PwC veterans among speakers for 12th Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong

14 January 2019 3 min. read

The Asian Financial Forum has kicked off for another year, with a team of senior PwC experts among a range of headline speakers.

Now in its 12th edition, the Asian Financial Forum (AFF) brings together leaders of the global financial and business community for discussions on market developments in Asia, with over 3,000 mostly CEOs and senior leaders from 46 countries and regions attending last year. Held over two days till the 15th, this year’s event in Hong Kong will feature up to 130 guest speakers, including a contingent of PwC veterans.

With this year’s theme ‘Creating a Sustainable and Inclusive Future’, the first day of proceedings kicked off with a number of honorary international guests, including the finance ministers of Malaysia, Luxembourg and Ireland. Among those appearing on Day One was locally-born PwC Asia Pacific and Greater China Chairman Raymund Chao, a thirty-year industry veteran who took on the regional chair role in 2017.

Day two of the event will see an additional trio of PwC leaders take the stage, as well as featuring a keynote luncheon sponsored by PwC and moderated by Chao. The keynote address will be delivered by April Rinne, an international thought-leader, speaker and consultant who will discuss current and future developments in the global and Asian sharing economy, and the potential ramifications for the financial services sector.PwC veterans among speakers for 12th Asian Finance Forum in Hong KongFollowing the keynote luncheon, PwC will host a panel discussion on the current state of blockchain, moderated by Duncan Fitzgerald, PwC Financial Services Risk & Regulatory Services practice leader for Hong Kong and Guangdong, and featuring the firm’s China and Hong Kong Financial Services Leader Matthew Phillips alongside expert panelists from blockchain industry associations and enterprise.

An enthusiastic supporter of blockchain – and putting its money where its mouth is with the purchase of a stake in blockchain specialist VeChain last year – the PwC-led panel discussion will examine the experience of companies well-versed with blockchain in different industries, while exploring the business case for blockchain investment as well as the regulatory climate, rules of engagement, and approach to partnerships.

Later in the programme for Day Two, PwC’s Hong Kong Asset and Wealth Management Leader Marie-Anne Kong will also feature in a panel discussion, on how technology is set to transform the global assets management sector – which, according to the forum’s briefing notes, is on the verge of a ‘once-in-a-generation shift in competitive dynamics’ due to the converging trends of digital, reduced returns on investment, increased regulation and demand for alternative assets, and an upsurge in active management.

Incredibly, the quartet of PwC senior representatives has close to 100 years of combined experience at the Big Four firm alone, with Kong and Chao joining PwC in Hong Kong in circa. 1991-92 and Fitzgerald and Phillips joining the firm locally in 1996-1997, Fitzgerald after putting in eight years at Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, and Phillips as one of the founding members of the firm’s deals team. PwC is also serving as the Knowledge Partner for this year’s event.