As Executive Vice President, Global Operations, Chris Dietz directs Leading Real Estate Companies of the World's (LeadingRE) global expansion. Dietz executes the company's strategic goals by developing and managing the business outside the US and spearheads marketing efforts and brand awareness. He is the driving force behind the transformation of LeadingRE from a US company with international presence into a true global organization.
Dietz, a German national, has over 25 years of executive-level relocation management and real estate experience and possesses a deep insight into the international real estate industry and the various business practices.
Before joining LeadingRE, Dietz served as Vice President EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa) of a full service global relocation management company located in Boston, Mass. He was based in the company's European head office in London, UK and directed the company's EMEA operations, marketing efforts and brand awareness initiatives.
Prior this assignment he served as Managing Director of the relocation branch of a major US franchise in Europe for over 8 years. In this role he was planning and executing the company's expansion across Europe by developing strategies to incorporate the existing real estate network while ensuring profitable cross-referrals between the two lines of business.
In recent years, he has also been involved with many real estate events in the Asia Pacific, Europe and Middle East region. Dietz has been speaking at the International Realtor Conference (IRC) in Manila/Philippines 2015, Incheon/South Korea 2016 and at the CityScape Expo in Dubai in 2015. He is a frequent presenter of topics around global business and mindsets, cross border business challenges and the global real estate industry in general.
Kumar Tharmalingam graduated from the College of Estate Management, London School of Economics with a B.Sc in Real Estate from University of London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Fellow of the Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (ISM) and registered as a Real Estate Valuer and Property Consultant with the Board of Valuers in Malaysia.
He practised as a vaiuer for 18 years as the Country Manager for Debenham, Tewson & Chinnocks (DTC) of U.i<. in 1998 he established the First Malaysian Property Trust (FMPT), a joint venture between the Bank of Commerce and Austwide, Australia in 1987.
In 1990 he became a Director in the MBF Unit Trust. From 1992 to 1998 he was Director of Taiping Consolidated Berhad (TCB), a property developer and built the J.W. Marriott Hotel and Starhiii Shopping Centre in Kuaia Lumpur and originated Sentul Raya Sdn Bhd for the company, a joint venture with KTM Berhad.
In 1998 he became Chairman of Hall Chadwick Asia Sdn Bhd speciaiising in the origination of property assets for Pension Funds, Private Equity Funds and REITs.
Kumar has been a director of the following: ~
- Aseana, an Ireka company Eisted in London; from 2007 to 2013.
- Sime Darby Property Berhad; Director from 2009 to 2013.
- Sunway Berhad; Director from January to December 2013.
- Amanah Raya Berhad; Director on the investment Panel from 2010 to 2017.
- Public Islamic Bank Berhad, Director from 2016 to date.
Kumar was from 2009 to 2012 the Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Property Incorporated (MPI) which is a Government of Malaysia's company promoting Malaysia as a property investment destination.
Currently he is Senior Advisor to AREA Management Sdn Bhd, a private equity fund developing gated industrial projects in Malaysia.
Dato' Sri Matthew Yeoh advises clients in diverse issues ranging foreign investment laws, wealth and asset protection, offshore trusts, for clients from Singapore, Malaysia, and the ASEAN region.
In Aquinas Law Alliance, where Matthew is a partner, he practices in the Private Client and Real Estate Practice Group. He has many years of experience in the property and legal industries and advises clients on property investments, property financing and structuring for investing in cross-border property assets. Matthew also advises on alternative sources of funding for projects from retail investors using offshore trusts and custodian services.
He is a member of the Malaysian Business Council in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and is well-connected with the diplomatic and business community in China and ASEAN. He is a Certified International Property Specialist, a member of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) and a licensed migration agent. He writes regularly for magazines and other foreign publications and has been invited to speak at various conferences and seminars both locally and abroad on diverse topics ranging from retirement and relocation, cross-border investments wealth and assets protection and offshore trusts. Matthew is the founding partner and currently a consultant of Yeoh Mazlina & Partners in Malaysia, an established full-service law practice in Malaysia.
His recent work includes being a founder member of the ASEAN Legal Alliance, which is a membership of 10 leading law firms in each of the countries in ASEAN, the chairperson of the Private Clients, Wealth Management and International Real Estate Practice Group in the ASEAN Legal Alliance.
Ph.D., D.FIABCI, CRS, MRICS
Thai Appraisal Foundation
Dr.Pornchokchai has had experience in real estate research and valuation since 1982. He is an experienced valuer and lecturer on valuation at the undergraduate and graduate levels and in training courses in Thailand and abroad. He was a consultant to the ESCAP, UN-Habitat, World Bank and other international organizations. He gained a Ph.D. in land and housing from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and had further property valuation training from LRTI-Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and in housing development from Katholieke Universeit Leuven (Belgium).
Currently, Dr.Pornchokchai is the President of the Thai Appraisal Foundation and the Agency for Real Estate Affairs, IAAO representative to Thailand, the Director of Thai Real Estate Business School, a board member of ASEAN Valuers Association, and a member of the Global Valuation Forum of the Appraisal Foundation (USA). His research master pieces include the discovery of 1,020 slums (1985), CAMA (computer-assisted mass appraisal) modeling (1990), forecast of 300,000 unoccupied housing units (1995 and 1998), study for property information centre (2000), the roadmap for valuation profession for Ministry of Finance, Vietnam (2006), the consultancy service to Ministry of Finance, Indonesia (2008), World Bank Indonesia (2010), the consultancy service to Ministry of Finance, Cambodia (2012), ASEAN Property Surveys (2015) and UN World Cities (2015).
Chief Business Officer
Lewis is a proven business transformation specialist. He brings with him over 16 years of experience – fast-tracking team growth, enhancing customer satisfaction and delivering superior business results for organisations across Asia Pacific.
At PropertyGuru, Lewis is in-charge of regional business growth initiatives, with Country Managers, Sales Organisations and Trade Marketing Teams in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia directly reporting to him. He joined the company as PropertyGuru Singapore's Managing Director in August 2014. In October 2016, he was promoted to become the Chief Business Officer of the Group.
Before joining PropertyGuru, Lewis was the Commercial Director of TripAdvisor Asia Pacific, where he was one of the first few employees in Singapore – starting with zero revenue! He was personally responsible for building an 85-member team for TripAdvisor regionally, spearheading the opening of several offices in Asia Pacific, and achieving triple digit revenue growth for three consecutive years. Prior to that, Lewis worked for companies including Global Yellow Pages, News Digital Media and Apple.
Lewis is a regular speaker at events such as EPIC Singapore, Propnex Consumer Empowerment Seminar, Women in Leadership Summit, Web in Travel and Hotel E-Commerce Strategy Seminar. He has also lectured in educational institutes such as INSEAD and the Singapore Hotel and Tourism Education Centre (SHATEC). He is particularly passionate about using technological innovation to create value for customers, partners and companies to deliver sustainable, long-term growth.
He holds a bachelor's degree in Digital Media from the University of New South Wales.
Datuk Seri Michael K C Yam is the Immediate Past President and Patron of REHDA. He had a successful 35 year career in the real estate, construction and corporate sectors prior to his early retirement in 2008. The last 12 years of his professional life were spent helming 2 different award winning public listed property companies as their CEO/MD developing, managing and holding investments in hotels, commercial, retail, residential and integrated mixed development properties, golf courses and international schools not only in Malaysia but also in the UK, South Africa, Mauritius and Australia.
Apart from being the MD of an advisory firm known as Impetus Alliance Advisors, he is currently the senior independent director of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad and Paramount Corporation Berhad and independent director of Sunway Berhad and Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad. He is the current Chairman of Invest KL Corporation and also appointed onto the Board of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad, Standard Chartered Saadiq Berhad, Construction Industry Development Board and Kwasa Land Sdn Bhd. Datuk Seri Michael Yam graduated in Building and Management Studies from the University of Westminster in 1979 and is professionally qualified as a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building. He was the CEO of the Year 2002 and awarded a honorary fellowship of the Construction Industry Development Board in 2015.
Organising Chairman, ACE 2017
First Secretary General, ARENA
Associate Director, Property Hub Sdn Bhd
Soma started his professional career in Real Estate with S. K. Brothers Realty Group (SKB) in 1987. He was the General Manager, Sales & Marketing of SKB and managed 6 branches with over 250 sales personnel. He also pioneered project marketing in Malaysia.
He obtained his registration as an Estate Agent with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents (BOVAEA) Malaysia in 1997 and also later served as Board Member in BOVAEA. He also served as President of the Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents 2007 – 2009 where under his leadership, the association achieved many milestones. This includes the purchase of MIEA's first property where MIEA HQ Secretariat office is located and the D'REAM publication. He is also A Fellow of MIEA.
Soma was also recognised for his contributions to MIEA and the Real Estate Profession being the recipient of the MIEA Leadership Award in 2013 and recently conferred the prestigious Real Estate Agent of the Year Award 2016 by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Malaysia.
Over the years he has consulted and marketed over 70 projects for property developers across all segments, residential, commercial and industrial.
He has also trained over 35,000 real estate sales personnel in the areas of sales and marketing and management.
Soma was also the initiator of the idea of an ASEAN Regional Real Estate platform, the fruits of which we see at ACE 2017.
He is a man who speaks his mind yet shares from his heart, a man passionate about the real estate profession.