ACGA Council

Steven Watson
Partner, Capital International Investors

Based in the Capital Group’s Hong Kong office, Steven Watson is a portfolio manager in The International Growth and Income Fund, Capital Income Builder and the New Perspective Fund, among other funds and mandates.  He is also Chairman of Capital’s China Group.

Prior to joining Capital in 1990, Mr Watson was a research analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein & Co and a vice president of China Communications, a marketing consulting firm. 

He received a Bachelor’s degree in French from the University of Massachusetts, a Master’s degree in French studies from New York University and an MBA from New York University and l' Universitè de Paris. Additionally, he studied Chinese at Wuhan University and the Shanghai Foreign Language Institute, China.

Mr Watson joined the ACGA Council in 2007. He was elected as Vice Chair on 1 June 2018 and Chair on 17 June 2022.

Vice Chair
Ka Shi Lau
Senior Advisor, BCT Group

After serving as Managing Director & CEO for 22 years and navigating BCT Group (a leading provider of MPF/ORSO products and best-in-class asset servicing for funds and pensions) to reach new horizons and marking the group’s history with major transformations, Ms. Ka Shi Lau assumed the role of Senior Advisor at BCT in June 2022 while she continues contributing to public service and to financial services industry work through serving on executive committees of various industry/professional organisations and working in close liaison with the Government and regulators.  Her vision for work in life is to create positive impact to governance, sustainability, social capital, the community, investor/retirement protection, and further enhancing Hong Kong as an IFC.

Graduated with an MBA from Cornell University in USA, Ka Shi is also a Fellow of Chartered Governance Institute (FCG) and Hong Kong Chartered Governance Institute (HKFCG), and Senior Fellow of Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute (HKSI).

Apart from being the Chairman of Hong Kong Trustees’ Association and a Member of Academy of Finance, she also serves on other statutory and professional bodies including Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority, Securities and Futures Commission, Asian Corporate Governance Association, Hong Kong Retirement Schemes Association, Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and Our Hong Kong Foundation. Her public service roles have included Minimum Wage Commission, Hospital Authority, Women’s Commission, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, Financial Services Development Council, Investor and Financial Education Council, and Trade Development Council.  For recognition of her public and community service in Hong Kong, she was awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star (BBS) by the HKSAR Government in 2013.

Ka Shi was the first woman to win the “Director of the Year Award” in the “Private Companies, Executive Director” category from The Hong Kong Institute of Directors. She was named “Professional of the Year” in the “Women of Influence Awards 2010” co-organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and the South China Morning Post. In 2018, Ka Shi was selected by AsianInvestor as one of the “AI 20 Leading Pension Executives” in the region while in 2021, she garnered the “Lifetime Achievement Award – MPF” at the Asia Asset Management’s “Best of the Best Awards”.

She joined the ACGA Council in 2016 and was elected as Vice Chair on 17 June 2022.

Pru Bennett
Partner, Brunswick Group

Pru Bennett joined Brunswick Group in April 2019 following a career at BlackRock where she was Managing Director and Head of Investment Stewardship for the APAC region. At BlackRock, she led a team that was responsible for engagement and proxy voting activities in relation to the companies in which BlackRock invests on behalf of clients.

Ms Bennett is an active participant in the public debate on corporate governance, stewardship, and responsible investment and as such regularly speaks and writes on the importance of these issues for company performance and investment decisions. In 2018 she received the Asia Industry Leadership Award from 100 Women in Finance. In 2013, she was named as one of Australia’s top 10 Women of Influence in Corporate Governance.

Ms Bennett is a director of Global Compact Network Australia and a member of several industry and regulatory bodies including the Public Shareholders Group of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Corporate Governance Advisory Committee, a council member of the Asian Corporate Governance Association, director of the International Integrated Reporting Council and a member of the Deakin University Integrated Reporting Centre Advisory Board.

She joined the ACGA Council in 2018.

Ronnie Lim
Senior Engagement Specialist, Robeco Asia-Pacific

Ronnie Lim is the Senior Engagement Specialist at Robeco Asia-Pacific, responsible for active ownership and sustainable investment in the Asia Pacific region. His role in active ownership includes engagement with portfolio companies to improve their ESG performance, with a focus on corporate governance and shareholder value creation. This includes corporate actions and special situations. 

Mr Lim works closely with the investment and governance teams, to catalyse corporate change by influencing governance, strategy and capital management. He conducts constructive engagement with an escalation process that is aligned with fundamental investment combined with sensitivity to cultural norms. 

He represents Robeco in public fora, advocating for good corporate governance with regulators and other key stakeholders, especially other asset managers. He is an active ACGA member, participating in the annual conferences, seminars, and the Japan and Korea Working Groups.

Prior to joining Robeco in 2014 as a product specialist for sustainable investment, he held a number of global investment roles based in Asia and London. From 2003 to 2007, he was Head of Sustainable Investment Research at Aviva Global Investors London, where its SRI team was ranked Number 1 by Extel for four years. He later joined Climate Change Capital in London (2007 to 2010) as portfolio manager for the Global Environmental Opportunities Fund, where his team raised capital, structured funds, and managed both absolute return and long-only portfolios. 

Mr Lim has 17 years’ experience of institutional Asian equities at Cazenove, CLSA and RBS, where he held several senior roles, including leading equity sales teams in Singapore and Hong Kong. He has also contributed to non-profit boards as a director of the Association of Sustainable and Responsible Investment Asia (ASRIA) from 2014 to 2017.

He was educated in England and holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Salford and an MSc in Environmental Science from the University of East Anglia. He is also an associate of CFA UK. 

Mr Lim joined the ACGA Council in 2019.

May Tan
Independent Director, CLP Holdings

May Tan was Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd (SCBHK) for three years before retiring in March 2017. She joined the Board of SCBHK in 2009 after the bank acquired Cazenove Asia. She also held the roles of SCBHK’s Global Head of Equity Corporate Finance and Vice Chair, Corporate Banking.

Prior to SCBHK, she was CEO of Cazenove Asia (from 1993) and a partner of Cazenove and Co (1995). Under her leadership, Cazenove Asia became a successful independent Asian investment bank.

Since 2017, Ms Tan has focussed on Board positions in both corporates and charities. She sits on the Boards of Manulife Financial Corporation, CLP Holdings and JPMorgan China Growth and Income Trust plc. She is also a board member of two unlisted private equity-controlled companies, Safeguard Shanghai and Anticimex AB. In January 2022, she stepped down from the board of Link Asset Management, the largest Asian REIT, after serving the full nine-year term. She was also a board member of HSBC Insurance and Home Credit from 2018 to 2021.

Ms Tan supports several charitable organisations. She was a Council member of Oxfam Hong Kong from 2008 to 2017, serving as Vice Chairman from 2012 to 2017, and is now a Senior Advisor. Since 2014, she has been on the Board of the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, which is committed to promoting creativity in Hong Kong youth. She also sits on the Advisory Council of the Malaysian Chamber of Commerce (Hong Kong and Macau), joining in 2019.

Over the past 20 years, Ms Tan has made a significant contribution to Hong Kong through her public service roles. In 2016, she was Chair of the Hong Kong Association of Banks and Director of the Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Ltd. In the same year, she was appointed to the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee’s Sub-committee on Currency Board Operations of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and was a member of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. In 2015, she joined the Risk Management Committee of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. From 2014 to 2017, she was Vice President of the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers and a member of the Banking Advisory Committee.

She was on the Listing Committee of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange from 2012 to 2015, and a member of the Takeovers & Mergers Panel and the Takeovers Appeal Committee from 2001 to 2013.  

The Chief Executive of the HKSAR appointed her to the Standing Committee on Judicial Salaries and Conditions of Service, from 2015 to 2020. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants. 

Ms Tan has been honoured twice by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong at its annual Women of Influence awards, being named “Professional of the Year” in 2015 and “Leading Woman on Boards” in 2020.

She joined the ACGA Council in 2022.

Hiroaki Toya
CEO/CIO, Solaris Management, Inc.

Hiroaki Toya is Founder and CEO/CIO of Solaris Management, Inc, an investment manager which invests in Japanese equities and bonds with focus on corporate governance, ESG and corporate events.

He has more than 20 years’ experience in M&A and investment management with a successful track record that covers a variety of asset classes, including public equities and bonds, REITs, private equity and loans, credit default swaps, and physical assets.

Mr Toya is former Executive Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Japan Investment Corporation (JIC), a government-affiliated fund. Prior to JIC, he was Managing Director and Tokyo Branch Manager at LIM Advisors, a Hong Kong-based multi-strategy investment fund. He made a significant contribution to LIM funds, culminating in three industry awards and 17 nominations during the period which he was top performer at LIM.

Previously, he worked at Olympus Capital Holdings Asia, a private equity firm, where he played a leading role in the investment and management of portfolio companies in Japan. Before that, he worked for Goldman Sachs in New York and Tokyo, advising clients on M&A and corporate finance transactions in the financial, high-tech, and transportation sectors, and the Japanese Ministry of Finance as policy officer for the national budget and price policy.

Mr Toya has also served on various expert panels regarding corporate governance and investor-shareholder relationships at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, including the “Ito Review” and Active Fund Manager Subcommittee of the Forum for Integrated Reporting.

He holds a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Tokyo.

Mr Toya joined the ACGA Council in 2022.

Jeffrey R. Williams
Director, UBS SDIC Fund Management, UBS Asset Management China

Jeffrey Williams (韦杰夫) is a corporate director and independent consultant with over 30 years of experience in the financial services and education industries in Greater China. He has extensive experience at the board level in private and listed companies as well as non-profit organisations in Greater China and globally.

Currently, he is an advisor to UBS Asset Management in Hong Kong and China, and a director of UBS SDIC Fund Management and of UBS Asset Management (China). He is a trustee of the China Medical Board and a foundation board member of the UBS Optimus Foundation. He was formerly chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei and chairman of the Taipei American School. He has been the president of the Harvard alumni clubs of Taiwan and Hong Kong.

In 2004, Mr Williams became the first foreigner to lead a Chinese bank, Shenzhen Development Bank, since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Previously, he held various roles for Citibank in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, including as the Taiwan general manager for American Express and Standard Chartered Bank. Most recently, he was the inaugural executive director and general manager of Harvard Center (Shanghai), Harvard University’s base of operations in China.

From 1979 to 1980 he taught at Peking University, shortly after the resumption of diplomatic relations between China and the US.

Mr Williams graduated magna cum laude in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard College in 1978 and obtained his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1982. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Ash Center of Harvard Kennedy School of Government and an associate at the Harvard Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Mr Williams joined the ACGA Council in 2018.

Yuelin T. Yang
Chief Stewardship and Wellbeing Governance Officer, IMC PAA

Yuelin Yang was appointed as the newest Senior Advisor to the Pacific Pension & Investment Institute (PPI) whose membership of senior investment professionals represents 17 countries, some of the largest asset owners (public pensions and sovereign wealth funds) and asset managers worldwide and collectively more than 25 trillion USD in assets. More recently, he was appointed to the standing Program Committee of PPI which advises the PPI board and management team.

Mr. Yang is active in the area of governance in Asia through his involvement on the Council at the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) in Hong Kong, the Advisory Council at NUS Business School’s Centre of Governance and Sustainability, and as an independent director at Verlinvest Asia (family investment firm for one of the AB InBev families). He previously served on the Global Family Advisory Council of Family Office Exchange and has spoken worldwide on family business, family offices and their governance.

As the Chief Stewardship and Wellbeing Governance Officer for IMCPAA, his role integrates his over 35 years' experience in C-Suite operational and P&L roles, legal, finance, corporate development, managing joint ventures with NYSE and TSE listed partners, corporate governance, family businesses and family offices. He has extensive knowledge of institutional investors and family offices through his active involvement at ACGA (whose investor members manage over $40 trillion), PPI, Verlinvest Asia and previously at Family Business Network and Family Office Exchange.

Concurrently, Mr. Yang is Deputy Group Managing Director of IMC Industrial Group and Group Managing Director of Unithai. He has been with IMC since 1995 and has held various senior appointments. Prior to joining IMC, Mr. Yang was a member of Office of the Chairman Stan Shih and Associate General Counsel at Acer Computers in San Jose, California and Taipei, Taiwan. He started his career practicing law in Silicon Valley at the Cooley Godward and Brobeck Phleger law firms.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a JD from Stanford Law School. Mr Yang joined the ACGA Council in 2015.

Emeritus Chair
Linda Tsao Yang
Ambassador - Asian Corporate Governance Association

Linda Tsao Yang retired from the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA) in November 2014 after serving as Chair from 2001 to 2014. During her 13-year tenure, global membership of ACGA grew to over 100. Among its members are major sovereign wealth and public pension funds. Assets under management by ACGA's institutional investor members exceed US$25 trillion.

She served as the US Ambassador and Executive Director to the Board of Directors of The Asian Development Bank from 1993 to 1999. She was the first woman appointed by the United States Government to the board of a multilateral financial institution and the first Executive Director appointed by President Clinton and confirmed by the US Senate.

At her retirement in December 1999, US Treasury awarded her the Distinguished Service Medal of the department. The award citation stated, “She has made a significant contribution to the advancement of US policy objectives at the Bank. She also spearheaded the adoption of important new Bank policies on reduction of poverty, good governance, anti-corruption, disclosure of information, and collaboration with non-governmental organizations, among many others. Ambassador Yang has also been one of the main forces behind the strengthening of the Bank's private sector operations and she has led the effort to put in place a Bank-wide approach to private sector development. Ambassador Yang played a key role in defining the Bank’s participation in the international response to the Asian economic crisis, including pushing for early and expanded attention to social impacts and social development. She has provided strong fiduciary and operational oversight of Bank operations and has worked to make the Bank more transparent and accountable.”

Linda was an independent non-executive director on the board of the Bank of China (Hong Kong) 2003–2010. The Founding Chair of Strategy and Budget Committee of the board, she led the preparation of the first and second 5-year growth and development plans for the bank. In 2008, Hong Kong Institute of Directors honored her with its Director of the Year Award (Hang Seng Index -Independent Non-Executive Director), and she was awarded Honorary Citizen of Shanghai in September 2016.

She was the first woman to serve as California's Savings and Loan Commissioner and the first minority appointed to the Board of Administration of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) where she served as Vice-President and Vice-Chairman of its Investment Committee. She was an invited panelist on international economy at the Economic Summit hosted by then President-Elect Bill Clinton in December 1992 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Linda is a member of the International Council of the Bretton Woods Committee in Washington DC, the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, and an advisory board member of the Center on Asia Pacific Policy, RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California. She co-chairs the Chang-Lin Tien Committee of The Asia Foundation in San Francisco. She serves as Co-chair of the Membership Committee of The Committee of 100, a non-profit, national organisation of Chinese Americans dedicated to promoting constructive, mutually beneficial relations between the United States and China and full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of life in the United States.

She was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1984, 1988, and 1992 and a member of the Fairness Commission of the Democratic National Committee in Washington DC, A graduate of St John’s University in Shanghai and Columbia Business School in New York, Ambassador Yang was married to the late Professor An Tzu Yang of the University of California in Davis, California. She is the mother of two sons.