Ashley Alder, SBS, JP
CEO, Securities and Futures Commission, Hong Kong
Chair, International Organization of Securities Commissions
Ashley Alder is the Chief Executive Officer of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Hong Kong. He was first appointed in October 2011 and was re-appointed for a third term in May 2020. Mr Alder was elected as Chair of the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) In May 2016, and was re-elected for a further two-year term in June 2020.
Mr Alder was previously Chair of the IOSCO Asia-Pacific Regional Committee and Vice Chair of the IOSCO Board. He has represented IOSCO as a member of the Financial Stability Board Steering Committee and Plenary since his election as IOSCO Board Chair.
Mr Alder started his career as a lawyer in London in 1984. He moved to Hong Kong in 1989 with the international law firm Herbert Smith, practicing corporate and business law. He was Executive Director of Corporate Finance at the SFC from 2001 to 2004, before returning to Herbert Smith, where he became head of the firm’s Asia Region office.
Asian Corporate Governance Association
Jamie Allen is the founding Secretary General of Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA), an independent membership association carrying out original research, advocacy and education on corporate governance in Asia since 1999. A published author, he has more than 30 years of experience writing about Asian business, finance, and economics. Prior to founding ACGA, he was a consultant providing customised research to multinational companies. From 1992 to 1995, he was editor of Business Asia for the Economist Intelligence Unit and a contributor to The Economist magazine from 1994 to 1996. He is one of the main authors of Awakening Governance: The evolution of corporate governance in China and CG Watch 2018 – Hard decisions, the two reports published by ACGA in July 2018 and December 2018 respectively.
His past public service roles include being a member of the Public Shareholders’ Group, formed by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), sitting on the Listing Committee of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, and serving on the Operations Oversight Committee of the Financial Reporting Council of Hong Kong.
In 2017, he received an International Corporate Governance Network Lifetime Achievement Award and a Regional CG Recognition Award from the Minority Shareholders Watch Group of Malaysia.
He is a graduate of the Australian National University, Canberra, where he received a BA (Hons) in political science and Chinese language. He studied Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan from 1983 to 1984.
Global Head of ESG
Jessica Ground is Global Head of ESG at Capital Group, where she is responsible for enhancing and executing ESG strategy with a focus on investment integration and company engagement. She also works with regulators, clients and additional third-parties to raise the visibility of Capital Group’s ESG capabilities.
Ms Ground has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. She was previously Global Head of Stewardship at Schroders, which she joined in 1997. She had a successful career with Schroders as an Equity Analyst and Portfolio Manager before focussing on ESG.
She holds a number of industry leadership positions including Board Member of the Investor Forum and Member of the Takeover Panel. She is a former Chair of The Investment Association’s Stewardship Committee and a past member of the Investor Advisory Group of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Bristol University and is an associate member of CFA UK.
Managing Director, Asia
Peter Hwang is Managing Director Asia for Iron Mountain Inc, an NYSE-listed and S&P 500 constituent company with a presence in over 50 countries. He joined Iron Mountain in 2013 and is responsible for the company’s business in Asia, spanning 11 markets (China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand) with over 5,000 employees across more than 130 sites.
He is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong and is an active member of the Male Allies Initiative of The Women’s Foundation Hong Kong. He is also a member of the Hong Kong Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).
Mr Hwang was born in Hong Kong but spent his formative years in Australia and the US. In 1996, he graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a Bachelor of Science degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Mechanical Engineering. In 1997, he joined the Boeing Company in Los Angeles as an engineer in the International Space Stations Division, while concurrently undertaking his Master of Science degree at UCLA, completing it in 1998. After working for three years at Boeing, he enrolled in Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, completing the MBA degree in 2002.
In 2002, Mr Hwang returned to Hong Kong and joined McKinsey & Company’s Greater China Practice as an associate. In 2004, he transferred to McKinsey’s Los Angeles office, where he continued to focus on serving clients in the telecom, high-tech and financial services industries. In 2006, he returned to Hong Kong and joined a family office managing assets in forestry, agriculture and real estate in China. In 2008, he joined China NT Pharma Group, a company backed by private equity firm TPG, as Chief of Staff, and was closely involved in the planning leading up to the listing of the company on the main board of the Hong Kong Exchange in 2011. In 2012, he became Group General Manager Business Development for the Zuellig Group, a US$13 billion private conglomerate operating in healthcare and agriculture. Mr Hwang has been at Iron Mountain since 2013.
Ka Shi Lau
Managing Director and CEO
Ka Shi Lau is Managing Director and CEO of BCT Group, comprising BCT Financial Limited (BCTF) and Bank Consortium Trust Company (BCTC), a key provider of MPF/ORSO products and best-in-class asset servicing for investment funds and pensions. BCTC is one of the largest trust companies in Hong Kong.
Ms Lau has extensive banking and finance experience in the pension and funds industry. She is a strong advocate of corporate governance (including ESG), retirement protection, social inclusion and diversity, and health care through active participation in government consultations and industry dialogue.
Apart from her current roles as an ACGA Council Member, Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Trustees’ Association and Member of Academy of Finance, she serves on a number of statutory and professional bodies including the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority, Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Retirement Schemes Association, Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute, Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Investor and Financial Education Council. Ms Lau holds public service roles at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital and Our Hong Kong Foundation. Previously, she has served on the Women’s Commission, Minimum Wage Commission, Hospital Authority of Hong Kong, the Financial Services Development Council and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
Ms Lau was awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star (BBS) by the HKSAR government in 2013 for her dedicated public and community service in Hong Kong. She was the first woman to win the “Director of the Year Award” in the “Private Companies, Executive Director” category from the Hong Kong Institute of Directors. She was also named “Professional of the Year” in the “Women of Influence Awards 2010” co-organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the South China Morning Post. In 2018, AsianInvestor magazine named her as one of its “AI 20 Leading Pension Executives” in the region.
She holds an MBA from Cornell University, New York.
Founder and Managing Director
Asian Corporate Governance Association
Christopher Leahy is a founder of Blackpeak, a leading investigative research and advisory firm founded in Asia and with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, New York, Washington DC and London. Prior to working in the investigative field, he was a journalist, holding positions as Asian Editor for Euromoney and a contributing editor for Asiamoney.
Mr Leahy began his career as a stockbroker, and later an investment banker, working in the UK and Asia with leading financial institutions such as Warburg Securities (now UBS), BNP Paribas Peregrine and Crosby. For the past 26 years, he has been based in Asia.
He began writing for ACGA in 2003, specialising on Southeast Asia and contributing to ACGA’s bimonthly members’ newsletter, Asia Regional Briefing. He has written the Indonesia and Philippines chapters in ACGA’s CG Watch report since 2007 and has contributed to other markets as well, including Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. He has spoken at numerous ACGA member events over the past decade and has represented ACGA as a speaker at many conferences around the region.
Nana Li, CFA
Research and Project Director, China
Asian Corporate Governance Association
Nana Li is Research and Project Director, China for ACGA, joining the Association in February 2014. Her primary responsibilities include researching corporate governance developments in Hong Kong and China, and covering these markets for the bimonthly members’ newsletter, Asia Regional Briefing. She was the primary author of the China and Hong Kong chapters of CG Watch 2018, and project manager and one of the main authors of ACGA’s China Corporate Governance Report 2018. She has assisted with the organisation of ACGA’s annual conferences and member delegations to different Asian markets. She was a primary organiser for the ‘2017 China Responsible Investment Forum’ in Tianjin, the first event ACGA has co-organised with the Asset Management Association of China and China Association for Public Companies.
Besides her research work, Ms Li assists ACGA’s advocacy and educational work, giving presentations at events around the world. As one of ACGA’s key speakers, among others, she has given speeches at the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, the Shenzhen Asset Management Association, and a speaker at international conferences hosted by ACGA, CLSA, GRI, HSBC and the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN).
Apart from her work at ACGA, Ms Li also sits on four committees to contribute to the corporate governance and ESG developments in global markets: the Shareholder Rights Committee of ICGN, the Standards Advisory Group of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, the China ESG30 Forum of Caixin Insight, and the ESG Special Interest Group of the Hong Kong Society of Financial Analysts.
A native of Hangzhou, Ms Li holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Distinction) from the University of NSW, Sydney, majoring in Finance and Accounting, and a Master of Finance (Dean’s Honours List) from the University of Hong Kong. She is a CFA charterholder.
Senior Engagement Specialist
ACGA Council Member
Ronnie Lim is the Senior Engagement Specialist at Robeco Asia-Pacific, responsible for active ownership and sustainable investment in Asia Pacific. His role in active ownership includes ESG engagement with portfolio companies to improve their performance, with a focus on corporate governance and shareholder value creation. He works closely with the investment and governance teams, to catalyse corporate change by influencing governance, strategy and capital management. He conducts constructive engagement with an escalation process that is aligned with fundamental investment combined with sensitivity to cultural norms. He represents Robeco in public fora, advocating for good corporate governance with regulators and other key stakeholders, especially other asset managers.
Prior to joining Robeco in 2014, he held a number of global investment roles based in Asia and London. From 2003 to 2007, he was Head of Sustainable Investment Research at Aviva Global Investors London, where its SRI team was ranked Number 1 by Extel for four years. From 2007 to 2010, he was portfolio manager of the Global Environmental Opportunities Fund for London-based boutique firm, Climate Change Capital, where his team raised capital, structured funds, and managed both absolute return and long-only portfolios. He has 17 years of experience of institutional Asian equities at Cazenove, CLSA, and RBS, where he held several senior roles including leading equity sales teams in Singapore and Hong Kong.
Mr Lim joined the ACGA Council in 2019. He has been a long-time active member of ACGA, participating in ACGA annual conferences, seminars, and the Japan and Korea Working Groups. His other non-profit board roles include being a director at the former Association of Sustainable and Responsible Investment Asia from 2014 to 2017.
He holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Salford and an MSc in Environmental Science from the University of East Anglia in the UK. He is also an associate of CFA UK.
Independent Director, Eni;
Co-Founder & Advisor, Climate Governance Initiative, World Economic Forum
Karina Litvack serves on the boards of Italian oil and gas major, Eni S.p.A., where she chairs the Sustainability and Scenarios Committee, and also serves on the Remuneration Committee; Viridor Waste Management, a KKR portfolio company, where she chairs the Board Sustainability Committee; the CFA Institute, home of the professional qualification for investment management professionals; and Business for Social Responsibility, a consultant specialising in sustainable business practices. She is an Executive Board Director of Chapter Zero, and serves on the Senior Advisory Panel of oil and mining consultant, Critical Resource, and the Advisory Council of Transparency International UK. Previously, Ms Litvack had a 25-year career in finance, latterly running the Governance and Sustainable Investment activities of UK asset manager F&C Investments*.
Since the Paris Agreement at CoP21 in 2015, she has been working to build a global network for fellow NEDs to share their experience, engage with technical experts and stakeholders, access specialised training, and help to drive more effective climate transition strategies in the boardroom. Under the auspices of the World Economic Forum, she co-founded the Climate Governance Initiative (CGI), home of the CGI Principles for Non-Executive Directors. With colleagues in Italy, Malaysia, France, the UK, Canada, Russia, Brazil, Switzerland and several others in the pipeline, she has been working to build a global network of national Chapters for directors.
Her focus in Chapter Zero, the UK Chapter of the CGI network, is on partnering with experts to develop new interdisciplinary content specifically designed for non-executive directors, and leveraging these across the global network of Chapters.
* now BMO Global Asset Management, a unit of the Bank of Montreal.
Asia Research and Engagement (ARE)
Asian Corporate Governance Association
Benjamin McCarron is Managing Director of Asia Research and Engagement (ARE), a firm he founded in Singapore in 2013 to provide specialist research and representation services for institutional investors on their Asian investments. He became a specialist consultant to ACGA in 2014 and covers Malaysia and Thailand for ACGA’s bimonthly newsletter, Asia Regional Briefing, and for the biennial CG Watch report. He was a co-author on ACGA’s submission on the new Malaysia CG Code in June 2016. He also speaks on ACGA’s regular Investor and Corporate Discussion Group calls.
He was previously head of research at Responsible Research (RR), a Singapore-based consultancy. One of his RR publications, The Future of Fish in Asia, won the Farsight Award for best ESG/financial research in 2011. Among the numerous reports he produced for RR was Sustainable Stock Exchanges: A Report on Progress, which surveyed global stock exchanges on how they encourage listed issuers to provide sustainability related information.
Before moving to Asia in 2011, he was an analyst for The Cooperative Asset Management (now Royal London Asset Management) in the UK. He led the integration of environmental and social analysis into the investment and engagement processes. Earlier, he was a fund manager at Framlington, where he managed £100 million of small-cap UK pension money and significantly outperformed the benchmark. He also co-managed a global technology fund covering IT and healthcare research at Gerrard, now part of Barclays Wealth.
He graduated with joint honours in Maths and Philosophy from University College, Oxford.
Investor Engagement & Water Risk Valuation Lead
China Water Risk
Dharisha Mirando hails from the finance industry and joined China Water Risk (CWR) as she believes that climate and water factors are downplayed by the sector. Since joining CWR, she has published reports with Manulife Asset Management, the Asia Investor Group on Climate change and CLSA on how water and climate risks could impact investment portfolios and how to take action to tackle these before it is too late. She has also been a speaker on these pressing issues at a number of investor and insurance conferences around the Asia region.
Prior to joining CWR, Ms Mirando worked in the investment team of a long-only public equities fund. She has also worked in the impact investment space in London and Singapore, where she provided technical assistance to social enterprises, helped them raise equity investments, and managed a debt portfolio.
Anthony Muh Yi-tong
Chairman, Asian Corporate Governance Association
Partner and Asia Chairman, H.R.L. Morrison & Co
Anthony Muh Yi-tong is Asia Chairman and Partner of H.R.L. Morrison & Co, a leading global alternative investment manager with experience across infrastructure and property in both private and listed markets. He is also a member of its board and global investment committee.
Mr Muh is an investment professional with 30 plus years of experience in both traditional and alternative investment assets. He spent an extensive period with Citigroup Global Asset Management and Salomon Brothers Asset Management as regional Chief Investment Officer, and was also a member of its global asset management committee. He went on to establish and run the proprietary investment team in Asia for Alliance Trust.
Mr Muh has extensive experience on boards. He is currently a Non-Executive Director of London listed Utilico Emerging Markets Trust, is Chair of JIDA Capital Partners, and is an Advisory Board member for Euromoney Institutional Investor. He is a former board director of New Zealand listed company, Infratil. He is a past Chair and Fellow for both the Hong Kong Securities and Investments Institute and the New Zealand Society of Investment Analysts (now known as INFINZ).
Mr Muh joined the ACGA Council in 2005, serving as Vice Chair from 2014. He was elected as ACGA Chair in 2018.
Chief Executive Officer
The Women’s Foundation
Fiona Nott joined The Women’s Foundation (TWF) as Chief Executive Officer in September 2017, combining her senior leadership experience with a passion for TWF’s mission to serve marginalised women and girls in Hong Kong. A former lawyer and Hang Seng Index company secretary, Ms Nott has lived in Hong Kong for over two decades having cultivated a career as a senior legal professional and advisor to a number of leading corporations in Hong Kong and around Asia including PCCW, AIA, AIG, Aviva, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, as well as SMEs, start-ups and non-profit organisations.
She is the Co-Founder of Room to Read’s Hong Kong Chapter and helped establish the Regional Programme office in New Delhi, India. She is former Deputy Chair and a Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong (AustCham), and was Founder and Chair of its Women in Business Network. In 2015, Ms Nott won the People’s Choice Award for the Advancement of Women in Business at the AustCham-Westpac Australia China Business Awards.
Ms Nott holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney and is a Fellow (FCIS) of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, a member of the Law Society of New South Wales, Australia and a Graduate member (GAICD) of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and sits on its Hong Kong Committee.
Head of Responsible Investment & Governance, Asia Pacific
APG Asset Management Asia
Yoo-Kyung Park is Asia-Pacific head of the Global Responsible Investment and Governance Team at APG Asset Management Asia, an asset manager for Dutch pension funds, based in Hong Kong. Her main role is to oversee portfolios and implement Responsible Investment Policies on behalf of APG clients. Asset classes under her responsibility include: listed equities, listed real estate, infrastructure, and private/strategic real estate investments. She covers the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan and Australia, and actively engages with portfolio companies, market regulators/exchanges, and other institutional investors on corporate governance, environmental and social issues.
Prior to APG, she was a securities analyst at international investment banks such as Barings Securities and KEB Salomon Smith Barney. She has covered a range of industry sectors including power/gas utilities, consumer, transportation, and heavy industries such as steel, chemicals and refining.
Climate Governance Malaysia
Datin Sunita Rajakumar is a professional independent director and a strong advocate of the importance of governance in general and risk management in particular. She founded Climate Governance Malaysia, which is the country chapter of the World Economic Forum’s Climate Governance Initiative, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors Malaysia. She also promotes gender diversity on boards with the 30% Club.
She is a member of the Global Advisory Board of Nottingham University’s School of Business and the Advisory Panel of the UN Global Compact Malaysia’s Sustainability Center of Excellence. She is also a workstream lead for the CEO Action Network, an industry-led initiative to increase sustainability and climate resilience.
She is Chair of Caring Pharmacy and an independent director of Bursa-listed Dutch Lady Milk Industries, MCIS Insurance (a member of the Sanlam group) and Zurich General Insurance, as well as trustee of five charitable foundations.
Regional Head of ESG & Thematic Research
Seungjoo Ro is Regional Head of ESG & Thematic Research at CLSA. Mr Ro has been with CLSA for over a decade. Having worked across multiple countries for the firm, he has built significant experience covering the Internet, tech components, online games, media and telecoms sectors.
Prior to joining CLSA, Mr Ro was an account strategist at Google and a business manager at Samsung Electronics.
Carbon Care Asia
John Sayer has a background in sustainability issues, human development, emergency relief, climate change advocacy, and organisational governance. He was Executive Director of the Asia Monitor Resource Centre in the 1980s, where he worked on globalisation, labour rights and occupational health and safety. He joined Oxfam Hong Kong in 1991 as Program Director and in 2001 took up the post of Interim Executive Director of Oxfam International.
In 2003, Mr Sayer became Director of Africa Now, an Oxford-based development agency working on market-based solutions for small-scale producers in Africa and promoting ethical supply chains between Africa and Europe. In 2006, he returned to Oxfam Hong Kong as Director General. In January 2014, he joined Voluntary Service Overseas as Director for Asia Pacific, working to reduce poverty through programmes involving volunteers and international exchange.
Mr Sayer has published research with a focus on business-NGO relations and corporate social responsibility. He has served on the Board of the Ethical Trading Initiative — which helps major corporations develop socially responsible supply chains, particularly in the garment and food sectors – as well as on the advisory body of the UN Global Compact on corporate conduct and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Stakeholder Council and the Capital Markets Discussion Group.
Katie Schmitz Eulitt
Director, Investor Outreach
Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB)
Katie Schmitz Eulitt is Director, Investor Outreach for the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). She has worked with SASB since its inception, and now serves on SASB’s Outreach team, cultivating the use of SASB standards in investment decisions. She manages SASB’s Investor Advisory Group, comprising 55 leading global asset owners and managers – with more than US$41 trillion in assets – calling for the use of SASB Standards to communicate corporate performance on ESG issues to investors. She also curates and edits ESG Integration Insights, SASB’s ongoing series of investor-written case studies examining the use of SASB tools across asset classes, markets, and investment strategies.
Ms Schmitz Eulitt worked with investment bank Salomon Brothers for more than a decade in the US, Japan, and Hong Kong. Her experience in project development and finance spans the energy sector (both fossil fuels and renewables), the protection of forested lands, and water disinfection in developing markets.
Director, Global Emerging Markets Equities, Fundamental Strategies
APG Asset Management Asia
Egon Vavrek is a Director at APG Asset Management Asia and is based in Hong Kong. He is responsible for India and Emerging Europe, Middle East and Africa direct equity investments. He joined APG in 2013.
Prior to APG, he was head of EMEA Equity Investments for LGT Capital Management, having joined this Swiss-based, multi-boutique asset manager in 2008. Previously, he held various Emerging Market roles in London, such as portfolio manager and analyst for emerging market equities.
Mr Vavrek attended the ICMA Centre, part of the Henley Business School in the United Kingdom, where he obtained his MSc in International Securities, Investment and Banking in 2006.
Neesha Wolf joined the Asian Corporate Governance Association as a contributing editor in 2014 covering Taiwan, where she has lived since 1995. She has covered Taiwan for ACGA’s bimonthly regional newsletter, Asia Regional Briefing, since 2014, and has also researched and written the Taiwan section of CG Watch since 2018.
Prior to joining ACGA, Ms Wolf worked in environmental protection research and regulation for the Minnesota state government, as well as spending several years in education, corporate executive training and consulting in Taiwan. From 2007 to 2011, she served as an editor and contributing reporter for the Taipei Times.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA from National Taiwan University. She is currently a PhD candidate at National Taiwan University in International Business Strategy. Her research focusses on the influence of environmental, social and corporate governance factors on firm performance, as well as their integration into the core of business strategies.