Ling was born in Beijing, China at a time of significant change. Relations were beginning to normalize between the U.S. and China, and Chinese citizens began to see opportunities for self-advancement.
"Both of my parents graduated from the top engineering school in China and did research work on military-related projects," says Ling. "But after normalization, they switched to civil engineering. Eventually, my dad quit his job at a state-owned business and started his own company. It was a risky, gutsy move."
Ling earned a degree in economics from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, one of the first business schools in China. "My dad, being open-minded and forward thinking, encouraged me to pursue international business, a hot, up-and-coming profession at that time," she says.
Ling came to the United States to do her graduate studies at Case Western Reserve University. She got her MBA in finance and information systems. After graduation, she consulted with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and later joined Freddie Mac Multifamily, twice. After a three-year stint with a private equity firm specializing in CMBS investments, Ling returned to Freddie Mac for the second time to work on Multifamily's second K-Deal. During her 17 years in the industry, she's dabbled in process improvements, valuation, risk management, securitization, trading and hedging and more.
In 2016, Ling established a micro-hedging platform for Multifamily, the first business line to do so. "It has proved to be a very successful model," she says. "Our other business segments have adopted it because it allows us to hedge more accurately, in real time."
Today, Ling heads a team of 12 problem-solving innovators. "This is very interesting work, but if you can only understand the numbers and not communicate what those numbers mean, you won't be successful," she says. "When I interview people, I will ask them a question about a problem that needs to be solved. I don't necessarily care about getting the right answer, it's how they deliver their answer that tells me a lot about how they think and communicate."
Ling is always looking for ways to improve the bottom line of the Multifamily business with new and innovative risk management strategies. In addition to hedging, Ling's team develops and executes various risk transfer transactions complementary to Multifamily's signature product, the K-Deal.
"I have a curious mind and I love to learn," she says. "This is a fast-moving business and the only constant is change."