2018 Certified Trade Mission to Singapore — March 20 – 22, 2018

2018 Certified Trade Mission to Singapore For Private Equity, Venture Capital, Infrastructure and Real Estate Fund Managers

March 20-22 2018
Singapore

Why Singapore?

  • The World Bank ranks Singapore as the second highest among 190 economies worldwide for ease of doing business and for enforcement of contracts
  • The 2015 Global Financial Centres Index ranks Singapore as the second most important Asian financial center, and the fourth worldwide, after London, New York, and Hong Kong.
  • According to UBS and Campden Wealth, Singapore is one of the two most prominent wealth centers in Asia-Pacific. More than 75% of the family offices established in the last ten years in the region have been launched in Hong Kong & Singapore.
  • Singapore will dethrone Switzerland in the next two years as the world’s top center for managing international funds.
  • The HNWI population in Singapore grew to 107,000 in 2014. HNWI wealth grew in 2014 by 3.9%, to USD 543 billion. – CapGemini Wealth report
  • Asia-Pacific’s wealthiest investors are moving much more of their money into direct investment opportunities rather than equity and bond markets.
  • Allocations to Private Equity and Venture Capital grew to 15% compared with 4% in 2012.
  • Family Offices are long-term investors, with 74% of them reporting an investment horizon of at least five years.
  • Asia’s wealthy families are becoming much more bullish towards investment prospects, with twice as many respondents more optimistic about investment prospects than a year ago.
  • According to the Deloitte Wealth management ranking Singapore saw an inflow of cross border assets of 24% since 2008.

KEY FEATURES OF THE CERTIFIED TRADE MISSION

In addition to the Certified Trade Mission on Wednesday March 21st, you will be hosted on the evening of March 20th by the US Deputy Chief of Mission or the US Ambassador at their private residence, for an exclusive dinner with a group of leading Singapore HNW Individuals.

  • Minimum of forty one-on-one personal meetings with Singapore’s leading institutions and family offices
  • On the 2017 mission, each US GP had fifty-nine LP meetings
  • Focused, structured, organized and pre-arranged private meetings
  • Convened by the US Department of Commerce
  • No placement agency fees or commissions
  • Full contact information and background provided to GPs prior to all meetings
  • Promotion of your firm to 150+ local institutional investors, and single- and multi-family offices

Summary

In cooperation with the US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, US Commercial Service, the US Embassy in Singapore, and the US Export Assistance Center in New York, you are invited to apply to join the Certified Trade Mission which will introduce a small, select group of US private equity, venture capital, infrastructure and real estate fund managers to meet pre-screened institutional investors from Singapore’s largest insurance companies, pension funds, and family offices.

The mission is certified by the US Department of Commerce. The mission is organized by Katsof Consulting.

Certified Trade Missions and similar events supported by the US Department of Commerce have attracted top funds from the US Click here to see some of the funds that have attended in the past.

Singapore Investors

  • Institutional Investors (Insurance, Pension)
  • Corporate Investors
  • Family Office Managers
  • Heads of Families
  • High Net Worth Individuals


We have identified 285 Family Offices and Institutional LPs in Singapore

Partial List of Singapore LPs to be invited as of June 1, 2017

Fifty-nine Singapore LPs attended the 2017 trade mission

Aberdeen SVG Private Equity
ABN AMRO Private Banking
Abu Dhabi Investment Authority
Adams Street Partners
AIMS Funds Management
Altius Associates
Aquila Capital
Bank of Singapore
BMO Financial Group
CIMB Private Banking
Cobalt Hill Capital
CS Partners
DM Partners
Eagle Asia Partners
Fabiani Family Investment Office
Fedesa Asia Advisory
Great Eastern Life Assurance
Heliconia Capital Management
Henderson Equity Partners
Heritage Wealth Partners
HP Wealth management
Heritage Wealth Management
Hermes GPE
HWA Hong Corporation
IFC Asset Management Company
IFS Capital
IIFL Private Wealth Management
IMC Investments
Iyo Bank
Metado Private Wealth Management
Milltrust international
Mizuho Securities
Nadathur Holdings
Nanyang Technological University Endowment Fund
Nissay Aset Management Corporation
Nomura Group
NTUC Income Insurance Co-operative
OCBC Bank
Oclaner Asset Management
One Asia Investment Partners
Partners Group
Pinebridge Investments
Religare Enterprises
Rockwell Automation Pension Fund
Sandaire Investment Office
Schroder Investment management
SEB Asset Management
Shell Asset Management
Silver Sea Asset Management
Singapore management University Endowment
Stamford Privee
Simitumo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Swiss Life
Temasek Holdings
UBP Family Office
UBS Alternative Funds Advisory
UCAP AM Asia
Vertex venture Holdings
Wilshire Private Markets

US Department of Commerce Trade Mission Leaders

Daniel Gaines
Senior International Trade Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce

Serving in Northern Virginia, Mr Gaines covers a variety of industries including Financial Services, Management/Consulting Services, Advanced Manufacturing, and Mining, among others. Before his current role, he served in the Office of the Director General of the US&FCS where he advised senior leadership within the agency. Before that he worked with Global Growth Consulting focusing on energy markets in Central and East Africa as well as serving as a Trade Advisor for the State of Alabama. Outside of the United States, he has lived and worked in Africa, Latin America, and in Australia, and holds degrees in International Business from the University of Alabama and Thunderbird, School of Global Management.

Brian Beams
International Trade Specialist, U.S. Department of Commerce

A veteran of the United States Air Force and graduate of Central Florida University, BS Finance, Mr Beams’s private sector career began at International Assets Advisory as a Registered Representative (Series 7, 63, 65, & FL-215). After some years at the boutique firm, he joined the U.S. Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions – USUN, where his focus was diplomacy and national security.

He joined the U.S. Commercial Service in September 2013 as an International Trade Specialist for the Northern New Jersey Export Assistance Center. He counsels U.S. businesses that wish to begin exporting or increase their exports throughout the global marketplace. He is the area sector coordinator for financial services and energy, to list a few. Lastly, he is the Deputy Team Leader for USCS’s Global Finance Team where he leads the financial services subsector. He was born and raised in Northern New Jersey, has lived in Germany, France, and Bosnia, and traveled to 23 additional countries.

Clint Brewer
Foreign Commercial Officer, U.S. Commercial Service, US Embassy, Singapore

Clint Brewer works as a Regional Commercial Officer for ASEAN, in addition to serving as the regional Digital Attaché. In both roles, he promotes US business interests in the region through a variety of means, including export and investment promotion, commercial diplomacy, and advocacy of US firms.

He also serves as Deputy Team Leader for the Global Finance Team at the US Department of Commerce, and has an industry specialization in financial technology (FinTech). Before joining the Foreign Commercial Service, he worked for over ten years in the private sector in the Insurance industry.

Mr Brewer received his Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Spanish from Syracuse University. He holds the designation of Certified International Business Professional (CGBP) from the NASBITE organization. He enjoys running marathons and playing jazz bass.

Chia Swee Hoon
Senior Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service, US Embassy, Singapore

Swee-Hoon Chia started her career with the U.S. Government as the Economic Specialist working for the State Department before joining the Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore. Before that she worked for the Singapore government agency in trade promotion and documentation.

As the Senior Commercial Specialist, she plays a key role as the principal advisor and assistant to the American Officers in planning, organizing, and administering reporting, trade facilitation, and trade promotion program for Singapore. During her tenure with the Commercial Service, she has covered industries ranging from electronics to services. Currently, she focuses on ICT/digital economy that includes IT, telecommunications, smart technologies, and covers other sectors such as financial services, consumer electronics, franchising.

She received her BA in Economics and Sociology from the University of Singapore and her MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

She is an avid tennis player and enjoys traveling.

Singapore Co-Chairmen

A select group of Financial service executives, family office heads and Fund managers serve as our Singapore Co Chairmen. It is through their personal knowledge and extensive relationships, in partnership with the US Department of Commerce and the US Embassy, that we are able to ensure a quality selection of investor LPs attend the Trade Mission.

Benjamin Phoon, Principal, Imperium Lucrum Family Investment Office

Benjamin Phoon is an experienced telecom, media and technology executive who has lived, worked and built businesses in the US, Asia and Europe. As an experienced and successful executive for one of Asia top 5 conglomerates, he rose from mid-level management to various senior executive strategic roles across different industries and sectors.

He has held a number of CEO / President Positions in multiple areas of Telecoms, Media and Technology (TMT) companies and digital content deliveries in Hong Kong where he had responsibility for all international businesses. Also, he acquired, built and ran multiple companies across US and Europe. This business was divested. From the divestiture, he was moved to build a successful portfolio of investments during the internet boom. At the peak of his career, he relinquished his portfolio to pursue his personal passion for business. He recently returned to Singapore after living for 20 years in the UK and Asia.

In the past 10 years he built and owned a 70-outlet retail franchise business covering Middle East to Asia. The franchise business enjoyed a US$200m revenue was sold to a Private Equity firm. At this business, he started the first end-to-end franchise model which saw the business enjoyed a very healthy EBIT margins. Between 2003 and 2008 he assembled a team of entrepreneurs to successfully list a life style business in Stock Exchange of Singapore. Investors received solid returns from its divestment in 2007.

From the success of two divestitures, he zoomed his focus on a private equity investment mandate. He soon grew his total seed investment from US$50m to US$170m. Tracing his ancestry roots and passed down businesses, in 2014, he amalgamated the family private and commercial moneys to setup his own private Single Family Office (SFO) investment firm.

Mr Phoon is a Dublin University Finance graduate; he also has a M.Sc. in Financial Engineering and a holder and practitioner of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Simon Hopkins, CEO,

Simon Hopkins has been a senior figure in the international investment management industry for more than two decades. He was an early advocate of hedge fund investing for institutional investors, and has been a prolific capital raiser for single manager funds, funds of funds and listed closed-end funds.

After pursuing a successful investment banking career spanning more than a decade at S.G. Warburg, UBS, HSBC James Capel, and Nomura International, Mr. Hopkins created one of the industry’s first dedicated research and investment consulting businesses in 1996 to provide truly objective analysis for investors. At its peak Global Fund Analysis (GFA) had over 27,000 registered users around the globe.

Concurrently, Mr. Hopkins played a pioneering role in seeding many of the incipient European hedge funds through the Fortune Group, an award-winning alternatives investment advisory business. Fortune Group went on to become one of the UK’s pre-eminent multi-asset advisory firms with clients in 24 countries and a focus on pension funds, charities and endowments, as well as a number of the world’s leading families. The firm was successfully sold to UK-listed, financial services group, Close Brothers Group PLC, in 2006, culminating in its full integration in January 2010.

In 2011, Mr Hopkins founded Milltrust International focusing on investment management in Emerging Markets, and specialist real asset solutions driven by the changing demographics of the developing world. Milltrust advises Milltrust Agricultural Investments, a farmland program investing in Latin America and Australasia, offers a specialist African real estate fund that builds shopping malls in sub-Saharan African cities, and delivers the industry’s first dedicated Emerging Markets Managed Accounts Platform which offers investors access to local equity markets through a selection of some of the world’s leading regional asset managers, including ItaúUnibanco (Latin America), Keywise (Greater China), UTI International (India) and Lion Global Investors (ASEAN), in the form of transparent, regulated Irish UCITS funds.

Mr Hopkins graduated with honours from the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Law in 1986 and speaks fluent French. He travels extensively but resides permanently with his family in Singapore. He serves as Chairman of East India Capital Management, a regulated Singapore wealth manager. He was profiled in a significant interview with the Financial Times in December 2008.

Noor Quek, Founder and CEO,

Noor Quek has more than 40 years of experience in a broad range of wealth management services, with various established financial institutions. Her previous positions, all based in Singapore, with regional/global responsibilities, include being Director and Head, Business Development (South East Asia), The Citigroup Private Bank, Director, Business Development (South East Asia), GE Capital, and Deputy Managing Director, Rabobank Asia Ltd. 

Her expertise includes initiating, negotiating and facilitating implementation of wealth advisory and financial transactions. This has evolved from her extended years in the industry where she has managed account relationships and led teams to serve international high net worth individuals, families and corporations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Founded in October 2007, NQ International’s key activities are family office advisory services particularly for Asia and the Middle East, business strategy for international corporations, and coaching, talent identification, search and placement services for senior level executives up to the C-Suite. 

Ms Quek is actively involved in various charity-related activities. She is a frequent speaker at major international conferences on global wealth management, family office advisory and human capital and leadership topics. She is a founding member and President of Breast Cancer Foundation, Board Member of The Ireland Funds, Singapore, Board Member, ISCA Cares (Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants), member of the Women’s Health Advisory Council, Singapore, and was joint deputy co-chairperson of BoardAgender in Singapore, an organization encouraging women to take on board positions for gender diversity. She is also a member of the Disciplinary and Inquiry committees of the Singapore Dental Council, and a member of the Inquiry committee of the Law Society, Singapore.

Based in Singapore, Ms Quek is married with 3 grown children and seven grand children, An avid musician, often performs to raise funds for various regional charities.

Veronica L John, Senior Managing Director,

Veronica John is a Senior Managing Director to Diamond Dragon Advisors, and is based in Singapore.

She is a longstanding investor in emerging markets private equity funds in Asia, with over 25 years of experience in international business and finance encompassing fund management, direct private equity investing, project management, privatization, and investment banking. In 2011, she was named one of Asia’s 25 most influential women in asset management by Asian Investor. She is also regularly featured in recognized private equity journals and at leading private equity conferences, including SuperReturn, Private Equity International, and Asian Venture Capital Journal.

Ms. John was formerly a Senior Advisor to Mekong Capital, and responsible for various aspects of its operations including investments and fundraising as well as introducing best practices in private equity fund management. Before that she was a Partner with Serasi Capital and CEO of IDFC Capital in Singapore (2008-2011), both emerging markets private equity fund of funds businesses, a Portfolio Director responsible for the Asia fund of funds portfolio of the CDC Group based in London, and a Principal Investment Officer at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for five years.

Ms John lived in Kazakhstan and worked in Central Asia from 1994-2002. During that time, she was a Vice President at Central Asian American Enterprise Fund and she managed various privatization projects in Kazakhstan.

Ms John has an MBA in international business from George Washington University and a BA in international studies and political science from Elmira College.

Raymond Ong

Raymond Ong is an experienced senior executive and CFO with 20 years of international experience working in multinational corporations with a career spanning across various industries such as technology, consumer electronics, life insurance and general insurance. He has held positions in companies such as Microsoft, Philips Electronics, Hewlett Packard, NXP Semiconductors, Sun Life Financial and most recently AXA where he was the CFO of the life insurance and general insurance business in Singapore.

Throughout his career he has been focused on growing profitable multi-billion dollar businesses by building sustainable teams, formulating strategy, financial planning, providing business insights, building strong governance and compliance, regulatory compliance, maximizing investments and shareholder returns, efficient capital management, appropriate risk management and optimizing resource utilization. Raymond is experienced in working with Audit Committees and Boards and is familiar working with government agencies.

Mr Ong obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Business in 1996 where he holds an accounting major and he is also a qualified CPA (Australia) since 2001.

David Emery, Founder and Chairman,

David Emery, a Swiss national, is the Founder and Chairman of Reciprocus International Pte Ltd, a full service M&A boutique, headquartered in Singapore and with offices in Switzerland and the US, advising investors and companies on fundraising, expansions and cross-border growth acceleration. The firm specializes in facilitating cross-border deals between North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Before setting up his own firm in October 2011, he was with Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B) for over 16 years, lastly as Member of the Group’s Executive Board (GLT), President of Asia Pacific and Head of International Business Development and M&A. Between 2005 and 2011 he grew the D&B business in Asia Pacific from US$30M to US$250M. During his tenure with D&B he was also Vice-Chairman of Huaxia D&B China as well as Chairman of D&B India and sat on or chaired the boards of several other JVs D&B had formed in Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Australia and other countries across Asia Pacific. He had started his career with D&B as Managing Director of D&B Switzerland.

Mr Emery serves today as an Advisor to several organizations and government agencies and sits on several boards. He is also an Entrepreneur in his own right, mainly as an early stage investor. He holds a Swiss Federal Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and General Management and specialized in Marketing at IMD Lausanne.

Sarah Yeow

Sarah Yeow is the Executive Director of an investment holding company based in Singapore, focusing on international investments. She comes with 20 years of cross-industry international experience, where she has led multiple successful mergers & acquisitions, joint venture partnership development, market entries, corporate transformation and change management. 

Ms Yeow started her career as a management consultant. She received her Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, and is a member of CPA Australia. She has lived and worked in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Australia.

Patrick Teo, Principal,

Patrick Teo is one of the principals of Cerulean and Creafin and brings his financial expertise to project finance employing non-traditional banking practices. In addition, he is familiar with trust structures for privacy, and in asset management for the HNWI.

An engineering graduate from Australia, Mr Teo was a former Managing Director of Rothschild’s merchant bank in Singapore with a 35 year career that spanned senior merchant banking positions in Australia, UK and Asia. He was also alternate director of a joint venture merchant bank between Rothschild’s and Malaysia’s National Bank and was intimately involved with implementation of Malaysia’s NEP.

His early industry experience was in natural resource project finance in Australia. Later, as MD of Rothschild’s Singapore based merchant bank, he led privatization transactions, corporate restructurings, M&A, venture capital, asset management and IPO listings both in Singapore, HK and other bourses.

Prominent assignments included being part of the Rothschild team in the UK that lead eventually to establishment of Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund. In the privatization area, he was involved in developing the road map for Malaysian Government linked companies to return foreign owned mining and plantation assets back to Malaysian ownership.

In the corporate sector, Mr Teo led the LBO of Nabisco brand’s snack foods business in Asia, IPO of Indonesia’s largest forestry products company on the NYSE, structuring tax based aircraft financings, advising US based NME on hospital acquisitions in Singapore, IPO of Keppel Philippines Shipyard on the Makati Stock Exchange and coordinating Myanmar’s first IPO (Yoma Strategic Holdings) on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

In asset management, Mr Teo supervised the investment management team that led to the establishment of Rothschild’s first direct investment fund, Arrow Asia Ventures, in 1990.

Feedback From Our 2016 & 2017 Missions

I thought the Trade Mission was one of the most unique fundraising assets I’ve ever seen. The ability to have 50+ warm leads provided over the course of 1 day is phenomenal. It would have been impossible for our fund to have done anything like this ourselves and I doubt any financial service organizations could have provided a stronger group. I would highly recommend the Trade Mission Singapore, not just because the quantity of potential investors but the quality of investors.
— Maxx Bricklin
Principal
Bold Capital Partners, LP

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of LPs I met. I feel there may be a some good real leads to follow up on.
— Eric Fleiss
President, Regent Properties

Overall, it was excellent. The trade mission was well planned, well organized and delivered value for the money.
— Fernando Bensuaski
CFO
Chenco Holding Company, LLC

Thank you. I enjoyed the event and met many relevant people in the investment sector in Singapore.

The Trade Mission was so valuable because we met several parties who are potentially interested investing in our sector (US venture capital). I would highly recommend the Trade Mission to Singapore because it was well organized, very efficient, with most of the relevant people in the country present.

The quality and number of LPs we met in one day was mostly good. Most importantly, I scheduled two direct follow up meetings from the session and I am sure there will be several follow up calls on top. I also thought the session with the Ambassador was a helpful introduction to Singapore. I liked the all-day session format – made it more interesting and more broad.
— Peter Gajdos
Managing Director and Portfolio Manager
Presidio Partners

GP Delegate Selection Criteria

Attendees must be invited to participate in this mission. Invitees represent a select group of top US private equity, infrastructure, venture capital and real estate fund managers. The group will consist of senior executives and will have a mix of GPs with diverse investment strategies, sector focuses, and geographic preferences.

Attendance in the Certified Trade Mission to Singapore is limited to fifteen US Funds to maximize the level of overall access and one-on-one meeting opportunities with the institutional attendees.

Based on past interest and participation, we expect demand to be very high. Attendees will be accepted on a rolling basis up until the deadline of February 15, 2018.

Private Equity, Real Estate, Infrastructure and Venture Capital Firms will be selected according to the following criteria:

  • Diverse investment strategies, sector focuses and geographic preferences.
  • Industry leading performance history.
  • Sound management and accounting practices.

Overview

Institutional Investors in Singapore as well as family offices and high net worth individuals are now investing in alternative assets in the US. In recent years, there has been a large movement of capital to the US, in particular from high net worth individuals and institutional money managers into Private Equity, Venture Capital, Real Estate and Infrastructure Funds. It is a very daunting process though, for those responsible for the investment decisions to sort through the hundreds of proposals and thousands of possible opportunities. The Certified Trade Mission facilitates this process by arranging the introduction of a select group of US Fund managers to the leading Singapore institutions, family offices and high net worth individuals.

The Mission will provide:

  • One-on-one meetings with Singapore investors.
  • An opportunity to meet Singapore Institutional limited partner investors from the largest Insurance companies, Pension Funds, private family offices and private wealth managers.
  • A forum to exchange ideas and strategies with Singapore investors, other US-based fund managers, and policy-makers from both Singapore and the United States.
  • Opportunities for intimate interaction between US GPs and Singapore LPs
  • Promote US PE, infrastructure, real estate and VC Funds
  • Introduce US PE, infrastructure, real estate and VC Funds to Singapore LP’s

Benefits to Fund Managers

  • Exposure to top level Singapore investors in an exclusive setting.
  • Knowledge gained from Singapore investors.
  • Serve as a delegate in a US government initiative aimed at promoting the nation’s leadership in private equity, infrastructure, venture capital and real estate to foreign institutional investors.
  • Showcase your firm’s investment expertise directly to interested investors.

Agenda

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 – Arrival in Singapore

Check in at the five-star, ultra-deluxe Fullerton Hotel. Check in is 3:00 PM.

4:00 – 5:00 PM Briefing by the US Department of Commerce

6:00 – 8:30 PM Reception hosted by either the Deputy Chief of Mission or the US Ambassador for the US GP delegation and a group of Singaporean high net worth individuals.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Certified Trade Mission

7:00 – 8:30 AM Breakfast in the hotel’s exclusive and private Straits Club

8:30 – 9:00 AM Registration of LP & GP attendees

9:00 AM – 12:30 PM One-on-one meetings: Members of the US delegation will meet one-on-one with each investment professional from the leading Singapore institutions, insurance companies, pension funds and family offices. Each attendee will meet with each Singapore LP. Meetings will be held in private rooms, and will be approximately seventeen minutes long.

12:30 – 1:15 PM Lunch with Singapore LPs to allow for continued informal networking

1:30 – 4:30 PM One-on-one meetings continue

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Check out & Departure

* The government of the United States, particularly the US Department of Commerce and the US Embassy, is not involved in selecting or recruitment for this mission. Such selection and recruitment is strictly left to the mission organizer. The US and foreign commercial service supports the goals of this event but does not endorse the specific products or views of the participating organization.