The Berkeley MBA
April 2, 2011   Haas School of Business   University of California, Berkeley

Rising Asia Forum

The Next Generation: Which countries are poised to become the next to emerge on the global scene?

The Rising Asia Forum is designed to turn the spotlight towards Asia’s many fast-rising economies, following China and India’s lead in changing the global business landscape. It will focus on how these companies are competing with China and India, how their development paths are different, and what are their prospects in the future. Panelists have experiences in countries such as Thailand, Singapore, and more.

  • How other rising Asian countries are positioning themselves to compete against China, India and the rest of the world?
  • What competitive advantages do they have? How are they developing their competitive advantages?
  • Will any of these countries be the next big thing in Asia?
  • What obstacles are these countries facing and how are they planning to overcome the challenges?
  • Why should public market investors look to invest in these markets?
  • What are some interesting trends in these emerging countries?

See video of the Rising Asia Forum.



Toby Smith, Managing Director, Lombard Investments


Thomas Smith is a Managing Director of Lombard based in San Francisco and Bangkok. He has been active in the investment field since 1979 and has been with Lombard since 1997. His investment and management experience in Asia and North America includes operational and financial restructurings, financial services, manufacturing, large scale urban public and private sector projects, mixed-use real estate development projects and residential construction.

Prior to Lombard, Mr. Smith held positions as the CEO and CFO of ACI, Inc., a construction products manufacturer; Executive Vice President, WSGP Group, an investment partnership formed by former U.S. Treasury Secretary, William E. Simon, that pursued LBOs, bank acquisitions and real estate; and Senior Vice President, PSB Realty, a diversified real estate investment firm. He began his career with The Rouse Company, a publicly-held real estate investment and development company that was the first to develop the enclosed shopping mall. Mr. Smith graduated cum laude from Harvard College (A.B. 1975).

Neil McGovern, Director, Sybase


Neil McGovern has over 15 years experience in the software industry. Currently Neil is responsible for platform strategy for Sybase's infrastructure product line, including its enterprise-class RDBMS, Sybase ASE, and integration, portal and tools product lines.

Prior to that, Neil was responsible for building the Sybase (New Era of Networks) Adapter suites, commonly recognized as one of the most advanced and complete set of Adapters in the EAI marketplace. Neil developed ERP package expertise as CTO of Convoy Corporation, which specialized in PeopleSoft integration. He led the Development and Professional Services teams for Convoy Corporation, which was purchased by Sybase (New Era of Networks) in 1999 after recording triple digit growth for three consecutive years.


Arjun Divecha, Chairman of the Board, GMO


Mr. Divecha, based in Berkeley, California, is Chairman of the GMO Board and is responsible for overseeing the team managing the GMO Emerging Markets Strategy, GMO Emerging Countries Strategy and the GMO Emerging Illiquid Strategy. Prior to his affiliation with GMO in 1993, he spent 12 years at BARRA directing software development, marketing, client service and emerging markets research and development. Mr. Divecha holds a Bachelor of Technology in Aeronautical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and an M.B.A. in Finance from Cornell University.




Dean Richard Lyons, Haas School of Business, University of California-Berkeley

Richard K. Lyons became the Bank of America Dean of the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, in July 2008. He is a graduate of the school’s undergraduate business program. Prior to becoming dean, Lyons served as the chief learning officer at Goldman Sachs in New York, where he was responsible for leadership development among the firm’s managing directors.

Dean Lyons started his career as a professor of finance. He joined the Haas School in 1993. In 2004, he was named acting dean of the school for one year and then continued his strategic duties here as executive associate dean from 2005 to 2008. His academic research has explored currency markets, a focus reflected in his book The Microstructure Approach to Exchange Rates (MIT Press). This novel approach to exchange rates examines the market from a trading-room perspective, e.g., the flow of buy and sell orders and why those orders subsequently affect prices, rather than from the traditional perspective of macroeconomics. This line of work focuses on how dispersed information gets reflected in prices via trading. He has published many articles in professional journals on these and other related topics.

Dean Lyons is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves on the UC Berkeley Foundation and on the steering committee of UC Berkeley’s Blum Center for Developing Economies.

Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, he served as chair of the Board of Directors of Matthews Asian Funds, and a member of the Board of Directors of iShares (Barclays Global Investors). In 1998 Lyons received UC Berkeley’s highest teaching honor, the Distinguished Teaching Award. His students have honored him with the Haas School’s Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching six times.

Following completion of his undergraduate studies at Berkeley in 1982, Lyons went on to earn a PhD in international and macroeconomics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1987. He began his teaching career at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business in New York, where he served on the faculty from 1987 until he joined the Haas School faculty in 1993.