Chinese Business Leaders Awards 2016

The winners of the Chinese Business Leaders Awards 2016 were announced at a spectacular gala in November, held at the Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotel in London’s Piccadilly.

Excellence in Large Corporations
Hong Chen, general manager, Wanda One UK Ltd

As general manager of Fortune 500 Wanda Group’s UK Development Company, Chen has been instrumental in establishing Wanda’s presence in UK markets, driving strategic directions that have facilitated billions of pounds worth of investment into the UK. Under the management of Chen and his team, Wanda Group has begun development of London’s One Nine Elms luxury estate on London’s South Bank. As the face of Wanda Group in the UK, Chen has been praised by then prime minister David Cameron during a 2016 reception at 10 Downing Street for his achievements and contributions.

Excellence in Professional Services
Maggie Zhao, partner in capital markets, Clifford Chance London

Zhao is the only Chinese national to become a partner in one of the five Magic Circle law firms in London. She runs a successful structured-debt business – the leading structured-finance practice in the world. She also runs Clifford Chance’s China Desk, and in that capacity leads all initiatives and activities with China out of the London office. She plays a pivotal role in building an extensive network of relationships and transaction capability for her firm, helps European and Chinese organisations in making cross-borders investments, and assists Chinese financial institutions in their business expansion in the UK.

Excellence in Banking
Lin Yue, executive director of UK Institutional Business, Goldman Sachs

Yue is one of only a handful of successful Chinese female sales professionals working with non-Chinese clients in the UK institutional investors market. While at Goldman Sachs she has contributed to the growth of the business, helping to deliver one of the largest pension outsourcing deals in the UK in 2015. She has also advocated for enhancing cultural understanding among the broader business community, both with her clients and as a founding member of the 48 Group Club Young Icebreakers. A regular speaker on diversity and inclusion, Yue is truly a role model for both Chinese and female professionals in finance.

Rising Star
Chun Qing Li, founder of KREOD Architecture and China Britain International Design Week

Chun Qing Li, also known as Lee, is an award-winning architectural designer and entrepreneur, the founder of KREOD Architecture and China Britain International Design Week. Recent projects include the creation of the KREOD Pavilion for the London Olympic Games in summer 2012. Li is recognised as one of the rising stars in the UK’s design industry. His vision for China Britain International Design Week is to build an exciting platform that allows Chinese, British and non-Chinese to build on their mutual strengths, promoting some of the best designs and innovations that are created in China.

Excellence in Small and Medium Enterprises
Dr Kevin Lin, OBE, founder of KL Communications

Lin is the founder and managing director of KL Communications. Established in 2005, the company has grown to be Europe’s largest English/Chinese interpretation firm. It serves the British and Chinese governments, leading UK organisations and many academic institutions. Lin has been the official interpreter for the British government since the 1990s, having interpreted for five successive British prime ministers, as well as the Queen and other members of the royal family. He was awarded an OBE for service to UK-China relations in 2011, and is the first person from mainland China to receive such a high honour.

Excellence in Asset Management
Geoffrey Yu, head of UK Investment Office, UBS

Yu is the CIO/head of UK Investment Office at UBS Wealth Management, leading a content team focusing on asset allocation for UK-based high-net- worth individuals and family offices clients of the world’s largest wealth manager. With more than ten years of financial and investment experience and a reputation as one of the leading industry experts in FX strategy and macro-economic research, with frequent appearances on major financial media networks (including CNBC and Bloomberg), Yu is one of the few Chinese professionals to hold such a position among the world’s largest private banking firms’ European operations.

Special Award for Corporate Social Responsibility
Lei Yue, senior vice president, Sanpower Group Corporation

As a key member of Sanpower’s management team, Yue has devoted himself to supporting and practising the group’s philosophy of ‘going outwards’ in business and culture, overseeing its UK expansion as well as instilling a spirit of corporate social responsibility. As part of this drive, last year Sanpower Group signed a Wildlife Protection Foundation agreement with the British royal family. Yue was instrumental in ensuring the agreement was reached. As a result, he was appointed by Prince William to be the first Chinese ambassador of United for Wildlife.

Special Award for RMB Internationalisation
Xilai Feng, CEO until October 2016, China Construction Bank (UK)

Feng was chief executive officer of China Construction Bank (CCB) in the UK, the third-largest bank in the world by total assets, until October 2016. Under his strong leadership, CCB was licensed to provide London-based RMB clearing in 2014 (the first outside of Asia) and has now grown to be the UK’s leader in RMB banking, helping to establish London as one of the world’s most important RMB offshore centres, acting as the official clearing bank for the City. As of September 2016, CCB UK’s total assets had grown from just under US$800m in 2013 to over US$8b.

The panel

The expert judging panel comprised senior professionals, all leaders in their own right and well qualified to identify exceptional pioneers in the Chinese business world

Jeff Cao
Head of Asia Pacific, London & Partners

Cao is responsible for Asia Pacific operations at London & Partners, and sits on the board of the China-Britain Business Council. An established professional with cross-sector experience, he has a strong track record of advising corporates on market-entry strategies, competitive positioning, influence mapping, relationship building and deal facilitation.

Lise Bertelsen
Executive director, China-Britain Business Council

With more than 19 years’ experience in the China market, Bertelsen has worked with a wide variety of companies, organisations and government departments within a broad range of sectors, both in China and the UK. Based in London, she has management responsibility for CBBC’s non-member activity and services, as well as leading on government affairs.

David Stringer-Lamarre
Chairman of the Institute of Directors, City of London

Stringer-Lamarre engages with the UK Parliament, the City of London Corporation, diplomats and business leaders to discuss the commercial landscape. He is experienced in the design and delivery of consultancy and management education. Cross-cultural communication is a central part of his company’s work, and 37 countries are covered, including China.

Keith Bennett
Deputy chairman of the 48 Group Club

The 48 Group are ‘The Icebreakers’ who have pioneered Britain’s trade with China since the early 1950s. Bennett has focused on China all his life and is a consultant advising both Chinese and Western businesses. He studied history and politics of China and Southeast Asia at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies, and on graduating in 1979, worked for the Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding.

Suwei Jiang
Lead partner, China Business Group, PwC

Jiang was the first Chinese national to be made an equity partner at a ‘big four’ firm in the UK and is the most senior of PwC UK’s 500 Chinese-speaking staff. She leads a team that assists companies in making cross-border investments between China and Europe, focusing on such areas as organic growth, acquisitions, partnerships and listing on capital markets.