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Deputy HM Trade Commissioner
Department for International Trade, British Embassy Beijing
Tom Duke was appointed Minister Counsellor for the Department for International Trade in March 2019 and Deputy HM Trade Commissioner to China in 2020. As a member of the senior leadership team of DIT China and Hong Kong, Tom is responsible for trade and investment promotion, trade policy and market access across a range of industry sectors.
Tom has 15 years of experience working in China and East Asia, in both the public and private sectors. Immediately prior to joining DIT, Tom was the UK’s intellectual property attaché to China. From 2009-11 Tom was Director at the EU Chamber of Commerce in Seoul, South Korea.
Tom speaks Mandarin Chinese and Korean. He has an MSc in Financial Economics, specialising in the impact of Chinese exchange rate policy on the Balance of Payments. In his spare time, Tom enjoys running along the canals and mountain paths around Beijing, and spending time with his family.
Chief Culture Officer, The Bicester Village Shopping collection by Value Retail
Chantal Khoueiry is the Chief Culture Officer of Value Retail, creator, and operator of The Bicester Village Shopping Collection. She is also the Founder of Brides do Good.
Chantal has extensive retail, executive coaching, and humanitarian experience. She joined Value Retail in 2001, initially as Group HR Director and most recently as Chief Culture Officer. Prior to this, Chantal worked as HR Director at Polo Ralph Lauren and as project leader at UNESCO, supporting various humanitarian global initiatives.
In 2017, Chantal founded Brides do Good, a pioneering retail platform that offers brides-to-be an opportunity to repurpose pre-worn gowns, sample, and excess stock and to reinvest revenue into sustainable charity development projects around the world with the aim of ending child marriage globally by 2030, one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In the same year Chantal was selected by NatWest SE100 Index as one of 100 inspiring and influential women in social enterprise, impact investment and social innovation as part of their WISE100 initiative.
Since 2018, Chantal has served as judge for the World Travel and Tourism Council ‘Tourism for Tomorrow’ Awards, the world’s top accolade in sustainable tourism, recognising the highest ethical standards in the sector.
Chantal holds a Master’s degree in International Law and a postgraduate Diploma in Law of Arab Countries from the Sorbonne University, Paris. With Lebanese, Italian, and Ethiopian origins, Chantal speaks French, English, Arabic, Italian and Spanish.
Founding Partner of Gusto Luxe and Founding Partner/Vice Chair of Gusto Collective
Chloé is an entrepreuneur who has been living in China and Asia for 30 years. She is Founding Partner and CEO of Gusto Luxe, Asia’s leading integrated luxury consulting business, helping brands grow in China and Asia. She is also Founding Partner and Vice Chair of Gusto Collective, Asia’s first brandtech holding company (which acquired a majority stake in Chloé’s company in June 2020, previously called Reuter Communications)
Chloé is an inspirational leader who believes that successful businesses must be built on kindness and diversity. She is actively involved with supporting women initiatives in China and Asia. Chloé is a frequent and sought after keynote speaker (in English, French and Chinese) on Luxury in Asia. Chloé sits on the Advisory Board of Durham University Business School. In November 2021 Chloé graduated from the Financial Times Non-Executive Director Diploma.
Chloé is originally from Luxembourg and the UK, she has lived in Asia since 1993. She is a graduate of Chinese Studies and Japanese from Durham University and the People’s University of China (Beijing). She is fluent in English, French, Italian and Mandarin Chinese. Before setting up the business, Chloé worked at Bloomberg TV and Reuters TV in Tokyo, as well as DDB in China.
Managing Director, Shanghai, APCO Worldwide
Jeff is APCO Worldwide Managing Director in its Shanghai office, and leads on client engagement, business development, business operations and service delivery. APCO work with a wide range of multinational clients in China, particularly in consumer, healthcare and technology sectors. APCO’s consumer clients in China include Walmart, LEGO, IKEA, Pepsico, Diageo, VF Group, Levi Strauss, Blackmores and Estee Lauder.
He was previously the Managing Director of China-Britain Business Council in China, where he led teams helping UK business and stakeholders enter and grow in China, and managed relations with the China and UK government across China. Jeff has lived and worked in China for 14 years and worked in the APAC region for over 20 years.
His career has spanned international trade development, marketing, communications, finance and corporate strategy roles. He began in the media industry, which culminated in being the launch marketing director for a UK national broadcast network and then strategic advisor to UK and European broadcasters. He later moved into consultancy, strategic advisory, advocacy and partnership development in Asia for various trade bodies, businesses and government institutions across the region.
He has postgraduate degrees in marketing (UWE Bristol Business School) and global business (Oxford University, Said Business School), and he is a Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) and Chartered Marketer (FCIM).
Director, Consumer Economy
China-Britain Business Council
Antoaneta has lived and worked in China for more than 20 years. In her most recent role as a Director, Consumer Economy for the China Britain Business Council, she has supported numerous British consumer companies entering and expanding into the Chinese market.
Prior to joining CBBC, she worked as a Beijing-based reporter for several international media publications including the Economist Intelligence Unit and USA Today, covering China’s economic and social affairs. She has reported on some of the main trends and policies that have defined China’s economic trajectory over the years 2000-2010 including China’s state-owned enterprises reforms, the emergence of free trade zones, the rise of digital economy and ascendance of Chinese consumers.
Antoaneta is a fluent Mandarin Chinese speaker. She holds a Bachelor’s in Chinese Language and Literature and a Master’s in Chinese Contemporary Literature & Film from Peking’s University.
Founder and CEO of ARgENTUM apothecary
Joy Isaacs, Founder and CEO of ARgENTUM apothecary, grew up surrounded by the natural beauty of South Africa. It was there in her childhood home that she first encountered the healing power of silver.
A move to the UK established Joy’s initial career path, beginning in Corporate Finance, before she moved on to become Head of Marketing for Gieves & Hawkes. It was only after the birth of her three boys that Joy experienced the power of silver once again when it helped heal an infection after major surgery.
These experiences became the start of ARgENTUM’s journey when Joy had a dream to harness the healing power of silver in skincare. After this vivid dream, she began her research and, following an introduction to a pioneering scientist in dermo-cosmetics, created ARgENTUM’s patented fusion of Silver Hydrosol & DNA HP.
Since ARgENTUM’s launch, China has been its strongest market in terms of global growth, which, until recently has been strictly through cross-border e-commerce. But since May 2021 the animal testing laws have changed and ARgENTUM has successfully registered its skincare collection locally, which has opened a wealth of opportunities in what is considered the world’s second-largest beauty market.
Regional Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Fortnum & Mason
Miss Carmen Chiu joined Fortnum & Mason in August 2019 as the Regional Managing Director for the Asia Pacific region. Her responsibility is to open the first international flagship store in Hong Kong outside London, to solidify the brand reputation and develop new business opportunities in the key markets.
Prior to joining Fortnum & Mason, Carmen was working with GODIVA Chocolatier for six and a half years. Her latest position was Global Communications Director based in New York and was part of the Global Executive Committee. Carmen was previously the Marketing and Merchandising Director for China and Pacific Rim and worked in Shanghai. During her tenure at GODIVA, Carmen led the marketing and merchandising team to develop brand building strategies to cover a wide array of markets (including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mongolia and Australia), through sound marketing plan, PR communications, visual merchandising, product innovations to capture the markets’ needs. She played a significant role in building the China expansion plan and opened a 100 company-owned stores in 3 years.
Carmen has over 20 years of experience in brand management in the food industry across FMCG, HORECA and Luxury Retail & Hospitality channels, including 6 years based in China. She joined GODIVA Chocolatier from Nestle China, where she held the position of Business Development Director, responsible for the expansion of the Swiss ice cream business, Movenpick, in Greater China. Previously, Carmen spent seven years with Ferrero as Senior Brand Manager for Asia Pacific, a true lover in working for experiential lifestyle brands (and happy products) regionally and globally, and deeply inspired by cultural diversity.
A native of Hong Kong who grew up in the UK, she has built a career that spans the globe. Carmen has also been supporting girls in achieving their dreams and is a strong believer in pursuing what you are passionate about. Most recently, Carmen is a mentor in the BritCham Mentoring Scheme 2020/21 and has been supporting the Mother’s Choice.
China Manager, Holland & Barrett
Joanna Zhou has been looking after Holland & Barrett’s business in China since beginning of 2021. In merely 15 months, her knowledge of China, expertise in China marketing and understanding of Chinese consumers have steered the business to grow exponentially reaching substantial milestones.
Joanna is responsible for creating H&B’s business strategy to thrive in the cross-border ecommerce trading environment, leveraging key ecommerce platforms such as Tmall, JD, Kuaishou and Douyin. She has repositioned the leading British health and wellness retail to target the growing health-conscious young Chinese consumers.
Prior to Holland & Barrett, Joanna has worked in scotch whisky, tourism and technology industries in the UK helping British companies to expand in the China market. Originally from Shenyang, China, Joanna has lived and worked in Singapore for 9 years developing her business acumen in the Asia Pacific regions. She enjoys looking at business challenges from a societal and cultural context.
Head of Consumer & Retail, ASPAC
Head of Technology, Media & Telecoms, Hong Kong
Anson joined KPMG in Hong Kong in 1999 and is currently a Partner based in the Hong Kong office heading up the Consumer & Retail Practice in the ASPAC region. He is part of the KPMG Global Consumer & Retail Steering Group as well as being a member of the Global Technology Innovation Centre and the Cluster Leader for the Technology, Media & Telecoms Practice based in Hong Kong.
Anson has been active in driving a number of thought leadership reports and executive briefings for senior executives covering innovation and consumers in China and across Asia. He has worked with many corporates to understand the complex markets we live in and current levels of disruption being seen with recent reports including Global Mobile Payments, Consumers & Convergence, Mobilizing Innovation: The Changing Landscape of Disruptive Technologies, The Rise of the Digital Multi-tasker, Be a Smarter Start-up, MNCs in China, Made in China 2025, China’s Connected Consumers, Global Connected Consumers, Connecting Hong Kong – Perspectives on our future as a smart city, Connected Cities – insights across the ASPAC region and The Changing Face of Commerce series.
Today, he not only mentors the next generation of go-to-market professionals at KPMG but continues to work with a growing number of C-level executives as a trusted advisor in providing the best in client innovation whilst acting as the Lead Partner for a number of strategic accounts in both the consumer and technology arena across the Asia Pacific region.
He is a frequent speaker at conferences and events around the globe and has completed his Executive Masters in Technology & Innovation with the Poly University as well as the MIT Executive Leadership & Innovation Program.
Cultural and Commercial Partnerships, East Asia Lead, The British Library
Kai-Chuan Chao is experienced in leading and managing international projects, business development and partnership building in art and cultural sectors. Her current role at the British Library is leading cultural and commercial strategy and managing partnerships in the China market and East Asian region. She advocates for EDI in the workplace and chairs the Anti-Racism Collaboration Committee in the Cultural, Racial and Ethnic Diversity Network at the British Library. Kai-Chuan was awarded a place in the Clore Leadership Intensive Programme in 2019. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of New Earth Theatre. Previous experiences include international relations, government relations and NGO.
Director of Insights & Research at China Skinny
Andrew Atkinson is a Director at Shanghai-based China Skinny, one of China's best-known marketing and research agencies.
His hands-on involvement across China Skinny's projects and deep interest in Chinese consumer behaviour sees him invited to speak both locally and abroad, from the Mainland to Helsinki. His view on Chinese consumers is regularly sought and he has been quoted by the likes of Forbes and CNBC.
China Skinny’s client base spans every continent across a wide variety of industries including FMCG companies such as Colgate, Government agencies such as the Finnish fund for innovation, Tourism such as Malaysia and a wide range of clients from fashion to food, education to property, technology to investments.
Chief Marketing Officer, IHG Greater China
Florence Hu is the Chief Marketing Officer of IHG Greater China. She is responsible for consumer insights, brand development, loyalty program, media, content marketing and ecommerce marketing for IHG Greater China. Previously, Florence Hu was the VP of Marketing and Sales for Universal Beijing Resort. She also worked for Education First, Mattel and other companies in Marketing, Sales and Strategic Planning and P&L management.
Licensing head of POP MART
Hugo has more that 13 years working experience focused in the licensing and retail industry. He has worked for Disney, Apple and P&G before starting his current role at POP MART.
Director of Digital Product R&D Department, Shanghai RM Network Technology Co., Ltd
Joshua Lim works to develop a series of products in the metaverse for the Chinese market, including planning NFT series products, incubating NFT IPs, commercial brand NFT cooperation, and so on.
Founded in October 2020, Shanghai RM Network Technology Co., Ltd. (RM Technology) is the first corporation focusing on digital asset operation and management in China. From the high fidelity hyper realistic digital metahuman AYAYI, RM Technology gradually formed digital IP matrix and digital distribution capabilities.
RM technology is committed to the capitalization of digital content and giving digital assets promising values. RM Technology has deeply explored the field of digital assets, and has laid out digital metahuman, original brands, digital artist incubation, digital art exhibition, digital label and metaverse exploration community.
UK Sector Lead, Retail and E-commerce
China-Britain Business Council
Pearl Zhu leads CBBC’s Retail and E-Commerce sector in the UK and is based in London. She is a specialist in brand partnership, branding, digital, marketing strategies in the media, and the retail industries throughout the UK, the US, and China.
Prior to joining CBBC, Pearl worked in London for one of China's leading media and entertainment investment companies for eight years. She headed the company’s commercial business in London: developing partnerships with a focus on entertainment, fashion & beauty, and mother & baby, while defining and implementing a marketing and PR strategy across the UK, the US, and China.
Pearl developed the world’s first commercial live-streaming partnerships for the NME Music Awards, Ultra Japan, and Ultra Miami in China. She has built more than 40 commercial partnerships and campaigns for some leading entertainment and retail brands.
Head of Business Advisory, Woodburn Accountants and Advisors
Kristina Koehler-Coluccia is a Hong Kong-born European. She has over 18 years’ experience in helping foreign investors to sell their products and services into the Chinese market stress-free. She has worked with over 600 international companies, across industries and sectors on their market strategy, implementation, and growth in China. And she continues to help companies to eliminate the complexities of corporate services and compliance in China.
Partner EMEA, Aiken Digital
Mark has spent a decade working in advertising, eCommerce and digital consulting between both Europe and APAC, spending the last 2 years working with brands in search of growth to harness the best of what China has to offer. Europe has gone from being China-curious to China-influenced in the way we build brands online, with the help of our global strategy team, Mark directs brands to the right models for implementing sustainable growth in the market.
Business Development, Tmall Global - Alibaba Group
Kristina joined Alibaba Group in 2018 to help European companies trade globally. She is responsible for the beauty and personal care category on Alibaba's Tmall Global platform, helping international brands to develop new revenue streams in China.
Kristina has extensive experience across the retail, fashion, manufacturing and distribution sectors, within the Far East, Europe and North America. Prior to joining Alibaba, Kristina held senior management roles in international companies where she achieved record business growth. Kristina brings to the table her wealth of experience in business expansion strategy, product development and a knack for creating dynamic opportunities through collaboration.
Co-Founder, Shakeup Cosmetics
Born in Beijing, and emigrating to the UK in 1999, now a naturalised British Citizen, Jake and his twin brother Shane started their career in media before setting up their own creative marketing business in 2006. Having grown it to a successful business over the next 12 years, the brothers launched their men’s skincare and cosmetic brand, Shakeup Cosmetics in 2019. Today, their rapidly growing brand is being distributed to 4 continents around the world. Since launching their Tmall cross border flagship in 2020, their best selling product, LET’S FACE IT BB tinted moisturiser, is selling at the rate of 1 every 5 minutes in China, sitting at #3 spot in men’s BB cream category just after L’Oreal for Men.
Partner and UK Head of Consumer Markets, Leisure & Retail, KPMG
Linda is the Consumer Markets, Leisure & Retail Industry Lead for KPMG in the UK, and a member of the Global C&R Leadership Team. Linda is responsible for ensuring KPMG understands the most topical issues on our clients’ minds and has the right services, combining expertise and capability across the different specialist teams, to meet clients’ needs and win transformational mandates with our clients.
Linda is a qualified actuary and a Fellow of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries. Linda is passionate about her personal development and got an A* in A-Level Psychology in 2021 and the passed Southampton Data Science Academy Certificate for Actuaries in 2021.
In 2014 Linda co-founded KPMG UK’s C-Suite Leadership Programme which is a unique development experience for individuals who are close to executive board level for FTSE100/equivalent organizations. The programme is about leadership capability in a fast changing disrupted world. As a result of her leadership of this programme Linda is able to help senior executives look ahead at the trends shaping the world, and bring cross-sector insights to her consumer and retail clients.
Linda is a Trustee of the Money Charity, the UK’s financial capability charity working across adults and young people.
Linda has two boys – Luke & Rhys, and enjoys running for both physical and mental health, and for challenge – doing her first, and so far only, Ultra 100km in 2016.
Vice President & Managing Director, Kontoor Brands Inc., Asia-Pacific
John Gearing has been working in the retail sector since 1996. During that time he has worked in grocery, healthcare, sporting goods and fashion.
John has operated businesses all over the world but since 2005 has been based in Hong Kong where he has focused on the Asia region - especially China, Japan & India - and fashion and sports brands often within a post acquisition re-structuring/integration context.
Most recently, John has been part of the leadership team spinning off the Lee & Wrangler brands from it’s previous long term owners VF Corporation. That listing was completed on May 23rd, 2019 on the NYSE.
John has a BA in the History of China from SOAS, an MBA specialising in M&A from Edinburgh Business School and has also studied at INSEAD (Executive Leadership Program), Said Business School (Private Markets Investments).
Gillian Drakeford MBE
Global Retail Leader
Global Retail Leader with extensive experience leading large scale international retail enterprises for IKEA Group across diverse markets focussed on securing business growth and sustained profitability. Recognised as a high impact leader, with a track record of delivering value for consumers, people and business. Major success in leading IKEA as UK CEO with €2bn turnover, over 10,000 employees and sales growth of 50%. Alongside core retail experience, additional Advisory Boards including roles on IKEA subsidiaries in energy, manufacturing and components, and corporate ventures.
Known as a strong leader with visionary strategic thinking ability and an aptitude for translating strategy into reality through strong communication and storytelling able to connect and mobilise people on all levels.
Acknowledged as having a focus on making a difference for people by leading the development of staff, spotting talent and nurturing qualities key to the success of future leaders. Directly responsible for the development of more than 20 leaders who have transitioned into roles with country and global role responsibilities, with a special passion for meritocracy, diversity and inclusion.
Now developing a non-executive portfolio career focused on business transformation of consumer businesses, retailing and international establishment specifically China and Asia Pacific. Currently a Trustee on Back on Track a Manchester based charity and an advisor to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Founder of Qumin
Arnold Ma is a speaker, a writer, a podcast host, and the founder of Qumin, Europe's first Chinese digital creative agency.
The official line is that ‘Qumin delivers creative marketing campaigns based on Chinese audience behaviours’.
But over a steamed bun in Camden Town, he’ll tell you that his bigger purpose in life is to ‘Open The World To China’. And his belief is that only Digital can make that happen quickly.
Arnold also started the grassroots movement #EveryAsianVoice. You’ll find him on LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat, Instagram, Dao Insights, and 9gag. He still wears flip-flops to work.
Leader, World Microphone Channel
Feiyang is the founder of World Microphone which was created in 2019 as an account that builds a cultural bridge between China and the West.
The account is now registered on 4 major Chinese platforms (Douyin, RED, Kuaishou, Bilibili) and 3 western platforms (Instagram, TikTok, Youtube) attracting an audience of over 1.5 milion consumers interested in London's Fashion scene.
Moreover, World Microphone has been officially ranked as the No. 1 fashion channel on Douyin (Chinese TikTok).
Director, Member Programmes
China-Britain Business Council
As Director of Member Programmes, Christopher Lethbridge works with the CBBC team to develop and deliver a range of activity, events and programmes for members of the China Britain Business Council.
Prior to his current role, Chris was CBBC’s UK Creative Sector Lead and China Market Business Adviser for the South East. From this position he worked with an array of companies across a broad range of sectors including High-tech and Advanced Manufacturing, E-commerce, Food & Beverage, and Financial Services.
Before joining CBBC, Chris was Executive Officer of the Australia China Business Council and worked for the Australian Government. He has a Master’s of Commerce (Finance) from the University of Sydney and a BA (Chinese) from the Australian National University.