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Investment Banking & Financial Institutions: Capital Without Borders

Coming through a multispeed world in 2011, China has retained its leading IPO market position and remained a bright spot for cross-border M&A activity. We’ve seen increasing interest from State-Owned Enterprises in buying oversea assets to expand global footprint. Meanwhile small and medium sized Chinese enterprises have been very active and are becoming dominant driver in the IPO market over the past year. The revived interests in JV and global partnership have sent the Chinese outbound M&A deals to a record high. However; Chinese companies are also facing uncertainties and challenges. Amongst others, regulation scrutiny, threatened VIE structure, and expectation gap between buyer and seller are highlighted factors that raised sophistication requirement on capital market activities.

Key Topics:  

The role of IPO, M&A and LBO activities in supporting the growth of Chinese companies
The role of institutional investors from home and abroad in corporate governance of listed companies in China
Implication of RMB globalization to the development of capital market in China
Impact of the delisting wave of Chinese US-listed companies in 2011 on future IPO
The regulatory implications of current issues faced by Chinese enterprises (such as VIE structure, privatization as one of the exit routes, etc.)
Upcoming opportunities and challenges in cross-border M&A and Capital Raising activities for domestic and foreign market participants

Wei Jiang

Professor, Columbia Business School

Ms. Jiang is Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School, and is currently the Chair of the Finance sub-division. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 2001 and joined Columbia Business School in the same year. She has since taught in the Master, MBA or EMBA programs at Chicago, Columbia, Wharton, and Berkeley. She was an investment banking associate at Prudential Securities (Shanghai) before pursuing her Ph.D. degree. Professor Jiang’s main research interest lies in the strategies of institutional investors (such as hedge funds and mutual funds) and their role in corporate decisions and financial markets. Her research has been published in top academic journals as well as featured in major media, including the Wall Street Journal, Economist, Institutional Investors, Money, Fortune, Business Week, New York Times and Financial Times. She received the Smith-Breeden Distinguished Paper Prize from the Journal of Finance, multiple best paper prizes from the Western Finance Association, Chicago Quantitative Alliance, UK Inquire, the Q-Group, and the Wharton School Terker Family Prize in Investment Research. Jiang has taught various courses in corporate finance and is a four-time recipient of teaching excellence awards at Columbia Business School since 2005. She is the Finance Area Editor of Management Science and an associate editor at the Journal of Finance.

Yu Lü

Director of Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations, ICBC

Dr. Yu Lü serves as the Director of Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s Beijing Headquarters and also as the Observer to the Bank of East Asia USA. He has intensive experience in and knowledge of the domestic and international capital markets. In 2005, he participated throughout the Bank’s IPO process and was interviewed by several mainstream media outlets in China. In academia, he published several articles in the Institute of Finance and Banking, Chinese Academy of Social Science regarding investor relations management techniques that connect listed banks with capital markets and using a three-stage DDM approach to forecast a bank’s value from the perspective of long-term value investment philosophy. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Bremen University in Germany and a Ph.D. in Finance from Renmin University of China.

Chris Ruder

Managing Director, Portfolio Advisors LLC

Mr. Ruder is a Managing Director of the private equity house Portfolio Advisors LLC and serves as a voting member on the Investment Committee of several Portfolio Advisors funds. Chris also serves as a key member of its primary and secondary investment research and diligence teams, particularly with respect to investments in the Asia Pacific region. Previously, he was a Director at Deutsche Bank, where he was responsible for the structuring of its third party private equity investment products, including the securitization of its private equity fund portfolio and the launch of regional private equity funds.

Drew Bernstein

CPA and Co-Managing Partner, Marcum Bernstein & Pinchuk LLP

In 1983, Mr. Bernstein cofounded Bernstein & Pinchuk LLP and is now the managing member of Marcum Bernstein & Pinchuk (MarcumBP), a PCAOB-registered accounting firm headquartered in New York. Marcum is ranked within the top 15 firms by Inside Public Accounting and Accounting Today, and the combined firm is one of the largest middle market accounting firms servicing China-based, US publicly traded companies. Mr. Bernstein’s early recognition of the global marketplace and his extensive work in the People's Republic of China resulted in the rapid expansion of his firm’s services to that nation, where he has established local offices in Beijing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, with coordinated services throughout the world. These offices are staffed with over 75 highly experienced SEC personnel dedicated to providing client services including audits and assurance, due diligence and transaction advisory. MarcumBP currently represents over 50 Chinese companies and many of the first and second tier investment banks. In addition, Mr. Bernstein’s diverse experience in retail, manufacturing, hospitality, pharmaceutical, professional practices, and real estate have contributed to the growth of the firm’s client base abroad. Mr. Bernstein serves as an accountant and business advisor worldwide, providing specialized auditing and accounting services to public and non-public companies throughout the United States, China, Europe, and Africa.

Mr. Bernstein also serves as director and chairman of the audit committee of NASDAQ- and AMEX-listed companies and is a frequent speaker at industry, investment banking and university conferences. He is an active member of the board of directors and an officer of a prestigious foundation that was honored with the President’s Voluntary Action Award by the late President Ronald Reagan.

Mr. Bernstein received his B.S. degree from the University of Maryland Business School. He is licensed in the State of New York and other states and is a member of the AICPA, the NYSSCPA and the NSA.

Caroline Owen

Head of Debt Capital Markets NA, Standard Chartered

Ms. Caroline Owen is currently Head of Debt Capital Markets North America of Standard Chartered Bank. Ms. Owen provides multi-national corporations and financial institutions with strategic capital markets solutions for their funding needs in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This includes the issuance of CNH, HKD, SGD and a variety of other local currency bonds. Ms. Owen is the CNH bond product head for the Americas and has worked closely with issuers such as McDonald’s and Caterpillar Financial on funding opportunities in this market.

Sam Seraphim

Managing Partner, Woodlake Group

Dr. Sam Seraphim is Founder and Managing Partner of WoodLake Group, a corporate finance and investment banking firm focused on transactions between China and the U.S. WoodLake provides advisory services in cross border M&A and Technology Transfer and it arranges private placements of structured debt and private equity principally for Chinese companies. WoodLake’s activities have included energy, clean-tech, waste water management, HEV drive trains, consumer products, products and advanced manufacturing processes. In China, WoodLake has strategic partners that include leading investment banks, boutique advisory firms, local PE funds, large industrial concerns and selected municipalities.

Dr. Seraphim is also a Partner of Fieldston Investors, a private equity firm based in New York City that has been focused on middle market transactions in the U.S., and he draws heavily on his experience in pricing, structuring, financing, acquiring, adding value to and divesting of portfolio companies in cross- border M&A and private placements.

Dr. Seraphim has a PhD (Oxford University), an MS (London University) and a BS (Leeds University) in electrical engineering/telecom.

Real Estate: Rebuilding the Model

For the last decade, the real estate market has been one of the primary engines of growth in China. However, amidst fears that a bubble is forming and the model is unsustainable, the government has enacted measures to push the market in a new direction. For the first time ever, more than half the population is now classified as urban and there is a pressing need for affordable housing in China’s burgeoning cities. Secondly, the population is aging rapidly, which will require living environments and an infrastructure conducive to the needs of China’s elderly. Finally, with more people living in cities, design and planning become even more critical as a way to alleviate congestion, reduce environmental degradation, and improve the quality of life. Furthermore, while these massive structural changes are occurring on the Mainland, Chinese developers and investors are beginning to look abroad for opportunities. With these themes as its backdrop, this year’s Real Estate Panel will discuss the ongoing trends affecting the industry, the challenges they foresee, and their views on what the future will bring. 

Key Topics:

•   Implications of the 12th Five Year Plan on real estate
Sustainable development and urban planning
The outlook for developers in China
Chinese developers’ move oversea
And, after all is China’s real estate sector a bubble?

Neng Wang

Chong Khoon Lin Professor of Real Estate and Professor of Finance Columbia Business School

Neng Wang is Chong Khoon Lin Professor of Real Estate and Professor of Finance at Columbia Business School, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is currently the chairperson of the Finance subdivision in the Finance and Economics Division at Columbia Business School.

His research fields include asset pricing, corporate finance, macroeconomics, and real estate finance. His current research involves dynamic corporate finance (e.g. investment, financing and risk management policies), dynamics of entrepreneurship (e.g. entry, exit, investment / saving and financing decisions), dynamic investment strategies and valuation of private equity and hedge funds, equilibrium investment, asset pricing and economic growth, investment under dynamic agency, dynamic contracting, investment under uncertainty and real options analysis, the impact of investor protection on asset prices and welfare, household consumption/portfolio decisions, equilibrium wealth distribution, and real estate finance and valuation. His work has been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Monetary Economics, and the Review of Financial Studies. He won a Smith-Breeden Distinguished Paper Prize awarded by the Journal of Finance in 2008. He received the Bettis Distinguished Scholar Award from W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University in 2011. He is a Co-Editor of Finance Research Letters and Frontiers of Economics in China. Additionally, he is an Associate Editor of Journal of Mathematical Economics, Macroeconomic Dynamics, and Management Science.

Professor Wang received a B.S. in Physical Chemistry from the Special Program for Gifted Young Students at Nanjing University (China) in 1992, an M.S. in Chemistry from California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1995, an M.A. in International Relations and Pacific Studies from University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 1997, and a PhD in Finance from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University in 2002. He currently teaches Real Estate Finance at the MBA level. From 2002 to 2004, he was an assistant professor at the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business, where he taught Fixed Income Securities & Markets as well as Financial Institutions & Risk Management. In 2006, he was a visiting professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Frederick N. Cooper

Senior Vice President of Finance, International Development, and Investor Relations, Toll Brothers, Inc.

Fred Cooper oversees Toll Brothers’ Wall Street, banking and rating agency relationships and its investor relations and financial marketing activities in the U.S., Europe, Middle East and Asia. He is overseeing Toll’s exploration of international expansion opportunities in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and elsewhere and of distressed opportunities from U.S. financial institutions. He has been financial point for Toll’s entry into the urban high-rise condo, apartment, retail and office sectors. Fred joined Toll Brothers in 1993 and has been involved in raising over $7 billion to support the firm’s growth. Since 1993 Toll Brothers has expanded from a regional home builder with $400 million in revenues to a Fortune 500 national land developer/home building company with peak revenues of over $6 billion.

From 1989 to 1993, Fred was Director of Corporate Finance and Planning at DKM Properties Corp., the real estate arm of the Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corporation, one of the nation’s largest private companies. Prior to DKM he was Senior Vice President and a member of the Executive Committee of the Financial Services Corporation, New York City’s economic development bank, from 1984 to 1989.

He holds an A.B. from Brown University and a Master of Public Policy in finance and international development from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Toll Brothers, Inc. is the nation's leading builder of luxury homes. The Company began business in 1967 and became a public company in 1986. Its common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "TOL". The Company serves move-up, empty-nester, active-adult and second-home home buyers and operates in 20 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

Toll Brothers builds an array of luxury residential communities, principally on land it develops and improves: single-family detached and attached home communities, master planned resort-style golf communities, and urban low-, mid- and high-rise communities. The Company operates its own architectural, engineering, mortgage, title, land development and land sale, golf course development and management, home security, and landscape subsidiaries. The Company also operates its own lumber distribution, house component assembly, and manufacturing operations. The Company acquires and develops commercial properties through Toll Commercial and its affiliate, Toll Brothers Realty Trust, and purchases large distressed real estate portfolios through its wholly owned subsidiary, Gibraltar Capital and Asset Management.

Michael Meyer

President, TDC Development and F&T Group

Michael is the President of TDC Development and The F&T Group, a diversified international real estate services company headquartered in New York. In China, F&T Group has offices in Nanjing and Shanghai, and focuses on commercial real estate development, providing its clients with a full range of services, including development management, construction management and property management. In 2010, the group broke ground on the Nanjing World Trade Center, an approximately four million square foot development consisting of Class A office space, a five star hotel, serviced apartments, and a retail center. The project is to be completed in 2015 and will act as a centerpiece of Nanjing’s burgeoning business district. Prior to assuming his leadership position at TDC Development, Mr. Meyer was a Global Lead at Accenture, the world’s leading management and technology services organization. In that capacity, he was responsible for Accenture’s worldwide real estate portfolio and office operations. Before joining Accenture, Mr. Meyer was a Vice President of Tishman Realty & Construction, focusing on hotel development and consulting. In this position, he was the lead executive and negotiator for the City of Miami Beach in the development of two convention center hotels costing on the largest public/private joint venture in the City’s history. Mr. Meyer holds a B.A. in English Literature from Oberlin College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Malcolm Riddell

President, Riddell Tseng

As diplomat, lawyer, investment banker, and CIA spy, Malcolm Riddell has participated in China’s rise to international economic and political power for over 30 years. A Mandarin speaker, who lived and worked for more than 15 years in China and Taiwan, he is president of RIDDELLTSENG, a China-focused boutique investment bank he founded in Asia in 1988. He is also editor of CHINA Debate, an online platform that conveys diverse opinions about pressing China issues []. Among his academic activities, he is an Associate-in-Research at the Harvard Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and Senior Visiting Fellow at Peking University Law School [see his complete academic bio at:]. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Keith Abell

Co-Founder, Sungate Properties

Mr. Abell is Co-Founder of Sungate Properties, a real estate investment company, which specializes in the acquisition of trophy properties in the United States on behalf of wealthy Chinese investors. Sungate led the largest-ever acquisition of a U.S. office tower by a private Chinese individual, which also was the 4th largest acquisition of a NYC commercial property in 2011. Mr. Abell also is an Independent Non-Executive Director and a founding-stage investor of China Polymettalic Mining Limited, a HKSE-listed, lead-zinc-silver mining company based in Chengdu, China. Formerly, Mr. Abell was Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman of GSC Group, an alternative investment management firm, which he grew from inception to over $20 billion of assets under management (at the time of his departure in 2007), with funds specializing in real estate, distressed debt, mezzanine debt, and structured credit. He also was Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Tishman Speyer-GSC China Real Estate Fund, later known as Tishman Speyer China Real Estate Fund, an $890 million fund dedicated to real estate development in China. Prior thereto, Mr. Abell was Managing Director of The Blackstone Group, responsible for establishing the firm’s first private equity and mergers and acquisitions businesses in Hong Kong and Tokyo. Before that, Mr. Abell was a Vice President at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Mr. Abell is Treasurer and a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Chip Pierson

Principal, General Manager, and Architect, Dahlin Group

Chip Pierson, AIA, Principal of Dahlin Group Architecture Planning, has directed the 150+ planning, architecture and interior architecture firm for the past 30 years. Mr. Pierson and Dahlin Group have in China since 2001 and have had an office in Beijing since 2002. Their core business has been residential design, urban design, community planning and green interior remodeling in the US and China. Mr. Pierson joined Dahlin Group one year after its establishment in 1976. In China, Mr. Pierson has designed over 30 projects from master planned communities to villa projects.

Mr. Pierson holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Auburn University and a Master of Business Administration from St. Mary’s College of California.

Private Equity & Venture Capital: PEVC Dynamics - Rationalization and Transformation

Asia sailed through the global financial crisis remarkably unscathed and served as a needed beacon of growth for international investors. China in particular has generated much attention from private equity and venture capital investors in recent years and looks set to remain a core focus for firms looking to deploy their funds in the region. Although fund raising and access to deal flow is a challenge facing PE firms and investors in China, the PE landscape in this country favors continued growth, as a confluence of favorable factors—including advantageous demographics, rising consumer consumption and low PE penetration—creating exciting opportunities for the industry. The PEVC panel of the Annual Columbia China Conference offers attendees a comprehensive view on the investment opportunities that are most attractive to PEVC and the market trends that will shape future decisions.

Key Topics:

•   What is the dynamics of PE/VC over the past year, regarding valuation, competition, deal flow, exits strategy? Where is it heading over next three years?
How has the rise of RMB funds re-shaped the landscape?
To what extent and in which way should PE funds bring value-added service to their portfolio companies?
How will the government interpretation and public discussions on VIE change the fundamental aspects of the industry?
What are the top three popular investment sectors? What kinds of opportunities and threats involved?

Marshall Sonenshine

Chairman and Managing Partner, Sonenshine Partners LLC

Mr. Sonenshine is Chairman and Managing Partner of New York investment banking firm Sonenshine Partners. Previously he was Partner in Wolfensohn & Company, an M&A boutique firm. He was part of the leadership team that merged Wolfensohn first into Bankers Trust, where he headed Media M&A and Aerospace/Transportation M&A, and later into Deutsche Bank, where he was asked to serve as Co-Head of M&A. Prior to joining Wolfensohn, he was a banker with Salomon Brothers. In 2009, he was named an Adjunct Professor of Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School.

Mr. Sonenshine has advised on numerous leading transactions worldwide, including the Disney/ABC merger, merger of International Lease Finance Corporation into America International Group, the global restructuring of GPA Group plc with General Electric, the restructuring of AEG, and many others.

Mr. Sonenshine holds a BA Magna Cum Laude from Brown University and a JD from Harvard Law School.

Gregory Mark Hill

Managing Partner, GCH Partners

Mr. Hill is Managing Partner for GCH Partners and also serves in interim Chairman, CEO, or Board Director of its portfolio companies.Prior to GCH, Mr. Hill served as Managing Director of Trenwith Securities, member of the Firm's Executive Committee, and built a China based WOFE serving as its CEO and Director.  BDO/Trenwith is the investment banking affiliate of BDO International, one of the five largest global accounting firms. Prior thereto, he was General Partner at V2V Ventures, which was granted a Beijing national government license to create a Sino-U.S. VC and IT Consulting Joint Venture Firm with Tsinghua University Enterprise Group and Tsinghua VC called Tsinghua Venture Capital Management in 2001. Before Tsinghua, Mr. Hill worked for 14 years on Wall Street and completed more than 100 transactions with a volume over $20 billion in public and private capital market transactions at Credit Suisse First Boston and Deutsche Bank. He was Co-Leader of the Fixed Income CSFB Technology Investment Banking Group and senior investment banker in Semiconductors.  At Deutsche Bank, he was Head of Relationship Management for the East Coast Technology Group, and later was senior banker in the DMG Technology investment banking practice.  Mr. Hill holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Trinity College.

Hao Wu

Managing Partner & CEO, Sino-Century China Private Equity Partners

Dr. Hao Wu is Managing Partner and CEO of Sino-Century Investment Management Co., Ltd., a private equity firm that invests in high-growth private companies in China, with office in Shanghai, Beijing, and New York. Prior to Sino-Century, Dr. Wu worked at a number of financial service firms, including AIG Global Investments where he advised AIG companies in Asia and in Europe on investment strategies and Radian Group where he was a Managing Director and Head of Global Financial Products. Dr. Wu received his B.S. in Physics from Fudan University and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and MBA in Finance from University of Southern California. He also attended Executive Education Programs at Harvard Business School. Dr. Wu holds Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. He is a member of the New York Society of Securities Analysts and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Dr. Wu has served as President of the Chinese Finance Association (TCFA).

Michael J. O’Hanlon

Senior Advisor, TPG Capital

Michael J. O’Hanlon is a Senior Advisor to TPG focusing on financial institutions and asset investments. He currently is on the board of Roosevelt Management Corporation, LLC, a TPG portfolio company investing in residential mortgage loans. He has served on the boards of other TPG portfolio companies including Shenzhen Development Bank, Korea First Bank and BankThai.

Until December 2005, Mr. O’Hanlon was a Managing Director at Lehman Brothers where he worked for over 25 years. Mr. O’Hanlon led the firm’s commercial and residential mortgage finance efforts during the late 1980s through 1995, and in 1996, he became the head of the Financial Institutions Group. In mid-1999, he moved to Japan to head the Japanese Investment Banking and the Asian Financial Institutions Groups, among other roles. Some key projects in Asia included leading the teams for TPG’s investment in Korea First Bank and Lehman Brother’s investment in Aozora Bank.

Mr. O’Hanlon holds an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the State University of New York at Albany, and a BS in Business Administration from The College of St. Rose.

Jason Chen

Managing Director, Knights Investment Group

Mr. Chen is the Managing Director of Knights Investment Group (KIG), a $300 million US-based Private Equity firm which focuses on natural resource, agriculture, renewable energy, real estate and health care sectors in Greater China.

Prior to joining KIG in 2010, Mr. Chen served as a portfolio manager at Bank of New York Mellon, where he was responsible for managing $71 billion fixed income assets. Between 2001 and 2004, Mr. Chen was a trader at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in New York. From 1998 to 2000, he worked at Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife), where he was engaged in managing a $7.5 billion portfolio consisting of private placements, stocks, corporate bonds, U.S. treasury bonds and options.

Mr. Chen is the co-Head of CP Capital Group USA. In addition, he is the founder of "Wall Street Ren", a non-profit organization for Chinese-American on Wall Street.

Mr. Chen received his Master in Financial Engineering from Columbia University.

Ling Liu

Managing Director, New China Management LLC, the investment manager of The Cathay Funds

Ling Liu is responsible for the execution of capital events and supervision of portfolio companies.  Ms. Liu works closely with our portfolio companies to develop growth strategies, execution plans and devise the best capital market event.  Ms. Liu has led many of our portfolio companies to successful overseas listings or trade sales.  Prior to joining Cathay, Ms. Liu was in the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley, Hong Kong where she led the IPOs of many Chinese companies, including China Telecom, China Unicom and PICC. Previously, Ms. Liu was a management consultant at Deloitte & Touche Consulting and Andersen Consulting. Ms. Liu received a BS from SUNY Albany and an MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. Ms. Liu is a native of Shanghai and speaks Mandarin and Shanghainese.

Nick Rosa

President, Continental Capital Limited

Mr. Rosa has been in the agricultural industry, for over 36 years. He joined Continental Grain Company in 1975 as a trainee the animal feed division, assumed a variety of different posts and eventually became General Manager of the Wayne Feed Division in Chicago, Illinois.

He has served as the Vice President of International Industries of Continental Grain Company in New York since 1997. In June 2007, Nick was named Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the ContiAsia, located in Beijing, China. Continental Grain Company has had an active presence in China food and agriculture for over three decades. Through ContiAsia, the Company participates in a wide range of businesses in China, mainly involving feed milling, animal husbandry, and poultry production and processing. Continental Capital participates with Arlon Group, Continental Grain’s investment arm in New York, in making strategic investments in emerging Asia agribusiness firms and plays an active role with the entrepreneurs to support the growth, development and evolution into world class companies.

Nick has been a Director of Conti Chia Tai International Limited since 2003, a non-executive Director of DaChan Food (Asia) Limited (Hong Kong listed) since 2007 and a Senior Advisor to Olympus Capital Holdings Asia since 2011. Nick was also a Director and member of the Executive Committee of the American Feed Industry Association and has served as Chairman and/or Director in poultry, pork and feed companies in Eastern Europe and South America.

Nick received his Bachelor Degree in Economics in 1974 and his Master Degree in Business Administration in 1975, both from the Arizona State University.

Enterprise and Entrepreneurship: The Engine of Growth

The Chinese private sector has been a key driver of China’s economic growth in the past three decades. The opportunities to “plunge into the sea”, a Chinese term to figuratively describe “entrepreneurship”, were fascinating to Chinese entrepreneurs who were eager to change their lives through hard work, wisdom, and risk-taking. The successful stories of grass-roots entrepreneurs were hailed and emulated by people. In the past decade, however, the SOEs have not only continued to reign in pillar industries, such as energy, communications, banking, and so forth, but also sprawled to other sectors they deem as profitable, while private enterprises are squeezed and have to defend at disadvantageous positions, a phenomenon referred to as “the state advances and the private sector retreats”. Facing unfavorable regulatory conditions, can Chinese private enterprises continue to grow as the backbone of Chinese economy?

Key Topics:

What are the key opportunities to Chinese entrepreneurs in the next decade? Which sectors will nourish world-class Chinese companies in the next decade?
What are the key challenges faced by Chinese entrepreneurs in the next decade? How to deal with challenges from both economic difficulties and increased government intervention?
What are the key elements to transform low value-add enterprises to more global innovators? How do they matter: free market economy, better intellectual property protection, and entrepreneurship? How and when will China boast its own “Steve Jobs”?
What are the key characteristics of a successful entrepreneur in China in the past 30 years? Could they be imitated by young Chinese starter-ups? How different are they from those in U.S.?

John Leagh

Mr. John J. Leagh graduated New York University School of Law, and is a prominent and well established attorney having practiced law for more than twenty years. His areas of practice include corporate matters, business transactions, commercial and residential real estate, and business immigration law. Over the years, Mr. Leagh has successfully represented his clients and is known for his dedication and professionalism toward the quality of his services and has been providing valuable legal services to his clients, many of whom are Chinese enterprises and entrepreneurs, doing business in the United States with his years of experience and unique cross-culture insight. Mr. John Leagh is an executive director and founding member of China-US Business Leaders Roundtable Foundation.

Henry Cao

Professor of Finance and Chair of Finance Department, CKGSB

Dr. Huining (Henry) Cao is a Professor of Finance, Chair of CKGSB's Finance Department and serves as Academic Director of the school's Finance MBA. He earned a Ph.D. in finance in 1995 from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in pathology in 1991 from Yale University.

Before joining CKGSB, he taught at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at San Diego, Ohio State University, Carnegie Mellon and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

John Liu

Founder & Managing Partner, Highlink Partners

John Liu is the founder of Highlink Partners, LLC and has served as a senior China advisor to U.S. and European corporate executives for more than 8 years. He has worked with companies in a range of industries to develop and execute China market strategies, including medical devices, clean technology, transportation, and industrial manufacturing. He takes a leading role in shaping the clients’ entry strategy as well as executing the sales and distribution plans, managing the supplier networks, and establishing the China operations. Before his current position, he was with Lehman Brothers in New York and Hong Kong in Private Equity and Investment Banking. In Private Equity, he was responsible for analyzing and executing new investments for Lehman Brothers’ $2 billion leveraged buyout fund. In Investment Banking, he advised multinational clients on acquisitions, financings and corporate strategy. Prior to business school, he worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in strategy consulting. He focused on post-merger integration and advised Goodyear Tires on its joint venture with Sumitomo Tires.

Mr. Liu holds an MBA degree from Columbia Business School and a BS degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He was born in Taiwan and speaks English and Mandarin.

Steve Sun

Chairman and CEO of GENEWIZ, Inc.

Dr. Sun is the Chairman and CEO of GENEWIZ, Inc., the company he co-founded in 1999. GENEWIZ is a contract research company that specializes in DNA sequencing, gene synthesis, molecular biology, genomics, and GLP/GMP standard DNA services. Headquartered in New Jersey, GENEWIZ is a global leader in DNA services with laboratory operations in New Jersey, California, Maryland, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Washington in the US, and in Beijing and Suzhou in China.

Dr. Sun received the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year Award in New Jersey, an award that recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who are building and leading dynamic and growing businesses.

Dr. Sun serves as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at Neogenix Oncology Inc, a cancer therapeutics and diagnostics company with operations in the states of New York and Maryland. Other positions he has been serving include: member of the Board of Directors at Frontage Laboratories since its founding in 2000, member of the Innovation Sounding Board of Rutgers University’s Center for Innovative Ventures of Emerging Technologies (CIVET), and member of the Advisory Board of the Commercialization Center of Innovative Technology (CCIT), a New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) organization.

Dr. Sun obtained his Bachelor and Master degrees from Tsinghua University in Beijing. He obtained his Ph.D. from Columbia University in the City of New York. Dr. Sun received his postdoctoral training at The Rockefeller University.

Michael Zhu

Manager, Continental Grain Company - ContiAsia

Michael Zhu is the general manager of ContiFeed (China) Group. Michael has taken advantage of rapid advances in Chinese livestock production, and transformed the company into a leading supplier of premixes, concentrates, and specialty feeds. Over the last four years, he’s expanded the sales force to 80 representatives covering all parts of China. During the past years, the Continental Gran Company has developed both a recognized brand name through China and a strong reputation for customer service. It’s also become one of the most profitable parts of Asian Industries.

Consumer Market: Defining the Evolving Chinese Consumers

For most consumer and retail companies, Chinese customers represent the greatest growth opportunity for the next decade. Understanding these customers continues to be a challenge for both Chinese and foreign firms. As technology and globalism continue to influence the Chinese market, these customers are also evolving and becoming more differentiated. Factors like urban v. rural, regional tastes, socioeconomic background, etc. matter even more today. How do companies get ahead of this changing landscape and create product offerings and marketing campaigns that will resonate with different segments?

Key Topics:

•     What steps can foreign companies take to understand and adapt to the Chinese market?
•  Going forward, how would you keep selling to 1st and 2nd tier city consumers whose dispensable income is growing but not necessarily increasingly spent on consumer goods?
How is e-commerce different in China vs. the West?
What brands are most successful in selling to Chinese consumers?

Mark Cohen

Professor of Marketing, Columbia Business School; Former Chairman/CEO, Sears Canada Inc

Mark A. Cohen has been in the retail business since his graduation from Columbia University in 1971. (MBA ’71, BS Electrical Engineering ’69). Mr. Cohen has over 20 years of experiences in C-level executive positions. . Most recently he was Chairman/CEO of Sears Canada Inc., Chief Marketing Officer and President of Softlines of Sears Roebuck & Co., Chairman/CEO of Bradlees Inc., and Chairman/CEO of Lazarus Department Stores. Mr. Cohen has also held positions with Abraham & Strauss, The Gap, Lord & Taylor, Mervyn’s and Goldsmith’s Department Stores. He has been a Professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business since 2006 and teaches courses in Retailing Leadership, Retail Fundamentals, and a Master Class in Creating a Retail Enterprise. Mr. Cohen also serves as an independent consultant to both the retail and consumer products industry.

Baohong Sun

Professor of Marketing, Columbia Business School; Former Chairman/CEO, Sears Canada Inc

Professor SUN Baohong is the Dean's Distinguished Chair Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean for global programs at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB). Before joining CKGSB, she was Carnegie Bosch Professor of Marketing at Carnegie Mellon University. She has also taught at UC Berkeley and UNC Chapel Hill. Her recent research interest focuses on modeling dynamic and inter-dependent consumer decisions on e-commerce and social media platforms. She serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science and Journal of Marketing. Her work has been cited by the Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, Bloomberg etc.

She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Southern California. She has won All Star Teaching Awards and was selected Master of MBA teaching. She has also won the George Leland Bach Teaching Award at CMU. She has consulted for Bosch, UPMC, Verizon, IBM, International Paper, PNC Bank, Bell South, John Deere, Caterpillar and TsingTao Beer, etc. She has also served on the Boards of ISMS and CMO.

Michael Zakkour

Principal, Technomic Asia

Michael A. Zakkour is a principal at Technomic Asia, a management consulting firm based in Shanghai, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tompkins International. He has more than fifteen years experience in international market strategy and consulting, primarily in China and Southeast Asia. He has assisted more than 200 multinational and SME companies in their assessment of opportunities in Asia and their resultant business strategy development and implementation, including some of the biggest names in retail, consumer products, apparel and luxury.

Prior to joining Technomic Asia he was the managing director of China BrightStar, LLC, a leading China-focused consulting and manufacturing services firm and before that was Vice President of Beijing-Gongmei, a Chinese manufacturing conglomerate.

Liqi Peng

Associate Marketing Director of P&G, Gillette Global

Liqi Peng is a Director in Marketing at Procter & Gamble. She is the first Marketing director from China to lead global business in the U.S. in P&G China’s history.

She led billion$ brands including Gillette, Always/Whisper, Olay and Ariel. She turned around Gillette Mach3 in Emerging Market and Ariel in China, created new marketing model to deliver the fastest growth in Whisper/Always’ history in Greater China. She doubled brand equity, created global campaign. Her Always/ Whisper digital campaign won a Cannes silver lion and multiple external awards.

Her expertise lies in P&L, innovation, communications as well as transforming organization and culture. She is also a passionate leader in diversity and women’s development.

Caroline Levy

Managing Director, US Beverage/HPC Analyst (Household Products and Cosmetics), Credit Agricole Securities (USA)

Caroline Levy joined Credit Agricole Securities (USA) in September 2009. Before joining the company, she worked for UBS, Lehman Brothers and Schroder Wertheim. At UBS, Caroline chaired the investment review committee, where she was responsible for all rating changes and headed the consumer team (staples and discretionary consumer stocks). She was an Institutional Investor-ranked analyst covering beverages and restaurants and has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, with double majors in accounting and economics.

Sara Bergson

Senior Director of Marketing and Strategy

Global Beverages Group, Enjoyment Brands


Sara Bergson is currently Senior Director of Marketing and Strategy for PepsiCo in their Global Beverages group. She focuses on driving growth for PepsiCo’s global soda brands, including Pepsi and Mountain Dew through defining and aligning business strategies, brand platforms and product innovations. Previously, she was in the Corporate Strategy & Development Group which focuses its efforts on serving the corporation’s senior leadership by tackling their most pressing strategic questions. In 2008, Sara led a team in Asia to develop PepsiCo’s beverages 5-year strategic plan that led to over $3.5 billion in investment in the last 5 years.

Before joining PepsiCo, Ms. Bergson worked as a strategy consultant at Booz & Co. She specialized in developing strategies to help consumer packaged goods and retail clients create sustainable competitive advantage through creating end to end business models that optimized margin growth and cost efficiency. Sara began her career at Procter & Gamble in business development. She was responsible for designing and deploying sales, marketing, competitive and go-to-market plans for laundry & home care for Canada’s largest customer in Ontario and then was responsible nationally for the feminine care business.

Ms. Bergson is a graduate of York University (Canada) with a B.A. in Psychology and History and holds a Masters in International Relations from Cambridge University (UK). She also received an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is an active Board member of Sing for Hope a non-profit that mobilizes professional artists in volunteer service programs.

Kai Li

Head of Asia Business Development,

Kai Li is Head of Asia Business Development for, an online women’s fashion boutique and Amazon subsidiary, where he focuses on strategic planning; brand building; traffic generation; and strengthening of operational capabilities to drive growth in targeted territories in Asia. Prior to Shopbop, Kai spent ten years spearheading market entry and expansion strategy for startups in China, where he led multiple product rollouts; adapting products for the Chinese market and interpreting Chinese customer requirements. One of the companies Kai managed was honored by a visit from several members of China’s State Council including President Hu Jintao, and later acquired by a Nasdaq-listed company. While in Beijing, Kai was active in entrepreneurial fora, appearing as a guest speaker at the Beijing International Incubation Center and featured on China National Public Radio - Voice of the Economy. Kai earned an MBA from Chicago Booth and BS from University of Wisconsin.

Macro Economy: China's New Role in the Post Crisis World

Three years after the global financial crisis, many regions are still suffering from the aftershocks.  The recent U.S. debt ceiling crisis and European sovereign debt crisis have almost pushed the world back to the double dip.

Although China has helped lead the world out of the recession, its own economy now encounters formidable challenges.  Many are concerned about its dilemma between maintaining 8+% growth and capping inflation, its massive government debt, and its ever-inflating real estate bubble. As China continues to emerge as an economic powerhouse, global growth will hinge on how China’s economy lands. 

Key Topics:

•     What does China’s macroeconomic environment look like at present?
What challenges and opportunities will China’s economy face in the future?
Will China’s economy face a soft-landing or a hard-landing?
What key factors will influence China’s future macroeconomic development, both domestic and international? What direction will China’s economic restructuring take in the next decade? 

Xiaobo Lü

Professor, Columbia University

Mr. Xiaobo Lü is Professor of Political Science at Barnard College of Columbia University. Xiaobo Lü served as the founding Director of Columbia Global in Beijing between 2008 and 2010. While in China, he was a visiting professor at Tsinghua University and taught courses at the School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua. Professor Lu teaches courses on Chinese politics, political economy, and comparative politics. His research interests include post-socialist transition, corruption and good governance, regulatory reforms, and government-business relations. As a principle investigator, he was responsible for leading an international research project, “Central-local relations and environmental governance in China”, funded by Global Public Policy Network (consisted of Columbia, LSE, and Sciences-po) in 2008-10. Currently he is working on a book manuscript, From Player to Referee: the Rise of the Regulatory State in China. Xiaobo Lü is a member of Council on Foreign Relations, Committee of 100, and the National Committee of US-China Relations. He is a regular commentator on China and US-China relations on PBS, CNN, BBC, and NPR and has delivered speeches and briefings to organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Asia Foundation, the Asia Society, World Affairs Council, National Committee for US-China Relations, American Center for International Leadership, Asia Society, the China Institute of America, and the Japan Society.

Ken Miller

CEO and President, Ken Miller Capital; former Vice chairman, Merrill Lynch Capital Markets

Ken Miller is the President and CEO of Ken Miller Capital, LLC. (“KMC”), a closely held merchant banking firm with headquarters in New York’s Rockefeller Center and affiliates in China and Europe. KMC provides strategic financial advice to clients and occasionally invests in transactions with an international dimension.

Mr. Miller has served successively as Vice Chairman of Merrill Lynch Capital Markets and Credit Suisse First Boston. With each firm he acted as financial advisor to wealthy individuals and a number of the world’s largest corporations. He has also served as member of the Board of Directors of Viacom, Inc., Intelsat Corporation, Kinder Care Learning Centers, etc.

Mr. Miller is an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a Board member of the Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and the Asian Cultural Council. In addition, he acts as advisor to the US State Department through its Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, and as senior advisor to Contour Venture Partners, a VC fund he helped create.

Mr. Miller received his B.A. with honors from the University of Michigan (1964), M.A. from Yale University (1965 – Chinese Studies), and J.D. from Harvard University (1969). Mr. Miller speaks French and Mandarin Chinese.

Pingfan Hong

Chief of Global Economic Monitoring, United Nations

Dr. Pingfan Hong is the Chief at the Global Economic Monitoring Unit of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs at the United Nations. He manages UN flagship publications World Economic Situation and Prospects and Project LINK Global Economic Outlook.  

Since joining the UN in 1989, Dr. Hong has worked mostly in the area of policy research, particularly macroeconomic policy analysis and international policy transmission. For many years, Dr. Hong contributed to numerous United Nations publications, namely World Economic and Social Survey and World Economic Situation and Prospects. Throughout his tenure at UN, Dr. Hong has held many positions, including Chairman of the Board for UN National Competitive Examination in Economics, Member of the UN Promotion and Appointment Panel, and Member of the UN Speakers Bureau. In recent years, Dr. Hong’s analyses on the impact of global financial crisis on global economy have been widely quoted by Chinese media.

Mr. Hong earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, a Dual Master in Computer Sciences and Management Sciences from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and a Bachelor in Engineering from Wu Xi Institute of Light Industrial Technology. He is the World Bank McNamara Fellow of 1985.

Malcolm Riddell

President, Riddell Tseng

As diplomat, lawyer, and investment banker, Malcolm Riddell has participated in China’s rise to international economic and political power for over 30 years. A Mandarin speaker, who lived and worked for more than 15 years in China and Taiwan, he is president of RIDDELLTSENG, a China-focused boutique investment bank he founded in Asia in 1988. He is also editor of CHINA Debate, an online platform that conveys diverse opinions about pressing China issues. Among his academic activities, he is an Associate-in-Research at the Harvard Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and Senior Visiting Fellow at Peking University Law School. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Daniel P. Ahn

Senior economist and strategist (Citigroup), Adjunct Assistant Professor (SIPA); Former Director of Economic Research at Citadel Investment Group

Dr. Daniel P. Ahn is Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. His research and teaching interests specialize in international macroeconomics, behavioral finance, and the economics of national security, particularly energy security. He has held research and teaching positions at Harvard University Department of Economics, Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the National Bureau of Economic Research. He also is a research fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations. Currently, Dr. Ahn is Director and Chief US Economist at Citadel Investment Group in New York. Previously, he was head of Portfolio Engineering for Barclays Capital Fund Solutions Americas and a senior energy economist at Lehman Brothers. He received his A.B. in economics and finance from Princeton University, and his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

David Mann

Regional Head of Research Americas, Standard Chartered

Mr. Mann is Regional Head of Research, Americas, based in New York. He first joined the bank’s London office in 2000 as a Treasury Economist, became a member of the FX Strategy Team in 2001, and moved to Hong Kong in 2005 as a Senior FX Strategist. In 2007 he also took on the role of Head of Research for Korea. He moved from Hong Kong in January 2010, where he was Head of Research, Korea and Senior FX Strategist.

David has macro-economic and FX expertise in Asia and the G7, and works closely with economists and product strategists of the bank’s network. His key focus is the rapidly changing relationship between Asia, Africa and the Middle East with the Americas. In 2001 he was awarded the Rybczynski Young Economist Prize for his work on the Malaysian ringgit Barometer.

David holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Warwick and an MSc in Finance from the University of London (Birkbeck College).

Capital Markets: Navigating China’s Investment Landscape

The capital markets’ contribution and influence on China’s economic and social development have grown steadily. Over time, they have become a dynamic component of China’s financial system and the national economy. As the world keenly observes China’s rise as a economic superpower, the investment community around the world has also taken on great interest in China’s capital markets.

Key Topics:

Personal investment experiences with China stocks (A/H-share and US listed), and the lessons learnt
The opportunities and risks of China-related investments
Has the China story been overbought in the equity markets?
What is the next stage of development for China’s capital market?

David Beim

Professor, Columbia Business Schools

Professor Beim had a 25-year career in investment banking, following which he became a professor in the Finance and Economics Division of Columbia Business School. He joined Columbia as an adjunct professor in 1989 and has been a fulltime professor of professional practice since 1991. His areas of teaching include corporate finance, international banking and emerging financial markets.

Professor Beim’s Wall Street career included 10 years at First Boston Corporation (1966-75), where among other assignments he started and ran the project finance group. He served as executive vice president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States during 1975–77. Following that, he joined Bankers Trust Company to start and run its investment banking business. During 1978–87, he was executive vice president and head, corporate finance department, and member of the management committee at Bankers Trust. From 1987 to 1989, he was a managing director at Dillon Read & Co.

He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in political science from Stanford, and he continued his education as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, earning a master’s in politics.

Andrew Left

Head, Citron Research

Mr. Andrew Left is a lead contributor at Citron Research, one of the longest stock commentary sources online. He is also a lead Since its inception 10 years ago,Citron has focused its efforts on exposing corporate fraud and misconducts. Mr. Left’s work has been quoted by major US business publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes and Business Week. Additionally,Mr. Left is a frequent guest speaker on CNBC Asia where he discusses fraudulent conducts observed in Chinese public companies. Over the past 4 years, Citron Research has exposed more fraudulent businesses in China than any other published sources. . Mr. Left lives in Los Angeles, a proud father of 4 children and an avid golfer.

Kevin Carter

CEO, AlphaShares / Baochuan Capital

Kevin T. Carter is a Co-founder, the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Investment Committee of BaoCap. Prior to BaoCap he held similar positions at its predecessor firm AlphaShares. He was the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Active Index Advisors ("AIA"). AIA was acquired by NATIXIS Asset Management in December 2004. Prior to founding AIA, he was the Founder and CEO of Electronic Investing Corporation ("EIC") which was acquired by E*TRADE Group in July 2000. Prior to EIC, Mr. Carter worked for firms including Feshbach Brothers, Prudential Securities, and Robertson Stephens & Co. Mr. Carter received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Arizona.

Marc H. Iyeki

Managing Director, NYSE Euronext

Marc is a Managing Director of Asia Pacific client service and business development matters in New York for the Global Corporate Client Group of NYSE Euronext. He manages the Exchange’s relationships with over 150 companies and works closely with capital markets professionals and government officials from throughout the region. His blog, Asia Pacific Markets, appears on Marc has previous experience as a securities law enforcement attorney and a public interest law attorney. Marc attended Austin College, and has a B.A. in economics from Washington University in St. Louis and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. He also attended a masters program in public policy analysis for one year at the University of Pennsylvania. Marc was raised in New York and Texas.

Andrew Hudders

Partner, Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe

Mr. Hudders has been engaged in United States and foreign securities offerings for over 35 years. He was involved in the development of the Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation (SPAC) product while working at Graubard Miller in the 1990s, in addition working with many of the SPAC companies to complete their acquisitions. He worked on the first SPAC that invested USD 30 million into a Chinese operating company, a deal that closed in 2005. He also specializes in reverse merger transactions and Private Investment in Public Equity (PIPE) transactions. He has represented many companies in the PIPE space: United States and foreign operating companies, non-U.S. companies having their operations in Canada, China (including Hong Kong), companies in the United Kingdom and in the United States. He joined Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe LLP in 2007 as the head of its Corporate Securities Department, where he represents several underwriters and investment banking firms in initial public offerings and secondary public offerings, equity lines of credit, registered direct offerings, private placements, PIPEs and Regulation S offerings. He also represents companies in their reverse merger transactions and related financings, both in the context of SPAC transactions and regular mergers into US and non-US vehicles. His clients come from all industries and many countries in addition to the United States, with a large number being Canadian and Chinese (including Hong Kong).

He is a member of the bar of the State of New York and during the 1990s was a registered foreign lawyer in the Crown Colony of Hong Kong. His legal education includes a J.D. from Georgetown University (1979) and an LLM from Cambridge University (1985). He also earned his BA from Connecticut College (1975) and an MSc from London School of Economics and Political Science (1976).

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