A look back on the Rotary Club of Beijing

Dinner in Morel’s

A look back at the Rotary Club of Beijing, starting with our dinner on 18 January. Small crowd with a special guest, Jingfu, honorary member of the Rotary Club of Shanghai.

We were impressed with our member Kevin who fasted one day so he could deal with the really big trout (I usually recommend it for 3 people to share).

Krankin’ thru China

“Krankin’ thru China”, a program launched by Joshua Dominick and Domonic Corradin, helps people with physical disabilities enjoy outdoor sports like paragliding, horseback riding, swimming, surfing and cycling. They presented their project to our club, on 10 August 2021, see: https://www.beijing1980.com/2021/09/15/rotary-beijing-in-summer-part-1/

They were featured in an article by China Daily:
19 January 2022 – Overcoming hurdles:
See attached the full article: 220119 Krankin

Otto Bock

See this article of Business Beijing of 1 June 2007 to read how our Georg Hoffman started working with protheses. See: 070601 OttoBock
He presented his project in our club on 17 August 2021.

See earlier post: https://www.beijing1980.com/2021/09/15/rotary-beijing-in-summer/

That’s January 2022

Happy to read this article: 220101 poledancing
I quote:
“Despite studios trying to promote the benefits, there is still a stigma attached to the sport by those who don’t fully understand it.
When I tell some guys I’m a pole dancer, they say, ‘Oh, you’re a stripper?’ I don’t get offended, they just don’t understand that pole dancing doesn’t have to be linked to stripping. I think a lot of people still don’t understand pole dancing and it’s still very niche.”

Indeed some in my circle made a scandal about pole dancing, being pretty ignorant about it.
See my earlier posts:
Pole dancing is a sport, https://www.beijing1980.com/2021/06/30/pole-dancing-is-a-sport/
Pole dancing is a sport (part 2), https://www.beijing1980.com/2021/06/30/pole-dancing-is-a-sport-part-2/

21 December 2021 Rotary lunch with inductions


On Tuesday 21 December 2021 Rotary lunch with inductions followed by a presentation by Rtn Victor.

Rtn Kevin presided the meeting and Gilbert acted as Sergeant-at-Arms.
The induction of our two new members was done by Gilbert who is also their sponsor. We welcome two amazing individuals, Thierry and John who both previously gave us fascinating insights into their business. See:
– “John van de Water talked to Rotary”, https://www.beijing1980.com/2021/09/22/john-van-de-water-talked-to-rotary/
– 14 December 2021 Rotary dinner in Schindlers, with Thierry as a speaker: https://www.beijing1980.com/2021/12/27/14-december-2021-rotary-dinner-in-schindlers/

Speaker: Victor Montalva Salaverry

Topic: Introduction to Mining Industry and Community Relations in a Mining Town
Our Rotary member Victor gave us a speech about Mining Industry and the Community Relation in Peru, his home country. Victor is the director for Minera Tungsteno (tungsten mine) and director/co-owner of Agropex (copper/ gold mining) . He gave an introduction of his experience in gold, copper and tungsten mining and trading, and then he talked about the challenges and the positive significances of a good Community Relation in the mining towns, which are mostly located in the remote, economically undeveloped areas of Peru.

14 December 2021 Rotary dinner in Schindlers

Schindlers Tankstelle –  Sanlitun

For the 14 December 2021 Rotary dinner in Schindlers we had Thierry Raymaekers as a speaker on the Winter Olympics. See the dishes I chose. Pretty nice! Gilbert presided the meeting and acted as Sergeant-at-Arms.

The New Year Party is planned for 11 January 2022 in Kempinski 7:00 pm, with a buffet, non-stop drinks and live music.
Price RMB 350, children half price. Guests and friends are welcome.

Speaker: Thierry Raymaekers

Topic:  Background on “ Winter Gold “ documentary ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
With less than 60 days till the opening of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, lots of companies and people are involved around the clock with preparations. One of the companies, Thierry works with is in post-production phase of a 6 series documentary that will be aired on Jan 14 on CCTV.
In his presentation he gave a behind-the-scene look on how this co-production came to existence, and challenges they have been facing due to COVID-19 restrictions and 2022 Winter Olympics operational protocols. he introduced the athletes that are featured in the video.

Thierry is an astute executive with 20+ years of boots-on-the ground China experience. He is founder and principal of a Beijing based media consulting company in providing strategy and M&A services to clients that are in need of assistance when entering China’s media scene and driving profitability.
Known as a thought leader on China’s media & entertainment industry he is a public speaker at various events and conferences, and contributor to many articles.

7 December 2021 Rotary Beijing AGM

Rotary Club of Beijing

On 7 December 2021 Rotary Beijing AGM in Kempinski Hotel for the Election of the 2022-23 Board and Officers.

With 13 members representing 29 members, the Beijing club Rotarians voted the following board members and club officers.

  • President: PE Benoit
  • IPP: P Didier
  • PE – Still to be filled
  • Treasurer – Rtn Kevin
  • Secretary – Rtn René
  • Vice-President – Rtn Jose
  • Membership – Still to be filled
  • Events Chair – Rtn Vivian
  • Foundation – Rtn Mike K.
  • Service – Rtn Ralf
  • Youth / International –Rtn Gilbert

It is noted that PE and the membership chair for 2022-23 are still vacant and members are encouraged to volunteer.

Membership and events

At the meeting, the membership chair Hans reported on the changes and challenges of membership for the past six months. With many expatriate members moving out of China, it is increasingly difficult to recruit and retain members. It is paramount that our members bring in their friends and colleagues to continually renew our membership.

Event Chair Vivian reported on the previously held and soon-to-take-place events, presenting the diversity of speakers and topics. The members recognized and appreciated Rtn. Vivian’s effort and good work on organizing interesting and lively meetings and events.

New Project Announcement

The board has in the last month agreed for members to donate to Yuhua Home for the Mentally Challenged. Yuhua Home has a history of 20 years, nursing children and young adults with mental disability. With the funding dwindling since the start of the pandemic, Yuhua Home, like many other such institutions, faced the same dilemma of staying open and providing food and shelter for those in need. The donation will go toward buying the food during the winter months.

30 November 2021 Rotary talk on asset management

Kempinski Hotel

For our 30 November 2021 Rotary talk on asset management we had as speaker Gian-Marc Widmer on the topic  “Introduction to Chinese Asset and Fund Management Market”.

Our Rotary member Gian-Marc gave us an Introduction to Chinese Asset and Fund Management Market. Gian-Marc is the Director and Head of Cross-Border M&A at CITIC Securities since 2014. He has been focusing on M&A, restructuring and corporate development since 2001 with a track record of more than US$15bn of transactions executed in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Gian-Marc has been in China since 2005 and previously worked at Lazard in London and New York and at Altira Group as head of the China investment team in their renewable energy fund.

Summary of the presentation

(by Rtn Piper)

According to Gian-Marc, the asset under management AUM in China has grown ten folds to US$18 trillion in the past decade, and it is also going international. By comparison, Switzerland, Gian-Marc’s home country, has US$3-5 trillion under management and the US has US$48.6 trillion AUM, accounting for almost half of the world total. Gian-Marc presented his analysis by dissecting the value chain of investors, channels, fund managers, and assets, and how those four areas were being shaken up by the big trends in the industry.

The first such trend is pension reform, which is strengthening institutional investors. While individual retail investors still make up the bulk of the investor profile, pension reforms pushing for higher rates of returns are driving the establishment of more professionally managed pension funds. Pension funds only constitute 5% of the total asset market in China, as opposed to 34% in the global market.

Individual investors at the same time are being positively affected by the regulatory reforms and the proliferation of fintech instruments. Chinese banks with their vast branch networks had in the past nursed a large individual customer base with mostly off-balance sheet third-party wealth management products. Many of those products often went without government or regulatory oversight and have caused many unscrupulous practices often with disastrous consequences. The recent reforms have banned the banks from selling third-party products and thus have spurred the banks to set up their own fund management subsidiaries, accelerating the development of professional managers. Furthermore, since the introduction of fintech products, many fintech giants like Alipay and WeChat wallet have trapped one-third of the circulated cash away from the traditional banks. Still, with US$ 28 trillion in bank deposits, China has a largely untapped pool of money up for grabs by asset managers.

China’s potentially large fund market has long attracted foreign players. Along with the regulatory and pension reforms, China has finally paved the way for foreign players to enter the market. At the same time, it also is preparing to allow the Chinese money to leave the country into overseas funds. HK Connect or Greater Bay Area Wealth Management Connect was the first such pilot to allow Chinese investors to invest in funds in Hong Kong.

Professionally managed funds will be the future for China, and as with many other fast-moving markets in China, we will see a vastly different landscape in this financial sector. Gian-Marc was bullish about the future, both for foreign fund managers, as well as for individuals who are looking for baskets to put their eggs in.