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 is a Director at AGA Vietnam, leading client support in regulatory risk mitigation and business strategies in Vietnam and the wider Southeast Asia. Van comes with fifteen years of experience in government affairs, public policy and governance reform in Vietnam. She has cultivated a deep network of stakeholders across ministries, the National Assembly of Vietnam, and the Communist Party and People’s Committee at the provincial levels.
Van was recently a Senior Political Officer at the British Embassy in Vietnam, leading bilateral engagement with the National Assembly, the Communist Party of Vietnam, and various ministries. During her ten-year tenure at the Embassy, Van was a key member of the UK Project Committee, providing assessment and appraisal of project bids, and acting as Project Manager on programs aimed at improving accountability and transparency.
Previously, Van was the Government Relations Lead of the Australian Embassy in Hanoi, where she provided technical advice to various ministries on education policy and institutional reforms.
Van had also spent time working for the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank Vietnam on policy reform projects. She had worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hanoi as a Legal Assistant, providing legal advocacy on high-profile project bids.
Van attained a Master of Law in Laws and Economics (LLM) from Utrecht University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.
Annisa Natalegawa is a Director of Southeast Asia at AGA, where she provides strategic advice for regional clients, and leads AGA Indonesia’s operations. Annisa brings in a decade of experience in public policy and a wide network in government agencies, spanning multiple sectors including trade, logistics, energy, information technology, agriculture, and commodities. Her in-depth knowledge on regional trade dynamics, and the politics of Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar, have helped clients understand better investment opportunities in the region.
At AGA, Annisa has spearheaded a number of advocacy 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 AGA, Annisa served in the Political Cooperation Division of the ASEAN Secretariat, working on various 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 served as a resource person and rapporteur during working group, senior official, and ministerial level meetings between ASEAN Member States.
Annisa 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.
Annisa 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 AGA, leading client support in Thailand and the wider Southeast Asia. Matana brings in more than 15 years in public relations and government affairs across various industries, including pharmaceutical, agriculture and financial services.
Matana has gained experience in agencies, including top PR agencies Ogilvy and Weber Shandwick, and in-house at a number of global consumer goods companies. Her experience spans 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.
Matana is one of the few Media Handling Trainers in Thailand, where she has trained C-Suite executives and senior management teams in international companies. During her communications and advertising agency days, Matana earned the reputation of being able to push forward client’s issues, even when the case seems to be unsolvable.
Matana built her career in government relations during her time researching at Chulalongkorn Unisearch. Matana was educated in the US and UK with a doctorate degree in Marketing and Communications from the London Business School.
As a Senior Associate, Astrid Kusumawardhani advises clients in Indonesia in mitigating regulatory risks, understanding policy direction, and engaging key stakeholders. Astrid specializes in environmental sustainability, energy, and digital economy sectors. Leveraging her extensive network across government and civil society groups, Astrid has enabled clients to better engage the government and position themselves more strategically in the market.
Prior to joining AGA, Astrid was a policy consultant to various donor-funded projects, including a multi-year Danish government project, where she worked for the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to reform clean energy policies. She was also consultant to the Asian Development Bank on a renewable energy financing project, and the USAID on climate change mitigation in the marine sector.
Astrid had worked for Unilever Indonesia, where she supported the company’s advocacy efforts with the Ministry of Environment on packaging waste regulations. She also engaged provincial governments, NGOs, and think tanks on the company’s various sustainability projects. Astrid briefly worked for the UK Green Investment Bank in London and Edinburgh, where her research on community-owned energy helped shape the bank’s new financing mechanism.
Astrid holds a Master of Science in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Edinburgh, on a fully-funded scholarship from the UK Government. She also holds a BSc. in International Relations from the University of Indonesia.
Yang Li is an Associate at AGA based in Singapore, where he provides tailored stakeholder engagement strategies, political risk and regulatory analysis for clients with operations in Southeast Asia. Yang specializes in the logistics, transportation, financial services and e-commerce sectors.
Prior to joining AGA, Yang 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 Southeast Asia across multiple sectors. He had also 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. Yang spent some time as an entrepreneur, having launched his F&B business in California, USA.
Yang 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. He also earned well double Bachelor’s degrees in Business Management and Psychology, both from the University of California, Merced.
Peeyapat (Drew) Rabieb is an Associate in AGA’s Bangkok office, where she provides engagement, research, and analytical support for clients with operations in Thailand. Having worked at multiple posts within the government, Drew is able to provide clients with crucial insights into policy-making. Drew specializes in the digital economy, financial services, logistics, and agricultural sectors.
Prior to joining AGA, Drew 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.
Drew was also the first Google Thailand fellow, where she conducted in-depth research on the impact of national internet regulations on businesses in Thailand.
Drew earned 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 holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.
Arnachani Riaseta is an Associate at AGA’s Jakarta office, where she supports clients with comprehensive political risk analysis and stakeholder engagement in Indonesia. Arnachani’s portfolio includes financial services, information technology, mining and commodities sectors. At AGA, Arnachani has helped clients build stronger relationships with influential groups and opinion leaders, such as business associations, SMEs and women groups, and think tanks.
Prior to joining AGA, Arnachani worked for Unilever Indonesia’s External Affairs, where she supported the company’s engagement with the National Drug and Food Control Agency (BPOM) on product licensing, Indonesian Coordinating Investment Board (BKPM), and provincial governments.
Arnachani earned Master’s degree in Asian Studies from S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, on a full scholarship. Arnachani currently serves as the President of RSIS Alumni Association’s Indonesia chapter. She attained her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Bilkent University, Turkey.
Sonia Syafitri is an Associate at Asia Group Advisors, where she supports clients with market access, risk mitigation and stakeholder engagement. Sonia specializes in the health, energy, and power sector. She is highly experienced with working with local government, from provincial to regency and city governments.
Prior to joining AGA, Sonia worked for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Indonesia, where she led the agency’s partnership projects with the Indonesian Ministry of Health on reproductive health and rights, specifically on adolescent health, family planning commodities, and maternal health provision in an emergency setting. Sonia had also worked with local governments in North Sumatra, West and South Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara, Papua and West Papua provinces.
Sonia had also spent time in Washington, D.C, where she worked for General Electric’s government affairs team in Washington, D.C. to execute various advocacy activates and initiatives. She had also 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
Sonia holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, on a fully-funded scholarship from the Indonesian government. She earned a BSc. in International Business and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Florida Andriana is an Analyst at AGA Indonesia. She supports clients with in-depth regulatory research on economic policy packages and stakeholder engagement. Florida specializes in trade, customs, energy, and power sector. She has built an extensive network across different trade agencies in Indonesia, and closely worked with the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs to provide input on logistics and e-commerce issues.
Prior to joining AGA, Florida worked at the Corporate & Public Affairs practice of public relations firm Edelman Indonesia. She supported clients in oil and gas, automotive, and manufacturing with core media identification and crisis communications. Florida had also worked for Chevron Pacific Indonesia and The Hague Center for Strategic Studies as a Country Research Assistant.
Florida holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Indonesia, where she was actively involved in Model United Nations and competitive debating.
As Analyst in AGA, Patrick Simorangkir provides regulatory and political risk analysis for clients in the energy sector. Leveraging his deep network in the Indonesian House of Regional Representatives (DPD-RI), Patrick supports clients in understanding political dynamics at the provincial government level, and their impacts to operations and investments.
Prior to AGA, Patrick worked at the DPD-RI, where he was member of the Experts Advisory Team on International Relations. Patrick provided the DPD Speaker and other legislators with regulatory analysis and report writing on central-local government relations as well as Indonesian parliament-foreign parliament relations. Patrick had also interned for the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he supports various research projects of the Ministry’s Policy Analysis and Development Agency’s (BPPK) Europe II Sub-Division.
Patrick spent time working as a consultant in the public relations firm GroupW and Prisma Public Relations, where he advised clients in the energy and lighting industries with on strategic communications.
Patrick holds a Masters of Political Science from the University of Delhi, India, on a full-tuition scholarship from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). He also holds a Bachelor of Social Science in International Relations from Pelita Harapan University.
Marshiella Pandji is an Analyst in AGA, where she supports clients with regulatory analysis, stakeholder mapping and stakeholder engagement. Marshiella concentrates on the creative economy, financial technology and IT sectors.
Prior to joining AGA, Marshiella worked at Indonesia’s Central Bank (Bank Indonesia) Representative Office in London, where she produced analytical reports on macroeconomic issues and policy benchmarking.
Marshiella had spent time working for the United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC) Secretariat, where her research led to policy recommendations for local governments on increasing women’s political participation in policy-making. She had also worked for corporate communications and public affairs firm Kiroyan Partners in Jakarta.
Marshiella has interned with several trade-focused agencies, including the UK-ASEAN Business Council, the Indonesia Investment Promotion Centre (IIPC/BKPM), and the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Marshiella holds an MPA in Public and Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She earned a B.S. in Political Science, Economics, and International Studies with a Certificate in German from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was also a research assistant for the economics program. She received full scholarships from Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture.
Le Hong Diem
Le Hong Diem is an Analyst at AGA Vietnam, where she provides analytical and engagement support for clients with significant operations in Vietnam. Diem specializes in the digital economy, financial services, logistics, and trade sector.
Diem 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 and public procurement 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. She graduated as a Valedictorian in Finance and Banking from Hanoi University. She was awarded two honorary fellowships by the Irish Government and US Department of State. She has also received multiple grants from Harvard University and University College Dublin to participate in Harvard Model United Nations 2014, Norwegian University of Science and Technology to attend International Student Festival in Trondheim, Norway 2011 and Kyushu University for ASEAN in Today’s World 2010.
Nesha Armo is an Analyst at AGA Kuala Lumpur office where she provides engagement, research, and analytical support for clients with operations in Malaysia. Nesha specializes in ICT, digital economy, banking and financial services, and tourism sectors.
Prior to joining AGA, Nesha worked at Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) – the country’s Central Bank– as a financial services liberalization strategist. She was deeply involved in developing various platforms aimed at financial services liberalization of ASEAN member states, including the ASEAN Banking Integration Framework and the ASEAN Insurance Forum. Through her years of working at BNM, Nesha has developed a wide network across the country’s financial and ICT agencies, as well as vital insights into Malaysia’s policy-making at the various levels.
Nesha had worked with the World Trade Organization and World Bank in developing reports on Malaysia’s financial services landscape. She also spent time working for the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), a Malaysia-based think-tank, where she conducted extensive research on social enterprises in the country.
Nesha 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. Nesha is fluent in seven languages: English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tamil, Hindi, and Malayalam. Nesha is currently working towards completing the Bachelors in Law (LLB) from the University of London.
Nguyen Vu Anh Ngoc
Nguyen Vu Anh Ngoc is an Analyst at AGA Vietnam’s office in Hanoi. Ngoc provides research, analytical, and stakeholder engagement support for clients in Vietnam. She specializes in technology disruption, energy, pharmaceutical and agriculture sectors. Ngoc also has deep knowledge of economic research methodologies, both qualitative and quantitative, to help clients develop evidence-based public policy messaging.
Prior to joining AGA, Ngoc worked at market research firm Nielsen Vietnam, where she led accounts and client services in education sector. She had also worked at the government relation firms Vriens & Partners in Hanoi, where she provided in-depth regulatory support for clients in the transportation industry.
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.
Cazadira Fediva Tamzil
Cazadira Fediva Tamzil is an Analyst at AGA, where she provides analytical support on political dynamics and regulatory developments in Indonesia. Cazadira’s portfolio includes pharmaceutical, manufacturing and commodities sectors.
Prior to joining AGA, Cazadira worked as Consultant Intern at McKinsey Indonesia, where she supported a public-sector client on improving infrastructure and human resources.
She had also worked as a Researcher and Teaching Assistant at the International Relations Department of Universitas Indonesia. Her joint-research with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on resource governance has been published and circulated nation-wide. Cazadira also spent time as Project Assistant for the ASEAN Study Center, where she worked on the center’s consultancy projects and organized academic conferences.
Cazadira holds a Master’s in Global Politics program from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) with a fully-funded scholarship from the Indonesian government. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Universitas Indonesia’s International Relations Department. Cazadira has is a regular speaker on development, environmental, gender, and security issues in multiple global youth conferences.
As Analyst in AGA, Jason Sutjiawan provides research, analytical and engagement for clients with investments in Indonesia. Jason leverages his deep knowledge and networks in the infrastructure, transportation, and logistics sectors, to help clients understand Indonesia’s policy direction.
Prior to joining AGA, Jason worked as an Associate at Deloitte Indonesia’s Infrastructure and Capital Projects Advisory practice. His work included market, policy, and feasibility studies for private sector clients in logistics, and government agencies overseeing port infrastructures and special economic zones (SEZ) across Indonesia.
Jason had worked for the London-based Cognoscere Consulting, where he provided financial and business management advice for UK not-for-profit companies and charities. Jason has interned with the Development Bank of Singapore’s consumer banking segment, and Ernst & Young’s transaction advisory practice in Jakarta.
Jason holds a Masters of Public Administration in Economic and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Economics from Villanova University, Philadelphia, USA.
Pongsiri (Win) Poorintanachote is an Analyst in AGA’s Bangkok office, where he supports clients in Thailand with political risk analysis and stakeholder engagement. Having spent years working for the government, Win leverages his deep insight into the dynamics that influence policy-making in Thailand, to advise clients on regulatory risks impacting the business and investment climate.
Prior to joining AGA, Win worked as Project Officer at the Department of East Asian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, where he provided in-depth reports and advice on current and developing political and economic trends in Thailand’s trade partners Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Earlier, Win worked as a Political Section Trainee at the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Thailand, where he supported the EU’s political economy analysis of Thailand. Win has also spent time working as Trainee in the Political and Consular Office at the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington D.C.
Win holds a Master of Science in Democracy and Comparative Politics from the University College London (UCL). He earned a Bachelor of Political Science in Politics and International Relations from Thammasat University, Thailand.
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 a Special Assistant to AGA’s CEO, where she provides analytical support for AGA’s thought leadership and media publications.
Prior to joining AGA, Candini worked as a research assistant on various projects of the Center for International Relations Studies (CIReS) of Universitas of Indonesia. Her work includes in-depth analysis on electoral fraud and campaign practices of Indonesia’s past elections, and broader political and security dynamics in Asia Pacific.
While taking her master’s program, Candini 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 policies 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 the 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.