Neil started his career as an Investment Banker in 1990 and spent 13 years at the forefront of Capital Markets with NatWest Markets, PaineWebber and HVB Group in London, Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong.
In October 2002, he co-founded Sense of Touch, a boutique day spa on Hollywood Road in Hong Kong. After 12 years of operation and multiple international and regional awards, Sense of Touch Group which includes the Sense of Touch Day Spa, Capelli Hair Salon and Beauty Nest Dry Bar brands has ten branches in Hong Kong employing approximately 100 staff and a customer base of over 30,000 expatriate and local professionals.
Neil has been involved in presenting and public speaking since the age of 16 when he was sponsored by the Royal Air Force through College and later through University. He has spoken at conferences and investment road shows on a wide range of topics including Asset Securitisation, Collateralised Debt Obligations, Voice-Data Convergence, Entrepreneurial Management, Spa Branding and Marketing, Sales and Negotiation Theory, Communication Skills, Body language, NLP Applications in Mediation, Psychometric Profiling and Persuasion Psychology. Neil is a regular on the Hong Kong presentation circuit having presented multiple times for the British Chamber of Commerce, as well as the American Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, The Internet Professionals Association, and the Entrepreneurs Club.
Neil is a certified Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming, Time Line Therapy (TM) and Hypnosis, having studied with Tad James, one of the most respected NLP trainers in the world. Neil has studied negotiation at the Harvard Negotiation Institute and Persuasion Psychology with world renowned expert Dr. Robert Cialdini of Arizona State University. He holds a BSc (hons) degree in Accountancy and Financial Analysis from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is the Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce Angel Investment Programme in Hong Kong. In November 2013 Neil was awarded the position of Visiting Teaching Fellow at Edinburgh Napier University. Neil has completed multiple ultra marathons including the Marathon des Sables, a 250km race in the Sahara, and the Gobi March, a 250km ultramarathon in the Gobi desert, and has raised over US$50,000 in the process for community projects and cancer research.
Raphael is a French entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in Fast Moving Consumer Goods and Services within start-ups and multinational companies. Based in Asia for the last 15 years, he developed a deep knowledge of most Asia-Pacific markets and cultures.
Raphael started his career in 1994 in Marketing at Honda in the European Automotive Division. Fast-paced like the cars he likes so much, he quickly oversaw the brand’s product range for France before moving to Sales, taking the regional responsibility of 18 dealerships.
His entrepreneurial spirit led him to take his first step out of the Corporate world, co-founding his first start-up, Square Internet. After selling it to foreign investors, he set up his first consulting company, Avila Consulting. Here he specialised in managing mandates on behalf of investors in ailing internet companies, including an automotive portal and a pharmaceutical B2B marketplace. Raphael successfully exited this company when it was acquired by a Venture Capital Fund and moved on to his next enterprise.
Whilst traveling the world and looking at opportunities in various countries, he fell in love with Asia and especially with Hong Kong. Fuelled by the local dynamism and its anything-is-possible spirit, he partnered with fellow French entrepreneur Eric Noyel, and together they built a regional Consumer Goods Manufacturing and Distribution group spanning 9 countries and employing more than 1,000 associates. The factory became the world’s second largest in its field and the house ware brand they created challenged the most established players in most regional markets through global retailers.
Excelling in negotiation and always challenging the status-quo through an acute ability to think out of the box, Raphael co-led this company until being acquired by the world leader - from Germany - in this sector in 2011. He then ensured a smooth transition after this acquisition by taking a leading regional corporate position for the new owning multinational group for three years before moving to his next entrepreneurial project.
Complementing his independent business consulting activities, Raphael has been trained and certified in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and other Business Applied Psychology disciplines by Evolution-U since 2010. A natural people’s person, it was a logical step that he shares his extensive experience and train and teach others looking forward to improving themselves, and in particular, those with an interest in business and how the topics of Persuasion, Influence, Negotiation and Communication can help achieve success.
Raphael holds an MBA from the Institut Superieur de Gestion in Paris, France. He is a founding member of Mettā, a global network of entrepreneurs, connecting the dots between start-ups, industry experts and investors, driving tangible business value for the stakeholders in its community.
Raphael is passionate about cars and motorbikes and used to race them before becoming the father of two beautiful children. He is also an eclectic sports enthusiast with his biggest interests in ski, tennis, football and golf. As an extensive world traveler, he visited over 70 countries to date for business or pleasure, or both.
With a strong corporate and entrepreneurial business background, Nikitta is an ICF accredited Associate Certified Coach, Certified Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner and a Conversational Intelligence® Coach.
Originally from Hong Kong and having lived in UK, Taiwan and Shanghai, Nikitta is trilingual in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.
Nikitta’s first entrepreneurial venture was in 2007 when she co-founded Rocky Mountain English Consultancy in Taipei. The company offered a range of customized and professional English improvement services for corporations, institutions and individuals and was sold in May 2011.
Nikitta then moved to Shanghai where she lived for 4 years until 2015. During her time in Shanghai she worked as a Human Capital Consultant for Mercer, the world's largest Human Resources Consulting firm. At Mercer, Nikitta worked for both Chinese and multinational clients on Business and Human Capital Strategy Alignment, Leadership Assessment and Development, Performance Management, Talent Management, Training & Development Program Design and Training & Focus Group Facilitation. Her clients ranged from Banking and Finance to Health & Hospitality, Pharmaceuticals to Automotive and Service Industries including InterContinental Hotels, Schaeffler Group, Pfizer, Qoros Auto Co., BNP Paribas and HSBC.
After 20 years of living abroad, Nikitta moved back to HK in 2015 to study Conversational Intelligence® with Prof. Judith E. Glaser, one of the world’s leading experts and authors in the field. She holds a Master Degree in Work & Organisational Psychology from the University of Nottingham and a Bachelor Degree in Business from the University of Durham. She has also received Certificates of Competence in Occupational Testing Levels A & B from The British Psychological Society. After graduation she worked with the Bristol Youth Offending Team, where she built partnerships, developed and assisted in the implementation of a 5-year Criminal Justice “Prevent & Deter” strategy plan for youths of age 8-17.
Nikitta's life passion is in communication and understanding the behaviours of people across cultures and professions. This led to her untiring efforts in the studies of personality profiling and self-development, gaining her the certified right to practice her expertise of Multiple Intelligences in Dermatoglyphics within China and Hong Kong, concurrently having close affiliations with WBECS (World Business and Executive Coach Summit) and IDRDC (International Dermatoglyphics Research & Development Center). Being a multi-talented lifelong learner exposed to both Western and Asian cultures, and with a vision for herself and those she works with, Nikitta strives to engage in roles that allow her to improve the well-being and development of others.
During his studies at Edinburgh University, Chris qualified as a professional tennis and squash coach and become one of only 5 Master Instructor Trainers in the United Kingdom for Short Tennis. Working directly with the likes of Wimbledon Champion Virginia Wade, Chris also conducted the Short Tennis Demonstration Clinics at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships in 1985 and 1986. After completing a junior tennis development research assignment across North America, Chris moved to Hong Kong in 1987 and took up teaching and sports and recreation management assignments with private members clubs including the American Club, The Aberdeen Marine Club and Hong Lok Yuen Country Club.
In 1990, Chris founded the KELY Support Group, a charitable organization for adolescents with alcohol and drug related issues and family emotional difficulties. During his tenure as Chairman of KELY, Chris conducted training seminars throughout the ESF Schools network and raised in excess of HK$12 million to fund the group’s activities. In 1992 KELY founded a Chinese Language Service and Chris appointed Hong Kong actress Ms. Michelle Yeoh Chee-Kheng as the honorary patron. KELY was the subject of an award winning journalistic series in the South China Morning Post and is one of Hong Kong’s most successful NGO charities. The group enjoys prominent status and is a regular feature at the Hong Kong International Rugby 7’s providing support services to the tournaments huge following of young people.
In late 1995, Chris moved his communication talents into the corporate world and worked in business development and marketing in the area of information technology. Chris became the managing director and majority shareholder of one of Hong Kong’s longest established I.T. firms, RCP Consulting Ltd. As managing director, Chris oversaw contract negotiations and project management assignments with the likes of Fed Ex, Calvin Klein, Quam Capital Group, Asian Financial Services (now part of Citigroup), West Pac Bank, Quality Health Care Asia, Simpson Marine and the billion Hong Kong Dollar business that is Strawberrynet.com.
Chris holds a BSc degree in Biological Sciences from Edinburgh University and is currently a Partner with independent investment advisory firm Silverbear Capital INC. With offices in Hong Kong, Xiamen and Shenzhen, Silverbear Capital focuses on Mergers & Acquisitions, structured fund raising and pre-IPO activities. Chris is also a shareholder and board advisor with the Australian Solar Group and is heavily involved in new technologies within the renewable energy sector.
Chris is a Certified NLP Practitioner (American Board of NLP), Time Line Therapy Practitioner (Time Line Therapy Association), Hypnotherapy Practitioner (American Board of Hypnotherapy) and NLP Coach (ABNLP Coaching Division).He was one of the early adopters of NLP trainings in Hong Kong as far back as the early 1990’s and received his initial certifications through the Milton H. Erickson foundation both in Hong Kong and in Florida, USA. Chris was also the driving force in bringing the first ever community building workshops to Hong Kong. These workshops were based on the writings and teachings of the world renowned psychiatrist and author Dr. M. Scott Peck.
In his downtime, Chris is Captain of the Wednesday Afternoon Golf Society, one of Hong Kong’s most popular Golf Societies. As Captain, Chris introduced an annual charity golf day in 2007 and over the history of this event he has, successfully brought on board as sponsors the likes of DHL, DBS Private Bank, Harvard Business Review, KPMG, Tricor, Zurich Insurance, Allen & Overy, Allied World Group and Adidas. This day has now raised in excess of HK$ 1 Million primarily for local Hong Kong charities and in 2014 and 2015 was the largest charity golf day in Hong Kong.
Chris is also the long term membership secretary of The Pot Bellied PIGS R.F.C. One of Hong Kong’s most popular and charitable rugby clubs, they have raised in excess of 6 Million HK$ over the last 14 years primarily through their annual Golf and Rugby tournaments. This money has gone to support the under privileged children of Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and the Philippines and to grass roots rugby development around the Asian region. Thanks to the commitment, passion and personal networks of the committee, the club’s reputation now has global reach with many rugby celebrities including double British & Irish Lion John Bentley, world player of the year (2002) Serge Betsen, and international rugby 7’s legend Eric Rush having participated in the match days.