Robb Report Singapore Thought Leader: Debra Tay, Co-Founder of Cycling Bears

Debra Tay

Meet Debra Tay, wealth manager for the UHNW, co-founder of Cycling Bears and member of the Robb Report Singapore Thought Leaders community

“I love the fact that I have not stopped growing in my entire professional life but have worked in, invested in and started businesses in many different fields,” Debra Tay keenly reflects. “I believe in lifelong learning.”

As a huge risk-taker (though never physically – the extreme-sports aficionado is sure to surround herself with safety gear and experts), Tay has started a bar with two friends at the tender age of 23 without F&B experience, and a yakitori restaurant in Hong Kong. For the enterprising Tay, the luxury fitness industry is a burgeoning one she could not miss diving into – her latest venture is all about customising gym equipment to blend seamlessly into homes, yachts, hotels and private clubs. And these are just her part-time jobs.

By day, Tay is a wealth manager and financial adviser to ultra-high-net-worth individuals. By evening, she is the co-founder of Cycling Bears, working with her husband (and co-founder) to develop and market their business.

“I have my day job so my weeks tend to be quite intense. Many people ask how I manage a side hustle on top of my day job and I often compare my side hustles to parents who have children.”

Sharing strong environmental, social and governance values with suppliers, designers and trainers, Cycling Bears looks to put a spin on often bulky and dull gym equipment by handcrafting quality equipment that is instead elegant and sleek – and this comes from Tay’s unwavering conviction in individuality. The common thread is customisation: from assessing individuals’ needs and risk tolerance in wealth management to assessing their fitness goals and space available for a home gym.

“The person who inspires me most is my 101-year-old grandmother. She never had any children of her own, but adopted many, including my mother,” Tay reveals. “She has demonstrated to me that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.”

Editor’s note: Get to know the full Thought Leaders community here.

Photography by Sayher Heffernan
Styling by Wei Lun Tok
Hair & Makeup by Angel Gwee
Credits: Chanel Beauty and L’Oréal Hair Professional; wool jacket by Petar Petrov from Net-a-Porter