ASEAN PE/VC in the Era of COVID-19: Lessons Learned to Date and Navigating the Future

21 May 2020, 9:00 am SGT (20 May 2020, 9:00 pm EDT)

Join EMPEA and SVCA on Thursday, 21 May 2020 for a private virtual meeting to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on private equity and venture capital in Southeast Asia.

EMPEA’s Managing Director of Research, Jeff Schlapinski, will provide context and present relevant findings from EMPEA’s Year-End 2019 Global Private Capital Industry Data & Statistics with a focus on Southeast Asia.

Panels facilitated by EMPEA’s ASEAN Representative Steven Okun and SVCA Director Doris Yee will include the region’s most active fund managers to discuss the outlook for PE and VC as a result of COVID-19, with an eye to unpacking the challenges faced by the private capital industry in these uncertain times.

EMPEA and SVCA members receive complimentary access to the meeting. EMPEA members can RSVP at the link below by clicking on “Register Now”, selecting “Continue as non-member,” and using a member-specific passcode. Please contact for the complimentary code.

Agenda Outline:

9:00 – 9:05 | Opening Remarks

9:05 – 9:15 | A Look Back on 2019

9:15 – 9:40 | VC in the Era of COVID-19

9:40 – 10:05 | PE in the Era of COVID-19

10-05 – 10:20 | Open Discussion: What is Next?

10:20 – 10:25 | Closing Remarks

Featured Discussion Leaders:

Emma Biddles
Portfolio Operations Director, Environment and Social,
Navis Capital Partners

Emma Biddles is the Portfolio Operations Director for Environment and Social at Navis Capital Partners. Emma partners with the portfolio companies to implement environmental and social initiatives that deliver measurable value and works with the inhouse ESG team to develop and strengthen internal ESG management capabilities and supports the investment professionals.

Emma has extensive experience in environmental and sustainability management spanning 20 years. She has worked in consulting, agribusiness and chemicals and food manufacturing and more recently was the Regional Environmental Sustainability lead for Kellogg Asia Pacific. Emma has a BSc from the University of Sydney and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Shane Chesson
Openspace Ventures

Shane is Founder and Partner of Openspace Ventures, a Singapore-headquartered VC focused on investments in Southeast Asia-based technology companies. Openspace currently manages 2 funds with total committed capital of USD225M. Selected Openspace investments overseen by Shane include Gojek, HaloDoc, Whispir, Biofourmis, Finnomena, and Tanihub.

As of March 2020, Openspace Ventures Fund I (launched end 2014) is tracking in top 5% of VC funds globally according to Cambridge Associates benchmark. In 2018, Shane was a finalist for Asian VC/PE “Professional of the Year” as coordinated by the Asian Venture Capital Journal.

Shane was previously Managing Director and Co-Head Technology Investment Banking, of Citigroup Asia-Pacific. As a technology banker, he spent over thirteen years advising Asian technology companies and financial sponsors on capital raising and M&A strategies. Over this time, his clients have included strategic players such as Qihoo, Mediatek, Pactera, Acquity, Hisoft, ASE, SAS and sponsors such as Temasek, Khazanah, ATIC, GGV, CVCI and DCM. Shane has acted as advisor on many technology M&A transactions including SaS acquisition of Covalent, sale of Singapore Computer Systems to NCS in 2009 and the private equity buyouts of SPI, Unisteel, MMI and Acument. Prior to his banking career, Shane was a strategy consultant with Bain and Company and GEM Consulting in Australia.

Shane has an MBA with distinction from INSEAD Singapore where he was a recipient of the IAA Asian Campus
scholarship and a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Commerce from UWA.

Jeff Chi
Managing Director,
Vickers Venture Partners

Dr. Jeffrey Chi is a Managing Director of Vickers Venture Partners, Vice Chairman of Vickers Capital Group and a member of its Investment Committee. He is also former Chairman and currently Ambassador of the Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association.

Dr. Chi is a C.F.A. Charter holder and graduated from Cambridge University with 1st Class Honours in Engineering. He earned his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in organizational knowledge and information technology.

Melissa Guzy
Co-Founder and Managing Director,
Arbor Ventures

Melissa C. Guzy is the Founder and Managing Partner of Arbor Ventures and has more than 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and venture investor. Before Arbor Ventures, Melissa was a Managing Director and a member of the Investment Committee at VantagePoint Capital Partners, where she invested in early stage technology companies in Asia, Europe and Silicon Valley. In 2007, Melissa moved to Hong Kong to build VantagePoint’s investment practice in the region, establishing offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. Her current board positions include EverCompliant, InCountry, Paidy, and TrueAccord.

Nainesh Jaisingh
Founding Partner and CEO,
Affirma Capital

Nainesh Jaisingh is a Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer at Affirma Capital. He is based in Singapore and also directly manages the Private Equity business in South East Asia.

Prior to leading the MBO of Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) to form Affirma Capital, Nainesh was a founding member of the business within Standard Chartered Bank in 2002, and most recently the Global Head of the Principal Finance business of the Bank.

With SCPE, Nainesh has 18-year track record of successful investments and exits. Based in Mumbai from 2006 to 2013, he was responsible for building SCPE into one of the most active and successful private equity investors in India, with a strong and seasoned team. Nainesh was also responsible for overseeing the build out of the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) and Southeast Asia businesses of SCPE. He has partnered with a wide range of entrepreneurs and management teams to build leading businesses and serves on the Board of Directors of several companies.

In 2003, he was instrumental in launching the Merlion India Fund, a joint venture between SCPE and Temasek, the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Singapore – which returned 3.7x to its sponsors. In 2001, he co-founded FinVentures, a proprietary Venture Capital Fund sponsored by SCB and headquartered in Singapore. His early career was with ANZ Investment Bank and ANZ Grindlays.

Nainesh is an Engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), BHU, and holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore.

Steve Okun
ASEAN Representative,

Steven Okun, EMPEA’s ASEAN Representative, is Founder and CEO of Singapore-based APAC Advisors, a public affairs consultancy working with clients on ESG, sustainability and stakeholder engagement. Steve has lived and worked in Asia since 2003, most recently for EMPEA member KKR, and previously with global logistics company UPS. As KKR’s first Director of Asia Public Affairs, Mr. Okun’s responsibilities encompassed government affairs, communications, stakeholder engagement and sustainability. His responsibilities included KKR’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives. He created and led KKR’s impact investing pro bono program in the region, a model for strategic philanthropic engagement.

Sunil Mishra
Partner, Primary Investments, Singapore
Adams Street Partners

Sunil specializes in the sourcing and execution of Asian investments ex-China, specifically in India, Australia, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Korea.

Prior to joining Adams Street, Sunil worked for Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore performing financial and business analyses of local and regional companies. Previously, Sunil worked in India as an Investment and Strategy Associate in Tacogroup, the automotive technology and engineering investment arm of the Tata Group of India, where he worked on business planning, feasibility studies, and localization plans for new ventures.

Sunil manages relationships with several of Adams Street’s managers and sits on advisory boards of more than a dozen private equity firms within the Adams Street Partners portfolio.

Sunil is a member of Adams Street’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Committee.

Jeff Schlapinski
Managing Director of Research,

Jeff Schlapinski is the Managing Director of Research at EMPEA, where he leads a team producing industry data, analysis and in-depth reporting on private equity, private credit, infrastructure and real assets investing in emerging economies. In addition to providing bi-annual market intelligence to EMPEA’s members, Jeff manages EMPEA’s annual Global Limited Partners Survey and is a regular author of EMPEA special reports and research briefs. He also interacts frequently with the media, fund managers, institutional investors, and industry advisors in order to fulfill EMPEA’s broader mission of informing the investment community on the private capital opportunity set in emerging markets. Jeff graduated from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) at Georgetown University with a B.S. in International Economics.

Vorapol (Brook) Supanusonti
Co-Founder and Managing Director,
Asia Partners

Vorapol (Brook) Supanusonti is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Asia Partners, a private equity firm focused on the next generation of high-growth technology companies in Southeast Asia.

Prior to Asia Partners, Vorapol was a senior executive at Sea (NYSE:SE), a consumer internet company in Southeast Asia. Sea operates Garena and Shopee, respectively the largest gaming and e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia. At Sea, he oversaw the firm’s direct investment program, focusing on early-stage tech companies in Southeast Asia. He was also part of the core team that led the company’s landmark initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in 2017, raising approximately US$1B in primary capital.

Prior to Sea, Vorapol spent over a decade as a private equity investor in Southeast Asia with TPG, General Atlantic, and Temasek Holdings. He played a key role in over US$2.4B worth of transactions in sectors spanning from technology, consumer, logistics, education, to real estate.

He earned a B.B.A in Finance and a B.Sc. in Economics from Singapore Management University where he graduated summa cum laude.

Iasen Tsai
Managing Director and Head of Private Investments,
Kiri Capital

Iesan leads Kiri’s investments across the private markets asset class. After working in the US with leading financial institutions including JP Morgan and UBS for investment banking and real estate acquisitions, Iesan headed the Asia office for Hermes GPE, a UK-headquartered asset management firm investing in private equity, where she sat on the Global Investment Committee. Iesan received an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a BA from Stanford University.


Doris Yee

Doris has over 20 years of experience in investing and technology commercialisation. She has worked with entrepreneurs and investors and served as a Director on the Boards of portfolio companies in US (Silicon Valley), New Zealand and China. She was involved in the formation and served on the Investment Committees of venture capital funds iGlobe Partners and iGlobe Treasury.

She has been involved with the Singapore Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SVCA), the representative body for private equity and venture capital fund institutions in Singapore as Honorary Secretary since 2007. Since 2011, she has assumed the duties of the Executive Director heading the Secretariat and representing the SVCA on the Asia Venture Capital and Private Equity Council (AVCPEC). She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore where she teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses on Private Equity and Venture Capital.

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