Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath (Speaker)
Chargé d’affaires, U.S. Embassy in Singapore
Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, the Chargé d'affaires, a.i., at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore, oversees 19 U.S. government agencies in the advancement of our wide-ranging bilateral security, economic, and people-to-people cooperation. Her most recent assignment was as Minister Counselor for Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, where she managed Public Diplomacy staff across 9 Consulates in implementing U.S. government public outreach efforts that covered the work of 29 USG agencies in Mexico.
Stephanie previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Bamako, Mali where she led a team of 300 interagency colleagues in shaping and implementing the U.S. government response to the political, security, and humanitarian crises in the country. A specialist in the field of Public Diplomacy, Stephanie's other assignments include Senior Deputy Director in the Office of Public Diplomacy for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs; Career Development Officer for mid-level Public Diplomacy officers, Public Affairs Officer in Mali; Assistant Public Affairs Officer in Tunisia; Staff Assistant and Political Officer at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations; and Vice-Consul in Monterrey, Mexico.
Stephanie was a member of the International Women's Forum Leadership Foundation 2011-2012 Fellows Class, a group of 35 rising women leaders from 14 different nations. As part of the program, she completed executive programs at both Harvard Business School and INSEAD's Singapore campus.
Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Stephanie was an officer in the U.S. Navy. A graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, Stephanie is married and has two daughters. She speaks French and Spanish.
In November 2015, Stephanie was awarded the Department of State's Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy.
Achal Agarwal (Speaker)
President, Kimberly-Clark's Asia Pacific
Achal Agarwal is President of Kimberly-Clark's Asia Pacific consumer business and member of Kimberly-Clark's Global Executive Leadership Team.
Kimberly-Clark Corporation is an $18.3 Bn MNC headquartered in Dallas, US. With a 146 year heritage, its brands like Huggies, Kleenex, Scott, Kotex and Depend are household names and provide essentials for a better life in more than 175 countries. Asia Pacific is Kimberly-Clark's biggest international region with a footprint in over 30 countries including Korea, China, Australia, ASEAN and India with its regional headquarters in Singapore. Kimberly-Clark Asia Pacific has been at the forefront of innovative solutions, sustainability and leveraging digital innovations and ecommerce.
Before joining Kimberly-Clark, Achal briefly led PepsiCo's beverage & snacks business in Sub Saharan Africa, prior to which he was a decade in PepsiCo's Greater China beverage business where his last assignment was Chief Operating Officer of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. He started his career in India, holding various management roles in ICI and PepsiCo India's beverage business.
Achal has been awarded CNBC's Asia Business Leader of the Year Award 2016. Under his leadership, the Kimberly-Clark business has been conferred several prestigious awards like the Most Admired Company in Korea; Best Place to Work in Hong Kong, Taiwan & Vietnam; Effies for marketing campaigns in Singapore, Hong Kong & Korea and Corporate Citizenship & Sustainability awards in Singapore, Australia & China, among others.
Achal is Director on the Board of SATS Ltd and Board member of not-for-profit organizations WWF Singapore and Asia Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN). He is Council Member of the Singapore Business Federation, Board Member of Singapore International Chamber of Commerce and member on the Advisory Board of the Antai College of Economics & Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
An alumnus of Wharton & Delhi University, Achal is based in Singapore with his wife and two daughters.
Hwee Yong CHEW (Speaker)
Deputy Director of Southeast Asia Division, Enterprise Singapore.
CHEW Hwee Yong is the Deputy Director of Southeast Asia Division, Enterprise Singapore. Before the merger of SPRING and International Enterprise Singapore (IE), Hwee Yong was the Divisional Director for the Natural Resources Division in IE, and in the core team championing the revitalisation of Singapore's marine & offshore industry in 2017.
Hwee Yong served more than 10 years in Singapore's economic agencies, including more than 8 years in Economic Development Board (EDB) developing industries such as precision engineering, electronics and Infocomms & Media. He was in the core team that initiated the Partnerships for Capability Transformation (PACT) scheme in 2010. From 2006 to 2009, Hwee Yong was EDB's Centre Director for western Japan and concurrently Consul in Osaka for Singapore.
From 2010 to 2017, Hwee Yong was in the private sector, working for Menicon Co Ltd (Menicon), Japan's oldest and largest contact lens company. He held various positions including the Chief of Organisational Development at the head office, Administration Director (HR, IT, Finance) in the Singapore manufacturing subsidiary and Managing Director (MD) of the Southeast Asia (SEA) sales subsidiary. Hwee Yong pioneered the succession planning scheme for the head office executive officers and built the corporate academy for executive officer candidates. In his four years as MD of the SEA sales subsidiary, Hwee Yong opened new sales channels in various SEA countries and doubled the revenues. In 2017, Hwee Yong left the private sector to return to public service.
Hwee Yong has a B Eng from the University of Tokyo and M Eng from Princeton University, specialising in non-linear optics and lasers. He also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Organisational Development & Human Resources from Singapore Human Resources Institute Academy.
Hwee Yong enjoys history, good movies and good music.
Steven J. Davis (Speaker)
William H. Abbott Distinguished Service Professor of International Business and Economics, Chicago Booth
Steven J. Davis studies business dynamics, employment, labor market institutions, economic fluctuations, public policy and other topics. He is a former editor of the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics and an elected fellow of the Society of Labor Economists. He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, senior academic fellow with the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economics Research, advisor to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, and visiting scholar and consultant, respectively, with the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Chicago.
Davis is known for his influential work using longitudinal data on firms and establishments to explore job creation and destruction dynamics and their relationship to economic performance. He is also a co-creator of the Economic Policy Uncertainty Indices and the DHI Hiring Indicators, and he co-organizes the Asian Monetary Policy Forum, held annually in Singapore. Davis has received research grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Ewing Marion Kauffmann Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and other organizations, including several grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation. In 2013, he received the Addington Prize in Measurement, awarded by the Fraser Institute for Public Policy, for his research on "Measuring Economic Policy Uncertainty."
His teaching experience includes Ph.D. courses in macroeconomics and labor economics at the University of Chicago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Maryland; MBA courses in macroeconomics, money and banking, business strategy, and financial institutions for Chicago Booth; and executive MBA courses in macroeconomics for Chicago Booth in Barcelona, London, and Singapore. Davis has also taught undergraduate courses in microeconomics, econometrics, and money and banking at Brown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In addition to his scholarly publications, Davis has written for the Atlantic, Bloomberg View, Financial Times, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and other popular media and appeared on Channel News Asia, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, NBC Network News, and the U.S. Public Broadcasting System, among others.
Antoine de Carbonnel, '99 (Speaker)
Chief Commercial Officer, Go-Jek
As Chief Commercial Officer, Antoine focuses on merchant strategy and monetization strategy across products. Antoine is also involved in existing product strategy and partnerships, as well as new product prioritization. Leveraging on his background in Consulting and Private Equity, Antoine also provides strategic guidance to the management team as a whole.
Before joining Go-Jek in February 2016, Antoine was a Managing Director at Kartuku, an Indonesian payments FinTech, where he was successively CFO and CSO from 2011 to 2016. Before Kartuku, Antoine was Principal at Ancora Capital, a leading Indonesian Private Equity firm, which he joined in 2008. Before coming to Indonesia, Antoine worked for top professional firms such as McKinsey & Company, Dean & Company and Credit Suisse serving MNCs in the US and Europe. Antoine also has experience in hi-tech having worked for the software firm GAINSystems, a specialized inventory optimization software and service firm. Early in his career, Antoine lived in Hong Kong and Singapore working for Essilor International.
Antoine holds an MBA (with Honors) from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, and a degree in Ingenieur Commercial et de Gestion (with High Honors) from the Universite Catholique de Louvain (Belgium).
Swee Chen Goh, ’03 (AXP-2) (Speaker)
Chairman, Shell Companies
Goh Swee Chen has been the Chairman of Shell Companies in Singapore since October 2014.
Concurrent to her country chair role, Swee Chen is also Vice President, Lubricants – Asia Pacific, a role she undertook since 2011.
Swee Chen joined Shell in 2003 and was previously with Procter & Gamble and IBM. A global leader, she had lived and worked in many countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Netherlands, Australia, USA, Japan and China. She spent a large part of her career in global roles, leading significant businesses with multinational teams. Swee Chen has a diverse professional background having spent her career in IT, Real Estate, Sales & Marketing with P&L responsibilities in Consumer Goods and Oil & Gas industries.
Other than chairing the Shell Companies in Singapore, Swee Chen also chaired/sat in the Board of several Shell Joint Ventures in China and Saudi Arabia. She holds Board positions in Singapore University of Technology & Design, Singapore International Chamber of Commerce and Council Member of SNEF. She is also a member of the Committee on the Future Economy of Singapore.
Swee Chen graduated with a B.Sc. from Victoria University and an MBA from Chicago Booth. She is married with three children.
Jay Jenkins, '13 (AXP-12) (Speaker)
Head of Customer Engineering, Google Cloud
Jay is the Head of Customer Engineering for the Google Cloud business in Southeast Asia and helps organizations transform their technologies and processes in order to support more agile, scalable, and secure digital operations. This is done by making better use of data through real-time scaled processing and machine learning.
Jay has 20 years of experience using transformative technologies for a wide range of industries
around the globe. Prior to Google, Jay was a partner at a specialist technology firm focused on agile technology transformation and business process reengineering. Jay has also worked at global consulting firms where he specialised in business process transformation through technology.
Jay was born in the United States, and has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. For the last 15 years, Jay has lived and worked in Australia, Vietnam, and now Singapore.
Alex Manson (Speaker)
Heads SC Ventures, Standard Chartered
Alex Manson heads SC Ventures at Standard Chartered, a new business unit established in March 2018 to lead innovation across the Group, invest in fintech companies, and promote the testing and implementation of new business models.
His key responsibilities are three-fold: spreading best practices in innovation & problem-solving, and promoting intrapreneurship across Standard Chartered; running a professional investment unit to seek opportunities and manage the Group's investments in fintech companies; and managing the venture unit which will sponsor and oversee new disruptive ventures wholly or partially owned by the Group.
Alex was previously Global Head of Transaction Banking, between 2014 and 2018. In that role, he repositioned the business to a sustainable and growing franchise, drove innovation in the Bank's core processes and its approach to clients, notably under the "Banking the ecosystem" approach.
He joined Standard Chartered as Group Head, Wholesale Banking Geographies in 2012, where he was responsible for the Wholesale Bank's regions and network.
Prior to that, Alex was at Deutsche Bank for 12 years, notably as Global Head of Lending and Corporate Banking Coverage, before which he was at Credit Suisse for 8 years. His roles spanned product and client coverage across fixed income origination and structuring and investment banking advisory and capital raising. During his career, he has worked in New York, London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Alex holds an MBA from INSEAD and an engineering degree from the Polytechnicum of Zurich.
Janil Puthucheary (Speaker)
Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information and Ministry of Transport.
Dr Janil Puthucheary, 45, was elected Member of Parliament in 2011. He is currently Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information and Ministry of Transport.
He chairs OnePeople.sg, which works to promote racial harmony in Singapore; and the Young PAP, the youth wing of the People's Action Party.
Bala Srinivasan (Speaker)
Vice President for Global Initiatives and Strategy and Senior Associate Provost, University of Chicago
Bala Srinivasan is Vice President for Global Initiatives and Strategy and Senior Associate Provost, and is currently serving as the interim head of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago. The Polsky Center brings together the University's nationally recognized programs in venture creation and education, technology commercialization, and business incubation and streamlines access to venture support resources for University and community entrepreneurs and corporate partners.
Bala grew up in Kolkata, India and moved to the U.S. for his undergraduate work at CalTech. He received a B.S. in Mathematics in 1989 and then came to the University of Chicago to complete a Ph.D. in Mathematics, which he received in 1995. Bala then went to Wall Street, where he worked in international private equity investing for more than 20 years, including as Associate Director of Jardine Fleming in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mumbai; Executive Director of Goldman Sachs Hong Kong; and Managing Director of Och Ziff Capital Management, based in India and Hong Kong.
Bala joined the University of Chicago in September 2016 as Senior Advisor to the President and Associate Provost. In July 2017 he took on the Vice President and Senior Associate Provost role. Bala oversees the University's global engagement activities and manages the University Centers in Hong Kong, Delhi, and Beijing. He and the UChicago Global team work to build academic partnerships, create global education opportunities, and strengthen our connections to foreign institutions, policymakers, and civic leaders. Bala also collaborates closely with deans and faculty on nontraditional academic opportunities, as well as with administrative leadership regarding issues of compliance and risk.
Chew Sutat (Speaker)
Head of Equities & Fixed Income, SGX
Mr Chew Sutat, Head of Equities & Fixed Income, is responsible for the listing, trading and post-trade businesses for SGX. Mr Chew joined SGX in June 2007 and was appointed to the Executive Management Committee in May 2008. He is also the Chairman of SGX's Bull Charge CSR initiatives.
Prior to SGX, he was Group Head, Investment & Treasury Products at Standard Chartered Bank, responsible for the strategy and development of the bank's Wealth Management business globally.
Before Standard Chartered Bank, Mr Chew was with OCBC Securities, heading the development of non-traditional investment products and services, and the proprietary trading team. He began his career with DBS Bank in the Custody function, and held varying portfolios in strategic planning and business development for institutional banking and private clients.
Outside of SGX, he is a Fellow of the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) and Chairman of IBF's Sub-Committee for Corporate Finance, Securities & Futures. He sits on the President's Advancement Advisory Council at the National University of Singapore and serves as industry advisor for the Government Parliamentary Committee for Finance, Trade & Industry. In addition, he serves as Chairman of Caregivers Alliance Limited (Charity), Chairman of Kaki Bukit Citizens' Consultative Committee, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Center for Domestic Employees.
Mr Chew graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (1st Class Honours) degree in Philosophy Politics & Economics (PPE) from Oxford University, Keble College in 1996. He also holds a Master of Arts degree from Oxford.
Jeanette Wong, '02 (AXP-1) (Speaker)
Group Executive, DBS
Ms. Jeanette Wong is DBS Group Executive responsible for the Institutional Banking Group which encompasses Corporate Banking, Global Transaction Services, Strategic Advisory and Mergers & Acquisitions. Previously, she was the Chief Financial Officer of DBS Group between 2003 to 2008.
Prior to joining DBS Bank, Jeanette was at JP Morgan for 16 years. During her tenure at JP Morgan, she had regional responsibilities for the Global Markets and Emerging Markets Sales and Trading business in Asia and was also JP Morgan's head for Singapore between 1997 to 2002.
Jeanette's career began in 1982 at Banque Paribas and then Citibank from 1984 to 1986 before joining JP Morgan in 1986.
Jeanette is a Director of DBS Bank (China) Limited and Chairperson of DBS Bank (Taiwan) Ltd. She also sits on the Boards of Essilor International, France and Jurong Town Corporation. Jeanette is a member of the NUS Business School Management Advisory Board and a member of the Global Advisory Board, Asia, for the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is a member of the Securities Industry Council and Singapore's alternate APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) member.
A Singaporean, Jeanette graduated from National University of Singapore with a BBA degree and holds a MBA degree from the University of Chicago.
Mark A. Villar, '15 (AXP-14) (Speaker)
Secretary, Department of Public Works and Highways
Mark A. Villar could've chosen the easy way and climbed the corporate ladder since he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and was already the general manager of Crown Asia Corporation and the Managing Director of Vista Land and Lifescapes. But there was something in him that wanted to move out of his comfort zone and into public service, after all service to his fellowmen is Mark Villar's life work.
Mark displayed his passion for public service at an early age—serving for the Villar Foundation where he helped the youth realize their full potential. In just seven short years since entering the realm of public service, Mark has worked for various livelihood and charitable organizations. All of which made him fit for public service up to a national level. Mark naturally progressed to become the much-admired legislator for Las Piñas. During his stint as Congressman, Mark provided valuable livelihood training, medical assistance, scholarship programs and jobs. Mark even improved the city's infrastructure and activated programs that led vulnerable youths away from drugs and turning them to sports.
Mark's track record for excellence propelled him to the House of Representatives where he was the Chairman of the Committee on Trade and Industry, Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs, Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology and member of the committees on Dangerous Drugs, Energy, Labor and Employment, Metro Manila Development and Youth and Sports Development. Not long after winning a 2nd term as congressman of Las Piñas, President Rodrigo Duterte noticed his achievements and handpicked him as the new Secretary for the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Mark willingly accepted the position and took the challenge of enhancing our country's infrastructure. Since assuming the mandate of DPWH Secretary, Mark Villar is already moving full steam ahead completing projects efficiently; proving that he is up to the task of delivering vital infrastructure projects in an ample amount of time. As impressive as this may be, Sec. Mark unceasingly studies the nation's infrastructure problems and tirelessly works to come up with solutions. He is working on a scheme to decongest traffic through the Luzon Spine Expressway Network—a project set to expand the country's existing expressway network to hasten the economic development of regional cities, avoiding overconcentration of socio-economic activities in Metro Manila and eventually diminishing the economic disparities across the country.
Focusing on Metro Manila, the most congested city in the country, traffic decongestion also means easily connecting people from point A to point B. With the Metro Manila Logistics Network, Sec. Mark has laid out a master plan that pushes the metropolitan landscape to the future. In addition to the 26 existing bridges crossing Pasig River, Marikina River, and Manggahan Floodway, which cater to about 1.30 million vehicles daily, 12 new bridges will be constructed in the area to provide alternative linkages between major thoroughfares and increase the number of usable roadways.
Aside from decongesting traffic and connecting cities for the country's economic development, Sec. Mark is also working on a road development project to reconstruct conflict affected areas in Mindanao—a road length of about 200 km covering eleven (11) access roads and bridges connecting ARMM and other regions in Mindanao. With all of these projects envisioned and executed, Sec. Mark is paving the way for our country's economic development as well as the overall wellbeing of every Filipino.
Fernand Lendoye, '06 (Speaker)
Asia Managing Director, Aviva Ventures
Fernand Lendoye is currently the Asia Managing Director for Aviva Ventures, the £100m venture capital arm of Aviva. Prior to Aviva Ventures, Fernand was a seasoned financial services executive with global transactional and significant operating experience in shaping growth strategies and business development, opening new markets and driving business turnaround in Asia, Europe and North America. His broad transactional experience ranges from a £5bn+ transformative acquisition in the UK to a $20bn+ IPO in Asia. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.