The State of the Global Economy Today


President’s Circle Members Program


Registration* 7:45am
Discussion 8:00am
Close 9:00am

*Please note an American breakfast buffet will be served.

The Asia Society Hong Kong Center is honored to host a breakfast discussion with leading American economists Robert C. Merton and Bengt R. Holmström, both recipients of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. These distinguished leaders will engage in a thought-provoking and wide-ranging discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing the international economy today, moderated by Vivek Pathak, Regional Director for East Asia and Pacific at International Finance Corporation.


Robert C. Merton is the School of Management Distinguished Professor of Finance at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and John and Natty McArthur University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. He received the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1997 for a new method to determine the value of derivatives. Prof. Merton’s research focuses on finance theory, including lifecycle and retirement finance, optimal portfolio selection, capital asset pricing, pricing of derivative securities, credit risk, loan guarantees, financial innovation, dynamics of institutional change, and improving the methods of measuring and managing macro-financial systemic risk. He received a B.S. in Engineering Mathematics from Columbia University, M.S. in Applied Mathematics from Caltech and Ph.D. in Economics from MIT.


Bengt R. Holmström is co-recipient of the 2016 Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He is a Professor of Economics at MIT and an expert on contract theory, corporate governance and the theory of the firm. Prof. Holmström is particularly well known for his early work on the principal-agent problem (i.e. the problem of designing an optimal contract between an employer and an employee). His research emphasized the imperfectness of performance-based payment, showing that things that are the hardest to measure may often carry the most value. He has concentrated on studying incentives as applied to corporate governance, in an attempt to design proper incentive structures for senior management, older employees versus younger employees, and employees who work primarily in team settings. Lately, he has focused more on the stability of financial markets, particularly liquidity problems in financial crises.


Vivek Pathak is Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). He has extensive emerging markets experience in principal investments, restructuring and risk management across all industry sectors. Mr. Pathak joined IFC in 1998 and has since covered Asia Pacific, Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia in various leadership capacities. Based in Hong Kong, he leads IFC’s advisory and investment operations across 18 countries, which in fiscal year 2018 reached $3.5 billion in long-term investments, including funds mobilized from other investors. Mr. Pathak holds a Master’s degree in Management from the University of Mumbai, India. (Moderator)


Breakfast Bakery


Assorted Danish Pastry

Daily Muffin

Breakfast Rolls

Toast with Toaster

Butchery Sliced Cold Cut

Smoked Salmon

Smoked Ham

Salami Sausage

Breakfast Cheese Platter




Cereal Selection

Bircher Muesli

Cone Flakes

Raisin Bran

Hot Item

Pork Sausage

Crispy Bacon

Baked Beans

Hash Brown Potatoes

Sautéed Mushroom

Herbs Grilled Tomato

Pan Cake or Waffle

Selection of Fresh Fruit Platter

Fruit Yogurt

Juice Station

Orange, Grapefruit and Melon

Coffee, Tea Station


Nobel Perspectives is a UBS brand initiative that explores the life and work of Nobel Prize Winners in Economics, and aims to get answers to the questions that shape our world. Since its launch in 2015, 48 Nobel Laureates have joined the program, which holds the largest repository of laureate interviews to date, all published on the Nobel Perspectives website. Learn more about how UBS is working with intellectual leaders by visiting

Event Details

Tue 24 Sep 2019
7:45 - 9 a.m.

Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty

Buy Tickets - Members
$800 Asia Society President’s Circle members
Add to Calendar 20190923T234500 20190924T010000 UTC Asia Society: The State of the Global Economy Today Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty