APAC Insider December 2016

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APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016

Pitney Bowes Shopping Here, There and Everywhere Page 20


VidCon and YouTube Join Forces Page 8

Reputation For Excellence Page 13

All in the Family Page 14

Good To

Mortgage Software with a Difference Page 18


Mike Conway, ‘CEO of the Year - Australia’, tells us all about how the firm provides unique corporate learning programs for individuals, teams and organisations. Page 10


APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016

Editor’sNote Welcome to the December edition of APAC Insider Magazine, which features the latest comments, updates and developments across the Asia Pacific region.

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Two thirds of consumers from the Asia-Pacific region now shop cross-border. In a recent survey, Pitney Bowes take a look at the region’s shopping spending habits with a finding that a majority of global consumers shop cross-border, creating extraordinary global opportunities for retailers. We also take a look at the region’s economy. The Indian government have decided to take the country’s 500- and 1,000-rupee notes out of circulation, whilst China’s economy has been growing steadily this year, surprising many economic experts. The country’s GDP grew by 6.7% in the third quarter, the exact same figure for the previous three months and for the quarter before that. VidCon (vidcon.com) has announced that YouTube will be the title sponsor for the first-ever VidCon Australia, which will take place in Melbourne, 9th-10th September 2017, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. This exciting event is a first for Australia, bringing online video to a brand new part of the globe. Lastly, we wrap up the latest news and deals in the region. We hope you enjoy this issue. Matt Lewis, Editor Phone: +44 (0) 203 725 6842 Email: matthew.lewis@ai-globalmedia.com Website: www.apacinsider.com


Contents News 4. deVere Group to Open First New Zealand Offices in January 5. Asia-Pacific Automotive Industry Now a Powerful Revenue Generator for Robot Manufacturers 6. Rycal Group Expands into APAC Region with Offices in Singapore and China 8. Vidcon Australia Launches in Melbourne, Announces Partnership with YouTube

Support Services 10. XVenture - Good to Great


13. Madison Branson Lawyers - Reputation For Excellence 14. Yeo & Associates LLC - All in the Family 18. Lextech - Mortgage Software with A Difference


20. Shopping Here, There and Everywhere


22. India’s Currency Move: Short-Term Pain Versus Long-Term Gain 24. Outshining China 26. Deals

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APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016


deVere Group to Open First New Zealand Offices in January

deVere New Zealand will be headed by John Brophy, Divisional Manager of the ASEAN and Australia regions.

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deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations, is to open its first offices in New Zealand in January 2017, it has confirmed. The announcement of the new offices, to be located in the financial hub of Auckland, comes a year after deVere opened its second Australian office in Sydney. Nigel Green, deVere Group founder and CEO, comments: “We’re delighted to be opening an office in New Zealand, which has long been part of our strategic growth plans. “This next chapter in deVere’s success story highlights our commitment to this region – a region that we believe has incredible and sustainable potential. “Our push into New Zealand is driven by consistently increasing demand for our specialist cross-border financial advice from expats and international investors in this region.” “I believe our clients in New Zealand will take peace of mind from and enjoy the associated benefits of our size - globally, we have more than 80,000 clients in more than 100 countries and over $12billion under advice – and our resources. These include our market-leading technologies, our comprehensive range of products – many of which are exclusive to deVere clients - and our well-established relationships with the world’s leading financial institutions.”

He continues: “By adding New Zealand to our network of global offices, which includes Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, London, Cape Town, and New York, to name a few, we are now truly a 24-hour organisation. There will always be a deVere office open somewhere in the world.”

Our push into New Zealand is driven by consistently increasing demand for our specialist crossborder financial advice from expats and international investors in this region.

Mr Green goes on to say: “To ensure that deVere becomes the most trusted independent financial advisory firm in the country and to meet the growing client demand, we will promote internally some of the company’s top managers from elsewhere in the world to roles within New Zealand, as well as recruiting more talented wealth managers to join our already internationally proven teams.” The deVere CEO concludes: “2017 promises to be an exciting year for deVere and one full of opportunities for many of the major players in the sector.”



Asia-Pacific Automotive Industry Now a Powerful Revenue Generator for Robot Manufacturers

Automotive 4.0—Robotics in the Future of Autobuilding is part of the Industrial Automation & Process Control Growth Partnership Service program, which also covers SPS IPC drives, hydronics, welding, packaging machinery, fluid power and process equipment. The automotive industry accounted for 49.3 percent of the global demand for robots in 2015, spurred by the rising digitization of manufacturing plants and pervasiveness of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Even original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and subcontractors of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are acknowledging the need for robots in aiding virtual and digital factories, flexible manufacturing, 3D printing and open-source, lowvolume manufacturing. Asia-Pacific is expected to register the highest robot adoption rates in the automotive sector by 2025. In China, specifically, the robot density in the automotive industry leapfrogged from 109 in 2011 to 381 in 2015. The North American automotive industry is witnessing the fastest rate of modernization, and automation and robotization are priority investments for manufacturers. However, the biggest revenue contributors are Asia-Pacific countries such as South Korea, China, Japan and India, which accounted for nearly 50 percent of the total revenue in 2015. Chinese automotive manufacturers currently use only one robot per 30 workers, but this ratio is expected to improve as they realize the greater value of homogenous product quality over cost reduction. “The production stages that employ robots include press automation, body-in-white, powertrain assembly, paint application and final assembly. Of these, the most robotized stage is final assembly, with almost 90 percent automated operations,” said Industrial Automation & Process Control Research Analyst Rohit Karthikeyan. “The body-inwhite and powertrain assembly have further scope for robot penetration and will be target markets for robot manufacturers.”

SMEs also are an underpenetrated segment, as they do not see any value in deploying robots unless they win volume business and repeat orders. Moreover, many global SMEs lack the capital and skilled resources to operate robots. Robot manufacturers have their work cut out in the automotive SME markets in developing countries such as China, India and Brazil. “Already, more than 55 percent of large and small OEMs and subcontractors at the SME level have started investing in digitizing their plants,” noted Karthikeyan. “They can be further persuaded to deploy robots through demonstrations of cost savings. By 2022, global automakers will save up to US$32 billion in annual automotive production through ICT-enabled smart manufacturing.” The average global investment in automation and robot technology in the automotive sector has increased by 26.3 percent per annum from 2010 to 2015. This eager adoption of robots and the return on investment concerns of SMEs in developing countries will prompt robot manufacturers to continuously innovate and launch production systems that are flexible, robust, reliable and cost effective.

About Frost & Sullivan Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community.

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APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016


Rycal Group Expands into APAC Region with Offices in Singapore and China

Commercial property investment experts add industry veteran Richard Seow as Vice President to lead operations in APAC.

Rycal Group, a leading global sustainable land and property investment firm, has announced it has expanded into the Asia Pacific (APAC) region with new offices in Singapore and Shanghai, China. The company has also hired Richard Seow, an industry veteran with experience in real estate investment within APAC, as Vice President to lead both offices.

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Seow joins Rycal Group with more than 15 years of business development and sales experience in real estate investment within the APAC region, and brings with him an extensive business network throughout China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and Australia. He holds an MBA in International Business and an Engineering degree from California State University. “I am excited to join Rycal Group and to begin working with such an established team of real estate and property experts,” said Richard Seow, Vice President, Rycal Group. “Rycal Group has a fantastic portfolio of product offerings well suited for investors around the globe. I look forward to the opportunity to lead operations in the APAC, a region I know well, and to leverage my expertise to help the Company continue its growth worldwide.” said Richard Seow, Vice President, Rycal Group. The expansion into APAC will allow Rycal Group to reach an affluent market seeking out alternative investments, particularly in China, where investors spent $300B on U.S. real estate from 2010 to 2015 alone. The Company will aggressively establish its foothold within the region by working directly with brokers and clients to market its commercial properties in the U.S., while also conducting road shows and launching new products. “We are proud to open our new offices in Singapore and China, and to expand the Rycal footprint into the eastern hemisphere. We identified the APAC region as being important to the growth of our Company and look forward to working with investors there to diversify their portfolios and begin investing in real estate,” said Simon Calton, founder and CEO, Rycal Group.

I am excited to join Rycal Group and to begin working with such an established team of real estate and property experts,

“We are also thrilled to have Richard join Rycal to lead our expansion efforts in the APAC region. His vast experience in real estate throughout Asia and beyond will be a tremendous asset to our Company moving forward.”

The new office locations are:

Shanghai No. 688 West Nanjing Road, 16/F, Unit 1601 Henderson 688 Square, Jing’an District Shanghai 200041, China Phone: 8621 2283 5059 Singapore 3 Temasek Avenue Centennial Tower #34-00 Singapore 039190 Phone: 65 6549 7255 The offices in Singapore and Shanghai will further bolster Rycal Group’s global presence, as the Company already has locations in Europe (England) and the United States. For more information on Rycal Group or its portfolio of products, visit www.rycalgroup.com.

About Rycal Group Rycal Group was established in 2010 with the aim of offering sustainable land and property investment opportunities from around the globe. Its Directors have more than 35 years’ combined experience in property investment, finance, and residential construction. For more information, visit www.rycalgroup.com, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.



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APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016


Vidcon Australia Launches in Melbourne, Announces Partnership with YouTube

VidCon (vidcon.com), the world’s largest online video conference for fans, creators, and industry professionals, has announced that YouTube will be the title sponsor for the firstever VidCon Australia, which will take place in Melbourne, September 9-10, 2017, at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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The long-awaited VidCon Australia — with its European counterpart, VidCon Europe, at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam, April 7-9 — will welcome approximately 7,500 fans and creators, with a custom experience designed to celebrate the unique online video ecosystem of those regions. YouTube will have a significant presence at the event, creating their own unique activities for fans, creators, and industry attendees. “It’s fantastic to see VidCon coming to Australia for the first time in 2017. Melbourne is an incredible city to welcome the world’s largest online video community event,” Chris Dodson, Head of YouTube Marketing, Google Australia said. “We look forward to working with the team at VidCon to gather fans, creators, brands, and industry colleagues to celebrate the ever-expanding online video ecosystem in Australia.” VidCon programming and tickets follow a threetrack format, designed for everyone from the most passionate fans to the biggest media companies. The Community Track engages attendees interested in experiencing the online video culture through Q&As, discussions, concerts, interviews, movie nights, meetups, signings, and games. The Creator Track serves attendees looking to make better content, grow their online presence, enter the industry, meet fellow creators, and learn the insand-outs of online video culture. The Industry Track features keynotes, fireside chats, seminars, and product demonstrations geared toward attendees working in the online video industry. This two-day celebration in Melbourne will feature programming, activities and entertainment for all three tracks throughout Saturday and Sunday. Michael Gardner, Chief Operating Officer of VidCon, and Colin Hickey, VidCon’s Executive Vice President,

said, “When investigating new markets for VidCon, we were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of our partners at YouTube, Creative Victoria, the Melbourne Convention Bureau, and more, to bring VidCon to Australia. After digging deeper to understand the Australian creator and audience landscape, we discovered that there is a conspicuously unsatiated appetite to make real-world connections within the region’s online video community. We couldn’t be happier about the pairing of VidCon and Australia to celebrate, uplift, and accelerate online video.” Similar to the 8th Annual VidCon (in Anaheim, California, June 21-24), VidCon Australia will feature a variety of endemic and non-endemic sponsors and exhibitors. As veteran VidCon fans know well, these events are packed with robust content, performances, and high-energy celebration, and the VidCon team is determined to continue this tradition overseas. Attendees of the first-ever VidCon Australia in Melbourne should expect an onlinevideo celebration of global proportions. “We are pleased to welcome VidCon to Melbourne, Victoria for their first annual celebration of online video in Australia. Melbourne is a creative and innovative city and when we started working with VidCon we knew right away that their mission matched Melbourne’s culture, and would generate real buzz in the online video community. We couldn’t be more pleased to host VidCon Australia in 2017 and the years to come.” said Karen Bolinger, Chief Executive Officer, Melbourne Convention Bureau. Though specific programming and Featured Creators will be announced in upcoming months, VidCon experiences record ticket sales each year and routinely sells out. Anyone planning to attend VidCon Australia is encouraged to register as soon as possible. Tickets can be purchased now at vidconaustralia.com.



About VidCon VidCon owns and operates the world’s largest events for and about the online video community. Each VidCon assembles fans, veteran and amateur creators, working professionals, and industry thought-leaders who gather to celebrate the online video ecosystem. The original VidCon, now renamed VidCon US, was founded by Hank and John Green. Total attendance has grown from 1,400 in 2010 to over 26,000 in 2016. VidCon Europe and VidCon Australia will both debut in 2017. Held during the weekend of June 21-24, 2017, the 8th annual VidCon US will gather approximately 30,000 people who love and contribute to the vibrant culture surrounding online video. Join the fun at vidcon.com.

About YouTube Launched in May 2005, YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch, and share originallycreated videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube is a Google company.

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We look forward to working with the team at VidCon to gather fans, creators, brands, and industry colleagues to celebrate the ever-expanding online video ecosystem in Australia.

APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016

Support Services

Good to Great

Mike Conway (CEO of the Year - Australia), founder of XVenture, tells us all about how the firm provides unique corporate, learning programs for individuals, teams and organisations. Starting out as a TV show in Australia in 2011, the company has gone from strength to strength across the APAC region. Clients range from the biggest corporations both nationally and globally, to small and medium sized businesses.

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innovative content creators and deliverers, XVenture is focussed on learning and personal development to help people be more successful than they could ever imagine. XVenture crosses over a number of industries including: education (both higher learning and school), corporate training and health (mental well-being), as well as elite sport. (Mike is the emotional intelligence, resilience and leadership advisor to Sydney FC). Mike explains what the business does and the work they do for the corporate world.


“At our heart is a huge belief in experiential learning pedagogies and that everyone at some point takes a leadership role. Our approach is underpinned by neuro- behavioural science principles and focuses on solution oriented outcomes. When we create content we always have in mind an integrated cross platform delivery solution which includes every form of media: face to face; digital, audio and visual taking account of people’s different learning types, which supports a fast and effective learning process. “Many organisations regurgitate or post on others research. We do the opposite – fast delivery of our own, based on our experience with projects and clients. We aim to be originators and creators of learning for many years to come. As an example: our recently released app ‘XV Leadership Insights’ is a global first in bite- sized leadership development. Fully-

funded, developed, created and produced from start to finish in house. It enables the masses to access world class learning at a fraction of the price of typical programs. “I have a firm belief that if you get the right blend of people working together, anything is possible. Critical to this, is a strong philosophical base: the notion of self-reflection, calm adjustment and an enjoyable working life, one that an individual is passionate about and feels a deep sense of belonging.” These foundations provide XVenture with extraordinary flexibility to build unique programs that move individuals, teams and organisations from good to great and understand that to do this requires a commitment to develop and install creative and courageous programs for people. Whoever XVenture works with, there is a commitment to develop programs that are fit for purpose. Often using state of the art technologies and new media to assist in effective learning of people. Mike discusses how their work has helped clients, saying “The work is extremely varied – always tailored to meet a strategic imperative, be it an individual needing help on something that’s holding them back, an organisation who is shifting its focus or position and needs its market and team aligned, or a unique and original XVenture research piece that will be beneficial for the masses. Over the last two


Support Services

Global ecostore team taking part in an XVenture Challenge 2015, Location: Eagles Nest, Russell

years we have built up a strong global following who love our original content in the areas of EQ, leadership and resilience.” XVenture has completed many projects since their foundation. They have built TV shows to draw attention to individual behaviour changes under pressure, delivered collaboration programs to engage disparate teams of people to agree the steps for the future and developed MBA leadership units to help the next generation of business leaders understand what it takes to build teams and plan their futures. Also, they have redesigned client communication portals to ensure their authentic stories get told in a meaningful way, put together TV documentaries for both internal training and delivering a brand story and designed and built interactive resilience programs for teenagers to help them make better life choices. Mike tells us how he wakes up every day looking forward to the possibility and opportunity which lies ahead. This isn’t just about his work but about his personal life too. “Each day there are things I can learn, things I can improve on and be inspired by,” says Mike. “I see challenges as opportunities and get inspired to create and develop solutions to solve them. I see mistakes as another roadmap for the future and a chance to learn to be better next time. “This is true in my approach to our business as well as our clients. I love seeing people who I’ve had some input in, with their growth and development, and living an even greater life as a result. At the end of each day, I have a very important habit of selfreflection, being thankful for the day and striving to be better the next. I encourage as many people as possible to do the same.”

It is tough starting any business. According to Mike, starting XVenture was no exception. However, he has overcome many challenges in the corporate world and led a great team in order to be an award winning and successful CEO in the region. “When you start a business, I don’t think it matters what part of the world you’re in, the biggest challenge you face is having enough capital to get started and then ensure you have enough of a reserve in those first couple of years,” says Mike. “Personally, you have to be prepared to make sacrifices, which likely includes a change in lifestyle for yourself and your family. When you are doing work which is unique and innovative, you have to also be prepared to push through the pessimism/ opposition you may face from people and organisations around you. You have to be resilient. “I have always been a firm believer in the power of the collective. A great team is bigger than the sum of its parts. Over the years, I have been at board and executive level for a number of high profile organisations globally and my approach towards hiring people has always been about attitude and aptitude. I was fortunate in my early career to be working with great mentors who fostered this attitude. I think that it’s important to provide a framework and then let your team just go for it. Give them space to be successful as well as space to make mistakes. I see making mistakes as a fundamental and critical piece of someone’s growth and development. It’s about how you deal with that, and how you support people to deal with mistakes and then move forward.” Besides Australia, Mike notes that he has had some experience of working in other APAC countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Japan and India. This has been important for the company when “I can’t pretend to be an expert

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APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016

Support Services but have some experience of working in other countries in the region. I learned that each country has a unique and beautiful culture. To be effective, we need to be mindful of this. We need to work through the cultural nuances that can help or hinder the delivery of our content. Over the last year, we have had some experiences of working in some of these countries which has confirmed that what we do is relevant. One particular target market is India who like many nations in Asia have a high yearning for learning.” Technology is, and will continue to have a major impact on business over the next few years. Mike explains the way XVenture use technology to make their services more efficient and effective for clients.

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“Bandwidth growth and programs such as NBN is helping us deliver content more effectively. Right now we are working hard to build programs to take advantage of electronic delivery systems. Sophisticated apps, electronic learning and virtual, 360 degree visual platforms have now emerged which makes it easy to access learning content in a fun and meaningful way. This isn’t just about information availability but real experience. Then the job is about ensuring that people know where to access this, and with the amazing size of the APAC market should bring the costs down on learning content that was once just in the hands of the elite.” In the future, Mike sees himself passing on the torch but continuing to have a prominent role at the company as he explains. “My life has been about sharing knowledge and passing

on everything I have learnt to those around me. I believe it’s the way that not only people, but organisations grow. In five years’ time, I can imagine my business partner, Daniela Kraus, being at the helm of XVenture as the CEO, and I continue working as an adviser, supporter content contributor and mentor to the great team we already have at XVenture.” As well as Mike’s own future plans, he also speculates on the future of the company. XVenture’s fortunes have soared since they appeared on television five years ago. Mike tells us what lies in store for the firm in the future. “The initial years of XVenture have helped us understand those things that work and those things that don’t. Now we’re much clearer of the possibilities. They are large and exciting and definitely replicable. We certainly have aspirations to make this work across the region and in 2017, we will be looking to take more brave steps to make this happen, whether this is through significant strategic partnerships, or for the first time, provide opportunities for interested parties to join us on the journey. We have plans in the next twelve months to launch a number of other rich learning programs which will connect in the same way.” Company: XVenture Name: Mike Conway, Founder & CEO Email: Mike can be contacted via LinkedIn Message Web Address: www.xventure.com.au Address: Suite 1, 385- 389 Pacific Highway, Crows Nest, NSW 2065 Telephone: +61 2 9922 1622

Each day there are things I can learn, things I can improve on and be inspired by



Reputation For Excellence

Madison Branson Lawyers (Best Commercial Litigation Firm - 2016 - Australia) is a boutique, full service law firm which has forged a network of member firms, affiliates and strategic relationships, and combines the expertise of its legal specialists with that network to provide clients with tailored and innovative commercial solutions. We profile the firm and explore how it has earned its reputation for stablished in 2014, Madison Branson Lawyers has grown quickly into a full-service law firm. Services offered by the firm include commercial law; property law including building and construction; litigation and alternative dispute resolution; criminal law; immigration; family law; wills and estates; and intellectual property.


Madison Branson Lawyers has seen significant growth between 2015 and 2016, which it has attributed to the lawyers in the firm, who strive for excellence and have a keen eye for their client’s ultimate aims. The commercial & criminal litigation department, operated by Simon Tsapepas, is testament to the superior service provided to Madison Branson Lawyers’ clients, and the firm’s high calibre of the lawyers that it demands. A dynamic commercial and criminal litigator in Australia’s State and Federal jurisdictions, as well as a skilled and tactful negotiator, Simon is credited for his commercially sensible and intelligent approach to his clients’ matters. Through his work acting for major banks, manufacturers, individuals, SMEs and a broad range of corporations including ASX listed companies, Simon has developed his practice, and the department of the firm, extensively in a number of legal disciplines including proceeds of crime litigation under the Commonwealth regime, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth), and the State regime in Victoria, the Confiscation Act 1997 (Vic), as well as personal and corporate insolvency and reconstruction and shareholders’ disputes and oppression actions under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). Other areas the department has gained experience in are trade and commerce disputes; as well as international arbitration, among others.

This vast experience, combined with the firm’s client focused approach are key to its success. As such, at Madison Branson Lawyers, the client is always at the forefront of its lawyer’s minds. This approach is not always about achieving the most desirable legal outcome for the clients. Sometimes, the legal outcome is not the most desirable at all. To achieve the ultimate outcome, Madison Branson Lawyers prides itself on understanding intricately the personal and business affairs of its clients. Noticing a rapid technological shift in the industry, Madison Branson Lawyers embraces technology to ensure innovative and efficient legal solutions are provided to its clients in such a way that is expected in the modern business world, whilst retaining traditional values and standards of professionalism and loyalty. Ultimately, Madison Branson Lawyers is dedicated to providing support to its clients during and after business hours. Staying ahead of, or moving with, the changes in the industry, is critical to ensure that Madison Branson Lawyers continues to exceed its clients’ expectations and to define them. Company: Madison Branson Lawyers Name: Simon Tsapepas Email: stsapepas@madisonbranson.com Web Address: www.madisonbranson.com Address: 201/737 Burwood Road, Hawthorn East, Victoria 3123 Telephone: 1300 653 189

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APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016


All in the Family Yeo & Associates LLC (Best Family Law Firm 2016 - Singapore) is a specialist family law practice based in Singapore, whose team is dedicated to providing compassionate, bespoke solutions in all aspects of family and matrimonial law. They have earned a strong reputation in Singapore as a market leader in the areas of matrimonial and family law. Their team’s family law experience, razorsharp legal knowledge and exceptional client service is why they are the family law firm of choice. Beatrice Yeo Poh Tiang is one of Singapore’s leading family law specialists and founded Yeo & Associates LLC, and recently spoke to us about her

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eo & Associates LLC is a highly trusted name in Singapore when it comes to matters of matrimonial and family law, and my team and I have worked hard to earn this reputation. We represent both domestic and international clients in all areas of family law, both Civil and Syariah, the restructuring family business and family trusts, and have recently extended our family practice to include trust and estate planning/litigation, drafting of wills and probate and administration practice.

in the family law system - so much so that we have been directly responsible for the creation of a considerable number of precedents whilst practicing the new laws.

We are totally dedicated to our clients and insist on retaining a personal touch. Everyone who engages our services receives specialised attention, regardless of the size and complexity of their case. I will personally meet and assess clients in person to determine how best to protect their interests. One of the greatest strengths of our team is our willingness and ability to truly listen to our clients, who often are reeling from personal circumstance and feeling a range of emotions, including anger and sadness. To succeed in family law, a lawyer has to work through these emotions with their client, to narrow in on the result they ultimately want to obtain.

Our team is alert to all changes in the family law sphere, both domestically and throughout the Asia region, and have been at the forefront of many of the recent improvements to Singapore’s family law system. We continue to make submissions to the Law Society and the Committee for Family Justice and are proud to play a direct role in shaping the country’s law, recommending policy changes where we feel they are needed. We believe this is an integral part of our social responsibility. One example of this can be seen in our recent campaigning to relevant organizations and government agencies to improve the social welfare and support provided to single mothers, who currently face severe discrimination for having a child out of wedlock.


The changing landscape of family law in Singapore The family justice system in Singapore has undergone dramatic changes since the passing of the Family Justice Act in 2014 and there are more changes to come in 2016. As we specialize in family law and work with clients from a range of socio-economic backgrounds, we are well placed to advise clients on new developments

In order to ensure that we always stay ahead of developments within our field, and to be certain that our legal advice is accurate and applicable our particular client’s circumstances, our team regularly participate in further professional education, which is something that we are proud to invest in.

Service orientated, future thinking As a firm we have managed more than 10,000 cases to date, and the number of files we handle continues to grow alongside our reputation as a trusted family law specialist firm. Many of these cases have involved highly complex, contentious divorce and


Legal ancillary hearings. As a result of this experience, my team and I have been able to provide incisive and often critical guidance on the division of matrimonial assets and maintenance. However, we strongly believe that non-litigious resolution methods such as mediation and counselling should be engaged before resorting to formal litigation in family law matters, not only to limit client costs, but to preserve good relations between the parties, especially if children are involved. Thus, we only move forward with contested proceedings if early settlement cannot be achieved, or in cases where alternative dispute resolution methods are inappropriate. We aim to provide a holistic service to our clients; to this end, we aim to provide a one-stop family law hub for our clients, whereby all of their legal needs relating to matters of divorce can be managed. One example of this complete service is our establishment of a conveyancing department, which ensures our clients do not need to engage a separate lawyer to help them dispose their matrimonial homes in accordance with a court order. Years of experience has shown us that providing a complete and integrated service truly does reduce unnecessary client stress. As well as conveyancing services, we have expanded to include strong corporate, commercial and financial expertise within our family law team, a factor that we believe is unique to our firm. For clients with commercial interests which are affected by divorce proceedings, the knowledge that we have all of the necessary financial expertise from different areas together under one roof to assist them, ensures that they feel assured that our collective advice is comprehensive, precise and professional. Another factor that sets us apart is our unique understanding and ability to manage highly complex financial aspects of divorce; a service valued highly by those with substantial assets or a high net worth.

In addition, my team and I work closely with social workers, financial experts and health professionals to ensure effective and feasible financial arrangements are calculated to support the needs of any children involved in divorce proceedings. This support is ongoing, continuing long after a settlement has been reached; we have hand-picked committed social service agencies who work closely alongside us to provide continuous and lasting emotional support. Our firm’s ethos from management level to support staff is to be responsive to clients’ needs, and to help them through their family law issues whilst providing a quality service at a reasonable cost.

A close-knit team Based in the central business district, our office exudes a comfortable, homely feel which helps our clients feel at ease. Our management team invest the necessary time and money to recruit the right people who can add value to our organisation and our clients. When hiring new staff, we seek out people who have complimentary skills to those working in the department they will be joining. By employing this strategy, we ensure that each sector of the organisation can manage a wide range of legal and commercial family law issues. In addition to the firm’s lawyers, who receive indepth training and leadership from the management team, other staff including case managers are encouraged to grow their legal skills at the firm. We provide staff with the fullest opportunity to immerse themselves in all aspects of service that the firm provides. This includes shadowing seasoned family lawyers to the Family Justice Courts and mediation centres to master their strategy style with clients and opposing lawyers. They also have a chance to interact with clients (under the supervision of senior lawyers), to gain an understanding of the background of a particular case further so they can use this knowledge to provide additional assistance to our clients.

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APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016


Investing in the future To ensure our clients receive the highest quality of service, we have invested in cutting-edge technology to provide a responsive and efficient service. My vision is to make the office paperless. To this end, we are currently working with a team of innovative software developers to create a new ‘app’ which will empower clients to check the status of their case online, anytime, anywhere. The aim of this investment is to increase the response to our clients and provide them with the most dynamic, innovative service in the region. However, regardless of the drive to shape the way family law is delivered in Singapore and beyond, we are committed to forging friendly, approachable relationships with our clients and never neglect the time-honoured values of integrity, loyalty and professionalism. We demonstrate this by providing direct telephone numbers and email addresses to our clients, giving them the confidence that their lawyer will be available to answer questions when needed.

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Further expansion As our reputation and rate of referrals grows, further expansion is inevitable, however we will continue to operate exclusively within the family law sector, but increase our services to match the needs of our clients. Family law in Singapore aims to provide therapeutic justice to the issue of separating families and to lessen acrimony amongst divorcing couples. As such, we are likely to see further drives to move family law out of the courtroom and away from adversarial proceedings. Mediation and counselling will continue to be encouraged as the preferred resolution method for family disputes. This provides clients with the opportunity to exert

greater control over matters regarding children’s issues and financial settlements - something we enthusiastically support and are adequately trained for. As a skilled mediator and negotiator, I have successfully mediated and negotiated thousands of settlement agreements for my clients. My practical and innovative approach to suggesting feasible settlement terms for my clients has been much appreciated for its workability and flexibility. Our expansion efforts will result in adding further talent to our team. We will continue to seek out people who demonstrate integrity, empathy and a commitment to getting the best result possible for our clients. We are looking for a certain toughness; family law is not for the faint hearted, it can be stressful and demanding. Our team pride ourselves in fighting resolutely for our clients’ rights and objectives. To achieve this, we act as a tight-knit team, supporting each other on a professional and personal level, leveraging each other’s expertise. As we grow we will continue to invest in our people, supporting and encouraging their development within the firm. In turn, they provide the energy and vision to help us achieve our commercial objectives, ensuring our firm continues to expand and thrive in constantly changing times. Our overall aim is to remain boutique, specialised and highly competitive in price. We are delighted with the success we have achieved so far and we believe this is due to our desire as a team to provide the best service possible within our field, to anyone who engages our services. Company: Yeo & Associates LLC Address: 47A Circular Road, Singapore 049402 Phone: (65) 6220 3400 Fax: (65) 6225 5687 Email: yeo@yeolaw.com.sg Website: www.yeolaw.com.sg



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APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016


Mortgage Software with A Difference

Lextech (Best for End-to-End Mortgage Processing Solutions 2016) is a leading Australian mortgage services company dedicated to providing software with a service, as General Manager Dean Hurlston explains.

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extech support a range of Australian banking giants, including Mutual Bank, Credit Union and a number of large non-bank lenders, providing an innovative platform can be tailored to any lender globally. Dean talks us through the firm’s software and how it supports clients.


“At Lextech we cover all aspects of mortgage services, debt collection and recovery and General Advice in relation to Lending Matters. Our unique platform allows all parties to see the entire transaction transparently, and this drives efficiency and ease of delivery for our clients.” With decades of experience at the front line managing lending and sales teams in the Mutual Bank industry, Dean is in a strong position to help drive the company forward, as he outlines in greater detail as he discusses how he draws on his experience to ensure the continued success of Lextech. “Personally, my experience led me to believe there was a better way than the traditional Solicitor and Lender relationships which are not focussed on service delivery to customers and members. Lenders traditionally lose control. A chance meeting with Simon Purcell (Founder and

Managing Director) felt like it was an “answer” to the industries problem. Simon has always had a revolutionary attitude and is by far the most cutting edge solicitor in the space, and it is a genuine pleasure to be able to work alongside him. “Coming from the industry means that I have walked in the shoes of our clients – that is very important. Our lenders and any new clients can clearly see what we do is based solely on them and solving their very real problems. Lenders work very hard to “win” business – the last thing they need is a long complicated settlement process that discourages new borrowers before they even make their first loan repayment. “As such, drawing on my experience I have helped Lextech to grow in a short amount of time and we are finally able to offer digital disruption to lenders in the Solicitor relationship, which is a real achievement and one of which I am very proud.” Whilst innovation in technology is essential for a firm in Lextech’s position, Dean believes that people are the main requirement for setting the firm apart, and as such he aims to cultivate a supportive and innovative culture in which staff are able to provide the highest possible level of commitment and service.


Legal “Experience is important for our staff, but when hiring we always look for that spark of interest and we find that we love to teach our exsisting staff the “Lextech way” of service delivery. We also realise that the way you treat your people will be a direct reflection on the way they treat your clients. We believe in creating fun events and social opportunities for the staff to bond and strengthen relationships. We recently moved premises and location and office design were a major part of the decision. The space had to be something that the staff could be proud of and want to work in every day. Our staff are the cornerstone of our service delivery and ultimately determine the success of our business, through the application of our Service Standards that are written into our client contracts. This ensures the lender is able to promise a standard of service delivery. Essentially we hire based on attitude not just skill or experience. Our team are acutely tuned to the lenders needs and must always have a “do whatever it takes” attitude, and we are very proud of the high standard of service that they provide.” As we draw towards the end of our interview Dean is eager to comment on the wider legal industry and the affect that technology has on both his firm and his competitors, and how other firms can adapt around the challenges they face. “Technology in the legal space is rapidly changing which is great but like any technology if your people are not aligned to creating a magical experience it’s just a good piece of technology. Technology enables – people connect. This industry is always and has always been about people – it’s the human condition that technology will never satisfy alone. Digital disruption of the legal industry is an ongoing process in Australia. “Recent legislative amendments allowing for electronic registration and digital signatures are a good start but there is a long road ahead of us before we can become truly paperless. We are currently consulting with regulators to find elegant bridges between the “old paper way” and the new digital frontiers ahead. Overall our area of law is finally being revolutionised in Australia to become mostly paperless and digital with respect to registrations and discharges of title instruments. This creates fantastic opportunities for us to look at faster ways to settle. With acceptance of technology like Electronic Signing we are more than ever in a position to settle in days and not weeks. “Fundamentally, people expect legal services to be predictable, reliable and timely. The legal industry needs to adapt and pull down the walls between them and the client. The legal industry needs to realise that they are service providers and not simply there to talk down to clients.”

Ultimately, technology enables settlements via smartphone, signing documents by electronic means or enabling a client face to face conversation rather than a traditional phone call. Whilst many of Lextech’s competitors struggle to keep pace with technological advances, Dean is eager to emphasise the fact that his firm are driven by them, and will continue to be so moving forward. “Currently we are working through an entire rewrite of our service platform to revolutionise and add more value for our lender clients. We see our future success tied to same day and next day settlements and we already know the lending market it hungry for it. This fills us with confidence that we are on the right path. We certainly believe our company will continue to expand and grow at a rapid rate of knots, but we will never lose our focus on service, which is our constant focus.” Company: Lextech (Backed by Purcell Partners) Name: Dean Hurlston – General Manager Email: dean.hurlston@lex-tech.com.au Web Address: www.lex-tech.com.au

As such, drawing on my experience I have helped Lextech to grow in a short amount of time and we are finally able to offer digital disruption to lenders in the Solicitor relationship, which is a real achievement and one of which I am very proud.

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APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016


Shopping Here, There and Everywhere

Pitney Bowes survey finds majority of global consumers’ shop crossborder, creating unprecedented global opportunity for retailers and marketplaces. Two-Thirds of Consumers from the Asia-Pacific Region Now Shop Cross-Border

itney Bowes (NYSE: PBI), a global technology leader providing innovative products and solutions powering anywhere-to-everywhere commerce, announced the results of the third annual Pitney Bowes Global Online Shopping Survey, which reveals the prevalence of cross-border ecommerce in the Asia-Pacific region and uncovers emerging trends in shopping habits throughout the region and the world.


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In the Asia-Pacific region, 67% of consumers have shopped cross-border in the last year. Singapore (89%), Australia (86%) and Hong Kong (85%) have the highest number of cross-border shoppers, while countries like Japan (34%) are still growing in crossborder confidence.

The APAC Region: Active and Frequent Online Shoppers Online shopping has become a way of life worldwide, particularly in Asia Pacific, as the survey findings suggests. Nearly one-third of these consumers now say they make domestic online purchases on a daily or weekly basis, with over two-thirds in China reporting this regularity. When it comes to crossborder shopping, Australia (78%), Singapore (77%) and Hong Kong (70%) stand out for monthly/annual for purchasing outside their country. In this year’s survey, Pitney Bowes discovered a phenomenon driving cross-border shopping that it is described as “In-store Global. Online Local.” This emerges from the mutually-beneficial union between physical stores and online shopping. Survey findings uncovered that 63 percent of consumers globally that have shopped cross-border have followed this trend. Many cross-border shoppers from the Asian-Pacific region display this habit, particularly from China (84%), India (82%) and South Korea (75%), engage

with brands and make in-store purchases during their international travels, and then follow up and revisit the retailer online from home.

Shopping Here, There and Everywhere Today’s consumers have the power of choice, and the study shows that they like it that way. While shoppers may have a preference for shopping direct online with a retailer’s website or an online marketplace, very few shop exclusively through one online channel. Globally, approximately half of consumers say that most or all of their domestic or cross-border online shopping is through an online marketplace. This is particularly true of countries like Japan and China, where 70% and 61% of shoppers, respectively, prefer to purchase mostly from cross-border marketplaces. Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, shoppers display a particular preference for the retailer’s direct site for all or most of their cross-border shopping. Globally, about a quarter of consumers choose the retailer’s direct site, while respondents in South Korea (34%) and Australia (33%) were ahead as the top direct-toretail countries. With this range of preferences across the region, retailers should consider a broad presence and multiple channels to reach shoppers in the AsiaPacific region. “Online commerce is an increasing part of domestic shoppers’ lifestyles, and while results vary by country, cross-border purchases are also growing year on year. Nonetheless, consumers continue to demonstrate unique habits and shopping preferences by country and region, validating the complexity of a truly global reach,” said Georges Berzgal, Pitney Bowes Vice President EMEA, Global


Retail Ecommerce. There is still much more opportunity for retailers and marketplaces to gain more presence in the APAC region. Understanding their unique preferences, adapting to their culture to include the local language and preferred payments methods, as well as improving simplicity in shipping and returns, will make a big difference in customer experience and open up new opportunities for brands”.

Shopping in the Mobile Age Throughout the shopping journey, mobile devices are playing an increasingly greater role in the world and in the APAC territory. Even though mobile is not the first choice for completing a purchase, surveyed shoppers often use their mobile device for part of their shopping experience. Roughly half of shoppers in Singapore (51%) and China (47%) were most likely to use a mobile device (including tablets and phones) for browsing. And when it comes to order tracking, over half of shoppers in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea use these devices. Survey results also uncovered insight into how consumers find products online. While 62% of respondents globally use marketplaces as discovery tools, 43% use search engines and 39% retailers’ sites. In addition, countries like Hong Kong (26%), Australia (24%) and Singapore (22%) rely on email communications to find new products. Social media channels also play a significant role in discovering new products, especially for shoppers in in Hong Kong (45%) and Singapore (30%). In fact, consumers in Hong Kong are just as likely to use social media to discover new products as they are to use a retailer’s website.

Getting the Basics Right Still Matters Across the global span of survey respondents, freedom of choice proved to be a crucial theme when it came to payment options. For Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea, credit cards were the favoured method of payment online, but, in Australia and China, consumers preferred to pay via E-wallet. Limiting options for payment alienates a significant number of would-be consumers. When asked about the most important factors in selecting a payment option, APAC-surveyed consumers cited service fees/ total cost of purchase (32%), value of the purchase (26%), and offer of a purchase protection plan (23%) as the most important considerations when selecting a payment option. Online shipping and returns continue to be a major pain point for consumers, despite merchants’ efforts to improve their shipping and returns processes. For example, 42 percent of consumers say they experienced related challenges when shopping online for the 2015 holiday season. Hong Kong (65%), South Korea (55%), Singapore and China

(both 54%) were among the countries experiencing the greatest headaches with online shopping globally during this time. In fact, even the most basic elements of the customer experience such as shipping the right item; accuracy in address and tracking; a transparent returns policy; and proper duty and tax were all cited as challenges. In addition, when it comes to returning unwanted purchases, over half of consumers (57%) have chosen not to return a package because it was either too inconvenient or that they didn’t understand how to do so. Hong Kong (79%), South Korea (77%) and Singapore (71%) are the least likely to return unwanted purchases for this reason.

Methodology The 2016 Pitney Bowes Global Online Shopping Study was conducted online by ORC International and surveyed approximately 13,000 adults across 13 countries regarding their perceptions, habits and preferences for making online purchases. This year’s survey polled Singapore, Hong Kong and Mexico for the first time, where they joined survey participants from Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The survey was conducted in August 2016.

About Pitney Bowes Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI), is a global technology company powering billions of transactions – physical and digital – in the connected and borderless world of commerce. Clients around the world, including 90 percent of the Fortune 500, rely on products, solutions and services from Pitney Bowes in the areas of customer information management, location intelligence, customer engagement, shipping, mailing, and global ecommerce. And with the innovative Pitney Bowes Commerce Cloud, clients can access the broad range of Pitney Bowes solutions, analytics, and APIs to drive commerce. For additional information visit Pitney Bowes, the Craftsmen of Commerce, at www.pitneybowes.com.

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APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016


India’s Currency Move: Short-Term Pain Versus Long-Term Gain By Kannan Venkataramani, Senior Portfolio Manager Asian Equity at NN Investment Partners. bold economic actions go, few can rival the Indian government’s decision to take the country’s 500- and 1,000-rupee notes out of circulation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the unusual step of personally announcing the move in a televised address to the nation, underscoring its enormity.


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The demonetisation of these notes – which comprise almost 86% of the Indian currency in circulation -- is aimed at eliminating “black money”, or unreported cash that may have been acquired corruptly and is being withheld from the tax authorities. The move will also curb financing of terrorism through the proceeds of counterfeit Indian currency, the government has said. India has been grappling for decades with the country’s shadow wealth, which according to some estimates amounts to more than 20% of its GDP, or the equivalent of US$415 billion. Along with real estate and gold, cash is one of the most common ways to hide money. The 500- and 1,000-rupee notes are preferred by hoarders who want to stash large amounts in small bundles. The government hopes its move will help address the issue. But how will it impact the economy?

Short-term pain

issues and working capital problems. The agricultural economy is largely cash-based and will be negatively impacted, especially given that this move comes ahead of the winter crop sowing season. We have seen sharp downgrades in near-term GDP growth estimates since this move. The economy will suffer for the next few months, no doubt, but that is a small price to pay for the huge benefits that can flow from this move.

Long term-gain We believe that in the long run, the move will have a positive impact on the government’s finances and help boost economic growth. In the first place, it sends a strong message that this government is tackling corruption and tax evasion, and that anyone who continues with such practices will face substantially higher risks and costs. Secondly, it will accelerate financial inclusion for the people who need it most. The government has worked hard in the last two years to stimulate lower-income households to open savings accounts. If the currency action results in just a portion of these accounts being actively used, it will improve returns on savings and reduce costs for these households.

The move will have a short-term negative impact. The demonetised notes can be exchanged at banks, but the government has imposed daily and weekly limits. Also, with banks requiring a photo identity proof before changing money, individuals who never declared the money in the first place may find it tough to prove why they need to change larger sums. That means a portion of the population might see part of their unaccounted wealth evaporate overnight, creating a negative wealth effect.

Thirdly, the increase in the share of non-cash transactions in a big-data world will make it increasingly difficult to under-declare income. Coupled with the proposed nationwide goods and services tax (GST), this can widen the tax net substantially. Improved tax compliance will increase government revenues, giving policymakers a much-needed shot in the arm for improvements to the nation’s infrastructure. This will create jobs, address a key impediment to economic productivity and further improve foreign direct investment.

Undeclared cash is often used to fund real-estate transactions and purchases of gold, jewellery and other big-ticket luxury items in India. These sectors will be hit the most. Share prices of all major real estate developers in India slumped after the 8th November announcement.

India’s current government has been reform-minded from the start. Direct transfers of subsidies to bank accounts has stemmed leakage to corrupt middlemen, while the planned GST implementation will substantially improve the ease of doing business, bring huge productivity gains, and boost tax revenues. The government is now taking these reforms forward with a bold statement against corruption.

Productivity across the economy may also suffer in the near future. With cash transactions becoming much harder, businesses will feel the impact of collection



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APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016


Outshining China

By Joep Huntjens, Lead Portfolio Manager, Asian Debt Hard Currency & EM corporate Debt at NN Investment Partners

hina’s economy has been eerily steady this year. GDP grew by 6.7% in the third quarter, the exact same figure for the previous three months and for the quarter before that. The manufacturing PMI, a key influence on investor sentiment, expanded for most of this year, compared to a contraction in the second half of 2015. This consistency has lulled investors and helped propel Asian US dollar bond markets to an 8.2% gain in the year to October 2016.


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The trouble is that China has continued to rely on government stimulus – and creating more debt – to meet its economic growth targets. Since the global financial crisis, total debt has quadrupled to 250% of GDP. Credit to the corporate sector is the main driver of China’s rising debt and this level is well above the level of its emerging market peers (and exceeding even developed economies). China’s focus on economic stability means that crucial market reforms have inevitably stalled. This is most notable in the state-owned enterprise (SOE) sector, which has been the linchpin of government industrial policy used to reach development goals. Faced with less market competition and overcapacity problems, the return on assets for SOEs in 2015 was estimated to be a paltry 2.8%, versus 10.5% for private sector firms. So far, Beijing’s main strategy for tackling its inefficient firms is to combine big companies into even larger ones, with some US$1 trillion of mergers announced since late 2014. But this is unlikely to solve the root cause of overcapacity and inefficient allocation. A mass layoff is unlikely to happen, given China’s fear that it could lead to social unrest, but surely the best long-term solution seems to move workers from lossmaking state firms to the country’s rapidly expanding consumer and services sectors. Accepting a lower GDP number (such as 5%)

is infinitely better than pursuing low-quality and unsustainable growth propped up by credit creation. While China tinkers with reforms, its Asian neighbours India and Indonesia have pushed through far-reaching improvements this year. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi worked with opposition politicians to introduce a new bankruptcy law, while the long-awaited Goods and Services tax, aimed at replacing a plethora of indirect taxes into a single tax, was passed. Like Modi, Indonesian President Jokowi had to overcome political roadblocks in his first two years at the helm, which he achieved by reshuffling the cabinet and appointing technocrats to key positions. These moves have paid off: since July this year, the government has added more than US$7 billion to state coffers with the implementation of the world’s most successful tax amnesty programme. Granted, India and Indonesia face different problems than China. Some critics might say that plugging infrastructure gaps and improving bureaucratic processes are relatively straightforward tasks. But unlike China, India and Indonesia have less control over investment activity due to the much less prominent role of state-owned-enterprises. They will have to increase fiscal revenues and allocate a larger share of those revenues fund infrastructure spending. Additionally, they will have to persuade private money to invest in their countries. Consequently, both India and Indonesia have managed to achieve high levels of growth on the back of robust private consumption instead of government spending and rising debt levels. India grew by 7.9% in the first quarter and 7.1% in the second, while Indonesia has averaged about 5% growth this year. And with the implementation of these reforms, their GDP numbers are likely to improve and, most importantly, result in high-quality and sustainable growth.



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APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016


Appointment Group Grows Australian Presence with Axis Acquisition

Acquisition comes three years after the events & travel management company opens Asia Pacific office.

he Appointment Group will see headcount in Australia expand by more than one-third with the acquisition of Sydney-based Axis Events.

Asia Pacific as a real opportunity for expansion. The Appointment Group ethos is very much about service delivery - we’re very quality driven - and we’re looking forward to bringing that to the market place in that region.”

The events and corporate travel management company, with headquarters in London, says the integration with Axis reflects its growth ambitions in the region.

Heading up the Appointment Group Asia Pacific will be managing director Shane Barr, who brings over 20 years’ industry experience across three continents. Laura Tucker will lead and manage the events division as general manager, global events for Asia Pacific.


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The acquisition comes three years after The Appointment Group opened in the Asia Pacific region, and will take staff numbers from its current 52 employees, including five in the events team, to well over 70. Altogether The Appointment Group employs 293 people across the UK, US, Singapore and Australia. Sam Robson, group events director, global events UK for The Appointment Group, said: “We see

Founder of Axis Events Paul Christie said: “ I couldn’t have imagined a stronger strategic partnership and future for Axis Events. Our existing clients are in the best hands possible and will benefit from the wealth of contacts and expertise The Appointment Group offer, not to mention access to their phenomenal global network which will benefit clients greatly.”



Boyden Announces Merger with Key Australian Talent Advisory and Leadership Solutions Firm

Signium Australia partners join Boyden, further boosting the firm’s growth across the Asia Pacific region.

oyden, a premier global talent advisory and leadership solutions firm, has announced that Signium Australia, formerly known as Crown & Marks, has joined Boyden to establish a major presence in the Australia and New Zealand region. This partnership further strengthens Boyden’s visibility in the Asia Pacific region, while enabling the new team in Australia to access a strong and unified global platform to serve the needs of regional and global clients.


Clients are demanding greater support and expertise in accessing leadership talent to meet their requirements, without consideration of geographic borders, and beyond traditional sectors. Boyden Australia’s new team, led by Managing Partners Allan Marks and Alun Parry, is focused on delivering the highest quality services and solutions to meet the continually expanding objectives of clients regionally and globally.

The Boyden Australia team consists of 15 professionals including two Managing Partners, two Partners, one Principal and an excellent Associate and Administrative team. The depth of this team increases the firm’s strengths in key global practices and functional sectors including Industrial, Education, Consumer, Professional Services, Technology, Financial Services and Board of Directors. “Our team, led by Allan and Alun, brings extensive expertise and significant regional and global knowledge, which accelerates the expansion of Boyden’s capabilities in Australia and across Asia Pacific,” said Trina Gordon, President and CEO of Boyden based in New York. “This expansion is aligned with our ongoing growth strategy that includes Australia as a major global talent and leadership centre, which will strengthen our service offerings to clients around the world.”

“Increasingly our clients are looking for support in finding and developing talent in multiple locations, both regionally and globally. This merger of likeminded firms ensures we will provide this support while building even stronger and deeper client relationships on a long-term basis,” said Allan Marks.

Our key areas of focus and expertise in this market fit very well into Boyden’s global platform and client focus moving forward

“Our key areas of focus and expertise in this market fit very well into Boyden’s global platform and client focus moving forward,”

About Boyden

Alun Parry added, “Joining Boyden means we will have access to a firm focused on the highest quality of client delivery and strategic growth for the longterm. This partnership greatly expands Boyden’s and our capabilities across Asia Pacific and globally. We are all very excited to be a part of Boyden’s aggressive growth objectives.”

Boyden is a premier leadership and talent advisory firm with more than 65 offices in over 40 countries. Our global reach enables us to serve client needs anywhere they conduct business. We connect great companies with great leaders through executive search, interim management and leadership consulting solutions. For further information, visit www.boyden.com.

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APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016


JCB International and CIMB Bank Singapore with Wirecard Seal Merchant Acquisition Partnership

Through the partnership, JCB card acceptance facilities will be available at CIMB merchants.

CB International Co., Ltd. (“JCBI”), the international operations subsidiary of JCB Co., Ltd., CIMB Bank Singapore (“CIMB”), and Wirecard AG (“Wirecard”) are pleased to announce their signing of a License Agreement to begin JCB merchant acquiring services in Singapore.


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With its ASEAN footprint firmly in place, CIMB is a befitting partner with JCBI on both the local and regional front. Having established similar collaborations in Malaysia and Indonesia, this new License Agreement extends the collaboration into other parts of Southeast Asia and enhances cooperation in the region. Tourism is a key contributor to the Singapore economy and the country is a popular destination for regional JCB card members. This new merchant acquisition partnership with CIMB will bolster the JCB card acceptance network in the market and promote new merchants to JCBI’s rapidly expanding card member base from Asia during their stay in Singapore. Vincent Ling, Managing Director of JCB International Asia Pacific Pte Ltd., commented, “As Singapore continues to be a key tourist destination for Asians including Japanese, Korean, and Chinese, a stronger JCB card acceptance will bring about enhanced convenience to JCB card members. JCBI is pleased to collaborate with CIMB Bank Singapore and we look forward to working closely together to serve our card members, merchants and business partners better.” Mak Lye Mun, CEO of CIMB Bank Singapore and Country Head of CIMB Group Singapore said, “As a leading bank in ASEAN, CIMB

Bank is proud to expand our payment acceptance offering with JCBI in Singapore. This partnership unlocks opportunities for our merchant acquiring business and I’m confident it will benefit both merchants and JCB card members through greater card acceptance and increased payment options.” CIMB Bank Singapore’s one-stop merchant solution is in partnership with Wirecard, a global leader in electronic payment and POS technology and infrastructure. Wirecard has been providing an integrated payment platform that supports eCommerce, Commerce, mobile and traditional Point-of-Sale, to facilitate merchants’ real-time tracking of transactions across multiple sales channels as part of the partnership. Mr Jeffry Ho, Managing Director of Wirecard Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Australia A&I added, “We are delighted with another milestone of our partnership with CIMB Bank. We believe that the CIMB-JCB initiative will certainly provide a better payment experience for both merchants and JCB card members in Singapore.”

About JCB JCB is a major global payment brand and a leading payment card issuer and acquirer in Japan. JCB launched its card business in Japan in 1961 and began expanding worldwide in 1981. Its acceptance network includes about 31 million merchants and over a million cash advance locations in 190 countries and territories. JCB cards are now issued in 21 countries and territories, with more than 95 million card members. As part of its international growth strategy, JCB has formed alliances with hundreds of leading banks and financial institutions globally to


Deals increase merchant coverage and cardmember base. As a comprehensive payment solution provider, JCB commits to provide responsive and high-quality service and products to all customers worldwide.

About CIMB Bank Singapore

branches as at 31 March 2016. CIMB Group’s investment banking arm is also one of the largest Asia Pacific-based investment banks, offering amongst the most comprehensive research coverage of more than 1,000 stocks in the region.

CIMB Bank Singapore was officially established on 29 September 2009 as part of CIMB Group’s longstanding commitment to Singapore - the Group has had a local presence since 1947 through Ban Hin Lee Bank and acquired GK Goh Securities in 2005. CIMB Bank Singapore represents the consumer banking arm of CIMB Group, a leading ASEAN universal bank. Strategically located in the financial centre of ASEAN and operating on a full banking license, CIMB Bank Singapore offers individuals, businesses and corporate clients a comprehensive suite of financial solutions.

CIMB Group operates its business through three main brand entities, CIMB Bank, CIMB Investment Bank and CIMB Islamic. CIMB Group is also the 97.9% shareholder of Bank CIMB Niaga in Indonesia, and 93.7% shareholder of CIMB Thai in Thailand.

CIMB Group is Malaysia’s second largest financial services provider and one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. It offers consumer banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, asset management and insurance products and services. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in nine out of 10 ASEAN nations (Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Brunei, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos). Beyond ASEAN, the Group has market presence in China, Hong Kong, Bahrain, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Korea, the US and UK.

Wirecard AG is a global technology group that supports companies in accepting electronic payments from all sales channels. As a leading independent supplier, the Wirecard Group offers outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payments. A global platform bundles international payment acceptances and methods with supplementary fraud prevention solutions. With regard to issuing own payment instruments in the form of cards or mobile payment solutions, the Wirecard Group provides companies with an end-to-end infrastructure, including the requisite licences for card and account products. Wirecard AG is listed on the Frankfurt Securities Exchange (TecDAX, ISIN DE0007472060, WDI).

CIMB Group has the most extensive retail branch network in ASEAN of more than 1,000

CIMB Group is listed on Bursa Malaysia via CIMB Group Holdings Berhad. It had a market capitalisation of approximately RM38.1 billion as at 30 June 2016. The Group has 40,000 employees located in 17 countries.

About Wirecard

charnsitr Shutterstock.com

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APAC Insider Magazine / December 2016


Omixon and TBG Form Partnership for Asia Pacific Omixon announce an Exclusive Distribution and Support Partnership for the Asia Pacific region, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia. lobal molecular diagnostics company Omixon, headquartered in Budapest with US offices in Cambridge, MA, and TBG Biotechnology Corp. (TBG) headquartered in Taiwan announce an Exclusive Distribution and Support Partnership for the Asia Pacific region, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia. TBG will be the exclusive distributor of Omixon’s world leading Holotype HLA product for HLA typing by NGS.


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“With a common goal of driving adoption of NGS for HLA typing in the Asia Pacific markets, TBG and their extended network of distributors is the ideal partner for the Asia Pacific region to distribute Holotype HLA,” says Dr. Peter Meintjes, Chief Commercial Officer at Omixon. Additionally, “TBG’s automated liquid handling instrument, the DX-A provides a high quality, low cost solution perfectly tailored to the market dynamics of the region.” TBG’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Willy Hsu notes that “Omixon’s Holotype HLA has emerged as the dominant global player in HLA typing by NGS, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to bring this exciting technology to our existing customers”. TBG and Omixon have successfully optimized Holotype HLA on TBG’s DX-A Automation System and are currently completing a multi-site customer validation program to ensure reproducibility and repeatability of the liquid handling automation. With the addition of TBG, Omixon’s distributor network covers 15 countries/territories outside of the markets in which they sell Holotype HLA directly. Nora Nagy, Market Development Manager at Omixon notes that “Our distributors have played and continue to play an important part in Omixon’s ability to spread Holotype HLA to every corner of the globe. We are delighted to be working with such a highly skilled and motivated sales and technical support partner as TBG.”

TBG is an international molecular diagnostic solutions provider and has developed a dominant presence in nearly all Asia-Pacific countries within the verticals in which they provide products. “Having established our presence in most major markets in the Asia Pacific Region, our priority is the ongoing expansion of our product portfolio in diagnostics, specifically intending to acquire technologies that can disrupt on price and quality,” notes Willy Hsu. To join the TBG Partner Network or the Omixon Distributor Network, please see the relevant contacts from this PR.

About Omixon Omixon is a global molecular diagnostics company, headquartered in Budapest, Hungary, with US offices in Cambridge, MA that commercializes disruptive technologies for clinical and research laboratories. Omixon’s flagship product, Holotype HLA™, is the world’s leading NGS-based HLA genotyping product that delivers the most accurate high-resolution HLA genotyping available, and is used in more than 20 hospitals worldwide. Omixon’s research software, HLA Explore™ analyzes data from any sequencing technology and determines HLA genotypes from Whole Exome/Genome Sequencing experiments. Omixon maintains an active grant-funded research program with a product pipeline focused on pre- and posttransplantation, and HLA genotyping applications beyond transplantation. For more information, visit http://www.omixon.com

About TBG Diagnostics TBG Diagnostics is a global molecular diagnostic (MDx) company operating in the IVD (in vitro diagnostics) industry. TBG is focused on the development, manufacture and marketing of molecular diagnostic kits, instruments and services.


Deals TBG Diagnostics is an established brand with a strong presence in the Asian market. From its plant in Xiamen, China it develops and manufactures: • Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) products • HLA typing reagents based on NAT technologies • Automation systems for NAT operations • IVD-related NAT kits and services Products distributed to more than 22 countries. Major hospital and laboratory clients in USA, Taiwan, Germany, Portugal, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. Operating in the rapidly growing IVD

market - US$53 billion in 2013 and expected to reach US$74.7 billion by 2020 (This is huge to say we operate in the IVD market. More realistically, we operate in the MDx market which is growing from 10% ($6Bn USD) to 25.2% ($25Bn USD) of total IVD market share by 2024.) Targeting further growth in China - fastest growing MDx market at CAGR of 27.9%. Extensive research and development pipeline targeting products for oncology, infectious diseases, transplants, transfusions, pharmacogenetics, autoimmune diseases and genetic diseases.

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A nsiderac Readership

China 29,827

Japan 23,861

South Korea 3,692

Pakistan 4,353

Taiwan 4,031 Philippines 2,580 Singapore 10,480 Thailand 2,580 Malaysia 11,125

India 23,378

Sri Lanka 1,499

Indonesia 4,676

Australia 36,276 Other 1,740

New Zealand 1,129

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