I am excited to be taking the baton from David Thomas, CEO of Think Global Consulting in leading the Australian delegation to the Asian Financial Forum (AFF) in January 2017. Organised by the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council (HKTDC), this year’s theme is ” Asia: driving change, innovation and connectivity.”
2013 was my first business trip to Hong Kong and visit to China as a delegate on the “Invest in Australia” mission. Initially overwhelmed by the size and scale, in year two I was more discerning and focused my energy on relevant sessions, events and building relationships including the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. Year three saw the development of a clear value proposition for Australian expatriates and Significant Investor Visa applicants.
In 2016 as co-mission leader and harnessing the expertise of fellow delegates, we augmented the mission program with seminars for expats in Macau and a “Demystifying Significant Investor Visa” workshop in Hong Kong.
Why it’s time for Australian Funds Managers to attend
The Asian Region passport has recently been signed, we have the China Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) which includes opportunities for financial services, and mutual recognition initiatives between China and Hong Kong. With my learning’s from the AFF missions and insights from the recent Australian Week in China (AWIC) financial services dialogue, it is now time to build the presence of the Australian Funds Management industry at this years, the 10th edition of the Asian Financial Forum.
Not only to gain a deeper understanding of the rapidly growing wealth industry on our doorstep, the AFF is the ideal platform to showcase our world-class financial capabilities and services. Many Asian firms are looking to enter the Australian markets, seeking to understand our highly regulated environment, and partner or joint venture with Australian businesses.
John Brogden, then CEO of the Financial Services Council joined the Think Global mission in 2014 and at one of our discussion groups said:
“China has an ageing population, and will need financial products to assist them to have a prosperous and hopefully long retirement. Australia has a significant expertise in retirement markets so could be a good partner for China.”
Designing the 2017 Australian delegation program
Armed with an “exporting our financial services expertise” lens, I’m keen to explore areas of interest from funds management, Fintec, wealth management and professional services to tailor the Australian delegate program, to be held the week commencing Sunday 15th to Friday 20th January 2017.
We are planning a local forum on Wednesday 18th January following the 2 day AFF conference before flying to Shanghai, the financial services capital of China, on Thursday morning.
- AFF forum – “Asia: Driving Change, Innovation and Connectivity” is this years theme. Speakers include world leaders from government and industry sharing the latest thinking shaping the global landscape
- Business matching – co-orginised by Hong Kong Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, submit your areas of interest to pitch your project to potential investors including from mainland China, well as a special services stream
- Invest in Australia exhibition stand – prominent “Invest in Australia” space to attract forum attendees and showcase delegate expertise
- Tailored program – on the funds managements industry in Asia, wealth services and regulatory landscape
- Site visits – Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges, as well as innovations hubs such as Cyberport and the new Australian government Shanghai landing pad
- Social activities – not all business, looking to attend the Hong Kong races and taking in Shanghai via an evening river cruise
- Partners program – whilst there are lots of things to do in Hong Kong for families, we are exploring with Hong Kong tourism a partners program.
The 2016 AFF saw 2,800 attendees including global leaders such as former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Dr Ben Bernanke, providing his perspective on China.
Delegates can expect to high calibre speakers and thought leaders on the evolution and opportunities from rapidly growing wealth in the region.
Seeking input from Australian fund managers and financial services
I am looking for feedback from community members and your connections on what delegates in the financial services industry would be looking for to ensure the program is aligned with their business objectives.
Start your journey now
We will also be providing “delegate ready” support and coaching in the months leading up to the mission. From being clear on your objectives, having a tailored profile and business card translated into Chinese, preparing for the business matching, networking via the AFF app and cultural briefings.