards becoming an end-to-end carbon-neutral organisation and sustainable luxury mobility company, with an ambitious ‘Five-in-Five’ plan of delivering a new electric model every year starting from 2025.

It’s a progressive strategy Ms Seet advocates.

“Luxury brands should pivot to a more sustainable business model and incorporate a sustainability [ethos] into their branding, production and packaging,” she advised.

“Today, there are vegan leather handbags and recycled plastic that can be made into clothes. So yes, luxury and sustainability can co-exist. As entrepreneurs, we have to make the change and make conscious decisions to transform our products to be more earth-friendly. Sustainability is about conserving the environment and passing the world on to our kids,” she said.

Here’s why luxury, sustainability and performance aren’t mutually exclusive goals.