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International investment firms to present “The Year of the Dragon and Doing Business in China: Myths, Legends, Challenges and Opportunities” at the University of Bridgeport, January 26

Leslie Geary
Friday, January 20, 2012

How to navigate a thicket of tax changes that directly affect foreign investment in China? What risks and opportunities await U.S. firms eager to tap into Chinese markets? How to negotiate with that country’s state-owned enterprises?

Investors eager to do business in China can learn more on Thursday, January 26 at “The Year of the Dragon and Doing Business in China: Myths, Legends, Challenges and Opportunities,” the third in the Robert Sammis Lecture Series on China at the University of Bridgeport.

The event’s opening reception begins at 5:30 p.m. at the duPont Tower Room, Arnold Bernhard Center, 84 Iranistan Avenue.

A roundtable panel and question-and-answer session follow at 6:30 p.m., featuring noted experts on multinational investment in China—William Parrett, chairman of the U.S. Council for International Business and an adviser at The Blackstone Group, LLC; Melanie Chen of UHY Advisors, Michael Harris of Gao Fei Financial Services; and Yiting Liu, a partner at Ray Shi Capital Group.

To register, please RSVP to (203) 576-4696 or mjfoster@bridgeport.edu.

“This symposium, which has been generously underwritten by the Sammis Foundation, provides an invaluable opportunity for the business community to get insight from today’s top decision-makers who have long and proven track records of doing business in China,” said Mary-Jane Foster, UB Vice President of University Relations. “We are delighted to host this incredible evening.”

About the speakers:

Melanie Chen, member of the Board of Advisors of UHY Advisors and also serves as Managing Director at UHY’s China GroupMelanie Chen is a member of the Board of Advisors of UHY Advisors. She also serves as Managing Director at UHY’s China Group, which focuses on all cross-border services between U.S companies and the Greater China region.  Because cultural and language barriers often provide challenges to doing business abroad, China Group was developed to assist any company—American or Chinese—in doing business in the other jurisdiction. The group advises multinational companies on complex tax, financial, and business issues of doing business in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and guides firms on investing and raising capital in the U.S.  A graduate of Harvard Law School, Chen specializes in taxes and compliance, and is licensed to practice law in New York and in China. She is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences, including for the Council for International Tax Education, which was formed to educate U.S. and foreign multinationals, as well as companies engaged in international business on tax, legal and accounting aspects of doing business overseas.

Michael Harris, Chief Operating and Investment Officer of Gao Fei Financial ServicesMichael Harris is the Chief Operating and Investment Officer of Gao Fei Financial Services, an investment-advisory firm based in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Changchung. The full-service firm provides support in asset resolution, debt collection, deal structuring, investment monitoring, investor reporting, and exit-strategy implementation for investment in distressed assets, high-yield credit, turnaround opportunities, and other special situations in China. Gao Fei has advised on more than 50 investments, with a face value of over $3.6 billion, since it was established in 2005. Prior to joining Gao Fei, Harris worked at Country Avenue Capital, where he was a country manager and part of the management team responsible for non-performing loan and private-equity investments. He also is a former partner at Arthur Andersen and PriceWaterhouseCoopers in China, and has lived and worked in Asia for more than 15 years. Harris is fluent in English and Mandarin.

Yiting Liu, Founding Partner and a Managing Director for Ray Shi Capital Group, LLCYiting Liu is a Founding Partner and a Managing Director for Ray Shi Capital Group, LLC, which focuses on investments in small- and medium-sized enterprises in China. Previously, Liu focused on the Vision Opportunity China Fund, where she sourced, structured, and executed private investments in China. She joined Vision from PepsiCo’s Global Corporate Strategy and Development Group, where she screened for acquisition targets, built business cases, and developed solutions for internal-strategy projects. From 2003 to 2005, she was an Associate Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group in New York. Liu graduated from Harvard with honors with a degree in applied mathematics with an applied field in economics.

William Parrett, Chairman of the United States Council for International Business and serves on the executive committee of the International Chamber of Commerce and is a Member of the Board of Directors of The Blackstone Group LPWilliam Parrett is Chairman of the United States Council for International Business and on the executive committee of the International Chamber of Commerce and is a Member of the Board of Directors of The Blackstone  Group LP, an investment-advisory firm; Thermo Fisher Scientific, a provider of analytical and laboratory instruments and products; and UBS AG, a global financial services firm.  Parrett was formerly a Senior Partner of Deloitte & Touche USA LLP and until May 31, 2007 served as the Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu ("DTT"). He co-founded the Global Financial Services Industry practice of Deloitte and served as its first Chairman. Currently, Mr. Parrett serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of United Way of America, on the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Hall, and a member of the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy. Mr. Parrett also serves as a trustee of The Catholic University of America and of St. Francis College.


Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgeport.edu