Media Release: New Appointments to the Asia Society Australia Board


16 December 2015

SYDNEY,16 DECEMBER 2015 — Asia Society Australia today announced the appointment of Alexandra Holcomb, Chief Risk Officer at Westpac Group and Doug Ferguson, Partner in Charge, Asia and International Markets at KPMG as Deputy Chairs of Asia Society Australia, and Kate Axup, Partner at Allens as a Board Director.

The Hon Warwick Smith AM, Chairman, Asia Society Australia and Global Trustee of the Asia Society said: “The new appointments will strengthen the board leadership of Asia Society Australia as it embarks on a new phase of development.”

Alexandra Holcomb is the Chief Risk Officer of Westpac Group. Since joining Westpac in 1996, Alexandra has held a number of senior positions including Group General Manager of Group Strategy, M&A and Major Projects, Group Executive, Group Strategy, Head of Westpac Institutional Bank Strategy, and most recently, Group General Manager of Global Transactional Services. From 1992 to 1996 she was a senior executive with Booz Allen & Hamilton International where she specialised in international credit, working throughout the Asia Pacific region. Before that she worked with Barclays Bank and Chase Manhattan Bank in New York. Alexandra is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is an American and Australian citizen. Alexandra studied English and Economics at Cornell University, and has an MBA from Wharton and an MA and from the University of Pennsylvania. She has been a Board Member of Asia Society Australia since 2014.

Doug Ferguson is a Partner in Charge, Asia and International Markets at KPMG. Doug joined KPMG China in 2001 as a Transaction Services Manager from KPMG Australia where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in the Financial Services Audit division between 1997 and 2001. He was based in Beijing and Hong Kong between 2001 and 2006 and managed more than 70 acquisition due diligence engagements across China in most industry sectors for international clients entering China. From 2006 to 2008, Doug was the CFO in Asia for an Australian Investment Bank. As part of that role, he acted as Chief Investment Officer for a joint venture mezzanine capital fund with CITIC Capital in China. Doug re-joined KPMG China as a Partner in May 2008, specialising in private equity and managed a number of the firm’s most important global PE clients, including KKR. Between September 2008 and December 2011, Doug was heavily involved with the liquidation of Lehman Brothers’ principal investment assets throughout Asia including China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. Since returning to Australia in 2012, Doug has lead KPMG’s Asian client business in Australia which includes managing five country practice divisions including Japan, China, India, ASEAN and Korea. He sits on the firm’s Management & Growth Executive Team. Doug is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Business. He is Senior Vice President, Australia China Business Council; Advisory Council member, University of Sydney China Studies Centre and serves as a Business Champion of the New Colombo Plan. He has been a Board Member of Asia Society Australia since 2014.

Kate Axup is a partner at Allens, one of Australia's top tier commercial law firms. She leads both the firm's China Group, and the water practice. Kate started her career at Allens as a graduate in 1995 and has been with the firm ever since. She has spent a total of eight years working in Asia with Allens, in the Hong Kong, Shanghai and (most recently) Beijing offices. Her practice is focused on the energy and water sectors, where she acts for private sector and government clients on mergers and acquisitions, project development and regulatory matters. She most recently led the Allens team which advised AGL Energy Limited on the $532m sale of its interest in the Macarthur Wind farm. Kate is a strong Mandarin Chinese speaker. In 1994 and 1996 she studied Chinese language at Nanjing University and at the Hopkins-Nanjing Centre for Chinese and American Studies, the latter as a recipient of an Australia-China Council scholarship. In 2012 she received a highly competitive Chief Executive Women's 'Leading for Results' scholarship to attend a one week leadership course at INSEAD, Singapore.

Media enquiries:

Philipp Ivanov
CEO, Asia Society Australia