Adam Schwarz is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Asia Group Advisors, where he counsels senior executives on business opportunities in key Southeast Asian markets and how to effectively manage political, economic, and security risks. Based in Southeast Asia since 1987, Mr. Schwarz has a deep set of relationships with business, political and civil-society leaders across the region and is considered a leading global authority on Indonesia.
From 2001 to 2013, Mr. Schwarz worked for McKinsey & Company in Southeast Asia where he served private and public sector clients in the energy, telecom, agribusiness. and financial sectors. He advised clients on issues ranging from corporate strategy, organizational change, board governance, strategic communications, and regional economic integration. He was one of the global leaders of McKinsey’s Sustainability and Resource Productivity practice, where he supported clients on issues related to green business opportunities, renewable energy, sustainability standards, and climate change policy.
Prior to joining McKinsey, Mr. Schwarz worked as correspondent and bureau chief in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Vietnam for the Far Eastern Economic Review. He is considered a leading authority on the political dynamics in Southeast Asia, and is author of A Nation in Waiting, a highly acclaimed work on contemporary Indonesian history. Valued for his regional expertise and experience, Schwarz is a frequent guest speaker and commentator on regional issues.
Mr. Schwarz has served as advisor to the U.S. State Department, Defense Department, the World Bank, and the Comprehensive Partnership between Indonesia and the United States. He is a member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations and the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors for both the Jakarta-based Centre for Public Policy Transformation and the Washington, DC-based U.S.-Indonesia Society (USINDO). He is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore, where he lectures on political, economic and security issues across Southeast Asia.
He was awarded a Luce Scholar fellowship from the Henry Luce Foundation, and was the 1997-98 recipient of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations. Schwarz graduated from Duke University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and holds an MBA degree in International Business from Columbia University where he was awarded a University Fellowship for Professional Achievement.
Director & Singapore Country Representative
Romain Caillaud is a director at Asia Group Advisors. Based in Singapore, he provides strategic advice to clients and oversees Asia Group Advisors’ project execution teams across the region. Romain brings in more than a decade of experience in extractive industries, telecoms and technology, financial services, and the food & beverage industry.
Prior to joining Asia Group Advisors, Romain was a Senior Director at FTI Consulting in Singapore. He provided financial institutions, multinational corporations and law firms with intelligence and advice to understand, assess and mitigate reputational, regulatory and political risks affecting their operations in Southeast Asia and the wider Asia Pacific region.
Romain is considered a leading expert on the politics and economics of Myanmar, is frequently quoted in international publications and news channels on Asian politics. Romain has lived in Asia for ten years, including seven in Myanmar, during which he established the Yangon office of Vriens & Partners – a government relations advisory firm – and served as President of the French-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce.
Romain holds a Masters degree in International Affairs from Sciences Po Paris. He was an exchange student to the University of Pennsylvania in the United States and to Waseda University in Japan. Romain is fluent in English and his native French, and conversant in Burmese.
Dang Thanh Van
Van comes with fifteen years of experience in public policy, strategic planning, and governance reform in Vietnam. She was most recently the most senior political officer at the British Embassy in Vietnam, leading bilateral engagement with the National Assembly, the Communist Party of Vietnam, and various ministries. Van was also a key member of the UK Project Committee, providing assessment and appraisal of project bids, and acting as Project Manager on improving accountability and transparency. Formerly, Van was Government Relations lead for the Australian Embassy in Hanoi, where she engaged various ministries and provided technical advice to advocate for Australia’s programs on education and institutional reforms.
Van has also worked for the World Bank and Asian Development Bank Vietnam on education. She also spent some time with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hanoi as a Legal Assistant, providing legal advocacy on high-profile project bids.
Van has a Master of Law in Laws and Economics (LLM) from Utrecht University and a Bachelor degree in International Relations from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.
Annisa Natalegawa is a Director at Asia Group Advisors, where she directly supports clients in advancing their business presence in Southeast Asia. Ms. Natalegawa’s core portfolio includes driving client support in the energy, ICT and e-commerce, logistics, and agriculture sectors in Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar. While at Asia Group Advisors, Ms. Natalegawa has spearheaded a number of efforts, including developing a comprehensive report and engagement strategy for promoting Indonesian sustainable palm oil; developing stakeholder mappings of numerous ministries and agencies in the Indonesian government; facilitating client engagement with the political elite and other key influencers; and authoring updates and analyses on emerging political and regulatory issues across the region.
Prior to joining Asia Group Advisors, Ms. Natalegawa served in the Political Cooperation Division of the ASEAN Secretariat, working on a number of key political issues with the aim of strengthening democracy, enhancing good governance and the rule of law, and promoting and protecting human rights in the region. While at the ASEAN Secretariat, she regularly served as a resource person and rapporteur during working group, senior official and ministerial level meetings between ASEAN Member States. Ms. Natalegawa has also worked as an Assistant Program Administrator at the Australian National University, and has interned at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canberra as well as the Women’s Refugee Commission in New York.
Ms. Natalegawa holds a Master of International Law from the Australian National University and a B.A. in Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of London.
Matana Nagavajara is a Director at Asia Group Advisors, leading client support in Thailand and the wider Southeast Asia. Ms. Nagavajara has an extensive experience working in the area of public relations and government affairs across various industry, including pharmaceutical, agriculture and financial services. Ms. Nagavajara has gained experience in agencies and in-house, across an extensive range of communications disciplines: corporate communications, government and public affairs, CSR and sustainability, crisis and issues management, internal communications, employee engagement, branding, integrated marketing and advertising.
She built her career in government relations during her time researching at Chulalongkorn Unisearch. During her communications and advertising agency days, Ms.Nagavajara earned the reputation of being able to push forward client’s issues, even when the case seems to be unsolvable.
Ms. Nagavajara was educated in the US and UK with a doctorate degree in Marketing and Communications from the London Business School.
Astrid Kusumawardhani is a Senior Associate at Asia Group Advisors, where she provides strategic and analytical support for clients seeking to strengthen their investments and operations in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Ms. Kusumawardhani develops stakeholder engagement strategies, and risk and regulatory analysis for clients, especially in the ICT, e-commerce, financial services, and sustainability sector.
Prior to joining Asia Group Advisors, Ms. Kusumawardhani has worked as a consultant in the development and private sector. In a Danish-government funded project, Ms. Kusumawardhani worked extensively with the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to reform and execute a number energy efficiency policies. With USAID, she helped assess the effectiveness of a number of fisheries policies reform initiatives, and with the Asian Development Bank, she engaged commercial banks to accelerate clean energy financing. With Unilever, she helped the company assess different strategies to reduce its waste footprint and raise its sustainability profile in Indonesia by engaging multiple government agencies and civil society groups. She has also worked with the UK Green Investment Bank in London and Edinburgh, where her work on Scotland’s community-owned renewables helped shape the bank’s new financing mechanisms for the sector.
Ms. Kusumawardhani holds a Master of Science in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Edinburgh, on a fully-funded Chevening scholarship from the UK Government. She also holds a BSc. in International Relations from the University of Indonesia.
Yang Li is an Associate at Asia Group Advisors, where he provides strategic support for a range of clients across the logistics, transportation, financial services and e-commerce sectors. In this role, Mr. Li develops tailored stakeholder engagement strategies, political risk and regulatory analysis for clients.
Prior to joining Asia Group Advisors, Mr. Li worked as an Associate at Veracity Worldwide Singapore, where he was a due diligence and political risk consultant in the execution team. He advised clients on political and corruption risks and conducted investigative due diligence on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and cross border transactions in South East Asia across multiple sectors, including financial services. Prior to that, he worked as a Research Associate at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (NUS) focusing on leadership value differences between public and private managers. Mr. Li also has experience in entrepreneurship, having launched an F&B business in California, USA.
Mr. Li holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, where he was a Rotary Ambassador Scholar, as well double Bachelor’s degrees in Business Management and Psychology, both from the University of California, Merced.
Peeyapat Rabieb is an Associate in Asia Group Advisor’s Bangkok office where she provides engagement, research, and analytical support for AGA’s operations in Thailand.
Prior to joining Asia Group Advisors, Ms. Rabieb worked at the Bank of Thailand as the Research Assistant to the Chairman. In this role she produced reports, briefing documents, and analysis for the Chairman on issues ranging from nano-financing, revisions to the Bank of Thailand Act, and financial inclusion. She has also worked at the Thailand Secretariat of the Cabinet providing research, analytics, and background information to officials up to the minister level. Her focus at the Secretariat was on banking, macroeconomic policies, and infrastructure development. Ms. Rabieb was the first Google Thailand fellow where she conducted in-depth research on the impact of national internet regulations on businesses in Thailand.
Ms. Rabieb holds a double Masters in Economics and Business from University College London and the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia. Her master’s thesis presents a comparative assessment of state involvement on the performance of national oil companies. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.
Arnachani Riaseta is an Associate in Asia Group Advisors’ Jakarta office, where she advises clients in strategically navigating the political and regulatory complexities of Indonesia, particularlyin the ICT, financial services, and mining sectors. In doing so, she provides clients with comprehensive stakeholder analysis and engagement strategy, as well as in-depth regulatory and political risk analysis. During her time at Asia Group Advisors, she has spearheaded several key third-party engagement initiatives to support clients’ strategic objectives in the country.
Prior to joining Asia Group Advisors, Ms. Riaseta interned at Unilever Indonesia, where she supported the company’s External Affairs team with regulatory analysis and stakeholder mapping.
Ms. Riaseta holds a Master’s degree in Asian Studies from S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, as a Bakrie Center Foundation scholar. She currently serves as the President of RSIS Alumni Association’s Indonesia chapter. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Bilkent University, Turkey, where she concentrated on European Union affairs.
Radityo Utomo is an Associate at Asia Group Advisors, where he help clients to navigate the complex political-economic environment and better align their business goals with the interest of government office holders within the ASEAN region. He has been actively involved in the international development and government relations circuit bringing a decade of experience from both the non-public and private sector.
Prior to joining Asia Group Advisors, Radityo worked for a global public affairs firm, leading key accounts in the field of technology, palm oil, fintech, e-commerce, defense and chemicals. He acted as the regional coordinator at Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), spearheading the organization’s engagement with Southeast Asian countries on large-scale regional economic projects in the infrastructure, agriculture and maritime sector. He has served at the ASEAN Secretariat, facilitating regional cooperation among member states at the highest level of government with a focus on political-security issues. Radityo has also worked for the Partnership for Governance Reform – a UNDP facility focusing on improving good governance in the Indonesian bureaucracy.
He holds a Master of Arts in International Politics from the University of Manchester and Bachelor degrees in Psychology from the University of Indonesia and University of Queensland.
Sonia Syafitri is an Associate at Asia Group Advisors. Combining years of experiences in management, international affairs, and public policy, she supports clients in various advocacy efforts that include policy analysis, market access advisory, and risk mitigation strategies.
Prior to joining Asia Group Advisors, Ms. Syafitri supported General Electric’s government affairs team in Washington, D.C. in their advocacy operations as well as ongoing strategic initiatives. With the United Nations Population Fund, she worked on the agency’s program management efforts in supporting the Indonesian government meeting its national health objectives. She had worked as a strategic communications contractor with Voice of America, and had consulted on behalf of the United Nations Global Compact in assessing sustainable business practices in China, Colombia, Czech Republic, and Kenya. Ms. Syafitri had also interned with the New York City Council on budget and legislative affairs.
Ms. Syafitri holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, on a fully-funded scholarship from the Indonesia Scholarship Endowment Fund. She also holds a BSc. in International Business and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Florida Andriana is an Analyst in Asia Group Advisors’ Jakarta office. She provides research and analytical support for Asia Group Advisors’ operations, focusing on energy and sustainability issues.
Prior to joining AGA, Ms. Andriana worked as an Account Executive for Corporate & Public Affairs in Edelman, Indonesia where she supported clients from various industries, including oil and gas, automotive manufacturing, broadcasting, and finance. Ms. Andriana previously interned in Chevron Pacific, Indonesia. She also worked as the Country Research Assistant for The Hague Center for Strategic Studies, The Netherlands.
Ms. Andriana attained a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Indonesia. During her studies she was involved in Model United Nations, competitive debating, and the International Relations Students Association.
Patrick Simorangkir is an Analyst in Asia Group Advisor’s Jakarta Office. He provides research and analytical support for Asia Group Advisors’ operations, focusing on clients in the energy sector and business associations.
Prior to joining Asia Group Advisors, Mr. Simorangkir worked as a Project Executive at GroupW, the strategic communications arm of Prisma Public Relations, Indonesia, where he supported clients from the energy and lighting industries. He also worked as Assistant to the Expert Advisor on International Relations in the Indonesian House of Regional Representatives (DPD RI), where he assisted with research, writing, editing, and translating for the DPD Speaker and other key executives. Before that, Mr. Simorangkir interned in the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he conducted research supporting the Ministry’s Policy Analysis and Development Agency’s (BPPK) Europe II Sub-Division.
Mr. Simorangkir holds a Masters of Political Science from the University of Delhi, India, where he was an awardee of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) full-tuition scholarship. He also holds a Bachelor of Social Science in International Relations from Pelita Harapan University.
Marshiella Pandji is an Analyst in Asia Group Advisor’s Jakarta Office. She provides research and analytical support for Asia Group Advisors’ operations.
Prior to joining Asia Group Advisors, Ms. Pandji worked in a number of government agencies and international organizations. She was a student intern at Bank Indonesia Representative Office in London, where she produced analytical reports on macroeconomic issues and policy benchmarking related to central bank operations. She also interned with the Indonesia Investment Promotion Centre (IIPC/BKPM) and UK-ASEAN Business Council, where she assisted in promoting investment and business activities between the UK and Indonesia as well as the ASEAN region. Prior to that, she worked in the United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC) Secretariat, where she conducted desktop research and formulated policy recommendations on women’s political participation in Asia-Pacific and the role of local governments in the ASEAN Community. She had previously interned at the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, DC and at Kiroyan Partners in Jakarta, and served as an economic research assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Ms. Pandji holds an MPA in Public and Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.S. in Political Science, Economics, and International Studies with a Certificate in German from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, both on full scholarship from Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture.
Kritamait Vithayaruksun is an Analyst in Asia Group Advisor’s Bangkok office, where he supports clients in advancing their business presence in Thailand by providing engagement, research, and analytical support.
Prior to joining Asia Group Advisors, Mr. Kritamait worked as an election campaign consultant, developing and executing campaign strategy for a Thailand Senator from Bangkok. In this capacity, he focused on communications strategy and engagement with a range of stakeholders. Mr. Kritamait also worked as an advisor at the Permanent Observer Mission of the Order of Malta to the United Nations, where he engaged with several UN bodies, including the General Assembly, the Security Council and the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
Mr. Kritamait holds a Master of Arts in Political Science from College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Long Island University in New York. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Mahidol University International College in Nakhon Prathom, Thailand.
Le Hong Diem
Le Hong Diem is an Analyst at AGA Vietnam. She has an extensive experience working with all levels of the Vietnamese government. Most recently, Diem was a Program Officer for the USAID-funded project ‘Governance for Inclusive Growth’, where she provided technical advice to government counterparts on policy reform, including on the implementation of Vietnam’s financial services commitment under the TPP and integration of public investment into the socio-economic development plan. Diem had worked for lawmakers at the National Assembly of Vietnam, executing projects funded by international donors to strengthen budgetary decision capacities and oversight of the People’s Elected Bodies in Vietnam. Diem also spent time as a Program Assistant for the Clinton Foundation’s Health Access Initiation project, assisting the Vietnam Authority of HIV/AIDS Control reach its national treatment targets.
Diem has a Masters in Strategic Management and Planning from University College Dublin, and a Bachelor of Arts in Finance and Banking from Hanoi University. She was awarded honorary fellowships by the Irish Government and the US Department of State, and has received grants from Harvard University, University College Dublin, and Kyushu University.
Nesha Armo is an Analyst at Asia Group Advisors’ Kuala Lumpur office where she provides engagement, research, and analytical support for AGA’s operations in Malaysia.
Prior to joining Asia Group Advisors, Ms. Armo worked at Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia) as a financial services liberalization strategist. She has been actively involved in developing various platforms aimed at financial services liberalization of ASEAN member states, such as the ASEAN Banking Integration Framework and the ASEAN Insurance Forum. She also has worked closely with organizations such as the World Trade Organization and World Bank in developing reports on Malaysia’s financial services landscape. She has also worked with the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), a Malaysia-based think-tank, where she conducted extensive research on social enterprises in the country.
Ms. Armo holds a Bachelor in Economics and Politics from the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. She was a recipient of the Central Bank of Malaysia’s scholarship. Ms. Armo is fluent in seven languages: English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tamil, Hindi, and Malayalam.
Nguyen Vu Anh Ngoc
Nguyen Vu Anh Ngoc is an Analyst at Asia Group Advisors’ (AGA) Hanoi office. Ngoc provides research, analytical, and stakeholder engagement support for AGA’s Hanoi office.
Prior to joining AGA, Ngoc spent some time working in the market research industry mainly in client service roles. Her most recent post was at Nielsen Vietnam, where she was in charge of an account on education. She previously interned with Vriens & Partners office in Hanoi, providing ad-hoc and project-based research on accounts in the transportation industry. Ngoc has knowledge of both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.
Ngoc graduated from the London School of Economics (LSE) with a BSc in International Relations and an MSc in Media and Communications, where her thesis on Vietnamese state media discourse was published by the LSE Media and Communications Department. She also spent one year at Fudan University in Shanghai, where she mastered her Mandarin Chinese language skills.
Nur Asfhalela is a Finance and Administration Manager at Asia Group Advisors, where she leads Asia Group Advisors’ accounting and financial management, as well as administration. With over fifteen years of experience, Ms. Asfhalela brings good practice of financial accountabilityand administrative compliance to the company.
Prior to joining Asia Group Advisors, Ms. Asfhalela served as the Director of Finance and Administration at a Singapore-based public relations establishment, where she provided leadership and direction in financial issues in both Singapore and Hong Kong offices. Before that, she served as a Finance Manager at a market research company under WPP Group, where she represented the Head of Finance for the Singapore office, supervised the finance team, and provided support to Global Finance. Ms. Asfhalela also possesses extensive experience across various industries ranging from automobile, aviation, information technology and associations.
Ms. Asfhalela holds a Bachelor of Accountancy from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She obtained Chartered Accountant certification from the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants.
Special Assistant to CEO in Jakarta
Candini Candanila is working as Special Assistant to CEO in Jakarta office. Prior to joining AGA, Candini worked for the Center for International Relations Studies (CIReS), University of Indonesia, as a research assistant for a number of research projects on election, electoral fraud, and black campaign, as well as political and security dynamics of Asia Pacific. While conducting her master’s program, she interned at the Institute of International Relations (IIR) Prague, Czech Republic, where she worked closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic on the projects related to Czech foreign policy, European Union integration, EU-Russia relations, and Visegrad countries.
Candini holds a Master of International Affairs in International Energy from Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po Paris), with concentrations on Middle Eastern Studies and Intelligence Studies, and a bachelor degree in International Relations from University of Indonesia.
Erry Riyana Hardjapamekas
Erry Riyana Hardjapamekas is Chairman of Tridaya Advisory, a consultancy group established in 2008, which focuses on corporate governance, crisis management, public policy formation, institutional transformation, and dispute resolution. He was formerly Vice Chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi / KPK) of the Republic of Indonesia (2003- 2007), Commissioner of the Jakarta Stock Exchange (1998-2001), and President Director of PT Timah (1991-1994).
Mr. Hardjapamekas served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of PT Bank Negara Indonesia, Chairman of the National Team of Military Business Transfer, and chairman of the Advisory Board of University of Indonesia’s Center for the Study of Governance. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics/Accounting from Padjadjaran University, Bandung and completed the Financial Management Course at Harvard Business School
Ari Soemarno is currently an independent oil and gas business consultant and President Director of PT YRRU Tunggal, a property and hospitality company. In addition, he has served as Chairman of the German-Indonesian Chamber of Industry since 2009.
Mr. Soemarno previously worked at PT Pertamina, the national oil and gas company of Indonesia, as President and CEO from March 2006 until February 2009 and as Corporate Senior Vice President and Director for Marketing and Trading from 2004 until 2006. Mr. Soemarno joined PT Pertamina in 1978 as a process engineer and went on to hold various senior management positions in engineering, plant operation, project management, and marketing/trading of gas, LNG, crude oil, fuels, and petrochemicals.
Kevin Murphy has spent the past 13 years in private investment, sourcing and funding opportunities across Asia with particular emphasis on Myanmar. Based in Yangon since 2002, Mr. Murphy is the Managing Director of Andaman Capital Partners. With Mr. Murphy’s expertise, Asia Group Advisors is able to assist clients seeking expansion capital, analysis, strategic partnerships and deal execution to protect and expand their enterprises in Myanmar.
Prior to founding Andaman Capital Partners in 2012, Mr. Murphy was a director of investment manager, The Pacific Group Ltd, headquartered in Hong Kong. Mr. Murphy is also a director of Proximity Designs, a social enterprise dedicated to improving livelihoods for Myanmar’s impoverished rural sector; an advisory board member of the Cetena Educational Foundation, focused on improving access to advanced education; a co-founder of Post Media Ltd, publisher of the Phnom Penh Post; and a co-founder of Synergenz Bioscience Ltd.
Prior to his career in private investment, Mr. Murphy was a successful journalist and media executive. He held senior positions at the International Herald Tribune, the South China Morning Post and The Bulletin. He is a graduate of Georgetown University where he was also named a Baker Scholar. Mr. Murphy’s skills and decades of experience enhance Asia Group Advisors’ ability to provide clients with real-time intelligence and investment advisory on the Myanmar market.
Virginia B. Foote
With over twenty years of experience in providing strategic support and critical knowledge for corporations and organizations, Virginia B. Foote assists Asia Group Advisors enhance our client services in the Asia-Pacific region.
Based in Hanoi, Virginia B. Foote helps companies enter the Vietnam and ASEAN markets. Ms. Foote founded Bay Global Strategies, a consulting firm based in Hanoi and DC where she is currently President and CEO. BGS’s partnership in Vietnam with Indochina Capital provides clients with a large team of experts covering the full range of area expertise and business experience. Ms. Foote is a renowned expert on Vietnamese politics, economics and the business environment. Ms. Foote previously served as Executive Vice President of the US-ASEAN Business Council. She currently serves as a Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce – Hanoi and President of the US-Vietnam Trade Council, which she founded in 1989. She received the President’s Medal of Friendship for her career achievements in 2007.
Ms. Foote and Bay Global Strategies assists Asia Group Advisors with building strategic relationships with key stakeholders and government officials and offering advisory services of on the ground developments in Vietnam and beyond.
Rodel A. Cruz
As a Senior Advisor, Rodel A. Cruz supports Asia Group Advisors and its clients with regulatory advocacy, legal consulting, and crucial understanding of corporate and government relations in the Philippines. Mr. Cruz is a lawyer by training, having graduated from the University of the Philippines School of Law. He was admitted to the New York Bar Examiner in 1991. His law partnership, Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia, has over 33 years of accomplishments, especially with concerns to governance, intellectual property, extractive industries, taxation, labor, telecommunications and ICT. Mr. Cruz’s knowledge translates into actionable intelligence of the Philippine’s regulatory and political environment, giving Asia Group Advisors’ clients unparalleled ability to navigate the Asia-Pacific.
Mr. Cruz is a Senior Partner at Cruz Marcelo & Tenefrancia Law Firm where he heads its Litigation & Dispute Resolution Department. He currently represents a variety of clients in commercial & corporate litigation, insolvency and corporate rehabilitation proceedings, regulatory enforcement cases, and election cases. He was recently cited for successfully arguing a constitutional challenge before the Supreme Court against the Anti-Cybercrime Act.
Before returning to private practice of law in 2007, Mr. Cruz served as Undersecretary of the Department of National Defense for the Philippines and successfully negotiated bilateral and multilateral treaties and executive agreements in addition to doing ground-breaking work in strategic communication, maritime security and security sector reform. Previously, he gained extensive experience in administrative law, government contracts and public policy & reform while serving as Undersecretary in the Office of the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, where he rendered legal advice on policy issues, drafted key presidential issuances, coordinated public policy litigation and international treaty arbitration, and vetted appointments to the Judiciary.
Mr. Cruz’s knowledge and experience provides Asia Group Advisors and its clients with invaluable intelligence of the Philippine’s regulatory and political environment.
Ramon A. Carandang
Mr. Ramon “Ricky” A. Carandang supports Asia Group Advisors and its clients with strategic communications, regulatory advocacy, and crucial understanding of corporate and government relations in the Philippines.
Mr. Carandang was appointed Secretary of Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning by President Benigno S. Aquino III in July 2010. He served as President Aquino’s chief messaging strategist until leaving government in 2013.
He also joined ABS-CBN, the largest broadcast network in the Philippines, where he worked as a reporter, presenter, and commentator. During his stint in ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC), he hosted his own news commentary shows The Rundown and The Big Picture. He also worked as field reporter for TV Patrol and Bandila, the largest local language news programs, as well as presenter for the current affairs program The Correspondents.
Before his career in communications, Mr. Carandang spent his early years as an investment professional, working as an analyst and sales executive for various brokerage houses including Pryce Securities, HG Asia Securities, and Kim Eng Securities.
Mr. Carandang is currently the chief executive officer of Ronin Consultancy Services’ (RCS). He and RCS assist Asia Group Advisors with building strategic relationships with key stakeholders and government officials and offering advisory services of on the ground developments in Philippines and beyond. Together, Asia Group Advisors is able to offer our clients unique and specialized expertise.
Tran Vu Hoai
Tran Vu Hoai received his MBA from Harvard University as one of Vietnam’s first Fulbright Scholars. Upon returning to Vietnam in 1994,Hoai co-founded and managed Galaxy Communications for over seven years, where he currently serves as the Chairman.
Mr. Hoai has led Galaxy to become the largest public and government relations firm in Vietnam, with offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The firm serves major multinational technology, banking, and retail corporations. Galaxy is also invested in and manages Galaxy Studio, a leading media and entertainment company in Vietnam, producing and distributing movies as well as developing and operating movie theaters.
Simultaneously, Hoai has served as the Vice President of Unilever Vietnam for nearly eight years and is in charge of its corporate relations. He is a founding member of the Vietnam business Council for Sustainable Development.