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TransCultural Group is unique – it is a company where a team of very talented senior executives believes that it can give back to the community through a business that facilitates cross-cultural exchanges at the highest level. Every senior member of the team has gone through a rich multi-cultural experience and has attained business success in his or her field.

Through TCG, their goal is to share the experiences they have much appreciated, making the world a much better place by nurturing future leaders.

KENG KENG TAN
FOUNDER, MANAGING DIRECTOR

Keng Keng Tan has over 20 years of experience in international business spanning three continents (Europe, North America and Asia Pacific). Her experience ranges from Engineering, Marketing & Sales, Strategy & Business Development, OEM & Alliances, Market Intelligence and Consulting.

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Before starting TransCultural Group, Keng Keng was vice president in an American company, leading its global research and consulting practice and business development efforts in Asia Pacific. She has enjoyed a successful and global Information Technology (IT) career, gaining respect and recognition from her Western and Asian peers alike. Companies she has worked for include Mars Inc, Lexmark International and Photizo Group.

Keng Keng was born in Melaka and educated in England. In England, she obtained a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng, Hons) from King’s College, University of London. Later, she obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, in the USA. Besides her academic achievements, she is also a trained pianist with a Grade 8 for Pianoforte & Theory of Music (by the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music (England), and an amateur artist for leisure.

Keng Keng has lived in Malaysia, the United Kingdom, France and the United States. She traveled to more than thirty countries around the world before finally returning to Asia.  She is French, and now lives happily in Singapore as a Permanent Resident.

With her strong belief in giving back to the community, Keng Keng sits on the board of the Rotary Club of Bugis Junction, Singapore (an organization under Rotary International) as the foundation chair and a past president.

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JEAN-LOUIS DE LA SALLE
SENIOR PARTNER, FRANCE & SWITZERLAND

As a global business executive, Jean-Louis de la Salle has more than 20 years of experience in the high-tech and document industry.

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Besides being a senior partner with TransCultural Group, Jean-Louis also holds the position of vice-president of the French Chapter of Xplor, the worldwide non-profit electronic document association, where his responsibilities include managing international relations with other chapters and promoting adequate recognition by companies of the importance of documents to their success. Under Jean‐Louis’ leadership as president from 2003 to 2009, Xplor France became a premier network for document professionals in France, with a high membership and a substantial increase in revenues. Currently, he is also President and Founder of fiD&IM, a non-profit association that promotes the importance of Document Management positions in companies.

He was president and owner of a computer equipment trading company and also held various positions with international responsibilities in firms such as Thomson Multimedia and Lexmark International. In addition, he is the founder and president of a consulting firm, Aurea Performance SAS.

Jean-Louis is a true European, holding a MA from Paris Dauphine University and regularly presenting around the world in French, English and German. Coming from a military and diplomats’ family with both French and Swiss heritage, he was educated and has always worked in an international environment. He has travelled extensively and has a strong appetite for and understanding of foreign cultures.

For leisure, he travels often to Italy and owns classic cars.

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STEVEN SWIFT
SENIOR PARTNER, UNITED KINGDOM

Steven Swift is a highly experienced international executive, with a broad range of experience throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, and Asia Pacific, in both corporate and SME environments.

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Steven has a background in blue-chip consumer marketing and has worked with leading consumer goods companies such as P&G, Mars, and De Beers. He is also experienced in corporate strategy, having worked with a leading international marketing and services company. He has set up and grown a €100M plus services business across Europe in the office equipment industry. He has also worked in an IT start-up, providing independent software and consultancy in the fast-growing arena of Managed Print Services, and joined a leading Office Supplies company as a Vice President, where he ran a €140M European business unit.

Since 2009, he has been working with Photizo Group, a market intelligence company serving the Managed Print Service industry, where he has set up the European arm of the business.

Steven is a graduate of Oxford University with an MA degree in chemistry, and also attended the senior management programme at INSEAD.

Steven has had a lifelong interest in cultural exchanges, and remembers fondly how, as an undergraduate, he worked during vacations as a senior tutor with the Council for International Contact, organising and delivering English language programmers for young people from a wide range of countries.

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MEITAL BARUCH
PARTNER, SINGAPORE

Meital has over 10 years of experience as an HR professional. Her experience spans across international recruitment and employee assessment covering major industry groups (IT, banking and finance, technology, communications, healthcare, retail, etc).

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She has also assisted companies in creating, implementing and managing tailored solutions for employees’ team-based training and development programmes, including individual coaching. Companies Meital has been involved with include “HOT” (one of Israel’s largest Telecommunication services companies) and “Adam Milo” (a leading international HR Consulting Firm).

Meital was born in Israel, but in 2007, she relocated to Singapore with her husband (an executive in a major global bank). She had her fair share of cultural “surprises” as many who step into a new country typically encounter.

Nevertheless, she found her experiences enlightening and insightful. This led her to research this area and further develop her skills in CQ (Cultural Intelligence) and inter-cultural management.

Meital holds a Master of Science in Industrial and Organisational Psychology from the City University of New York and is also certified by the Cultural Intelligence Center as a CQ certified facilitator. She is also a member of the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology (SIOP) as well as the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP).

Combining CQ and inter-cultural management skills with her corporate and HR experience, and driven by her genuine will and passion, Meital is determined to help people and organisations in bridging cultural gaps, developing global leadership talents, and exploring cross-cultural business opportunities. She is the founder and consultant of “Global Mindset” and a proud partner of TransCultural Group.

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MICHAEL GATES
ADVISORY PARTNER, UNITED KINGDOM

Michael Gates is an Associate Fellow of Saïd Business School – University of Oxford, and Vice Chairman of Richard Lewis Communications. He is an internationally recognised teacher and writer on cross-cultural management and speaks regularly at large corporate and government events.

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At Saïd Business School, Michael is a regular contributor to the Oxford Programme on Negotiation and the Small Countries Financial Management Programme. He has also taught on a custom programme on leadership for Standard Chartered as well as custom programmes for OPN for UNIDO. He is a regular contributor to open enrolment programmes at the Royal Swedish Technical University and to programmes for TeliaSonera. He has provided cross-cultural training in more than 30 countries to corporations and organisations such as Nokia, the World Bank, Microsoft, Rolls-Royce, Statoil, UNIDO, the EU, Eurojust,Takeda, and the Finnish and Swedish governments as part of their preparations for the EU Presidency.

Michael has been with Richard Lewis Communications since 1990, first as Managing Director of the Finnish company and subsequently Nordic Regional Director. He was appointed Group Managing Director in 2000 and Vice Chairman in 2012. Previously he worked for Linguarama in Finland and, before that, worked as production assistant and producer at Piccadilly Radio, Manchester, with many presenters who went on to become household names in the UK, including Chris Evans, Timmy Mallett, Nick Robinson and Brian Cox.

In 1997, Michael came up with the concept for the world’s first online cross-cultural assessment and cultural data resource, CultureActive, and got it implemented. It has currently got a database of around 85,000 users. He has been published in dozens of newspapers and magazines on cross-cultural matters, including the Daily Telegraph, La Tribune, People Management and the HR Director. Michael has also contributed chapters to books published in the UK, Finland, Denmark and India. In 2002, he received the Most Innovative Technology Award for CultureActive at the US Center for International Business and Education conference, hosted by Duke Fuqua Business School and the University of North Carolina.

Michael has an MA in English Language and Literature from St Catherine’s College, Oxford. He was awarded a college scholarship for being placed in the First Class in Honour Moderations.

In 2016, TransCultural Group Pte Ltd (TCG), Singapore is proud to become a partner of Richard Lewis Communications Ltd, UK (RLC). With this partnership, TCG and RLC’s leadership team will work closely to incorporate Lewis-Model and CultureActive tool in TCG’s Cross-Cultural Competency package and Cultural Exploratory programme.

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GHIM BOK CHEW
DIRECTOR, SINGAPORE

Ghim Bok Chew has more than 30 years of wide and diverse business experience. This includes founding of companies ranging from Information Technology (IT), software, investment and venture capital, and leading a food processing company.

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He started his career in the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore. After 3 years as a system analyst, Ghim Bok’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to start his own company – ProData Computer Systems in 1983, which he developed into one of the largest privately owned system integrators in Singapore. In 2000, he sold ProData to the Jardine Matheson Group, and became Jardine Onesolution. His other achievements include founding a software company, Alberg Consulting Pte Ltd., and an investment company GB Ventures Pte Ltd. , as well as serving as Executive Director of Elite KSB Holdings Ltd (a leading food processing company in Singapore), and has been its Chief Executive Officer for 15 years.

Ghim Bok graduated with an Honours Degree in Computer Science from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. He strives to make a difference and give back to community through various civic and community organisations. Besides being both past President of the Rotary Club of Bugis Junction, Singapore, and the past District Governor of 3310 District of Rotary International. Ghim Bok is also an active Grassroot Community Leader in Singapore. The President of Singapore awarded him the Public Service Medal (PBM) and the Public Service Star Medal (BBM).

In his free time, he enjoys motor sports and fast cars.

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RETO CALLEGARI, Ph.D.
ADVISORY DIRECTOR

Throughout Reto Callegari’s business career of more than 30 years, he has been active in international banking, wealth management and investments. He founded ADVAL CIC (S) PTE LTD, a Singapore-incorporated investment management and consulting company, in 1999. As an Angel Investor, he has invested in high-tech, hospitality, services and e-commerce businesses. He has been a member of BANSEA, the Business Angels Network of South-East Asia, since its inception.

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Prior to setting up his own company, he had held various senior positions at Credit Suisse, including Member of the Executive Committee of Credit Suisse Geneva, Member of the Executive Board and CEO Asia–Pacific of Credit Suisse Private Banking, Chairman of Credit Suisse Investment Consulting (Taiwan) Ltd.

Reto has also been a mentor of numerous entrepreneurs and founders of start-up and early stage companies. His main interests lie in business models, strategy, C-level management, finance, investment/divestment decisions, and negotiations. He has served on various Supervisory and Advisory Boards of companies, funds and a foundation.

As a “pracademic” (Practitioner-Academic) focusing on the study of entrepreneurship and the management of innovation, he has been a regular guest lecturer/instructor/discussant at universities and institutes since 1999, including Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Management University (SMU) in Singapore; ISEMI Tel Aviv in Israel and Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia.

Reto has been associated with INSEAD, the “Business School for the World®”, as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence since 2005 and Adjunct Professor from 2006 to 2011. From 1973-1976 he served the National Research Council of Thailand as a Foreign Researcher, after having worked on a World Bank project in the Middle East before.

Reto holds a PhD from the University of Zurich and diplomas from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland. He is an active Rotarian and past Assistant Governor of Rotary International District 3310.

He is married with two adult sons, holds a Swiss passport and is a Permanent Resident of Singapore.

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MARNIE DE VANSSAY
ADVISORY DIRECTOR

After 25 years of working in Executive Search and Recruitment for two international consulting firms, a prestigious luxury goods multinational and a major Internet company, Marnie’s life in corporate Human Resource changed abruptly in 2002 when she and her husband took over his family property in the Loire Valley.

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Marnie was born in America and moved to Florence, Italy, when she was aged 2 years old. Four years later, she moved to Switzerland, living first in Zürich then in Lausanne, where she graduated with the Swiss Maturité Fédérale (an A- level equivalent) in 1975. Marnie graduated with an MA in Psychology from the Catholic University of Paris and worked for a year as a clinical psychologist before she joined Heidrick & Struggles Executive Search in 1980.

After 3 years with Heidrick & Struggles in Paris, London and Düsseldorf, she moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where she joined Jefferson Europe, a subsidiary of GKR-Neumann. There, she worked with a wide variety of clients such as BMG Classics, GE Electric, United Brands Chiquita, Ares-Serono, Avon Cosmetics and STMicroelectronics.

During these years, she also obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from Anglia University in Great Britain, concentrating on Training and Development.

In 2000, after six months in HR at the headquarters of Louis Vuitton, Marnie entered the fast-paced Internet world as a Recruitment Manager for eBay. She spent the next six years hiring most of eBay’s Europe executives during a period of entrepreneurial growth and systematic structuring, including events like the purchase and integration of iBazaar in France, Spain and Italy and the acquisition of PayPal and, subsequently, Skype. In March 2002, her husband’s father, the Comte de Vanssay (Count of Vanssay), passed away. This left her and her husband Guy with the ancestral chateau and one big question – “What do you do when 600 years of history and tradition falls into your lap, requiring time, energy and funds to maintain and develop?” Guy left his job in the advertising industry, eBay agreed that Marnie would work partially from her “new” home in the Loire Valley, and the couple decided to renovate their family estate and open it up to welcome guests. Now visitors from around the world come to stay at Château de La Barre, experiencing the gracious hospitality of French aristocracy and the warm welcome of Guy and Marnie who enjoy sharing and perpetuating their value of “Noblesse Oblige”. To Guy and Marnie, owning a château is not about possession, but transmission, less about having than about being and giving.

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SU-YIN YAP
ADVISORY DIRECTOR

Su-Yin Yap has over 20 years of media and communications experience, having been active in broadcast and print media, and worked for public, non-profit and business entities in the areas of public affairs and corporate communications.

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Su-Yin is the CEO of a philanthropic foundation overseeing its grants and programs in Singapore and ASEAN. Her stewardship seeded relevant programs for disadvantaged children and youth as well as the elderly in eight countries. Many of these have been reported in different languages in the media, including newspaper dailies in Singapore such as The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao and Berita Harian. A former news correspondent, Su-Yin’s articles have been published in various newspapers including the International New York Times, The South China Morning Post, as well as The Straits Times.

She has covered socio-economic and community news. She has also contributed features on travel, arts and culture. Her interviewees included royalty, war survivors, renowned artists and criminals.

Active in the local philanthropic community, she serves on the boards of charities such as Shared Services for Charities and the Community Justice Centre. She is also a judge for the Charity Governance Awards, a national-level awards acknowledging Singapore-based charitable organizations with good governance, and regularly delivers talks on the topic.

Su-Yin was featured in the book “Changing Lanes, Changing Lives”, a publication of the Centre for Non-Profit Leadership in Singapore, amongst change-makers who made successful career switches from the corporate to charity sectors.

Su-Yin is an alumnus of the National University of Singapore, and holds a Masters in Mass Communications from the University of Leicester, UK. She has continued her life-long learning through the Stanford-NUS Executive Programme in International Management at NUS, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Non-Profit Management Program for senior leaders in the non-profit and public sectors, Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (SEM) Executive Program for Singapore Business Leaders. She is also a Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the UK.

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