Highlights from LEA Global's Asia Pacific Regional Conference
As I reflect on my 12-day Southeast Asia trip to visit members and attend the LEA Global Asia Pacific Regional Conference, I find myself with a sense of awe on how far our community has come in 3 years and renewed hope in the opportunities we have in front of us.
The trip included visiting with three member firms and one prospective firm in Singapore, two member firms in Jakarta, Indonesia, and attendance at our first Asia Pacific Regional Conference in over 10 years.
By the numbers, we had 28 participants from 16 member firms in 11 countries. The attending members enjoyed the scenes and tastes of Singapore during and in between the various sessions. One of our local firms, Lo Hock Ling & Co, hosted the opening reception where the conference kicked off with an energetic networking session where members established new relationships and strengthened long-term relationships with friends and colleagues. The discussion was constant with laughter heard throughout.
Session to Learn, Share, Discuss, & Collaborate
The sessions provided opportunities for members to learn, share, discuss, and takeaway insights and innovative ideas to consider in their own quests to grow and keep high performing, well connected organizations that are dedicated to world class client service and top-notch talent experiences. The conference began with a session on the LEA Global vision, mission, and strategic priorities. This included connection to key initiatives, programs, and events, such as the Global Consulting Marketplace, Country Desks, and Global Talent Exchange.
The agenda included external thought leaders to facilitate conversations on key issues across Asia. Deborah Elms with the Asian Trade Centre led a session on free trade agreements. Her insights provided a broad sense of how we can expand conversations with clients across Asia and the world to help them better understand how to use these to create growth. Francis Throng with UOB about the benefits of working together to help growing companies across the ASEAN region. Finally, Rena Chew Julius Baer shared her experiences of establishing and serving family offices based in Singapore, though she expanded to include other key centers such as India and Hong Kong.
The agenda also included several sessions focused on key priorities that members are focused on to ensure that they remain relevant and thrive in the quest to acquire and serve clients and attract and develop people. Alberto Vettoretti, Dezan Shira & Associates, and Xerxes Medora, JK Medora PAC, opened the member sessions with an overview of how they’ve approached strategic planning, reminding members of the importance of having the discipline to engage partner groups and firm leaders in strategic dialogue. Allan McKeown, Prosperity Advisers Group, and Pearlyn Chong, Lo Hock Ling & Co., shared their approaches to succession planning to address both planned and unplanned transition. Amit Maheshwari, AKM Global, offered insights into several technology initiatives they have undertaken to automate processes and service offerings, many of which provide relief to the staff shortages facing our firms today. Tony Szczepaniak led a panel of Young Professionals – Labiba Wahab, A Wahab & Co, and Ben Hailstone, Prosperity Advisers Group. The session offered them an opportunity to share their views on what drives young professionals. Their sharing stimulated great questions and lively discussions with the member firms.
The conference ended with a session on Cultural Intelligence facilitated by David Stepat, Dezan Shira & Associates. This was a terrific opportunity to learn, through practical examples, how cultural differences can create misunderstandings that lead to dysfunctional relationships and slow or stop implementation of strategies and projects that help move a firm forward in creating value. David’s experiences and insights led to much dialogue about shifts in perspectives that can help strengthen both individual and community relationships.
The sessions provided opportunities for members to learn, share, discuss, and takeaway insights and innovative ideas to consider in their own quests to grow and keep high performing, well connected organizations that are dedicated to world class client service and top-notch talent experiences.
Until Next Year
Overall, the conference was an immense success with members looking forward to the next opportunity to be together virtually and in-person. Thank you again to all the participating members who facilitated sessions, shared perspectives, and made good use of the time together. We cannot wait to be together again soon!