Asia Business Leaders Awards

ABLA: The CNBC Exchange

The CNBC Exchange saw influential panelists provide insights on current trends, news and market movements impacting business decisions.

Date: Wednesday, 13th November 2013
Time: 3:30pm to 6:30pm
Venue: Conrad, All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand


The ASEAN Economic Community's goal is to merge the economies of the 10 Southeast Asian countries into a trade and investment block, creating a single market. But there are doubts as to whether this single market will really emerge and if businesses can help to push this process forward.
- Harmful or helpful - setting arbitrary dates for achieving regional goals?
- Taking the lead - business or politics?

The CNBC Exchange 2013 was moderated by CNBC's award-winning anchor, Christine Tan.


Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid Bin Omar
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department
(12th ABLA Nominee. Nominated for his role as President & CEO of Malayan Banking Berhad.)

Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, aged 49, was appointed as a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge of Economic Planning on 5th June 2013. He oversees a number of government agencies such as Economic Planning Unit, Public-Private Partnership Unit (UKAS), Department of Statistics, Ekuiti Nasional Berhad (EKUINAS) and Talent Corporation (TALENCORP), TERAJU and Yayasan Pendidikan Peneraju Bumiputera. Prior to his cabinet appointment, Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid was formerly the President and CEO of Maybank, Malaysia's largest banking group and the fourth largest in Southeast Asia, from May 2008. He was also the Chairman of The Association of Banks in Malaysia. He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (UK) and a Member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants.

Maybank is the third large organisation that he has led as CEO. Prior to joining Maybank, he was Group Chief Executive Officer of Telekom Malaysia Berhad from July 2004 until its demerger with Axiata Group Berhad in April 2008. He was formerly Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer of UEM Group Berhad as well as Executive Vice Chairman of PLUS Expressways Berhad.

His strong track record in corporate and financial management began with the banking sector in 1988 when he joined Bumiputra Merchant Bankers Berhad in the Corporate Banking Department. He later took on senior management positions as Director of Group Corporate Services and Divisional Director, Capital Market & Securities of Amanah Capital Group overseeing the overall direction and performance of the division which included discount houses and money broking firms. He was also the Chairman of Amanah Short Deposits Berhad and a past Chairman of Association of Discount Houses in Malaysia. Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid was also a Director of Amanah Merchant Bank Berhad.

In recognition of his outstanding leadership in the corporate sector, Dato' Sri Abdul Wahid was the recipient of the Malaysia's CEO of the Year Award from Business Times / American Express in 2006. He was also conferred with the Asian Banker 2013 Leadership Achievement Award for Malaysia.

He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council, Council member of East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA), Council Member of Aerospace Malaysia, Board Member of Yayasan Peneraju Pendidikan Bumiputera and Chairman of Investment Committee of Innovation Agency of Malaysia.

Shirish Apte
Chairman, Citi Asia Pacific

Shirish Apte is Chairman, Banking for Citi Asia Pacific. He is a member of Citi Business Development Committee and the Senior Advisory Group.

Mr. Apte took on his current role in January 2012 after serving as CEO for Citi Asia Pacific.

Previously, Mr. Apte was CEO of Citi's Central & Eastern Europe Region and, prior to that he was CEO for Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA), Citi Markets and Banking.

Mr. Apte has more than 30 years experience with Citi, starting as Relationship Manager with Citibank India. He held various assignments in Corporate Banking, Risk Management and Corporate Finance Investment Banking before becoming Markets & Banking Head in India.Mr. Apte moved to London in 1993 as senior Risk Manager for the group before becoming Corporate Finance Head for CEEMEA, including India. In 1997, he moved to Poland as President and Country Manager for Citibank Poland. In 2000 Mr. Apte was responsible for Citi acquiring Bank Handlowy following which he became Deputy President and Chief Operating Officer for Citibank Handlowy. In this role, he oversaw the merger and integration of Citibank and Bank Handlowy from 2000 to 2003.

Mr. Apte is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and has an MBA from London Business School. He is Citi's Senior Statesman at the London Business School and is Chairman of Citibank Singapore Ltd, Director of Citibank Japan Ltd and Crompton Greaves Limited and Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Bank Handlowy Poland.

Stuart L. Dean
CEO, ASEAN, GE Global Growth & Operations

Stu graduated magna cum laude from Duke University in 1975 with a BA in Economics and Political Science and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Following a two-year assignment with the US Government, he obtained an MBA from Harvard in 1979. He then joined GE as a Sales Representative for Major Appliance and TV Products. Following a series of sales management and marketing roles, he became Product General Manager – Laundry / Dishwasher in 1985. In 1988-90, he was General Manager –Services Marketing and then General Manager – Service Operations.

In August 1991, he was named Business Development Manager, GE International, based in Singapore with responsibilities for Southeast Asia and Australia. In 1993, he became President, GE Capital, Southeast Asia. In February 1995, he became President,GE Indonesia, located in Jakarta. Stu currently has responsibility for all of ASEAN and resides in Kuala Lumpur.

Stu serves on the boards of the Malaysia Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Malaysian American Chamber of Commerce and Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE). He also serves as chairman of the Vietnam-US committee of the US-ASEAN Business Council and is a board member of the US-Indonesia Society.

Last, but certainly not least, he is an active GE Community volunteer and was recognized by Habitat for Humanity for having led house-building projects in Aceh following the tsunami. He received GE's 2011 Corinne Johnson Leadership Award in recognition of his volunteer efforts. Stu also serves on the Asia Pacific Advisory Board for Junior Achievement.

Contact ABLA

  • Gwendolene Lim
    Director of Marketing

    Jane Lam
    Senior Events Marketing Executive

    CNBC Asia Pacific
    10 Anson Road #06-01
    International Plaza
    Singapore 079903

    Fax: +65 6223 0020

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