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Macro-Economy Panel - On Track to $15 Trillion

During China’s recent transition of power, Hu Jintao spoke of doubling China’s GDP by 2020, to approximately $15 trillion. And, in order to put China’s growth on a more sustainable path, both the outgoing and the new leadership have addressed the importance of rebalancing China’s economy from one that is fueled by bank investments in state-owned enterprises to one that is focused on household consumption and private enterprises. This has significant implications for the future of the country’s interest-rate regime, exchange-rate policies, and labor market regulations. In turn, major changes could be in store for the banking sector, the large state-owned enterprises, and the various export-oriented industries.

Key Topics:

  • Is China moving towards a new market-based interest rate regime?
  • How will the banking sector respond to a more consumption-base economy?
  • Are we expecting policy changes to ease restrictions on cross-border capital flow? A more internationalized RMB?
  • How will the changing demographics of China impact wage levels in the near future? How will the new leadership manage inflation and inflation expectations?

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.

David Beim

Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia Business School

Professor David 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 full-time Professor of Professional Practice since 1991.  His areas of teaching include banking, emerging financial markets and corporate finance.

Professor Beim graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University in 1963.  He continued his education as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, earning a M. Phil. in Politics in 1966.

His Wall Street career included ten 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 1975-1977.  Following that, he joined Bankers Trust Company to start and run the bank’s investment banking business.  During 1978-1987, he was Executive Vice President and Head, Corporate Finance Department, and member of the Management Committee at the Bankers Trust Company.  From 1987-1989, Professor Beim was a Managing Director at Dillon Read & Co. Inc.

He serves as a director of a cluster of mutual funds managed by BlackRock.  In past years he has served as Chairman of Outward Bound, Inc., Chairman of Wave Hill, Trustee of Phillips Exeter Academy and Governor, West Chop Club.  He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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.

Shanquan Li

Vice President and Portfolio Manager, OppenheimerFunds

Shanquan Li is a Vice President and Portfolio Manager responsible for the Oppenheimer Gold & Special Minerals Fund. His responsibilities include building quantitative investment management systems and creating proprietary equity models.

Prior to joining OppenheimerFunds in 1995 as a Senior Equity Analyst, Mr. Li was a Senior Quantitative Analyst in the Investment Management Policy Group of Brown Brothers Harriman, where he built stock screening and valuation models, formulated quantitative strategies and participated in the management of a quantitative small-cap fund. Prior to that, Mr. Li was a consultant for Acadian Asset Management, Inc. Before joining the investment business, Mr. Li was Associate Director and Senior Researcher for the Development Research Center of the State Council, a think tank for the central government of the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Mr. Li completed all requirements except a dissertation for a Ph.D. in Economics from Boston University and holds an M.A. in International Finance and Economics from Brandeis University and a B.A. in Statistics and Management Planning from the People's University of China, Beijing, PRC.

Milton Kotler

Founder and Chairman, Kotler Marketing Group USA

Milton Kotler has over forty years of professional experience in marketing strategy and management. He is Founder and Chairman of Kotler Marketing Group USA  (KMG, Inc. –founder in 1984: (, headquartered in Washington DC, and Chairman of Kotler Marketing China (, with offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen..  

KMG USA conducts projects in marketing strategy and organization; brand management; and pricing, product development, distribution and pricing analysis and tactics. Our clients include Fortune 500 companies.

KMG China has been registered and operating in China for twelve years, with offices Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai and a staff of 50 FTEs who provide strategic marketing planning to Chinese companies and strategic urban and industrial planning for local governments and major property developers. Chinese clients include AVIC, Bank of China, Sany, Great Wall Property, Ping An Insurance, Merchant Group and China Resources Corporation and many other major State-owned and private Chinese companies. KMG China. In 2011, KMG was ranked the #$1 marketing strategic consultancy in China.

Milton Kotler is an economic advisor to the Mayors of Xian, Dalian and Harbin and Zhengzhou. He has delivered public seminars in over 100 Chinese cities and is author of A Clear-Sighted View of Chinese Business Strategy, Renmin University Press, Beijing; 2003 and co-author with Philip Kotler of Market Your Way to Growth: 8 Ways to Win, Wiley, 2013. He is a frequent contributor to Chinese business newspapers and magazines, and is a frequent guest on CCTV. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and resides in Washington and Beijing.

Kevin Chen

Founding Partner and CIO ACM Global Macro hedge fund

Kevin Chen is a founding partner and Chief Investment Officer of ACM Global Macro hedge fund. He was a Senior Portfolio Manager at Amundi alternative investment, which is a merged asset management entity of Credit Agricole and Societie Generale. He was responsible for constructing and managing multi-billion dollar hedge funds portfolios for institutional clients. Previously, he was a Director of asset allocation of Morgan Stanley and his responsibilities included designing and delivering comprehensive hedge funds advisory solutions to high-net-wealth and institutional clients of U.S. and International. Kevin joined Morgan Stanley after graduating with a Ph.D. in Finance from International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering (FAME), Geneva and University of Lausanne, Switzerland in 2004. Kevin also served as a consultant for several Swiss-based organizations, including Swiss Organization for Facilitating Investments, a joint initiative of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (seco) in cooperation with KPMG. Prior to that, Kevin did Master’s in Finance at CentER for Economic Research, Tilburg University, the Netherlands and Bachelor’s in Economics at Renmin University of China. Kevin spent two years with China Development Bank’s International Finance Department and Investment Banking Department. Kevin is a co-founder of CCC, a New York based charity that works on improving cultural understanding and mentors underprivileged teenagers. In addition, he is a founding council member of Absolute Return Investment Association of China and a member of Société Académique Vaudoise.

Private Equity & Venture Capital: “New Opportunities in the Transforming Market”

Is it the worst of times? Or is it the best of times? With the challenges and difficulties in fundraising, deal sourcing, and exiting, the fever of China PEVC market has passed away. PEVC should find ways to survive in the transforming market and seek for new opportunities, since the PEVC landscape in this country still favors continued growth, in terms of advantageous demographics, rising consumer consumption, and the increase of cross-border M&A and buyouts.  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 the future.

Key Topics:

  • How have government policies/regulations influenced PE/VC investment strategy in China, both positively and negatively?
  • How buy-out funds would develop and impact the PE investment landscape?
  • What are cross-border PE opportunities in five years to come?
  • How would alternative exit channels like M&A reshape the PE/VC investment landscape and impact on the exit strategy?
  • What is trend for portfolio management strategy in China?

Neng Wang

Professor of Real Estate and Finance, Columbia Business School

Neng Wang is Chong Khoon Lin Professor of Real Estate and Finance at Columbia Business School. He is also the Honorary Dean and Academic Director of the School of Finance, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE).

His research interests include private equity, hedge funds, asset allocation, corporate finance, risk management, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance, investor protection, household finance, wealth and income distribution, macroeconomics, and real estate finance. His work has been widely published in leading economics and finance journals. Among other awards and honors, he won a Smith-Breeden Distinguished Paper Prize awarded by the Journal of Finance in 2008, and the Bettis Distinguished Scholar Award from W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University in 2011. He is also a recipient of the “Thousand Talents” Program, one of the most prestigious awards granted by the Chinese central government. He serves on editorial boards for various academic finance, economics, and business journals. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

He taught at the Simon School of Business, University of Rochester and was a visiting professor at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He was also a special-term professor at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB), Guanghua School of Management at Peking University, Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) at Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU), and Zhejiang University.  He has taught MBA-level and doctoral courses including entrepreneurial finance and private equity, fixed income securities and markets, financial institutions and risk management, real estate finance, corporate finance theory, and dynamic finance theory.

He received B.S. in Physical Chemistry from Nanjing University, China in 1992, M.S. in Chemistry from California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1995, M.A. in International Relations and Pacific Studies from University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 1997, and PhD in Finance from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University in 2002.

Xiaojie Huang

CEO, Kunwu Jiuding Capital (九鼎投资)

Dr. Huang is the CEO and a founding partner of Kunwu Jiuding Capital, a leading private equity firm in China with over $3 billion in AUM. To date, Jiuding Capital has invested in over 100 portfolio companies spanning the consumer products and services, agriculture, healthcare sectors, and others. More than 20 of Jiuding’s portfolio companies have successfully completed IPOs on China’s Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges (Chinese A-Share markets). In 2011 and 2012, Zero2IPO ranked Jiuding as the No. 1 Private Equity firm in China. In 2012, Dr. Huang was named the PE Capitalist of the year.

Prior to founding Jiuding in 2007, Dr. Huang served as the Director of the Graduate School of the People’s Bank of China. Additionally, he serves on the expert panel for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) board, is a member of the Examining and Approving Committee for Securities Markets Practitioner’s Qualification of Securities Association of China, and a member of the Liu Hongru Financial Education Foundation Council. He has co-authored or edited several books including Investment Planning and China’s Financial Sector Reform: Theory, Path and Strategy etc.

Dr. Huang holds a PhD in finance from the Graduate School of the People’s Bank of China.

Charles P. Eaton ’ 68

Partner & Founder, Eaton Partners

Charlie founded Eaton Partners in 1983 and was a pioneer of the “placement agent” concept. Previously, he was in research and institutional sales at Mitchell Hutchins, Morgan Stanley, and H.C. Wainwright & Company, where he was a partner at the time Wainwright was ranked the top institutional research firm in the country. He began his career as an investment research officer at Morgan Guaranty Trust Company (predecessor to J. P. Morgan Investment Management).

Charlie graduated from Washington and Jefferson College and received an MBA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He holds Series 7 and 63 licenses with FINRA.  He served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Armor branch. Charlie is a former trustee of Washington and Jefferson College. He has served in several leadership roles with the United Way of Darien, Connecticut, including Director, Vice President and Campaign Chair, and he is a former Director of A Better Chance of Darien.

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).

Qiang Wang

Partner & Director of Zhenfund(真格基金), co-founder of New Oriental Education (新东方教育科技集团)

Wang Qiang joined New Oriental Education & Technology Group as a co-founder in 1996.  He designed the foundations of New Oriental's oral English classes, as well as practical English and computer science courses. He served as Vice President and Board Member of New Oriental, as well as the New Oriental Beijing Branch Director and Standing Vice Principal. Prior to co-founding New Oriental Technology and Education, he held engineering positions in the software division of Bell Communications Research, and was formerly was a lecturer of English language and literature at Peking University.  He received an M.S. in Computer Science from State University of New York, and a B.A. in English from Peking University.

Dixon Doll

Co-Founder and General Partner of DCM

For more than 35 years, Dixon Doll has influenced and guided entrepreneurs, investors and executives in the computer and communications industries. In recognition of his accomplishments in venture capital, Dixon was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 100 venture investors on its Midas List for four consecutive years. In April, 2005, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) in Washington, D.C. He also served as NVCA Chairman from 2008-2009 and as a member of their Executive Committee from 2007-2009. Under Dixon’s leadership and direction as Chairman, the NVCA developed a widely embraced set of recommendations (NVCA 4-Pillar Plan) to help enhance liquidity in the U.S. venture capital industry. These recommendations have resulted in bipartisan Congressional support for new legislation to simplify the IPO process for young emerging growth companies.

Dixon currently serves on the Board of Directors of DIRECTV (DTV), where he also serves on the Compensation and Nominating/Corporate Governance Committees. He is also the Board Chairman of Network Equipment Technologies (NWK) and the past Board Chairman of Force10 Networks, which was recently acquired by Dell. He also serves on the boards of numerous private DCM companies.

Dixon has led DCM’s investments in (Acquired by The New York Times Co.), Adkeeper, @Motion (Acquired by Openwave), CENX, Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR), Coradiant (Acquired by BMC), Force10 Networks (Acquired by Dell), Foundry Networks (Nasdaq: FDRY), Internap (Nasdaq: INAP), Ipivot (Acquired by Intel), Neutral Tandem (Nasdaq: TNDM) and Roamware, among others.

In the mid-1980's, Dixon co-founded the venture capital industry's first fund focused exclusively on telecommunications opportunities. Those funds launched such noteworthy companies as Alantec, Bridge Communication, Centillion Networks, Network Equipment Technologies, Optilink, Picturetel, Polycom and UUNet.

Earlier, Dixon was the founder and CEO of an internationally recognized strategic consulting firm focused on telecommunications and computer networking. From 1972 to 1980, Dixon also served as a faculty member of the IBM Systems Research Institute in New York City. He authored the seminal text Data Communications published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1978. It was adopted as a course text by more than 60 colleges and universities worldwide.

Dixon has traveled extensively to six continents to serve on advisory boards and give highly sought after lectures and conference presentations. Through their family foundation, he and his wife Carol give generously to numerous educational and philanthropic organizations, including the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (where he has served as Chair of the museum’s dual governing boards), San Francisco Symphony, Kansas State University, the University of Michigan, the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, and the University of San Francisco where he has served as the Investment Committee Chair. He has served as a trustee or board member for each of these organizations. He also serves on the Executive Committee and Advisory Board for the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), is a member of the Board of Overseers at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, and also is a San Francisco City Commissioner.

Dixon received his B.S.E.E. degree (cum laude) from Kansas State University as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, where he was a National Science Foundation scholar.

Claudia Fan Munce

Managing Director, IBM Venture Capital Group
Vice President, IBM Corporate Strategy

Claudia Fan Munce has been Managing Director of the IBM Venture Capital Group since 2004. In addition to this role, she is Vice President of IBM Corporate Strategy. Ms. Munce joined IBM’s Research Division in 1985 and has held many technical and business leadership positions. She is on the Board of Directors of the National Venture Capital Association and has previously served as the chairwoman for the Corporate Venture Advisory Board as well as a board member for the Latin American Venture Capital Association. Ms. Munce also serves on the advisory board of several venture capital oganizations worldwide.

IBM’s Venture Capital Group seeks to build strategic relationships with venture capital firms and their portfolio companies, focusing on growth markets and emerging technologies. Venture Capital Group’s mission is to promote an innovation ecosystem engaging the full range of IBM resources and capabilities with that of its venture capital partners and other key innovation drivers to maximize growth opportunities.

Ms. Munce holds a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Santa Clara University and a Masters of Business Administration from Stanford University.

Real Estate: “The Next Frontier”

China’s real estate market has experienced a rapid ascent in the past decade. With property prices rising again after a policy-led slowdown, the central government has recently issued further directives to curb the sector’s growth. Therein lie many questions regarding this industry’s future in China. What new government policies can be implemented to keep price levels under control, or is it a matter of enforcing existing regulations? How will investors and developers navigate the changing financing landscape? Will domestic restrictions further drive Chinese to invest their growing wealth in overseas real estate markets? With some concern over the supply of residential developments, what types of developments will be the next big opportunity? We have invited panelists who have years of experience investing, developing, researching, and financing the Chinese property market to discuss exactly these hotly debated issues.

Key Topics:

  • Capital markets: how are firms exploring alternative funding sources given the slow IPO markets?
  • RMB funds:  potential risks/rewards; will foreign firms be able to tap this market?
  • Structural change ahead for RE market? How will financial reform, tax reform impact the real estate market?
  • Impact of political transition on real estate market - will there be any change in policy direction, or implementation of policies at the local level?
  • Chinese sovereign funds, companies, and individuals looking to invest in the US - have roles reversed?  Does this open doors for foreign companies to engage in partnerships in China?
  • Any risk of overbuilding in certain cities?  How to enhance urban planning & supply/demand balance?

Leanne Lachman

President of Lachman Associates

Ms. Leanne Lachman is president of Lachman Associates, an independent real estate consulting company. Previously, Ms. Lachman spent 13 years as a partner at Schroder Real Estate Associates, a boutique real estate manager that was acquired by Lend Lease, a global institutional investment manager, where she spent four years. Her early career was with Real Estate Research Corporation, where she served as chief executive officer. A highly sought after speaker and widely published author of books and articles on the real estate industry, Ms. Lachman is also a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute and a Governor of the Urban Land Foundation, a director of Lincoln National Corporation and a member of Liberty Property Trust. She received her BA from the University of Southern California and her MA from Claremont Graduate University. Areas of interest: real estate, demographics (U.S. and global trends), corporate governance, and offshoring.

Sonny Kalsi

Founder and Partner, GreenOak Real Estate

Sonny Kalsi is the Founder of GreenOak Real Estate, an independent, partner-owned real estate principal investing and advisory firm that seeks to provide strategic advice and create long-term value.  He was previously the Global Co-Head of Morgan Stanley’s Real Estate Investing business and President of the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds until early 2009. At its peak, the MSREI platform had approximately $100 billion of AUM in 33 countries.  From 1997 through 2006, Sonny and his team led the formation of Morgan Stanley’s property business in Asia and built the leading real estate platform in the region.   Sonny has been cited in several publications for his profile in the real estate industry, including Private Equity Real Estate magazine as one of the “30 Most Influential” people in private equity real estate globally.  Sonny is a graduate of Georgetown University with a degree in Business Administration and is a member of the Georgetown’s Board of Regents.

Youguo Liang

PhD, CFA, Managing Director, Prudential Real Estate Investors

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.

Charles Song

Managing Director, Moon Capital, Ex Co-Head Global Property Securities in Macquarie

Charles Song is a managing director and real estate sector head of Moon Capital Management LP, a global long short equity hedge fund based in New York. Charles joined Moon Capital from Macquarie Capital Investment Management where he was the Co-Head of the Global Real Estate Securities team, where he oversaw investment teams in New York, London, Hong Kong and Sydney.

Prior to that, Charles was the Senior Portfolio Manager of Dividend Capital Investments, a real estate investment firm he helped found. Previously, he worked in private equity and consulting in North America and Asia. He started off his career at Lehman Brothers in New York.

Charles graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Government. He is a member of the Cornell Real Estate Council.  He serves as a Board Member for the Korea Finance Society and the 21st Century China Program at The School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at UC San Diego.

Christopher B. Taube '03

Managing Director, Aetos Capital Asia, Head of China Real Estate

Mr. Taube is a Managing Director of Aetos Capital and Head of China Real Estate. He is responsible for evaluating all acquisitions and for a wide variety of investment, fundraising and new business matters.

Prior to joining Aetos Capital in 2007, Mr. Taube was a Principal at Fremont Realty Capital in New York where he was involved in sourcing, closing and managing private equity real estate investments.  Prior to joining Fremont, Mr. Taube was at The Georgetown Company in New York where he worked on real estate development projects including retail, office and residential.  Mr. Taube started his career at Lazard Frères & Co. LLC as an analyst in the Media and Communications Group.

Mr. Taube received a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University and a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia Business School where he was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma and was a member of the Dean’s Honor List.  He is a member of the National Committee on US/China Relations (2009 YLF Fellow) and an Asia Society 21 Young Leader (2011).

Inkai Mu

Managing Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) Principal Inkai Mu has more than 25 years of experience in architectural design and project management on a variety of project types including office, hotel, and mixed-use developments. Since joining the firm in 1999, Mr. Mu has played a key role in expanding KPF’s portfolio in China and throughout Asia.

Mr. Mu is currently managing the design and construction of several notable office towers and corporate headquarters in China, including the 660-meter-tall Ping An Finance Center in Shenzhen, which will be one of the tallest supertowers in the world on its completion. He is also leading the teams responsible for the 520-meter-tall Beijing Z15 Tower, the Z3 Tower, also in Beijing, the Harbin Bank Headquarters project, and a Park Hyatt Hotel and Eco-Park Hotel in Hangzhou.

Mr. Mu’s completed work includes China Central Place, a mixed-use development in Beijing comprised of three office towers, two 5-star hotels, and luxury retail and residential components; the One Raffles Quay development in Singapore; and the 40-story Barclays Capital Headquarters in New York City’s Times Square. He also served as Project Manager for the new headquarters for China Huaneng Group, one of China’s largest companies.

A Registered Architect in New York and New Jersey, Mr. Mu is an active member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He received his Master of Architecture from the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts where he was the recipient of the Ellen M. Pennell Award, and his Bachelor of Architecture from Tongji University School of Architecture and Urban Design in Shanghai, China.

Capital Market & Investment: “Finding Value in China ”

As the world’s biggest emerging economy, China has rapidly increased its impact on global capital markets. Today, investors globally cannot make investment decisions without taking a perspective on China. Meanwhile, the nascent capital market in China provides investors opportunities along with challenges, including the issues of corporate governance and valuation. The Capital Markets & Investment panel, featured with renowned portfolio managers from hedge funds and mutual funds, will enlighten us with their insights and experiences on how investors approach their investments in Chinese listed companies.

Key Topics:

  • Is the “China growth” story approaching its end?
  • Is investing in China different from investing in developed markets?
  • How does bottoms-up fundamental research work in investing in Chinese listed companies?
  • Is China a good place for value investors?
  • What needs to be done to improve the standard of corporate governance in China?

Cecilia Yang

Associate, Credit Agricole Securities / CLSA

Cecilia Yang is a research associate at Credit Agricole Securities/CLSA, covering the global technology sector. She graduated Columbia Business School in 2012 as part of the Value Investing program taught by Mark Cooper and Todd Combs. She has interned as an equity analyst at Brandes Investment Partners, conducting value-focused research on both U.S. and international equities. Prior to business school, she worked as a corporate finance consultant at FTI Consulting, advising distressed companies on restructuring and chapter 11 bankruptcy. Cecilia grew up in China and received a Bachelors of Science degree in finance from Pepperdine University (Magna Cum Laude). She is a CFA level III candidate and holds a WSET intermediate certificate in Wine Tasting.

Eric Almeraz CFA

Partner, Apis Capital Advisors, LLC

Eric Almeraz is a co-founder of Apis Capital Advisors, LLC. Named one of Barron's Top 75 Hedge Funds in 2008, Apis is an equity hedge fund focused on fundamental analysis of companies in global industries. Mr. Almeraz is also currently an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School where he teaches Applied Value Investing. Prior to Apis, Mr. Almeraz was an analyst at J&W Seligman and a Research Associate at The Capital Group. Mr. Almeraz received his MBA from Columbia Business School and his BS from New York University. He resides in Manhattan with his wife and their two boys.

Benjamin Fanger

Co-founder & Managing Director, Shoreline Capital

Mr. Fanger co-founded Shoreline Capital Management, Ltd. in 2004 to invest in distressed assets and special situations in China. The firm currently manages over

US$500 million, with principal balances on its distressed debt holdings totaling over US$2 billion. Mr. Fanger works with the team to formulate the company’s investment strategies and is involved in the sourcing, analysis, negotiations, restructurings and liquidations related to acquiring and disposing distressed assets in China. He has worked directly with Chinese sellers, borrowers, judges and high level government officials. Prior to founding Shoreline, Mr. Fanger was involved as a founding member in the start-up and exits of several firms, with the majority of his career being China- focused. He has done work on Chinese nonperforming loans investments and private equity deals with the field’s leading team of attorneys. Mr. Fanger has been fluent in spoken and written Chinese for fifteen years and has spent three years living in Greater China. He also holds a JD and MBA from University of Chicago and is a licensed attorney in the State of California.


Isaac Schwartz

Portfolio Manager, Robotti & Company Advisors LLC

Isaac Schwartz is a portfolio manager for Robotti & Company Advisors LLC, an investment adviser that seeks to invest in companies trading at a significant discount to intrinsic value.  In 2005, Isaac launched the firm’s initiative, now known as Robotti Global Fund, to apply fundamental investing in overseas markets.  Isaac’s research has led him to work for extended periods of time in Singapore, Istanbul, and Beijing.  He has lived in Hong Kong since 2008.  Prior to joining Robotti & Company Advisors LLC, Isaac worked for Schiff's Insurance Observer, an investigative journal focused on the property-casualty insurance industry.  Isaac is a graduate of the Wharton School.

Mark A. Cooper, CFA

Portfolio Manager of PIMCO

Mr. Cooper is a portfolio manager and equity analyst in the New York office. Prior to joining PIMCO in 2010, he was partner & portfolio manager at Omega Advisors, a multi- billion dollar long short equity hedge fund. He previously worked as a global industrials analyst at Pequot Capital and as a fixed income, foreign exchange and precious metals portfolio manager at J.P. Morgan. Mr. Cooper is also Adjunct Professor in Finance and Economics at Columbia Business School, where he teaches a course on applied value investing. He has 20 years of investment experience and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a bachelor's degree in management science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a former United States Army officer.

Scott Booth '87

Founder and Senior Managing Member of Eastern Advisors

Scott Booth is the founder and senior managing member at Eastern Advisors Capital Group, LLC (“Eastern Advisors”). The Eastern Advisors Group manages an Asian-focused long/short equity hedge fund founded in 2003 with seed capital from Julian Robertson, as well as a private growth-equity fund focused on software and internet services. In addition, Eastern has helped launch Aleph One, a global long/short equity hedge fund, as well as YCP, a private equity fund focused on emerging market infrastructure investments. Prior to founding Eastern Advisors, Mr. Booth was the Asia portfolio manager at Kingdon Capital Management (“Kingdon”), a New York City-based hedge fund, from 1995 to 2002. 

In 1994, Mr. Booth received a Master in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International Affairs, where he specialized in International Economics and Finance. He received a B.A. in History from Holy Cross College in 1991 and was awarded a Watson Fellowship to conduct an independent study of his choice for one year in Europe. He has been investing both public and privately in China since the mid-1990’s and was one of the first investors in Alibaba Group, China’s largest internet company.

Social Media: “Social Media’s Role in Modern China Society”

Social media has experienced exponential growth in China in the recent years in terms of both number of users and the extent of usage. More and more corporations and individuals are ready to leverage social media to voice their opinions. However, the world’s largest social-media market is vastly different from its counterpart in the West. Understanding this space is vitally important for anyone trying to engage Chinese consumer and assess the world’s second-biggest economy.

Key Topics:

  • Latest development of social media landscape in China
  • Social media shifting to mobile and its business potential
  • Managing social media as communication tools for corporate and product marketing, PR, etc.
  • How has social media landscape been shaped by the unique characteristics of Chinese society?

Jonathan Landreth

Managing Editor of ChinaFile

Jonathan Landreth reported freelance from Beijing from 2004-2012 for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The China Economic Quarterly, The Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Hollywood Reporter—all with a focus on China's media and entertainment industries.

From 2000-2004, Landreth reported for Reuters in Singapore and New York. Prior to becoming a journalist, he worked as an editor of non-fiction books at Henry Holt & Company in New York. He is proficient in Mandarin and holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.S. from Columbia University.

Weifeng Ni

US Correspondent of Caixin Media

Weifeng(Vincent) Ni is a foreign correspondent for Caixin Media. He was previously Caixin's London-based Europe Correspondent, a role which involved travelling to cover major news stories across Europe and North Africa. In particular, he spearheaded Caixin's coverage from Egypt on the events during the Arab Spring and extensively reported on the ongoing debt crises in Europe from London, Berlin and France. In November 2011 in London he and a colleague finished runner-up in the Foreign Press Association's annual awards in the category 'Financial/Economic Story of the Year'.

Before starting at Caixin he worked as a field producer for international broadcasters in China. He also obtained a Masters degree from the University of Oxford, where he was the recipient of the Hoare Family/China-Oxford Scholarship in the field of Social Science. From June 2011 to June 2012, he was elected an Associate Member of the Senior Common Room and High Table at Christ Church, Oxford.

Victoria Wu

Director of Wechat (微信) Operation and Business Development, Tencent

Victoria Wu, Director, Operations and BD of WeChat U.S., a mobile text and voice messaging communication service developed by Tencent. She joined Tencent in 2009 and was responsible for strategy development of the Online Media Group.

Prior to Tencent, Victoria worked for the Boston Consulting Group and a few e-commerce start-ups. She also served as TV news anchorwoman and journalist in Greater China region.

Victoria Wu holds a M.S. in Management Science from Stanford University, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Science & Technology of China.

Ethan Wilkes

Director of Communications, ReBoot

Ethan is Reboot’s chief storyteller, guiding the firm’s communications strategy, media relations, and outreach. He is responsible for bringing Reboot’s “people first” vision of good governance to a global audience.

Ethan comes to Reboot by way of a diverse international background spanning four continents and over 50 countries. Originally from upstate New York, Ethan helped launch the JDC Centre for Community Development at Oxford University, and later advised the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on public diplomacy strategy during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

More recently, Ethan served as an International Trade Administration Fellow at the United States Embassy in Beijing and worked in the Office of Press and Public Diplomacy at the United States Mission to the United Nations. Ethan also previously held positions as editor in chief of The Morningside Post and member of the editorial board of Columbia University’s Journal of International Affairs. His writing has been featured in The Guardian, The Huffington Post, World Policy Journal, Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, among others.

Ethan is a graduate of the American University of Paris and holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He speaks Mandarin Chinese, French, and even a little Russian on a good day.

David Wertime

Founder of TeaLeafNation

David Wertime is the co-founder of Tea Leaf Nation, an e-magazine that focuses on China and Chinese sentiment. He is an Atlantic correspondent, Associate Fellow at the Truman National Security Project, and a ChinaFile fellow at the Asia Society. David has appeared as a China analyst on BBC World Service, Voice of America, Al Jazeera English, Huff Post Live, Public Radio International, and other television and radio outlets. Prior to founding Tea Leaf Nation, David was a Peace Corps Volunteer in China from 2001 to 2003. He practiced as a corporate lawyer at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in Hong Kong. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale and a law degree from Harvard.

Gemma Craven

Head of [email protected] New York

As New York Group Director, Gemma leads the [email protected] team in New York City, focused on developing and executing on scalable social media and word-of-mouth strategies for global blue chip clients from IBM and IKEA to British Airways, Caterpillar Inc and Nestle. Her role includes senior client relationships, digital crisis management, organizational development, training and social strategy.

Gemma also runs the New York cross-discipline group of [email protected] New York. This team comes from across the business units within Ogilvy and is focused on integrated social solutions that combine the deep disciplines that Ogilvy is known for – CRM, public relations, shopper marketing, advertising – and are rooted in what drives behavior. Her role focuses on sharing best practices, developing new business and training for New York staff.

Her experience in advising and leading clients on the development of community, conversation and reaching key influencers comes from 14 years working with some of the world’s best known brands, from the BBC and IBM to Microsoft, Unilever, The Gap and more.

She is a graduate of University of Sussex (UK) and Université d’Aix Marseille (France) where she studied both French and European Studies and French for Business.

Enterprise and Entrepreneurship:  “The Engine of Growth and Innovation”

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 recent years, however, the entrepreneurial environment in China became less friendly as competitions intensified and product offerings became less differentiated. How can entrepreneurship in China leverage its unique strengths to drive innovation and create long-term value? How and when will China boast its own “Steve Jobs”?

At the same time, Chinese enterprises are pursuing economic growth overseas. Facing uncertain market conditions, the outward looking Chinese enterprises have a need to instill an entrepreneurial spirit into their foreign expansion. How can they move nimble to fully meet the demands of the local markets? What should they do to in areas such as strategy, leadership, branding, innovation, corporate culture and risk management to increase its international competitiveness?

Key Topics:

  • How can entrepreneurs leverage the best of both US and China to create unique competitive advantages that drive innovation and capture fast growing Chinese market?
  • What are the key opportunities for 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 entrepreneurs in the next decade?
  • What should the Chinese enterprises do in areas such as strategy, leadership, branding, innovation, culture and risk management to increase its international competitiveness?

Amit Khandelwal

Professor of Columbia Business School

Amit Khandelwal is Gary Winnick and Martin Granoff Associate Professor of Business at Columbia Business School. His research examines how firms in developing countries respond to trade liberalization and increased globalization. He teaches the China Immersion Program and International Business electives at Columbia Business School. Amit earned a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University.

Lucy Chan

VP, Growth Markets Business Development & Global Services, IBM Financial Services Sector

Lucy is responsible for the strategic partnership with New York City based global bank in developing new business in Growth Markets as well as all types of IBM Services across the globe. She owns account management and client relationships at the executive level. Specifically, she is leading strategy, solutions, transformation and innovation to grow IBM’s relevance with the bank. She provides business directions to achieve revenue, profitability, growth objectives, and client satisfaction.

Lucy started her career with IBM 33 years ago. She held assignments in product design and development, business development, product strategy, marketing and sales support, complex systems integration, and professional services. Through IBM she has worked with global companies in Asia, Europe and Americas.

She received numerous Innovation, Quality and Industry awards. In 2005, the first-of-a-kind project with Warner Bros., led by Lucy, has earned IBM its first Emmy Award from the National Television Academy. In 2006, she was named one of the 50 Outstanding Asian Americans in Business by the Asian American Development Center. In that year, IBM also presented her a Global Technology Leadership Award for the transformation of Morgan Stanley to On-Demand Computing.

Lucy is recognized as a Diversity Champion. She is a frequent speaker and panelist on work/life integration and inclusion topics. Lucy is on the Board of Advisors of Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), a contributing member to Women in Technology Institute (WITI), a Founding Sister of Asian Women Leadership Network (AWLN), and on the Board of Directors of The Possibility Project, a non-profit organization which empowers teenagers to create safe, peaceful, and productive lives and communities.

Lucy received her Bachelor of Science from University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. She is married, both her husband and son are also IT professionals.

David Liu

Cofounder, Chairman and CEO of XO Group Inc.

David Liu is cofounder and CEO of XO Group Inc. (NYSE: XOXO;, formerly The Knot Inc., a global media and technology company devoted to weddings, pregnancy and everything in between.

In 1996, Liu and his business partners (including wife Carley Roney) predicted that Internet technology would enable the perfect solution to the frustrating, antiquated process of planning a wedding. Their vision: a bridal media brand that would reinvent the $70+ billion wedding industry by appealing to modern couples and providing 24/7 access to stylish editorial content, modern wedding advice, thousands of local professionals and an online community. The Knot has become the nation’s #1 wedding resource and most trafficked online wedding destination with more than 100 million monthly page views and over 1.8 million registered members.
Under Liu’s leadership, XO Group Inc. has expanded its reach to serve its audience across multiple lifestages from brides to newlyweds to first-time parents, adding The Nest and The Bump to its brand network. The company has extended these brands across multiple media platforms spanning magazines, books, streaming television, mobile applications and social networking, as well as a massive merchandising arm that includes gift registry services and an Internet wedding favor and supplies store.

Since founding XO Group Inc. 15 years ago, Liu has led the company from an Internet start-up to a publicly traded multimillion-dollar media leader in the wedding and lifestyle category, raising more than $150 million in public and private financing along the way. Liu also led the acquisition and integration of the company’s closest competitor, WeddingChannel Inc., uniting two leaders in the online bridal industry.

In 2008, Liu was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the Media category. In 2011 he received the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Legacy Award. Currently, Liu serves on the boards of MOCA and the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA). He lives with his wife and three children in Brooklyn, New York.

Phil L Midland

President of Strategic Renaissance 21

President, Strategic Renaissance 21 (SR 21) and IHS International. With over 30 years of experience in international affairs, particularly in Asia, Mr. Midland brings a professional awareness of East Asia -- its history, culture, economic, and political structure, inter-governmental relationships, and the experience of negotiating sensitive and tough contracts in the region.  Mr. Midland currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC) Hong Kong.

Mr. Midland served 23 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as Captain. During his naval career, he held significant positions as Executive Assistant to the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic/Commander-in-Chief U.S. Atlantic Command, Chief of Staff for Intelligence of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, and as U.S. Naval Attaché to the People's Republic of China. Mr. Midland led a variety of key international negotiations, which included framing the new defense relationship with the People's Republic of China and the associated technology transfer during the Reagan Administration; successful negotiations to upgrade command and control networks between the U.S., Japan, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Korea; re-establishing military links with India and South Africa; and as key staff to national level command during Operation Restore Democracy in Haiti.

Prior to co-founding IHS International, Mr. Midland was Vice President, Development for Smith Cogeneration, an independent power producer based in Oklahoma City. While there he led the development of power plant projects in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and China.

Mr. Midland was previously Manager, International Defense Programs at Sperry-Marine, Inc. While at Sperry-Marine, he was responsible for expanding the Sperry Marine market to developing maritime nations - China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India and Ukraine, and for the rejuvenating Sperry Marine's market amongst the most developed countries -- Japan, Germany and France.
Mr. Midland received a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin (Madison); a Master of Arts in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins University (SAIS); and held a Federal Executive Fellowship in International Affairs at Harvard University, during which he conducted direct research on U.S.-China-Japan defense under Professor Samuel Huntington.

Anna Fang

General Manager, Zhen Fund

Before joining ZhenFund, Anna worked at GE China implementing Business Development initiatives for the China region. Anna started her career in Investment Banking with JPMorgan, and subsequently worked on several non-profit initiatives in the education and cultural sectors, including starting Fuxi School in Gansu Province. Anna attended Columbia University where she received a B.A. in Economics. She received her MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business in 2010.

HAO, Yong (Alex)

Partner of Jun He Law Officies

Alex has significant experience in M&A, finance, private equity and capital market matters, and is also knowledgeable in various related areas, including antitrust, bankruptcy, dispute resolution, international trade and national security. Alex is familiar with a wide array of sectors, including banking, energy, manufacturing, real estate, telecom and transportation. Alex maintains excellent working relations in U.S. and China with companies, financial institutions, private equity funds, professional service providers, regulatory authorities, diplomatic representations, non-governmental organizations, media and academia.

Alex’s recent projects in the U.S. include the construction and financing of a US$2.8 billion pipeline, a US$2.7 billion merger of aircraft lessors and subsequent securitization, and a US$500 million acquisition of energy assets from bankruptcy; his recent projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America include the construction and financing a US$6.3 billion liquefied natural gas plant, the financing of a US$250 million telecom network, and a US$190 million acquisition of seller loan portfolio.

Prior to joining Jun He, Alex practiced law in New York for eight years at two leading U.S. firms – White & Case and then Vinson & Elkins – and played a leadership role in many international transactions that won “Deal of the Year” awards. Alex also performed legal work in Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Alex obtained his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, where he received merit-based scholarship each year and was on the Dean’s List; he also studied finance and accounting from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Alex obtained his LL.B., summa cum laude, from Peking University.

Alex is a member of American Bar Association and New York State Bar Association, and is a Registered Foreign Lawyer at The Law Society of Hong Kong. Alex is Executive Director of the Professional Services Committee of China General Chamber of Commerce USA, and a co-founder and former director of Chinese Business Lawyers Association. Alex is a frequent speaker at professional conferences, including recent ones at the law and business schools of Harvard and Columbia, and has recently been interviewed by CCTV, China Daily, 21st Century Business Herald, Caixin, China Press, Sinovision and Elle Men.


Brian Buchwald

co-founder and CEO of Bomoda

Brian Buchwald is the co-founder and CEO of Bomoda. Bomoda is a membership-based, digital community that empowers Chinese women to live the global Shishang life. Headquartered in New York, Bomoda publishes directly from the world's leading fashion capitals, curating the latest in aspirational Fashion, Beauty, Jewelry, Travel and Lifestyle

He is the former Executive Vice President of Local Integrated Media at NBC Universal. There, he built and ran the company's growth efforts in cities across the country, via online, mobile, and digital out of home platforms. Prior to that role, he served as the NBC leader of Hulu until its launch and as a primary architect of the JV that created it. He formerly led business development for the DoubleClick Technology Solutions division and Pointroll.

Brian began his career as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley. He has a BA from Dartmouth College.

Investment Banking & Financial Institutions: Growing investment banking business in China

The Chinese economy has transformed into a new chapter in many ways: Capital market has become the primary source of financing for most Chinese companies; multi-national corporations increasingly rely on the vast Chinese market as their future growth engine; many oversea assets have become attractive to Chinese companies that look to fuel their domestic growth or international expansion. Consequently, the volume of investment banking business in China has been rapidly increasing over the past several years. Nowadays China has become an indispensable component of the global strategy for many large and boutique investment banks, while domestic banks are also leveraging their local expertise and resources to stay relevant in the competition landscape. Despite of the fact that the IPO market hasn’t been as active as we saw in the past, the debt market becomes increasingly important for investment banks, indicated by the greater number of Chinese corporate bond sales. M&A market has also been very active as we saw a number of inbound and outbound transactions completed over the past 12 months.

Key Topics:  

  • Current trends in China’s investment banking business
  • Capital raising through equity and debt market in China
  • Cross-border transactions
  • Lessons learned by investment banks

Donna Hitscherich

Senior Lecturer in Discipline in Business, Director of Private Equity Program, Columbia Business School

Professor Hitscherich has served as a member of the School's adjunct faculty in finance and economics since 1992. She currently teaches Advanced Corporate Finance and Mergers and Acquisitions in the MBA and Executive MBA programs. In 2002, she was nominated for the Dean's Award for Innovation in the MBA Curriculum for her presentation of the Advanced Corporate Finance course. She has also served as a lecturer in law and accounting at Columbia Law School. From 1988 through 1990, Hitscherich was an assistant professor of law at St. John's University School of Law, where she taught Federal Securities Regulation and Legal Ethics.

Prior to her present position at Columbia, Hitscherich had a career in investment banking, during which she held positions at CS First Boston, J. P. Morgan & Co. Incorporated and Banc of America Securities. At J. P. Morgan, she was a founding member of the takeover defense team and a senior member of the advisory review committee, which was responsible for all of the M&A fairness opinions issued by the company. As a managing director in the mergers and acquisitions group of Banc of America Securities, she was secretary of the firm's fairness opinion committee review and a major contributor to the firm's training programs for managing directors and associates. Prior to her investment-banking career, Hitscherich was a corporate lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

As a founding member of Gnosis Advisors LLC, a financial education advisory firm, she has developed and created the materials for the Practising Law Institute–sponsored The Pocket MBA for Lawyers: Everything You Need to Know About Finance and The Pocket MBA for Lawyers: Understanding the Investment Banker's Role. She has also served as an expert witness and provided litigation support in several complex securities litigations respecting various matters, including valuation, due diligence, custom and usage in the finance industry, and financing alternatives.

She was a member of the St. John's Law Review, and she is admitted to the Bar in the State of New York.

Crocker Coulson

President of CCG Investor Relations

Crocker Coulson is responsible for the development of investor relations strategies for private and publicly held companies. As President of CCG Investor Relations, CCG Asia (China) and CCGK (Israel), he has been the primary driver of the firm's national and global expansion. He has designed and overseen investor relations campaigns for more than 60 public companies, including numerous IPOs, secondary offerings, acquisitions and proxy contests. Many of the campaigns he has overseen have won top industry awards.

Crocker is a frequent public speaker on subjects relating to investor relations strategy, initial public offerings, reverse mergers, investing in China, disclosure issues and corporate governance. He is regularly quoted in national and local publications on topics related to accounting issues and the capital markets. Crocker served for two years as the co-Chairman of the AeA's Capital Sources conference and for two years as the Chairman of the Investment Capital Conference, hosted by LAVA (Los Angeles Venture Association). He is a board member of both LAVA and the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute.

Prior to joining CCG, Crocker served as a writer-researcher for The New Republic magazine in Washington, DC, and wrote for a number of leading publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and ArtNews. He also produced five independent films, several of which were selected for the Cannes Film Festival and Sundance. Crocker graduated summa cum laude from Yale College, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Daily News. As a Fulbright Scholar, he studied philosophy at the Freie Universitat in Berlin.

David W. Elkin

Managing Director and founder, GreenWorld Capital, LLC

David W. Elkin is Managing Director and Founder of GreenWorld Capital, LLC, an international merchant bank focused on serving the financing of strategic needs of renewable energy and clean tech companies and investors in the U.S. in abroad from locations in Philadelphia and Palo Alto, in the U.S., and Nanjing, in China.  In March 2013 GWC published “THE GREEN DRAGON MOVES WEST -  Opportunities for China FDI in the U.S. Renewable Energy and Clean Tech Market”.

Prior to creating GWC in 2008, Mr. Elkin had over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience in creating, building and operating businesses in several industries, including cable television, digital media, wireless communication and money management and has extensive experience in business development, M&A and debt and equity financing.  Mr. Elkin serves on the Advisory Board of University of Pennsylvania's Penn International Sustainability Association and is a member of The China Partnership of Greater Philadelphia.  Mr. Elkin was previously a tax attorney in Miami, Florida, receiving a B.S.B.A. from Boston University, J.D. from University of Miami and LLM in Taxation from University of Miami.  He is a member of the Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Florida Bar Associations.

Mark Tashkovich

Chief Executive Officer, Alta Capital Partners

Mark Tashkovich is the Chief Executive Officer of Alta Capital Partners, a boutique U.S. and China-focused investment bank with operations in New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai. He has significant experience advising on domestic and cross-border equity, debt and M&A transactions in the industrial, consumer/retail, healthcare, energy, real estate, technology and communication sectors. Notable financings of China-based clients include IPOs for Xtep and Mindray Medical, a follow-on offering for Li Ning and a convertible bond transaction for Suntech Power.

Prior to Alta, Mark served as the Chief Executive Officer of Ashir Capital, a 75-person, New York-based, China-focused investment bank with offices in Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. In that role, Mark led global strategy and operations and oversaw origination and execution of the firm’s transactions. Prior to that, Mark served as a senior coverage banker in the Global Consumer Products & Retail Group at UBS Investment Bank. In that role, Mark built UBS' investment banking franchise in several specialty retail subsectors and coordinated global coverage with teams in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Prior to that, Mark worked in Equity Capital Markets at UBS and Morgan Stanley. During those years, Mark led, or helped lead, the execution of over 100 equity, equity-linked and high yield financings, raising over $30 billion. At Morgan Stanley, Mark also partnered in originating, structuring and syndicating acquisition financings and bridges for over $22 billion. Prior to that, Mark worked as a corporate attorney at Weil, Gotshal & Manges and before that he was the senior law clerk to the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court in Hawaii.

Mark holds a JD from the University of Pennsylvania, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge and a BA from Cornell University.

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.




Luxury Goods -An Exploration of the changes in the china luxury market?

China's luxury market — and the global phenomenon of "trading up" — are well known. With the growing number of middle-class and affluent city dwellers, the "trading-up" effect will reach a new height. With the increase in the number of credit card users, Chinese consumers embrace the "now" impulsing buying like consumers in Europe and America. "The Chinese consumer has a profound belief that they deserve luxury products now. They had fifty years with so little, and now, many can afford to buy luxury goods. Their growth in demand is rooted in an expression of individualism in the way you dress. It is a way to differentiate yourself from friends and neighbors. Chinese consumers buy to treat themselves. This China market has evolved faster than any other market in the world." This wave of growth is expected to continue across a wide range of consumer luxury goods and services, including apparel, watches, wine, cars, travel, home goods, education, and health care. Chinese middle and upper middle class households in China have limited debt, an increasing commitment to education, and soaring aspirations. They are customizing — and improving upon — the so-called American Dream.

Key Topics:  

  • Chinese consumers' shift to global mindset of uniqueness, high-quality and subtle visible logo items?
  • Chinese consumers are becoming experienced shoppers?
  • Chinese consumption is shifting from businessmen to younger shoppers and to "power women" with their own spending power and a taste for edgier fashion content?

Jean-Marc Bellaiche

Senior Partner & Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group New York

Jean-Marc Bellaïche is a Senior Partner and Managing Director in the NY office of The Boston Consulting Group.

He joined BCG in 1993 and worked in Paris, New-York and San Francisco offices. He is BCG global leader in the sector of Luxury, Beauty & Fashion. He also leads BCG Digital topic for the Consumer practice Jean-Marc holds a degree from Ecole Centrale de Paris (engineer). He also holds an MBA from INSEAD.

Jean-Marc has developed a strong expertise in Luxury, Fashion and Beauty sectors working for various global brand in different fields including: Watches and jewelry, Fashion and leather goods, Accessory businesses, Fragrances, Make-up, Skincare for various business models (from mass to luxury, from retail/ wholesale/ ecommerce...).

His work cover a large range of topics: Brand strategy : vision, values & positioning and implications on product offering, pricing and distribution; Distribution strategy, including retail network development, wholesale and licenses growth strategy, E-commerce; Acquisition screening and cession, strategic due diligence, portfolio strategy; Marketing and media spend optimization, CRM and loyalty, new media (web, mobile…); Pricing, international price matrix optimization, discount and promotion management…; Retail efficiency improvement program, assortment in stores, merchandising, salespeople training and management, compensation and incentives, cost reduction at stores; Processes redesign: new product development process, selling process, management of interfaces with external partners/ agents/ licensees...; Organization, roles and responsibilities, center vs region, product divisions vs regions, matrix effectiveness...; Headcount and cost reduction, delayering, cost benchmarking...; Procurement/ sourcing optimization, COGS optimization...; Supply chain optimization, assortment decision process, SKU optimization…; Specific projects led in Europe (France, Italy, Spain, UK…), US, Japan, China, Korea, Brazil, India.

Jean-Marc has also a strong experience in Consumer Goods and Travel & tourism (airlines, hotels, travel agents, GDSs...)

Nikki Field

Sotheby's International Realty Senior Vice President, Associate Broker

The 2012 America's Top 250 Real Estate Professionals, an annual ranking sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, ranked Nikki in the top 70 agents in America and in the top 10 in New York City for sales volume. "Nikki is very deserving of this recognition. She is a wonderful example of everything Sotheby's International Realty strives to stand for and an outstanding role model for every agent in the industry," said Ellie Johnson, manager of Sotheby's International Realty's East Side Manhattan brokerage.

Ms. Field has created one of the most effective teams in the ultra-competitive, luxury segment of the Manhattan residential real estate market. The Field Team Advantage consists of nine experienced professionals, each possessing general market strength as well as a mastery of a specific area. Nikki and her team specialize in Manhattan's luxury co-op, condo and townhouse market, where she set an industry-wide one year record, selling five premier townhouses at record-shattering prices. The Field Team provides both buyers and sellers with multi-tiered services and clients benefit from the knowledge and experience of the entire team. Ms. Field is frequently called upon as an industry guest speaker. She is an instructor and graduate of the Real Estate Board of New York's NYRS (New York Residential Specialist), the advanced Graduate Designation Course.

Recently, Nikki has been traveling extensively to emerging markets in China, India and South America to continue building on Sotheby's International Realty's growing global business. She assists international investors in securing prime, luxury-brand, Manhattan residential real estate. In the First Quarter of 2012 Nikki secured deals of more than $100 million for her International clients.
Nikki has been prominently featured in the acclaimed BBC television documentary Super Homes as well as featured on CBS's Living Large, NBC's Open House, NYC; New York Residential TV; CNN; MSNBC;; The New York Times; The Wall Street Journal; The New York Post; The New York Observer; Arts of Asia; Alpha; Quest; The Real Deal; New York Magazine; Mann Residential. Avenue and Gotham Magazines have both recognized her as a Leader in New York Real Estate, acknowledging her outstanding sales achievements and leadership.

Previous to her career in real estate, Nikki was a sales and marketing professional as well as a founding partner of Marcon Marketing Services, Inc., a nationally recognized marketing agency.

Jennifer Jackson

Marketing Manager, Alexander Wang Inc.

Jennifer Jackson is currently the Marketing Manager at Alexander Wang handling all retail and digital initiatives internationally.  Previously she worked at Calvin Klein on the ck Calvin Klein line managing the marketing and licensing business internationally.  In addition, she has worked on PR and Marketing programs for NET-A-PORTER, Saks Fifth Avenue, Coach and The Elton John AIDS Foundation.

She holds an undergraduate degree from New York University and will graduate from the Executive MBA  program at Columbia Business School in May 2013.

Noah Kupferman

Co-Head, Chinese Works of Art, Americas at Christie's

Noah Kupferman is Vice President and Co-Head of the Chinese Works of Art Department at Christie's in New York.

Noah is also a lecturer on the art market at Christie's Education and previously was on faculty at New York University’s Art Appraisal and Business Certificate Program as well as at The Sotheby’s Institute Art Business Master’s Degree Program. He teaches about the intersection of fine art and finance.

Noah began his career at Sotheby’s in New York as a specialist in the Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy Department. In addition to working in the art world, he spent many years working in banking and private wealth management with organizations including The Bank of New York, Standard Chartered Bank, Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust.

Noah has commented on the art market for The New York Times, The Far Eastern Economic Review, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, Art Info, Bloomberg and Art Market Monitor among others.

He is a graduate of Oberlin College with a degree in Chinese Language and Literature. He also holds an MBA from New York University, a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Certificate in International Affairs from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Noah holds the FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses as well as the Certified Financial Planner designation. He is also a founding member of the Art Investment Council.

Noah lives in Montclair, NJ along with his wife and three children.

Suki Sun

Co-founder, Editor in Chief at Bomoda

Suki Sun is the co-founder and Editor-In-Chief of Bomoda.

She had 12 years of fashion and lifestyle media experience in China before she co-founded Bomoda. Upon graduating from fudan University School of Journalism, she worked at ELLE China as features Editor. Three years later she became the Editor-in-Chief of Seventeen China magazine. In 2006, she was named Executive Editor-in-Chief of TimeOut Shanghai and Beijing magazines. from 2010-2012 she served as Editor-in-Chief of <> where she was responsible for the vision, strategy, development and operation of the TimeOut Shanghai Chinese Online platform.

Jing Li

CEO and founder of JingLi US

Jing Li is the CEO and founder of JingLi US (, an international media company based in New York and the producer of a popular video series aired on Sina targeting the Chinese market. JingLi US is the only official video show about America lifestyle partnered with Sina, a Nasdaq company and the most popular Chinese info entertainment website in the world. Hosted and produced by Jing Li, the show helps individuals and companies succeed by sharing success stories, fashion, luxury lifestyle and product guide by Jing Li and her guests. Since its launch in 2012, the show has garnered over 2 million views, reposted by dozens of top Chinese fashion and business video and social media sites. It features top brands and celebrities such as Oscar winner Susan Sarandon, Douglas Elliman SVP Polly Chang and Ivy League schools.

JingLi US has also built strong partnership with China's top websites and influential figures such as Its content was reposted/greeted by many of the most influential figures in China such as Xu Xiaoping and Xue Manzi to over 10 million followers. As a TV journalist, entrepreneur, fashion industry leader, and social media specialist, Jing Li is considered the first native Chinese speaker to break into NBC and CBS in New York. She has over 10 years of journalism experience with a Wharton Business Journalism Award. Its team members have extensive network in business and media with shows aired on NBC New York, CBS News, Beijing TV, Sina, PPTV, Xinhua News Agency, Phoenix TV, Shanghai ICS and Sinovision.


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