Carin-Isabel Knoop | Executive Director, Harvard Business School GRG (Boston)
Carin-Isabel Knoop earned her MBA with honors from Harvard Business School in 1994. She has spent the last 13 years at the School, first helping develop company specific executive development programs and then founding and heading the School's Global Research Group, a group of researchers and case writers deployed all over the world. Carin-Isabel has authored and co-authored over 120 pieces of course material covering many industries and geographies and including multiple cases on retail and wholesale trade, food and healthcare services, construction, finance, and manufacturing. Prior to her MBA, and after earning a BA from the University of Texas at Austin summa cum laude, Carin-Isabel worked four years at Coopers & Lybrand in the corporate finance and strategy teams, with a focus on Central and Eastern European countries. Carin-Isabel also worked for McKinsey Germany where she helped restructure the finances and strategy of a major German car manufacturer. Born in Mexico, Carin-Isabel is half French and half German.
Safwan Masri | Vice-Dean, Columbia Business School (New York)
Dr. Masri is Vice Dean and Director of the MBA Program of the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University. He earned his BS degree in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University in 1982, his MS in Industrial Engineering also from Purdue in 1984 and his PhD in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management from Stanford University in 1988. He was appointed Vice Dean of Columbia Business School in January 1993. He has held teaching positions at Stanford University and Santa Clara University. Professor Masri is active in consulting and executive education in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. His consulting and executive training clients have included Merrill Lynch, PaineWebber, Salomon Brothers, Deutsche Bank, Bankers Trust, Citibank, Ford Motor Company, Pfizer, IBM, Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance, and the United Nations. He advises, and is a director of, a number of international corporations, start-up ventures, and charitable foundations that include ARAMEX International, the Nuqul Group, Aregon, Sage Ventures, the Colbert Foundation, and Friends for Life. He is Advisor to Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan on education and information technology, and serves on the e-Government and on the Human Resources Development Committees of His Majesty King Abdullah's Economic Consultative Council. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for the United Nations Development Program Project for the Assessment of Arab Universities.
Evrard de Montgolfier | Executive Head of Investments, EPI (Paris)
Evrard is the Executive Head of Investments at EPI since June 2008. EPI is the private holding company of the Descours family. EPI owns three high-end labels, Weston (shoes), Bonpoint (Children Fashion) and Figaret (shirts). EPI recently divested its controlling stake in Vivarte (Chevignon, Naf Naf, André, Kookai...), a leading European apparel retailer, thus enabling it to now pursue an ambitious investment strategy. Evrard started his career at the M&A Department of Paribas in New York. After completing an MBA, he joined strategy consultants Bain & Co in Boston. He later moved to the Paris Office as a Project Manager. He advised large corporation on strategy and development cases (American Express, Vivendi...). In 1999, Evrard joined Artémis (PPR, Christie's, Gucci, Samsonite, Aurora Life...), the private holding of French billionaire François Pinault, as Head of Investments and Corporate Development. At Artémis, Evrard managed investments in a number of companies, including Christie's, Le Point (news magazine) and Neuf Télécom. Evrard was in charge of conducting various large investment projects, including stakes in Vinci and Suez Environnement. Evrard was a Board member of Christie's and Artémis until June 2008. Evrard holds an Engineering Degree from Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris as well as an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Theodore Hatem | CEO, ICA Group of Companies (Hong Kong)
Theodore Hatem is the CEO of ICA, an investment holding company for a number of firms operating in the fields of real estate, technology and trading. In 2007, ICA reported consolidated revenues of 1.2 billion dollars and a net profit of 250 million dollars. ICA, through its operating companies owns and manages a network of income generating real assets in Asia. ICAs trading companies include firms operating in the fields of gold, silver and copper. ICA's technology companies include six firms in Shenzen and Shanghai. A self-made man, Theodore was one of the first businessmen to invest in post-communist China. Shunning the limelight, ICA's operating companies typically invest in opportunities not available to most investors. A contrarian thinker, Theodore has often gone against the tide and reaped extraordinary rewards. He and his two sons Marcus and Roger, both brought up in the US, have recently setup an investment holding company to capitalize on opportunities in mainland China, where Theodore has extensive personal connections. Theodore's daughter Pita is the founder and CEO of a Korean technology company listed on the Seoul stock market. Theodore was born in Los Angeles to a Lebanese father and an American mother. He holds a BA in Communication as well as MS in Management from the University of Hong Kong.