The Changing Game

Every business is a gamble. But high stakes can’t describe the challenges facing the generation of leaders taking the helm at Asia’s family businesses. Stepping into the shoes of the pioneers that molded these fortunes means throwing the dice on enterprises that grew in many cases from periods of crisis into towering corporate empires and the backbones of economies. If only it were enough to maintain these grand endowments. Change—the gut-wrenching, nerve-wracking kind—tugs at the sleeve of the most confident player. Innovate! Or face long odds of survival against the incessant march of disruptive technologies. Innovate! And risk upsetting the cultural rabbit’s foot that makes any family business a winner. All the while, the decks are being reshuffled as history makes way for new powers and potentates. Double down, color up or cash out: only one thing is certain. The game is changing. 


Venue: Solaire Resort and Casino - The Theatre


Registration desk opens


Guests to be seated


Welcome remarks


Session I - Jokers Wild

Just when you thought you knew the rules. Not only are they changing, but so are the players, the cards and with them the odds. China is caught between a domestic debt bubble and a belligerent U.S., Europe and the U.K. are locked in their own poker match. Moscow’s hackers have turned elections everywhere into a game of Russian roulette. And policymakers everywhere are struggling not to roll snake eyes as they grapple with slowing global growth. With all these dramas roiling trade and investment, are all bets off? This panel will explore how business leaders are coping with these shifting fortunes, where they think the investment action is hot, and whether Asia’s family businesses might have a few aces up their sleeves.


Session II - Passing the Shoe

Luck in baccarat is said to be in the cards; get the right shuffle of the right decks and you could break the bank (or the casino). In family business, likewise, it’s crucial that things be in order when the handover comes. The patriarch or matriarch sets the tone, establishing the family values, ethos and reputation that will to a great extent determine what hand their successors will be dealt for years to come. Nowadays though, more next-generation leaders are choosing to take charge earlier. Do they risk ending their family’s streak of luck by jumping ahead? Or does it make sense in an age of disruption to try mixing things up to improve the odds? In this panel, participants will discuss the importance of corporate culture, the pros and cons of continuity vs. experimentation, and what makes for a successful transition.


Session III - Double Down on Digital

Always split on aces and eights, any diehard blackjack player can tell you. But the rise of new technologies is rewriting the rulebook. For a younger generation of players, counting the highs and lows turned over by social media, the cloud, big data, blockchain and artificial intelligence is easy enough. Placing big, unconventional bets, though, can alarm the house. So what’s the best way to make a compelling case for digital innovation that doesn’t bring down the pit boss? This panel will discuss how to build consensus around seemingly scary digital transformation so that family companies can hit the tables while they’re hot and not go spectacularly bust.


Session IV - When to Hold ‘Em, When to Fold ‘Em

No matter how good your poker face, there’s often just no hiding that your heart lies in another game. So it is in family business. Some can scratch that itch by starting a side game, like a new business within the family firm. For others, it means going all in on their own venture or even turning a passion into a career or pursuit outside business altogether. However big your stake, though, there’s no bluffing your way to the jackpot of fulfillment. So ante up: this panel will discuss how to play your cards right so you don’t find yourself the sucker at the table of life choices.


Session V - Splitting the Pot

It’s not how much you win that defines you, but what you do with your winnings. Where the new generation has broken with its forbears is in defining success by the impact it has on the world. Doing no harm, sure—companies all now have to make sure they’re good neighbors. And charity remains a noble form of giving back. But philanthropy has moved on from building a hospital wing. Business leaders are now making sure their daily business has a positive social impact, whether it’s investing in enterprises that provide jobs in impoverished areas or undertaking projects that reduce environmental damage while boosting profits. As growing inequity raises troubling questions about the role of wealth, this panel will discuss how philanthropy’s goals can redress imbalances so that even the humblest player can find a seat at the table.  After all, you can’t win if you don’t play.


Closing remarks


Speakers group photo


Food and Music Festival


After Party at The Cigar Bar & Poker Room



  • Heng Swee Keat
    Minister for Finance
  • Goodwin Gaw
    Managing Principal and Chairman
    Gaw Capital Partners
    Hong Kong
  • Matt Dalio
    Founder & Chief of Product
    United States
  • Axton Salim
    Executive Director
    Salim Group
  • Korawad Chearavanont
    Chief Executive Officer
    Eko Communications
  • Anderson Tanoto
    Member, Board of Trustees
    Tanoto Foundation
  • Katrina Razon
    Managing Director, KSR Ventures
    Managing Partner, Third Culture Music + Media
  • Karan Virwani
    WeWork India
  • Ton Chirathivat
    Head of Customer Strategy
    Central Group
  • Sabrina Ho Chiu Yeng
    Managing Director, Chiu Yeng Culture Ltd
    Strategic Partner, UNESCO
    Hong Kong
  • Loh Boon Chye
    Chief Executive Officer
  • Nishita Shah
    Group Managing Director
    GP Group
  • Alvin Sariaatmadja
    President Director
    Emtek Group
  • Melissa Kwee
    Chief Executive Officer
    National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre
  • Abhimanyu Munjal
    Joint Managing Director and CEO
    Hero FinCorp Ltd
  • Allen Law
    Chief Executive Officer
    Park Hotel Group
  • Joanne Kua
    Group CEO & Executive Director
    KSK Group Berhad
  • Michelle Yong
    Aurum Land
  • Laurence Lien
    Chairman, Lien Foundation
    CEO, Asia Philanthropy Circle


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The Theatre
Solaire Resort and Casino

1 Asean Avenue Entertainment City Tambo,
Parañaque City 1701
Manila, Philippines