Hong Kong Staff

Jamie Allen
Secretary General

Jamie Allen (艾哲明) is responsible for overall management of the association, as well as directing ACGA’s research, advocacy and educational work in 12 Asia-Pacific markets.

He is a published author and has more than 30 years’ experience as a writer, editor and analyst covering the economies of Greater China and East Asia from Hong Kong. Prior to the establishment of ACGA in mid-1999, he ran his own consulting firm and carried out customised economic research on mainly finance-related topics, including corporate governance, for multinational clients in Asia. From 1992 to 1995, he worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) as editor of Business Asia, a regional management newsletter, and was a contributor to The Economist from 1994 to 1996. Mr Allen began his journalistic career in the late 1980s as a reporter for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong.

From 2001 to 2007, Mr Allen was a member of the Public Shareholders Group, a committee formed by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission to advise it on shareholder rights and corporate governance matters in Hong Kong. He served on the Listing Committee of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK) from 2006 to 2010.

From  2013-2019, Mr Allen served on the Operations Oversight Committee (OOC) of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in Hong Kong. The FRC, a statutory body, has responsibility for investigating auditing irregularities in the accounts of Hong Kong listed companies. The OOC reviews and approves the FRC’s audit investigation work.

In July 2017, the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) awarded Mr Allen an “ICGN Lifetime Achievement Award 2017”, in recognition of his dedication to implementing effective corporate governance practices and promoting shareholder rights throughout Asia.

He is a graduate of the Australian National University, Canberra where he received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Science and Chinese language. He studied Mandarin for two years in Taiwan during 1983 and 1984.

Ida Chan
Executive PA to the Secretary General

Ida Chan (陳詩茵) joined ACGA in 2018 as the Executive PA to the Secretary General. She graduated from Queensland University of Technology in Australia with a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Accountancy. Prior to ACGA, she worked with Hang Seng Bank and a Japanese trading hub in Hong Kong.

Edwin Chiu

Edwin Chiu (趙寧峻) joined ACGA in July 2017 as an Accountant. He earned a bachelor's degree in accountancy and further completed a master's degree in corporate governance. He is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Secretary and has over 10 years’ accounting experience working in different business entities, including NGO and listed company.

Bilal Khan
Advocacy and Data Manager

Bilal Khan joined ACGA in January 2019 as our Advocacy and Data Manager. His responsibilities include automating data gathering for the biennial CG Watch report survey and managing advocacy initiatives undertaken by ACGA’s Regional and Specialist staff. 

His international experience includes credit risk management, financial advisory and business analyst roles in the US and Pakistan. In Hong Kong, he’s been a data science and machine learning instructor, an Investment Analyst consultant at Turiya Capital and an Index Analyst at CLSA.

Bilal received his undergraduate degree in Economics in 2009 from Denison University in Ohio and his graduate degree in International Finance and Management in 2014 from Columbia University, New York.

Mikky Li
Office and Event Manager

Mikky Li (李詠敏) joined ACGA in June 2017 and is responsible for ACGA's daily office management and administration, as well as managing the logistics for ACGA member events, conferences, and Council meetings.

Mikky honed her administration skills during her time as Centre Manager of Compass Office, one of the biggest serviced office providers in Hong Kong, where she lead a team handling the administrative and secretarial needs of more than 100 clients and senior management.

She comes from a strong hospitality background, earning her bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management from the Les Roches, School of Hotel Management in Switzerland. Her hotel experience includes stints with the Kowloon Shangri-La and the Ritz-Carlton Millenia, Singapore.

Nana Li
Senior Project Manager and Senior Research Analyst

Nana Li (李睿) is Senior Project Manager and Senior Research Analyst for ACGA, joining the Association in February 2014. Her primary responsibilities include researching corporate governance developments in Hong Kong and China, and covering these markets for the bimonthly members’ newsletter, Asia Regional Briefing. She was the primary author of the China and Hong Kong chapters of CG Watch 2018, and project manager and one of the main authors of ACGA’s China Corporate Governance Report 2018. She has assisted with the organisation of ACGA’s Annual Conferences and member delegations to different Asian markets. She was a primary organiser for the ‘2017 China Responsible Investment Forum’ in Tianjin, the first event ACGA has co-organised with the Asset Management Association of China and China Association for Public Companies.

Besides her research work, Nana assists ACGA’s advocacy and educational work, giving presentations at events around the world. As one of ACGA’s key speakers, among others, she has given speeches at the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges, the Shenzhen Asset Management Association, and a speaker at international conferences hosted by ACGA, CLSA, GRI, HSBC and the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN). 

Apart from her work at ACGA, Nana also sits on four committees to contribute to the corporate governance and ESG developments in global markets: the Shareholder Rights Committee of the ICGN, the Standards Advisory Group of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, the China ESG30 Forum of Caixin Insight, and the ESG Special Interest Group of the Hong Kong Society of Financial Analysts.

A native of Hangzhou, Nana holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Distinction) from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, majoring in Finance and Accounting, and a Master of Finance (Dean’s Honours List) from the University of Hong Kong. She is a CFA charterholder.

Chris Mead
Deputy Secretary General

Chris Mead (馬超仁) joined ACGA in November 2019 as Deputy Secretary General. In that capacity he leads ACGA’s advocacy and regulatory policy activity, and contributes to our research and education work.

Chris is a lawyer by training, and has specialised in financial regulation for most of his career. From 2013 to 2019 he was APAC Head of Legal and Compliance for GAM in Hong Kong, and immediately prior to that he was employed by Atlantis Investment Management as Chief Legal Officer. Before moving to Hong Kong, Chris worked as legal counsel from 2004 to 2011 for the then Financial Services Authority in the UK, covering a broad range of matters, including banking, investment management and capital markets regulation. He began his legal career at a City of London law firm, and has also worked as legal counsel in the UK Government Legal Service.

Chris is a graduate of Oxford University, and has done further study at the University of Geneva, Switzerland and the College of Law in York, England.

Padma Venkat
Chief Operating Officer

Padma Venkat (范蓮) joined ACGA in January 2016 as our first Chief Operating Officer. She is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst by training and has more than 20 years experience working in the finance industry in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Among her different jobs, she headed the non-resident Indian portfolio business for Citibank while in Indonesia and, more recently, was Director of Capital Markets Policy for the CFA Institute in Hong Kong where she was passionately involved in corporate governance matters. Padma holds an Executive MBA from Kellogg-HKUST.

Padma manages all aspects of the finance and operations of ACGA. She assists in business development, including membership marketing, and sponsorships. Padma provides input to strategic planning and oversees the management of ACGA events and conferences.

Regional and Specialist Staff

Melissa Brown
Capital Markets, Investor Stewardship, ESG/Sustainability

Melissa Brown (布朗) is a highly regarded analyst of Asian capital markets, corporate governance/ESG, and responsible investment. A director of Daobridge Capital, a China-focused advisory firm, she has analysed Asian investments for more than 18 years, initially as a sell-side equity analyst and research director for Barclays Capital, JPMorgan, and Citigroup, and later led research into ESG as executive director of ASrIA from 2003 to 2008.

Melissa currently serves as a director of Sustainalytics, a global ESG research provider. She is a government-appointed council member of the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs and a member of the Securities and Futures Commission Takeovers Panel. She was previously an elected member of the UNPRI Advisory Council, and also served on the Listing Committee of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) for six years from 2006 to 2012.

Melissa has collaborated with ACGA on a number of projects in recent years, including speaking at annual conferences in Beijing (2006), Shenzhen (2011), Seoul (2013) and Kuala Lumpur (2015). She was the co-author of our submission on IPO due diligence to the HK Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in 2012 and the main author of ACGA's submission to HKEx on its new ESG Reporting Guide in 2015. In 2016, she co-authored ACGA submissions to the Singapore Exchange on its new Sustainability Reporting Guide and to the Hong Kong SFC on its consultation about modernising and upgrading the city's listing regime. Melissa has supported the Association in numerous other ways, carrying out member surveys, supporting our efforts to encourage dialogue between institutional investors and accounting auditors, and taking up speaking opportunities.

Sharmila Gopinath
India Research & Advocacy

Sharmila Gopinath (高美娜) joined ACGA in 2005 and worked on a full-time basis until December 2012, when she moved to India. She continues to work for the Association on a part-time basis as our Research Director, India.

Sharmila is a former journalist with a background in business writing and editing. During her career she has worked in Hong Kong, New York and Singapore, covering topics such as information technology, general business and finance. From 2000-2001 she reported for the Computer Times in Singapore.

Sharmila began her journalistic career as a reporter for the Hong Kong Standard in the mid-80s. She holds a BA in English from the University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George.

Sharmila has been involved in numerous aspects of ACGA research, advocacy and events over the past decade and more. She has been the author of the India chapter in CG Watch since 2007, was a co-author of our White Paper on India in 2010, and has contributed to various submissions made by ACGA to government bodies and regulators in India. She helped to organise our annual conference in Mumbai in 2008 and member delegations to India in 2010 and 2014. During her time with ACGA, Sharmila has also worked on other markets, primarily Hong Kong and Malaysia, been a regular contributor to our Asia Regional Briefing newsletter, and spoken at numerous events around the region.

Christopher Leahy
Indonesia/Philippines/Singapore Research

Christopher Leahy (利希圖) is a founder of Blackpeak, a leading investigative research and advisory firm founded in Asia and with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and, most recently, New York. Prior to working in the investigative field, he was a journalist, holding positions as Asian Editor, Euromoney, and a contributing editor for Asiamoney.

Chris began his career as a stockbroker, and later an investment banker, working in both the UK and Asia with leading financial institutions such as Warburg Securities (now UBS), BNP Paribas Peregrine and Crosby. For most of the past 25 years, he has been based in Asia.

Chris began writing for ACGA in 2003, specialising on Southeast Asia and contributing to our monthly newsletter, the Asia Regional Briefing. He has been the author of the Indonesia and Philippines chapters in CG Watch since 2007 and has contributed to other markets as well, including Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. Chris has spoken at numerous ACGA member events over the past decade and has represented ACGA as a speaker at many conferences around the region.

Julia Mart
Conference Management

Julia Mart is Director of InterConnect Events and has worked with ACGA since 2001. She has enjoyed a successful career in event management spanning more than 30 years, starting in the music (A&M) and toy (Hasbro) industries. Since the late 1980s she has programmed and managed major CEO and heads-of-government gatherings around the world for clients including Forbes, Fortune, The Economist, the Family Business Network and Leaders' Quest.

Julia has worked and lived in the UK, France, Germany, Turkey and Hong Kong, before moving to the US in 2002, where she is now based. She founded Interaction Event Management in Hong Kong in 1992, and InterConnect Events in New York in 2008.

Julia is engaged by ACGA to manage the venue and logistics for our annual conference, held each Autumn in a different Asian city. She has worked on all ACGA conferences since 2001 and has been instrumental to the smooth running of each event. Julia's expertise has allowed ACGA to secure high-quality venues for our conferences and to manage them cost-effectively.

Benjamin McCarron
Malaysia/Thailand Research & Advocacy, Proxy Voting, Sustainability

Benjamin McCarron is Managing Director of Asia Research and Engagement, a firm he founded in Singapore in 2013 to provide specialist research and representation services for institutional investors with respect to their Asian investments. He was previously head of research at Responsible Research (RR), a Singapore-based consultancy. One of his RR publications, "The Future of Fish in Asia," won the Farsight Award for best ESG/financial research in 2011. He also designed and edited numerous other RR reports, including "Sustainable Stock Exchanges: A Report on Progress", which surveyed leading global stock exchanges on how they encourage listed issuers to provide sustainability related information.

Before moving to Asia in 2011, Ben was an analyst for The Cooperative Asset Management (now Royal London Asset Management) in the UK. He led the integration of environmental and social analysis into the investment and engagement processes. He was also the lead author of two "Good Companies Guides" published in The Observer. Earlier, Ben was a fund manager at Framlington, where he managed £100m of small-cap UK pension money and significantly outperformed the benchmark. He also co-managed a global technology fund covering IT and healthcare research at Gerrard, now part of Barclays Wealth.

Ben graduated with joint honours in Maths and Philosophy from University College, Oxford.

Ben has been associated with ACGA since 2011, when he spoke at our annual conference in Shenzhen, and has since been a speaker or moderator at ACGA conferences in Hong Kong (2014) and Kuala Lumpur (2015). He joined ACGA as a specialist consultant in 2014, carrying out a detailed analysis of proxy voting and AGM practices across Asia. In 2015, he was part of a team that organised a member delegation to Jakarta and contributed to the organisation of our annual conference that year in Malaysia.

Recently, Ben's contribution to ACGA expanded significantly. He assumed responsibility for covering Malaysia and Thailand for our bimonthly regional newsletter, the Asia Regional Briefing, and co-authored these country chapters in CG Watch in 2016. He co-authored our submission on the new Malaysia CG Code in June 2016 and is working on submissions on a revised Thailand CG code and new stewardship code. Ben has also been a speaker on ACGA's regular Investor and Corporate Discussion Group calls.

Neesha Wolf
Taiwan Research

Neesha Wolf (吳麗莎) joined the Asian Corporate Governance Association as a contributing editor in 2014 covering Taiwan, where she has lived since 1995. 

Prior to joining ACGA, Neesha worked in her native US in environmental protection research and regulation for the Minnesota state government, as well as spending several years in education, corporate executive training and consulting in Taiwan. From 2007 to 2011, she served as an editor and contributing reporter for a local newspaper.

She holds a bachelor of science degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota, an MBA from National Taiwan University, and is currently a PhD candidate at National Taiwan University in International Business Strategy. Her research focuses on the influence of corporate governance factors on firm performance, as well as the integration of environmental and social sustainability into the core of business strategies. 

As research editor, Neesha has written the Taiwan section of the Asia Regional Briefing since 2014, contributed to the Taiwan section of CG Watch in  2016, and will research and write the Taiwan chapter of CG Watch in 2018.