Panels:

Panel 1: Cross-border Investment Outlook: Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?

Key Topics:

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  • What are the current trends in China’s economic transition and financial market reform? What are the implications of the internal political reform as well as recent macroeconomic policy changes (specifically those in capital market, interest rate & exchange rates, and QFII & RQFII) to both domestic and foreign investors?
  • What are the major characteristics of China’s capital market?
  • What are the optimal investment strategies for different types of investors in China market? How are they different from those for North America market?
  • What is your outlooks on China’s capital market in the next 5 to 10 years? What are the major opportunities and challenges for the investors in China market?

 

Ken Kramer '78

Co-founder & Managing Director, Rushton Atlantic, LLC.

Ken Kramer is co-founder and Managing Director of Rushton Atlantic, LLC, a boutique valuation advisory firm specializing in the energy, infrastructure, manufacturing and transportation sectors.   The firm provides specialized valuation services supporting structured and project financings, acquisition due diligence, insurance placement, financial reporting and tax compliance.

Ken is a member of the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee to the US Secretary of Commerce, and has over 30 years’ experience in the structured asset finance field, in valuation consulting, banking and corporate treasury.  Prior to entering the valuation industry, Ken had launched and managed leasing businesses, as both principal investor and financial advisor, at The Long-Term Credit Bank of Japan and Credit Lyonnais.   

Ken holds a BS in mechanical engineering from Cornell University, and an MBA from Columbia University.  He has made numerous speeches and guest lectures in the United States and Europe on renewable energy, due diligence in structured finance and mergers and acquisitions, and has written articles for a variety of financial industry publications

 

 

Mark D. Chen '99

Chairman, Pantheon China Acquisition Group

Mark Chen is the founder and Managing Partner of Easton Capital, a New York based private equity and venture capital fund management company since 1999, focusing on US venture capital and growth capital investments. MarkMr. Chen started investing in China since 2004, and is a co-founder and Chairman and Pantheon China Acquisition group. He is currently actively involved in numerous investment activities related to both China and US capital market, and with special focus on cross border transaction between China and the rest of world.

Mr. Chen is a graduate of Columbia Business School in 1999.

 

Junheng Li '04

Head of Research, JL Warren Capital; Author of "Tiger Woman on Wall Street"

Junh runs JL Warren Capital, a China focused equity research firm based in New York. Her research utilizes high frequency, real time, big data algorithms and bottom-up, fundamental research to identify variant views and market inefficiencies in stocks, companies and economies.

Prior to founding JL Warren, Junh was a senior equity analyst at Aurarian Capital Management, a long and short equity hedge fund best known for its investigative research into companies mis-priced by the marketplace.

Before joining Aurarian, Junh was an investment officer in the global small/middle capitalization team at Franklin Templeton Fiduciary. Before Fiduciary, she was an investment banking analyst in Media and Telecommunications Group at Credit Suisse First Boston based in New York.

Junh’s work has appeared on Forbes, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Daily Beast, and Caixin, among others. She has also appeared on television and radio programs including CNBC, The Street, Bloomberg, CCTV, NPR, and Bravo.

Junh received an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in Economics from Middlebury College (summa cum laude, with Honors in Economics).

Junh is a Shanghai native and speaks fluent Mandarin and some Japanese. In her spare time, she practices yoga, travels, surfs, reads, and writes.

 

Xiaobo Lu

Professor of Political Science, Barnard College

Xiaobo Lu is Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University and is the founding director of Columbia Global Centers (East Asia) and former director of Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. He is adjunct professor at Tongji University. He was a Fulbright vising professor at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin in Spring 2014. Professor Lu teaches courses on Chinese politics, post-communist political economy, comparative political corruption and it control, and comparative politics. His research interests include Chinese politics, corruption and good governance, regulatory reforms, and government-business relations. He has published widely on these subjects and consults for business firms, civic groups, and government agencies. He is the author of several books including Cadres and Corruption and Taxation without Representation in Contemporary Rural China.  His new book manuscripts, From Player to Referee: Politics of the Rise of the Regulatory State in China is forthcoming. He has been visiting professor at Waseda University in Japan, Tsinghua University and Jiaotong University in China; City University of Hong Kong; Institute of Political Science (Sciences-Po) and Paris University I-Sorbonne in Paris. Professor Lu serves on the editorial boards of several international scholarly journals.

He is a member of Council on Foreign Relations and the National Committee of US-China Relations. Xiaobo Lu received his PhD degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

Sue Xu Zhang '96

Principal Managing Director, Aurora Investment Group, LLC.

Sue Xu Zhang is the Principal Managing Director of Aurora Investment Group,LLC., a boutique investment management and advisory firm in New York. The firm identifies promising investment opportunities, both in private companies and public markets, advises on acquisition strategies, provides value-added advisory services, as well as integrate relevant resources, to invested companies.  We tend to focus on companies that possess valuable assets and have established stable operating history. 

Before starting Aurora Investment Group, LLC., Sue worked for Goldman Sachs, Legg Mason & Citi, providing investment advisory services and managing investments for wealthy families.   

Sue graduated from Columbia Business School with a degree in MBA and earned a B.S. degree in Urban Planning from Beijing University.  Sue enjoys reading, traveling, performing arts, skiing, running, and watching her son playing hockey games.

 

Panel 2: A Tidal Wave of Chinese Real Estate Investment

Since the beginning of Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms 30 years ago, American capital and many of the West’s most prominent real estate developers have sought opportunities in China. Some have succeeded while others have failed. Today, we are seeing a reversal of cross-border investment, with China significantly increasing its positions in commercial real estate markets across the US, particularly in New York and California. The “flood” of Chinese capital has taken over headlines, as iconic landmarks such as Chase Manhattan Plaza and the Waldorf Astoria are sold to buyers from China. As the world’s second largest economy braces for a slowdown and Chinese insurance companies and others deploy global diversification strategies, what role will China continue to play in the US capital and real estate markets? Our panel seeks to answer these questions and explore the on-going structural changes being felt throughout the real estate investment market.

Key Topics:

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  • What are the main challenges and risks that Chinese real estate operators and investors face when they enter the US market for the first time? Have there been unforeseen obstacles?
  • How many firms are going it alone versus joint venturing? What structures are working best? Are certain models more effective than others?
  • Do you believe that EB-5 financing for large scale development projects will continue to encourage the inflow of foreign capital?
How does this wave of capital into commercial real estate differ from past waves, such as the surge of Japanese real estate investment in the 1980s?

Leanne Lachman

President, Lachman Associates; Executive-in-Residence, The Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate, Columbia Business School

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, a member of Liberty Property Trust and an Executive in Residence at Columbia Business School. 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.

 

Jeffrey Dvorett

Executive Vice President & Head of Development, Kuafu Properties

Jeffrey Dvorett is the Executive Vice President and Head of Development for Kuafu Properties, where he is responsible for the planning, development, management, marketing and sales of new developments.

Prior to this he was the Senior Vice President for Development at Extell Development Company, one of the most active developers in New York City. While at Extell, Mr. Dvorett managed and oversaw the development of over two million square feet of mixed used, residential and hospitality projects including the Hyatt Times Square, a 487 key hotel located in the heart of Times Square and ONE57, the most luxurious residential building in New York. ONE57 achieved numerous records for residential and hotel sales.  It features 94 ultra¬-luxury residences above the 210 key flagships Park Hyatt Hotel.

Prior to joining Extell, Mr. Dvorett was a member of the development team at the Clarett Group, a New York residential development company. He has also served as a strategy and operations consultant to some of the world’s largest multinational corporations.  He is a frequent guest lecturer and panelist on topics ranging from design and construction to economic trends in real estate development and served on the board of directors of several leading New York real estate organizations.

Mr. Dvorett received an MBA from Harvard Business School and BS in Industrial Engineering and Management Science with Departmental Honors from Northwestern University.

 

Erik Horvat '04

Managing Director, Fosun Property Holdings

Mr. Horvat is Managing Director with Fosun Property Holdings, a US-based real estate subsidiary of Fosun International, the largest conglomerate in China with a global presence in insurance, pharmaceuticals, real estate and industrial operations. His focus is on establishing Fosun’s US real estate practice, including the redevelopment of 28 Liberty (formerly One Chase Manhattan Plaza), a New York icon originally developed by David Rockefeller and recently purchased by Fosun.

Prior to Fosun, Mr. Horvat was Director of World Trade Center Redevelopment for the Port Authority of NY & NJ, overseeing all finance, development and operational activities for the 14million square foot, 16 acre site, one of the largest mixed‐used projects ever developed in New York City.

He led the development, leasing and marketing of the $3.8B One World Trade Center with The Durst Organization and the 450,000 square foot WTC retail complex with The Westfield Group.  During this time Mr. Horvat structured an $875M partnership for the observation deck with Legends Hospitality, sold of the remaining 50% retail interest for $800M to Westfield and led a $1.25B Liberty Bond financing with Silverstein Properties for the two million square foot Four World Trade Center.

Mr. Horvat serves on the Columbia Business School MBA Real Estate Program Advisory Board, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) Board, Downtown Alliance Board and is a Council Member with the Urban Land Institute.  He holds a BS in Accounting from Purdue University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

 

Louis Katsos

President, Jekmar Associates Inc.

Louis Katsos has over 40 years of major project experience in the New York Real Estate and Construction Management market. A known recognized leader in the industry, he has for over 35 years held executive management positions in major New York Construction Management and General Contracting firms as well as being President of his own firm Jekmar Associates Inc., a construction and development consulting firm to New York Developers and Owners. Jekmar Associates Inc. is currently involved in numerous residential, mixed use and hotel projects amounting to over 2.5 million square feet. As Project Manager and Executive he has built, ground up, over 10 million square feet of various high rise building types, and landmark buildings, in New York and as a Corporate Executive/COO has managed the construction of millions more. In addition he is the member and Executive Managing Director of the New York Immigration Fund which raises EB-5 foreign investment funds for numerous New York City development projects currently being built.

Lou is an Executive Board Member of The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of its Development and Construction Committee; an Executive Board Member and Executive Vice President of the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce and Chair of both its Development , Design & Construction Committee, and its Education and Culture Committee. A noted educator and lecturer for close to 30 years he has taught both at New York University and Cooper Union. He is currently an Adjunct Assit. Professor at the Chanin School of Architecture at Cooper Union. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering and an M.B.A. , both from New York University.

 

Michael Krupa

President, Gemdale USA Corporation

Michael H. Krupa is President of Gemdale USA Corporation, a unit of Gemdale Corporation, one of Asia's largest and leading real estate companies. Prior to joining Gemdale in February 2013, Mr. Krupa served as Managing Director at The Milestone Group from March 2009 to February 2013, where he also served on Milestone's Investment Committee. From 2001 to 2009 he was an Executive Director in two divisions within UBS, including the UBS Investment Bank Real Estate, Lodging & Leisure Group, as part of the group’s Real Estate Private Equity Fundraising team, and at UBS Global Asset Management Real Estate, one of the largest global real estate fund managers. Mr. Krupa also served on the Board of Directors of Mitsubishi Corp.-UBS Realty Inc., the externally advised asset manager to two Tokyo Stock Exchange listed J-REITs, Japan Retail Fund as well as Industrial and Infrastructure Fund. Prior to joining UBS, Mr. Krupa served as Managing Director at McDonald Investments. He also served in various real estate investment banking capacities at Salomon Smith Barney and one of its predecessors, Salomon Brothers, Inc., as well as at Kidder, Peabody and Company where he was involved in transactions exceeding $6 billion.

He is the author of numerous articles for leading real estate trade publications including, "Wall Street's Perspectives on the Self-Storage Industry", "Wall Street's Infatuation with the Assisted Living Industry", "Multifamily REIT M&A: When Will the Wave Begin" and "Marina Industry Consolidation: When Will the Wave Begin" and has spoken at numerous leading real estate industry conferences on such topics as Global Real Estate Capital Flows, REITs around the world, the Self-Storage Industry and the Senior Housing Industry. Mr. Krupa received his BS from Northeastern University and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He is a CPA.

 

Omer Ozden

Executive Director, XIN Development

Mr. Omer Ozden (欧阳默)is Executive Director of XIN Development, leading acquisitions and finance for international developments of Xinyuan Real Estate (NYSE: XIN), and President of RockTree Capital, working with investors and developers from the Middle East and Asia to finance and develop projects in North America. In 2011, Mr. Ozden established the partnership between Beijing Capital Private Equity, the state-owned real estate and finance conglomerate of the Beijing municipal government, and JPMorgan’s One Equity Partners for private equity investments in China-International acquisitions. He was formerly Partner at Baker & McKenzie in New York and an associate with Morrison & Foerster in Hong Kong. He speaks Mandarin Chinese and specializes in China-US finance and projects.

As a student conducting his graduate studies during the mid to late 1990s, Mr. Ozden co-founded and operated two companies based in Beijing’s Zhongguancun Hi-Tech Zone: one a business and legal consulting company with New Oriental (NYSE: EDU), and the other, a technology incubator with Chinese and foreign investors. Mr. Ozden has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) majoring in Finance from the University of Toronto, completed the International Joint Law Degree program graduating with both a Juris Doctor and LL.B from the University of Detroit Michigan and University of Windsor Ontario, and he studied Mandarin Chinese on scholarship at National Taiwan Normal University.

 

Panel 3: Chinese Entrepreneurship in the U.S.

The US provides high-tech entrepreneurs a large and sophisticated economy and the most advanced startup ecosystem in the world, but building and growing a business in the US can be challenging for a Chinese entrepreneur. This panel will highlight the challenges Chinese entrepreneurs face launching or growing a startup in the US and provide insight and expertise on how to overcome these obstacles.

Key Topics:

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  • What are the biggest obstacles Chinese entrepreneurs face when entering the US market and what are some approaches to help them overcome these challenges?
  • In your experience what are some of the skills or expertise that Chinese Entrepreneurs lack when they first enter the US market? What are some approaches to help them overcome these deficiencies?
  • What would you say are the main drivers for you to start out in the U.S. vs. China? What are some of the similarities and differences in the two markets?
  • What would you say are the main drivers for you to start out in the U.S. vs. China? What are some of the similarities and differences in the two markets?
  •  

    John Cooper '07

    Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Brightwire

    John Cooper is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brightwire and is responsible for the overall product direction and editorial strategy of the firm.  Brightwire is an innovative and fast growing news and technology company serving the financial industry.   The firm is headquartered in New York and has editorial teams throughout Europe and Asia where John spends much of his time. 

    Previously to Brightwire, Mr. Cooper was an Investment Banker with Bear Stearns & Co in their Technology and Media M&A group.  Prior to that, John held technology and sales management positions with Plumtree Software. John began his career as a Software Engineer with Sun Microsystems.  

    John is on the Board of Directors at Tangent Data and Matterhorn Transactions.  Both companies are startup technology firms serving the financial industry.    

    John is also Founder and Chairman of Aviadi Foundation, a disaster relief organization that provides humanitarian flights into remote and high-risk areas of the world.   

    Mr. Cooper received his BA in Computer Science from Gettysburg College and MBA from Columbia Business School.

     

    John Gordon '08

    President, USA Corporate Services Inc.

    John P. Gordon is the President of USA Corporate Services Inc., the Manhattan-based company formation and advisory firm he founded in 1983. A 2008 graduate of the Global Executive MBA program from Columbia Business School and London Business School, he has participated in different consulting assignments in Latin America and Southeast Asia, and is also on the Board of Directors of the Columbia Business School Alumni Club, where he chairs the Venture Capital/Entrepreneurship Committee. 

    Mr. Gordon has extensive experience in company formation and business startups, particularly helping non-resident owned firms enter the US market. He has built up a network of bankers, lawyers and accountants, who are skilled in US international tax, immigration, IP and other considerations, and is or has served as a director, officer or adviser to US subsidiaries of African, Asian and European firms covering areas from film production and project management to fashion and finance.

    .

    Guanghui Hu, Ph.D

    President & Co-founder, Admera Health
    Vice President & Global Business Leader of Translational Genomics, Genewiz, Inc.

    Dr. Guanghui Hu is the President and co-founder of Admera Health. Previously, Dr. Hu served as Vice President and Global Business Leader of Translational Genomics at GENEWIZ, Inc. Prior to joining GENEWIZ, Inc., Dr. Hu acquired over 12 years of drug development and management experience in the pharmaceutical industry at companies including Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Hu completed postdoctoral research at the University of California Los Angeles after earning his Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine, holds a Master of Science degree from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Tsinghua University. The Founder and President of the Tsinghua Biotech-Pharma Association, Dr. Hu is also a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

     

    Betty Wong '82

    CEO & Founder, Intro America Inc.

    Betty founded Intro America Inc., a New-York based company offering Chinese students and their families first hand insights into understanding the U.S college market, preparation for a successful student experience and confidence navigating life and a career in the US. Under Betty’s leadership, IntroAmerica has developed a bilingual online platform (introamerica.com/introamerica.cn). And, with her dedicated team, Betty has built strong relationships with U.S. universities, the education system in China and other strategic partners.

    Previously, Betty was the head of marketing at World Education Services (WES) where she gained a deep understanding of accreditation and standards of educational institutions worldwide and how they view students. This experience coupled with her years of marketing expertise honed launching new products, services and businesses for many leading global Fortune 500 companies including General Foods, Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Pitney Bowes, Whitbred PLC and Ferrero SpA, have helped to make Betty a global thinker and visionary entrepreneur.

    Betty has been a faculty member at City University of New York Baruch College and University of Phoenix and served on the boards of Care for the Homeless, Graham Windham and the New York Chinese Cultural Center.

    Betty has a BS from New York University Stern School of Business and an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York where she currently resides.

     

    Edith Yeung

    Founding Partner, 500 Mobile Collective Fund; Co-founder, RightVentures

    Edith Yeung is a Partner at 500 Mobile Collective Fund (http://500.co/500-mobile-collective), focusing on investing in mobile apps and consumer internet startups. Prior, Edith was the VP of marketing & business development for Dolphin Browser. Dolphin Browser is a
    Sequoia-backed mobile browser with over 150 million installs worldwide.

    She also co-founded RightVentures - seed stage investment firm focusing on mobile and consumer internet companies. Some of her investments include Fleksy, Mighty Text, Pack, Bounce.io etc. She is also an advisor to Strikingly.

    Before all the startup world, she worked with companies like AT&T Wireless, Oracle, Siebel, Autodesk, Cisco, Telstra and Hungary Telecom. A few years back, she also founded BizTech, the insightful voice of news, events & research for the SMB internet market and SFentrepreneur, San Francisco's largest entrepreneurs meetup.

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