2021 Speaker Lineup
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Mr. Nitish Agarwal has more than 25 years of experience in private debt markets across Asia. Last year, he led two back-to-back strategic transactions: management buyout of the credit platform that he had set up backed by Olympus Capital Asia private equity, and investment by OMERS as a significant shareholder. Earlier this year, the firm was awarded “Best of the Best Midcap Private Debt House” by South Korea’s pension funds and other major institutional investors in the “Best Asset Managers by Korean Investors 2020” awards by The Korea Economic Daily (based on ranking of global managers and not limited to Asian managers).
Mr. Agarwal has completed private debt investments of more than US$5 billion in Asia Pacific spanning various economic cycles. Prior to founding the credit platform nine years ago, Mr. Agarwal was Managing Director in Global Financing Solutions at Barclays Capital in Singapore. Earlier, he was head of the Asian telecom financing business for ING. He started his career with Bank of America in Mumbai before relocating to Hong Kong.
Mr. Agarwal holds a degree in electronics engineering and an MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India.
Dan is the managing partner of Ropes & Gray’s Hong Kong office. He regularly advises creditor groups, debtors and office holders in restructurings. He also advises investment funds and proprietary trading desks on their debt and equity investment in public and private companies, principally in distressed and special situations. Dan’s clients include some of the leading special situations investors in Asia. Dan was a director in the special situations group at Citadel in Hong Kong from 2007 to 2011, where he was involved in making, restructuring and exiting investments throughout Asia and across capital structures. Dan is proficient in spoken and written Chinese.
Dan is listed as a leading lawyer in Restructuring in Asia Pacific by Chambers and Legal 500 (2016-2021). Dan also leads the restructuring practice in Hong Kong, which was named “Restructuring Team of the Year” by IFLR 2015.
Dhiraj is the Head of Asia Credit at Lombard Odier. He joined Lombard Odier in 2012, and is responsible for the fixed income team in Asia, focusing on Asia Pacific debt markets.
Prior to joining Lombard Odier, Dhiraj was a portfolio manager with Cairn Capital in London, a full-service credit asset management firm, from 2006 to 2012. There he managed investment grade and high yield portfolios and traded credits in both long-only and long/short portfolios. Dhiraj also gained experience in JP Morgan & Chase in their European credit & rates research department in London, in 2006. Dhiraj started his career at Singapore Airlines and from 2000 to 2005, he did corporate strategy.
Dhiraj has a B.Eng (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Business from the National University of Singapore, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Cambridge, UK.
Ms. Angelina Bopp joined MUFG in November 2020 as the Head of Credit Managed Assets for Asia Pacific. Based in Singapore, she is responsible for identifying, managing and mitigating business, commercial and credit risks across the bank’s Global Corporate and Investment Banking client portfolio in the region.
Ms. Bopp is a qualified lawyer and experienced credit risk professional with 20 years of experience in corporate, commercial, investment banking and private equity structures.
Prior to her appointment with MUFG, she was ASEAN head of restructuring at Standard Chartered, Singapore, where she first joined in 2016 as its global head of restructuring for the commercial banking division.
Ms. Bopp has also held a number of roles at the Royal Bank of Scotland during her almost eight years of tenure there, including head of transformation where she led an operational and organisational transformation project for the restructuring division. Before that, she was responsible for managing its stressed and distressed clients in Europe, covering all products across the corporate and institutional banking business.
Ms. Bopp graduated from the University of Bristol with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in Banking, Corporate, Finance, and Securities Law, and a Master of Laws (LLM). She also obtained a post graduate diploma in International Business Economics from the University of the West of England.
Vaibhav joined Cantor Fitzgerald in 2017 to lead the performing and distressed loan trading business in Asia. Under his leadership, Cantor has traded over USD1.2bn of loans in face value in India and has concluded private debt transactions aggregating USD 260mn. Before joining Cantor, Vaibhav spent 12 years at Axis Bank, across capital markets, origination and syndication businesses. Most recently, Vaibhav led the loan syndication and portfolio management business at Axis Bank.
Dr. Sean Chang is currently the Head of Fixed Income of Ping An of China Asset Management (Hong Kong). He has over 25 years of solid portfolio management, investment and research experiences covering a wide range of financial instruments from corporate credit to high yield and emerging market debts. Prior joining Ping An of China Asset Management (Hong Kong), Dr. Chang worked for Baring Asset Management where he managed investment & research functions. He was a member of the regional investment committee which he liaised with regional teams to coordinate and implement global & regional corporate & debt strategies. Dr. Chang has proven experiences with world leading asset management and financial institutions including Halbis (HSBC) Capital Management, Mirae Asset, Hang Seng Investment Management, and Invesco.
Dr. Chang received performance awards for managed and co-managed funds. He also earned his market recognition in receiving the Most Astute Fixed Income Investor, and the Best Local Currency Bond Manager Awards in consecutive years. Dr. Chang graduated his Doctor of Business Administration Degree from Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Australia. He also holds a Master of Finance Degree from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University.
Grant Chien is a Managing Director at BentallGreenOak and a part of the Hong Kong Executive Committee. BentallGreenOak took over the InfraRed NF Investment Advisers platform (formerly known as HSBC NF Investment Advisers) in Q2 2021 where Mr. Chien was responsible for the firm’s real estate lending investments in Greater China and different fundraising assignments whilst based in Hong Kong and London. InfraRed NF was awarded the Asia Pacific Real Estate Debt Manager of the Year (2019) by Private Debt Investor magazine. Prior to joining the platform, he worked at Lehman Brothers Asia Real Estate Private Equity platform focusing on Asian real estate investment opportunities.
Mr. Chien holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the London School of Economics, is a CFA Charterholder and a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He was amongst the global list of top 30 “Rising Stars 2019” across all industries selected by the Private Debt Investor magazine.
Robert Ciemniak has been studying the China housing markets for the past 9 years, as the Founder and Chief Analyst of Real Estate Foresight, a Hong Kong-based independent research boutique specializing in the sector.
From macro questions to detailed project due diligence, Real Estate Foresight has been serving private equity funds, developers, lenders, and hedge funds, with the data-driven research powered by in-house technology, content from data partners, and alternative data.
Robert is also the founder of an AI technology startup in automation of research - Robotic Online Intelligence, helping clients build their armies of robo-analysts, the technology originally designed for internal use at Real Estate Foresight.
Earlier, his 13-year career with Thomson Reuters included two major roles as Global Head of Real Estate Markets in London and Hong Kong, and as Head of Corporate Foresight in Group Strategy in London.
Robert holds a dual MBA degree from London Business School and Columbia Business School in New York, and an MSc from Warsaw School of Economics.
He is also an international master in chess.
Mr. Dai is in charging of investment relations of USD Investors in DCL Investments.
Prior to DCL Investments. Mr. Dai worked for a VC institution as the COO. Prior to that, Mr. Dai works for Goldman Sachs (Asia) in its Investment Management Division and Orient Securities.
Mr. Dai holds MBA from Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University, and Master Degree as well as Bachelor Degree in Public Finance from Fudan University.
In 2011, Omar established the first international office of Allvue Credit (formerly Black Mountain Systems) and grew the business prior to the merger and formation of Allvue. He currently heads the Allvue Solutions Engineering team in London. Allvue's clients include the world's leading managers of leveraged loans, private equity, fixed income, and other alternative assets. Omar has over 20 years of experience in global business transformation via software and systems. Prior to Allvue, Omar worked with Accenture Consulting on large scale software transformation projects in Europe and South Africa. He has also previously worked for BPI Bank, Procter & Gamble, Sony Corporation, and Alfa Financial Software. He is currently based in London.
Chaim Estulin has been covering Asia for more than two decades, including as Debtwire senior editor since October 2007. He helps oversee more than two dozen reporters and analysts in the region focused on corporate distress and restructurings as well as the primary issuance of high-yield bonds, loans and private debt. Before joining Debtwire, Chaim was a business editor at the South China Morning Post and a Hong Kong-based reporter at Time magazine covering politics, culture and business.
Mr. Fogle joined BPEA in 2011 to spearhead the Firm’s move into the real estate sector. From 2006 to 2010, Mr. Fogle served as Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer in Asia at RREEF, the alternative investment and asset management arm of Deutsche Bank, where he was responsible for overseeing real estate investments in the Region.
From 1997 to 2006, Mr. Fogle was Managing Director at AIG Global Real Estate, where he grew the Asian business from a small lending operation into one of the largest real estate debt and equity players in Asia, investing capital on behalf of AIG’s clients through managed funds as well as placing proprietary funds of AIG’s affiliates into core, value‐add and high‐yield/opportunistic assets.
Prior to joining AIG, from 1992 to 1997, he was responsible for the Asian expansion of a U.S. development and investment firm.
During his 29‐year career in the Asia Pacific region, Mr. Fogle has been involved in over 110 real estate investments with a value exceeding US$24 billion, including over 60 debt transactions.
Soumendra is one of the founding members of Vivriti Capital and built the capital markets practice prior to setting up Vivriti's Asset Management Business. Prior to Vivriti, he was a Director in Capital Markets Team at IFMR Capital where he structured and placed asset backed securities, complex structured credit global and domestic institutions. He has raised over US$4 Bn for over 150 enterprises.
Prior to IFMR Capital, Soumendra was managing the supply chain and receivable finance at HSBC where he managed portfolio of US$100 Mn. Prior to that, he was the Head of Strategy at IFCI Factors Limited, where he built and managed a portfolio of SMEs amounting to US$150Mn. Soumendra has an MBA from Indian School of Business and a Bachelor’s in Engineering from R.V. College of Engineering. He is also a CFA charter holder.
Vivriti Group focuses on the performing credit space in India, a US$ 500 Bn market. It seeks to transform the performing credit space in India, using technology to build high efficiencies in sourcing, data management, transaction execution and credit monitoring, while building diligence, portfolio management and deep structuring capabilities in its teams. Vivriti Asset Management (VAM) was conceptualized with a vision to build fixed income funds focusing on the three dimensions of Risk, Return and Impact. Within the first year of operations, VAM garnered interest from various global investors and domestic LPs, and has crossed US$ 225 Mn of commitments as of end June 2021.
Vivriti Group which was founded in 2017 and comprises of the India's largest debt platform ‘CredAvenue’ along with Vivriti Capital, a NBFI. Vivriti Group - backed by marquee investors Creation Investments and LGT Lightrock, - is recognised as a “Soonicorn” owning to its phenomenal growth, innovation and leadership position in the BFSI space.
Bharat Gupta is Sr Vice President and Regional Head - Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa for Trade and Structured Finance business at Olam International Ltd. He is a seasoned treasury and finance professional with career spanning over 27 years across Banking and Commodity Trading companies working from India, Dubai and Singapore. A Chartered Accountant and Cost & Works Accountant by qualification, he started his career as a banker in India working with large MNC Banks. In his 14 years of Banking experience he worked on various roles in Corporate Banking space across Risk Management, Relationship Management roles in addition to Product Management roles in Trade Finance and Treasury. After banking he moved on to work with large Commodity Trading houses in the Trade and Structured Finance space supporting domestic and foreign currency liquidity management, Cross border risk management, Customer / Supplier financing and hedging solutions.
I joined Santander Hong Kong in June 2021 in the newly created role of Head of Structured Trade, Global Transaction Banking for Asia-Pacific where my main responsibility will be to support Santander’s clients in the region with solutions structured around their commercial flows. Such solutions will include, among others, prepayment and pre-export financings, borrowing base facilities, inventory finance, etc.
Before this appointment, I had spent 17 years at ING Bank where I held several positions, including Head of Metals within the global Structured Metals and Energy Finance team in Amsterdam and, most recently, as Asia Head of Structured Commodities Finance out of Hong Kong. At ING I was responsible for leading the team on numerous landmark award-winning structured commodity finance transactions.
My lifelong career in commodities started with 10 years and various roles at Glencore International AG.
I have a bachelor’s degree in International Economic Relations from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria and an MBA from the Said Business School at the University of Oxford, UK.
Seasoned Global Leader with proven track record in financial service, corporate finance and banking across Asia Pacific. Strong domain expertise in Treasury Management and Services.
Mr. Edwin KAM is Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Fixed Income of Value Partners. He is responsible for credit and fixed income investments, with a focus on special situations and private financing. He has over 14 years of financial industry experience, and has direct management responsibility of the firm’s fixed income assets.
Mr. KAM was voted as one of the “The Most Astute Investors in Asian G3 Bonds in Hong Kong for 2020” by The Asset’s Benchmark Research Awards, in which he was ranked No. 10. He has been ranked among The Top Astute Investors in the same category for five consecutive years since 2016.
Prior to joining Value Partners, he was at Investec Capital Asia Limited, where he specialized in advising listed companies on restructuring and liquidation matters, debt and equity securities issuance, as well as merger and acquisition transactions. Before that, he was an Analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in London.
Mr. KAM graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Master’s degree in Finance. He is a CFA charterholder.
Howard Lam, a partner in Latham & Watkins’ Hong Kong office, advises corporates, banks, and investors on complex financing transactions across Asia, with a strong focus on Greater China.
Mr. Lam represents banks, bondholders, investors, and insolvency practitioners in distressed situations, including enforcement, restructurings, creditors schemes of arrangement, liability management, receiverships, and formal liquidation procedures.
He also advises banks, sponsors, and borrowers in LBOs, acquisition financings, China onshore/offshore financing, margin financings, private equity financing, bridge financing, and debt capital market transactions.
Recently, Mr. Lam led in a number of high-profile restructuring and leveraged financing transactions and is recognized as a leading practitioner in this area by Chambers Asia Pacific and Legal 500.
Reuben Lee has over 20 years’ experience in credit, special situations and private equity investments in Europe and Asia, including restructuring, managing and operating of invested assets. He has aggregated distressed assets in Indonesia, managed direct lending in Greater China, and co-founded a multiple award winning consumer technology company. Reuben read law at the University of Durham and started his career as a private equity lawyer in London. He is presently Managing Director and CEO at Kai Investment Management which provides discreet, nimble and innovative capital across alternative asset classes.
Alex has over 14 years of experience in investment and research, he has extensive experience in various fixed income products including loans trading, securitized products and principal protected notes. Prior to joining Taikang Asset Management, Alex was a Director at GF Global Capital where he managed the private and structured credit portfolio and built the credit research team there. Before GF, Alex covered Chinese and Japanese High Yield and distressed credits at SC Lowy, and also helped to manage special situations in China. He worked on a range of equity and debt financing deals during his time at CCBI Asset Management prior to joining SC Lowy. Alex began his career as an auditor with Deloitte New York covering global private equity funds.
Alex graduated with both a Masters and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in the United States majoring in Accounting. He is a CFA, AICPA and Certified ESG Analyst.
Over 10 years investment experiences, deployed over US$ 700 mm of private credit and special situation risk capital in Asia. Jintao led various direct lending and special situation investments, including sponsor acquisition financing, growth capital, and various insolvency / bankruptcy investment situations. Jintao is experienced with litigation and enforcement management, had successfully enforced PRC onshore asset by offshore loan.
Before joining ARTE Capital, Jintao worked for Huatai International and SSG Capital Management, where he focused on Greater China credit opportunities. Jintao graduated from University of Oxford with first class honours in Engineering Economics and Management.
Luc has over 20 years of experience as a financial journalist in Asia covering fixed income, credit derivatives and distressed debt markets. He joined Debtwire in 2006 as Managing Editor for the Asia-Pacific region and now is responsible for a team of 14 journalists and five analysts that cover primarily the stressed/distressed debt, high yield and primary debt markets. Luc first started covering distressed debt markets in 1989 as a reporter for IFR in Japan. In 1998 he initiated and developed coverage of the Asian distressed debt markets for IFR Asia.
Ryan has been with Debtwire for ten years. He began his career as a credit analyst in New York before moving to Hong Kong in 2015 to take over Debtwire’s APAC research team.
Sabita Prakash is member of ADM Capital’s Investment Advisory and Executive Committees, and leads the company’s investment efforts in South Asia. Prior to joining ADM Capital, Sabita was the Head of the Asian Fixed Income team at Fidelity Worldwide Investment. Sabita began her career in fixed income in 1993 when she joined CRISIL India as a rating analyst. In 1998, Sabita moved to Hong Kong and worked with Standard & Poor’s Rating Agency, JP Morgan Securities and HSBC in Hong Kong on the credit research side before joining Fidelity in 2004. Sabita holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics & Telecomm from Bangalore University, India. Sabita also holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.
Neeraj Seth, Managing Director, is the Head of Asian Credit and has been in his current role since 2009. He is the portfolio manager for the Asian Tiger Bond Fund and Asia Pacific private credit fund. He leads the strategy for Asian Fundamental Credit and is responsible for providing oversight of the investment process, performance, and the team's infrastructure as well as determining the strategic direction and growth initiatives of the platform. He has been responsible for building the Asian fundamental credit business since 2009.
Prior to joining BlackRock in 2009, Mr. Seth was a Senior Vice President focusing on the Asia Pacific market for R3 Capital Partners. He previously held a similar role with the Global Principal Strategies team at Lehman Brothers. Previously, he was an Associate Partner with McKinsey & Company where he was in the leadership group for the Technology & Telecom practice in Southeast Asia.
Mr. Seth earned a BE degree in mechanical engineering from Delhi University and an MBA degree in finance from the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University.
Bryant Stone is a Managing Director at Tor Investment Management, a Hong Kong and Singapore-based alternative credit manager focused on the Asia-Pacific markets with over $2 billion under management. Bryant is a senior member of Tor’s 17-person investment team and focuses on deal origination and structuring of corporate and real estate debt transactions across the Asia-Pacific region. He has 19 years of experience in direct investing and structuring credit investments. Prior to TOR, Bryant worked for GE Capital across Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong and the United States. Bryant moved to Hong Kong in 2006 to help set up the GE Capital credit team where he focused on loans, NPLs, and equity investments across the region. While in Asia Bryant was Head of Credit and Restructuring and Co-Chief Risk Officer in Tokyo and Beijing, respectively. Bryant earned a BS degree in Business Administration with a double concentration in accounting and finance from Boston University’s School of Management.
Ron Thompson is a Managing Director of Alvarez & Marsal Asia and leads Asia’s Restructuring Practice. Mr. Thompson is based in Hong Kong.
With close to 30 years of experience in China and Asia, Mr. Thompson brings expertise in finance, credit and restructuring in Asia. Mr. Thompson’s primary expertise lies in financial restructuring and has significant experience acting in the capacity as a creditor, investor and advisor related with in court restructurings and liquidations as well as out of court processes or government influenced restructurings. Mr. Thompson has extensive experience as an investor in sourcing, valuing, acquiring and managing NPL portfolios in addition to having managed the sale process of individual credits as well as non-performing loan portfolios. Mr. Thompson, in the capacity as an investor and as a board member, has participated in multiple operational turnaround situations. Mr. Thompson’s has broad industry expertise including fast moving consumer goods, power generation, metals and mining, construction, manufacturing, telecom and technology and financial institutions.
Prior to joining A&M, Mr. Thompson was at Standard Chartered where he headed the workout team in Taiwan, worked in the Mezzanine and Alternative Solutions Team for Principle Finance and most recently was the Chief Credit Officer for China. Prior to Standard Chartered, Mr. Thompson worked in corporate finance at Bear Stearns and Bank of China International and oversaw the China business for Clearwater Capital.
Mr. Thompson graduated Magna Cum Laude from Colby College, studied Chinese literature at Peking University and holds an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. Mr. Thompson is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
Mr Wong is an Executive Director in Argyle Street Management Limited. Mr Wong is specialize in distress and private credit investment in Asia. He previously worked at KPMG and FTI Consulting in Hong Kong. Mr Wong is a Fellow member of the HKICPA. He holds a Bachelor of Business from the Queensland University of Technology, a Juris Doctor from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and a Master course in Financial Engineering from Stanford University.
Mr. Alex Wu joined CDH Investments in 2016, and is currently Managing Director of CDH’s Mezzanine & Credit Business. Mr. Wu is overseeing CDH’s Special Opportunities strategy, focusing on investments in NPLs, Single Credit, securitizations, restructurings and other special situations. Since joining CDH, Mr. Wu has completed multiple distressed investments and exits of RMB2bn.
Prior to CDH, Mr. Wu served as Vice President of Bank of China Group Investment Ltd, based in Hong Kong. During his time, he participated in the debt restructuring of a company in Jiangsu with bank debt over RMB 80bn and the acquisition of multiple NPL portfolios (Jiangsu, Shandong, Hennan, Guangdong, etc.) with face value of RMB 20bn.
From 2005-2014, Mr. Wu also served in GE Capital, DAC Management, where he led the NPL servicing/investment business separately.
Mr. Wu started his career with China Orient AMC Headquarters, and acquired NPLs from state-owned banks, executed the sale of multiple NPLs to foreign investors, management of debt-equity swap projects. Mr. Wu received his Bachelor of Applied Science in Aeronautics and Industrial Trade from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (BUAA) in 2001 and his MBA from Shanghai Jiaotong University in 2013. Mr. Wu is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Lucy Wu is counsel at Ropes & Gray based in Hong Kong.
Lucy has extensive experience assisting clients to provide a range of private capital financing solutions. Lucy has structured and advised on debt instruments for use in special situations, the acquisition of distressed assets, debt/equity investments, asset based finance, working capital finance and consensual corporate restructurings and refinancings. Lucy has advised on investments throughout the Asia-Pacific region including Australia, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, India, Singapore and Indonesia and her clients include leading financial institutions, private equity firms, credit funds and multinational corporations.
Ms. Zheng is the chief investment officer for CarVal Wensheng Private Fund Management, responsible for originating and executing investment opportunities and loan portfolios in China. Ms. Zheng started her career in Australia in 2000 in corporate restructuring. Ms. Zheng moved to Shanghai in 2008 to join Ferrier Hodgson Shanghai office (now part of FTI Consulting Group) as a key member of the startup team. In 2009, Ms. Zheng joined PwC business recovery service team, where she worked on several major insolvency cases including FerroChina, Lehman Brothers (Europe) and Suntech. Ms. Zheng joined EY in 2015 as a Partner of the Transaction Advisory Service. During her time at EY, Ms. Zheng specialized in NPL transaction advisory, and she advised major banks including CCB, BOC, Minsheng Bank, Industrial Bank and Export-Import Bank. Ms. Zheng also represented local and foreign asset management companies and investment funds in NPL portfolio deals. Ms. Zheng received her Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Finance and her B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Sydney.