Expertise: Communication, Influence, Sales, Negotiation, Leadership, Team Building, Coaching, NLP, Empowerment, Unconscious Bias, Psychometric Profiling, Time Line Therapy
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, and an ICF accredited business coach. Neil has studied negotiation at the Harvard Negotiation Institute and Persuasion Psychology with world renowned expert Dr. Robert Cialdini of Arizona State University.
He has developed training courses covering Neuro Linguistic Programming, Communication Skills, Sales Psychology, Negotiation Theory, Influence and Persuasion, Psychometric Profiling, Personal Empowerment and Leadership, and has taught these courses to over 5,000 senior executives and middle management across Asia, Europe and North America.
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 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, Entrepreneurship, Branding and Marketing, Customer Service, Sales and Negotiation Theory, Communication Skills, Body Language, Personal Empowerment, Building Trust, Psychometric Profiling and Persuasion Psychology.
He is a regular on the Hong Kong and international presentation circuit having presented at the British, American and Canadian Chambers of Commerce, The Internet Professionals Association, and the Entrepreneurs Club in Hong Kong, the Global Spa Summit, World Spa Congress, and Spa China Congress internationally. He has had articles published or profiles written in many leading publications including Wall Street Journal, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Business, British Chamber of Commerce Magazine, Peak Magazine, HK Golf, and Spa China.
Neil holds a BSc (hons) degree in Accountancy and Financial Analysis from the London School of Economics and Political Science and an Executive Masters degree in International Negotiation and Policy Making from the Graduate Institute in Geneva. He is the Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce Angel Investment Program in Hong Kong. From 2013-2018 Neil was a visiting professor at Edinburgh Napier University and is currently a visiting lecturer for the Graduate Institute in Geneva.
Neil started his career in Investment Banking in 1990 and spent 13 years at the forefront of Capital Markets in London, Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong. An entrepreneur at heart, he cofounded Sense of Touch, a boutique day spa in Hong Kong in 2002. After 17 years of operation and over 60 industry awards, Sense of Touch has four Hong Kong locations employing approx. 50 staff and a customer base of over 40,000 expatriate and local professionals.
In his spare time Neil has a passion for ultra marathons and has completed both the Marathon des Sables and the Gobi March, each 250km ultra marathons in the Gobi and Sahara desert’s respectively. In January 2017 Neil summited Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895m. He has raised over US$100,000 for community projects and cancer research.
Expertise: Diversity & Inclusion, Women’s Development, Leadership, Influencing and Personal Empowerment
Shirley Adrain is an executive coach who trains and coaches corporate and individual client’s around effective career management. She draws on over 20 years of Financial Services experience spent in a variety of leadership roles with global financial institutions. She brings particular expertise around diversity and in helping women return to the workplace.
Shirley started her career with JP Morgan in London and subsequently New York. She has also worked for Citigroup, Barclays, Merrill Lynch and Société Générale in a variety of leadership roles across London, Singapore and Hong Kong. This global and diverse experience has allowed Shirley to appreciate the complex and often political environment in which her clients operate. During her Banking career, Shirley developed a passion for coaching individuals and teams, finding this the best way to create an environment of collaboration, teamwork and common ground where people are empowered, accountable and engaged. She implemented a coaching programme for leaders at Citigroup and was inspired by the positive impact on both the leaders themselves and their teams. She has also designed and implemented several international leadership development programmes and Global Career Frameworks.
Shirley has always been a strong advocate for the advancement of women, sponsoring and developing a Coaching for Success Programme at Citigroup to support and enable the progression of women in the organisation. She also contributed to the critically acclaimed book, “Your Loss: How to Win Back your Female Talent” to help prevent the female “brain drain” that is all too prevalent in most major industries today.
In 2012, Shirley decided to change career emphasis and become formally certified as a coach. Shirley is founder and CEO of "Career Catalyst Group Ltd" where she focuses on Executive Coaching, training and consulting. Her main clients are global banks and law firms. Her clients appreciate her deep knowledge of their environment and understanding of the challenges they face. She also developed and runs very interactive workshops on Gender Bias for where her experiences from her Banking career allow her to enliven and challenge senior leaders to overcome their biases and promote more senior women leaders.
In 2017, Shirley took over as Managing Director at “Back to Work HK”, working with individuals and organisations to help them retain female talent and also develop returner programmes to tap into this talent pool.
Shirley is an Accredited Executive Coach and trainer with the Association for Coaching (AC), with over 400 hours coaching experience. In 2018, she became a Certified Clean Coach with the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and uses this methodology to get to the root cause of problems that have been holding her clients back. In 2002, Shirley became a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Business Practitioner. Shirley has been applying these learnings to her working life, helping individuals, teams and organisations to get more of the results they want.
Outside of work, Shirley has two young children and is an accomplished singer, with concerts in Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Centre and in Hong Kong this year. She is also a keen hiker and is currently training for the 100k “Just Challenge” South Africa in 2019. As a proud Scot in Hong Kong, Shirley was Chieftain of the HK Cricket Club for 5 years, organising and hosting the annual Burns Supper.
Shirley holds an MA in Psychology from Glasgow University and an MSc in Business IT Systems from Strathclyde University.
Expertise: Organizational Resilience, Team Building
Languages: English and French
Greg Benichou is a passionate and dedicated trainer with over 20 years' experience in the aviation industry. An entrepreneur, he founded Avianext SAS in 2009 the aviation consultancy specialized in soft skills, safety and resilience training for pilots. This soon attracted the attention of the healthcare industry when at that time patient safety was in its infancy. It is always enjoyable to learn from his insights which he puts across with a healthy dose of first-hand story-telling.
Greg was born in Paris, and has had since a very early age a keen interest in Physics and Aeronautics. Post-baccalaureate, he studied Mathematics and Physics at the prestigious Lycee Michel Montaigne in Bordeaux and obtained his Physics diploma from the University of Bordeaux in 1996. After participating in the "Tour de France des Jeunes Pilotes" he pursued his dream of becoming a commercial pilot. His next destination was Vero Beach Florida US where he lived for just over a year before coming back to Europe. In 1998 he based himself in Aberdeen, Scotland where he joined British Midland Airways flying a range of public transport aeroplanes from regional turboprops to Fokker and Airbus aircraft. In 2004 he was invited to join Cathay Pacific Airways as a Boeing 747 pilot. He has since trained dozens of pilots here in Hong Kong.
Working within diverse business cultural environments is what Greg is accustomed to. In 2012 he founded an EM Partnership where he participates in professional private investing and performs ad hoc executive coaching missions.
Still fascinated by Safety and Resilience as emergent phenomena of complex socio-technical systems he recently (in 2018) founded a think-tank dedicated to Organizational and Team Resilience Engineering called aeroresilience (www.aeroresilience.com). Greg is our go to person for questions pertaining to Team Leadership and Resilience.
A sportsman at heart, Greg indulges in a little bit of fitness and rugby (although he admits himself enjoying touch a little bit more these days!), loves skiing, snowboarding and stand-up paddling which he routinely performs in Ile de Re, France.
Expertise: Communication, Influence, Sales, Leadership, Team Building, Personal Empowerment
Languages: Cantonese and English
Peter is an accomplished entrepreneur differentiated by the uncommon complements related to sales & marketing expertise, strong business acumen, and a relentless drive for extraordinary results. Peter is skilled in investment advice catered for the UHNW, Business Negotiation, and Business & Strategic Planning. He completed his Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) at the Richard Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario, Canada in 2001. In 2003 he merged his own investment brokerage firm, Kleinwort Minkins Asset Management Limited, with Xinhua Finance Limited and later became the first Chinese conglomerate to ever list on the Mother Board of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2004.
In 2017 Peter completed his Master of Arts degree in Coaching and Mentoring Practice and has been active in promoting best practice in talent development, organizational design & development through helping his clients build and sustain evidence-based coaching culture within their organisations. Peter is the Founding Member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Counsel (Asia Pacific Region), a member of the Institute of Coaching and an ICF-accredited Associate Certified Coach.
As an HRM (human resource management) Consultant and a Business & Executive Coach, Peter applies vast and remarkable life experiences and tactful life skills to coaching and mentoring top executives and clients in areas related to Sales & Customer Service, Organisation Capability Building, Management Development, Career/Talent/Change Management and Organizational Design & Development.
Peter is a devoted Buddhist and a mindfulness practitioner. Peter applies Mindfulness-based coaching techniques when working with clients experiencing stress, pain or other types of mental and emotional strains as well as tackling life problems.
Peter assisted in delivering various coaching modules at the HKU for its Master of Counselling students, and, at the HKUSPACE for its HR managers from sizable organizations. He has delivered numerous workshops and seminars on the enhancement of management/parenting skills using coaching as a fundamental tool for the city’s respectable NGOs, educational institutions, local and international business entities and charitable foundations.
Currently, Peter is pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UK). He intends to research on the effects of corporate coaching culture has on the upcoming trends of talent development and management in Asia. Following that he would study the effects of the application of Recovery Coaching as a vocational intervention to promote reintegration in Hong Kong.
Peter is dedicating much of his resources to coaching and helping individuals who are less resourceful including family members of dementia patients and elderlies, as well as ex-offenders, in combat against marginalization. Peter is also a Recovery Coach for vocational rehabilitees and their family in times of recovery.
Expertise: Media Training, Crisis Management, Communications
John is a former Bloomberg TV Prime Time Anchor and feature writer who, after 20 years in journalism, transitioned to communications so he could leverage his frontline experience as an Anchor and advise on reputation and crisis management, CEO positioning and executive media training.
John is renowned for his record of landing world exclusives in interviews with global leaders in industry and politics, from Fortune 500 CEOs and Presidents to Nobel Laureates and Olympians. He reported from the politically charged WEF in Davos, EU, IMF and OPEC meetings and, as Chief TMT correspondent between 1998 and 2010, led the coverage from 3GSM, CeBit and Cable Congress.
Past interviewees include Presidents Bill Clinton and Benigno Aquino, Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi; Alibaba’s Jack Ma, GE’s Jack Welch, Goldman’s Lloyd Blankfein, the IMF's Christine Lagarde, BP’s Lord Browne Nobel Prize winners Professors Joseph Stiglitz & Paul Krugman. As a writer, his work has been published across Bloomberg, The Financial Times, Washington Post, New York Times & Business Week.
After 20 years with Bloomberg, John transitioned to Communications, first with an Asia-based reputation and crisis management agency, and then in-house as Vice President, Executive Communications and Corporate Affairs for Melco Resorts & Entertainment.He has developed communications strategies for CEOs, corporates and HNWIs, led C-Suite media training workshops and secured high-level news articles in the mainstream media.
John graduated from the University of London with a BA (Hons) in English & Classics. He moved to Hong Kong in October 2010.
Expertise: Leadership, Organisational Development, Cross Cultural Coaching
Languages: Cantonese and English
Dr. Pansy Lam is an all-around professional with over 30 years of experience in training and development and research work. In the last 15 years, she has been heavily involved in the development of executive coaching training as well as conducting research in the field of coaching in Hong Kong.
Pansy is a fellow member of HKIHRM, and a chartered fellow of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. She has delivered HR courses since 1995, from Dip. to Ph.D. level and teaches Organization Development and Coaching. Since 1992, she has been teaching recruitment and selection. A good number of her articles were published in "Recruit" about interview skills, as from the perspectives of an interviewer and an interviewee.
Her most prominent achievement at HKU SPACE before retiring as Senior Programme Director was the development and launching of the executive coaching training and the research in cross-cultural coaching a decade ago. She developed and launched the first Executive Diploma programme in Corporate Coaching in a tertiary institution in Hong Kong. She also launched the Master degree in Coaching and Mentoring Practice in collaboration with the Oxford Brookes University in 2013, the first of its kind in Hong Kong and in Asia.
Pansy is an Accredited Coach of the Oxford Brookes University, UK, and an Accredited Organizational Coach of the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership, Australia. She acts as Advisor of the HKU SPACE Coaching Alumni and makes public presentations on coaching in different occasions for different audiences. Pansy has been coaching social workers, students, and managers, and she is also actively involved in the research and publication of coaching. She was the Chief Researcher of the HKU SPACE Research Grant Project on Cross Cultural Coaching between 2011 and 2014. Her research article entitled Coaching and Chinese Culture in Hong Kong was published in Feb 2016 in the International Journal of Evidenced-Based Coaching. She is also a reviewer of the same journal. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Sage Handbook of Coaching, 3rd edition, 2017. Her latest pursuit in coaching is her involvement in coaching supervision which is a relatively new concept in Hong Kong to be developed.
Pansy acquired her BA degree in Hong Kong; and her MSc and Ph.D. from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom. She is a founding member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, EMCC (Asia Pacific Region), a fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD); a fellow member of the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management (FHKIHRM), a member of the Institute of Coaching, USA, and a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF).
Expertise: Communication, Sales, Negotiation, Team Building
David is the 3rd generation of his family in Asia. After graduating with degrees in Law and Accounting and finance (double major) with Merit at UNSW, he was admitted as a barrister to the Supreme Court in New South Wales. David subsequently joined Ernest and Young (now known as EY) one of the “big 4” accounting firms and qualified as a Chartered accountant.
In 1987 he returned to Hong Kong to continue his professional career, having been transferred from the Sydney office of EY before joining the investment banking subsidiary of Standard Chartered Bank, and commencing an investment banking career initially covering domestic corporate finance, China capital markets, regional capital markets and private equity.
In 1997 David was asked to set up a specialist asset recovery team within the banks distressed asset portfolio using his skills acquired in the investment bank. This role required him to use his extensive interpersonal skills as he managed now not only his own team, but also diverse stakeholders in leading work outs with multiple interested groups trying to divide up a pie that was not big enough for all to be satisfied!
In 2000 Asia was beginning to boom again and David was headhunted to set up and build the Asian operations for Fox–Pitt Kelton an Anglo/American investment bank recently acquired by Swiss Re. David was responsible for building up a multi-regional team covering over 10 countries in Asia.
In 2003 SARS presented a new opportunity for David and he set up his own boutique advisory business licensed by the SFC for regulated activity 6. David used the skills he had acquired in both the equity and debt side of the balance sheet to advise entrepreneurs on structuring their business to access the capital markets. With this wealth of knowledge and experience, he decided to share his wisdom and become involved in the corporate training field. Clients have primarily consisted of financial institutions with programs ranging from credit skills training (hard skills type trainings) to soft skills trainings on avoiding burn out and managing expectations in career development. David brings his own unique set of experiences to deliver the wide range of award winning soft skills content developed by Evolution-U.
In 2012 David completed a master’s in law at the University of Hong Kong specializing in Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution and was accredited as a mediator. David is married with 6 children and is a keen follower of rugby union, initially as a player and then referee and coach. Over the past 20 years he has been involved in training new generations of rugby players through his involvement in mini rugby.
Expertise: Leadership, Team Building, Communication, Change Management, Personal Empowerment
Languages: Mandarin and English
With more than ten years of experience as a management consultant and coach, Emily has a deep understanding of individual leadership and organization development. With a background in psychology, she is good at guiding learners to develop personal awareness, from perceiving their own patterns of behavior to discovering their own restrictive cognition, which ultimately leads to sustaining and firm behavioral change.
Emily is also an organization development practitioner. She is a seasoned facilitator with keen observation of group dynamics. She is good at develop high performance team by leading groups to create a trusted environment, helping group members to develop empathy and create common goals and visions in a authentic state of mind and finally achieve performance goal and building an learning organization.
Emily firmly believes that practice is the ultimate goal of learning. The learning projects she led emphasize practicality by dual purposes of leadership development and problem solving. In addition to knowledge transfer, she insists on facilitation and coaching, exerting the individual potential of learners and developing independent learning, so that learning projects bring substantial benefits to the organization.
Her professional background and certifications include:
• ICF/ICA Certified PCC
• IPMA Certified Senior Corporate Trainer
• Senior Psychology Counselor Certified by the Chinese Government
• Certified as Marshall Goldsmith Certified Coach (360 feedback)
• Certified in Belbin Team Role analysis
• Certified as a NLP ( Neuro Linguistic Progamming) Practitioner
• Certified as a Time Line Therapy Practitioner
• Certified as an TA ( Transactional Analysis) Practitioner
• Certified Lumina Practitioner
• Action Learning Coach of WIAL (World Institute for Action Learning)
• Group Learning Facilitator (The Institute of Cultural Affairs-ICA, Canada)
• Group Coaching Study: Tavistock Institute and Gestalt Group
• MA Financial Management, University of Hertfordshire in UK
Expertise: Design Thinking
Languages: English and French
Antoine is a passionate problem-solver and business strategy adviser who has the privilege to challenge decision-makers and ambitious teams for a living. In London, Paris and Hong Kong, Antoine’s professional experience has spanned from corporate strategic consulting and SME advisory to academic leadership development.
Back in Europe, Antoine built and coordinated a project spread over fifty countries for the world’s leading credit insurance company, touching upon legal, marketing and corporate leadership issues with highly global teams.
In Asia since 2015, he has helped Fintech CEOs to clarify their visions and business models, challenged ICO teams on project feasibility issues, was involved in a variety of projects with Insurance decision-makers, intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs. Acting as the Head of Impact Strategy for Hong Kong’s leading law school (CUHK Law), he also developed a leadership program for 30+ staff around the belief that research needs to change the world, and relentlessly promoted the idea that a more cooperative Impact culture embracing Design Thinking was needed if the Institution was to become a regional leader praised for its cutting-edge research. In 2019 alone, he gave talks on innovation, business model transformation and Design Thinking to over three hundred people.
Defining himself as an Impact Advocate, Antoine strongly believes that the idea of making a difference should be at the core of everything we do, because just business as usual isn’t enough anymore. In 2019, he co-founded Impactified, a business advisory firm present in Hong Kong and France, which challenges entrepreneurs and decision-makers on the way they run, organize and run their business. Among other tools, he uses business coaching techniques and Design Thinking – which is an extremely efficient and dynamic tool for solving problems constructively while involving people in the process and promoting a sense of ownership which thereby drives implementation.
Whether the purpose is to build a team around a common solution, to help with building a workflow, to prepare a talk or to build a new business model, Design Thinking has a role to play. With Evolution-U, Antoine brings his expertise and an entrepreneurial mindset into the corporate world, challenging business leaders for the greatest Impact.
In addition to practicing Design Thinking, Antoine holds an Advanced Certificate in Design Thinking awarded by IDEO-U, the world’s reference in the field. He also studied business administration at the Sorbonne business school in Paris and holds a PhD from the University of Surrey in the UK.
Expertise: Communication, Influence, Sales, Negotiation, Personal Empowerment
Languages: French and English
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.
Joe Sevack is a lawyer with more than 25 years of experience representing buyers and sellers on mergers, acquisitions and investments, banks, sponsors, borrowers and issuers on complex financings, liability management and restructuring transactions, and underwriters and issuers on equity and equity-linked financings.
Joe has practiced in Asia for over 20 years and been involved in some of the most significant transactions in the region during that period, including the very first high yield bond issuance by a PRC company, landmark non-performing loan acquisitions in Thailand and Korea, and the inaugural sovereign bond issuances by Vietnam and Malaysia.
Joe has regularly been recognized by his clients and peers as a leading lawyer in major industry publications, particularly in the areas of capital markets, high yield and leveraged finance and banking. He spent the first eight years of his career with Cravath Swaine & Moore in New York and later Hong Kong, and has served as a corporate partner at several leading international firms including Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Paul Hastings.
Joe obtained a B.A. in Business Management and Political Science from California State University and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School, where he was Articles Editor of the Minnesota Law Review. He is admitted to practice in New York and as a Registered Foreign Lawyer in Hong Kong.
Joe has extensive experience developing and presenting trainings and seminars to lawyers, bankers and corporate executives on a wide variety of legal and business topics including high yield and leveraged financing structures, private equity, syndicated lending, mergers and acquisitions, non-performing loan acquisitions, legal and financial due diligence, and securities law and regulatory compliance.
An all-around physical fitness enthusiast, in his free time Joe can usually be found either on one of Hong Kong’s many beautiful hiking trails, a tennis court or the gym.