US China trade war

About Us

James Richards - Chairman

James was Group Director for China at De La Rue plc from 2010-13. From 1996-2010, he worked for Rolls-Royce plc, as Director responsible for China, and later as Director of EU Relations and, concurrently, Advisor to the CEO on China. From 1969-96 James served in HM Diplomatic Service (Hong Kong, Beijing, Geneva and Brussels). From 1977-80 he was official Chinese interpreter for HM The Queen, Margaret Thatcher and other UK leaders. He has performed Pekingese comedy on Chinese TV and stage. A member of the Board of the LSO and of the Board for Europe of CKGSB, James has written for the FT and lectured at the LSE. He is chairman of the China Association.

Oliver Shiell - Founder

Prior to founding Asiability in 2015, Ollie founded Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business Europe  in 2011.  CKGSB is China’s leading executive school established by Hong Kong's wealthiest man, Li ka shing. CKGSB's alumni manage a portfolio of businesses that generate c.17% of China's GDP.  Previous roles include CEO of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Foundation and Director of Corporate Relations at Said Business School where he concurrently served on the leadership team of the Oxford University's £1.25 billion campaign. Board experience includes London Symphony Orchestra, Social Bite and  China-Britain Business Council. Ollie is China Ambassador for Ditchley Foundation and  speaks Mandarin Chinese.

Andrew Cainey - Co-Founder

Andrew Cainey has 30 years’ experience advising companies and governments on China. Previous positions include Managing Partner of Booz & Company’s Greater China operations, Partner-in-charge for Asia with Tony Blair Associates and Partner leading the Asia-Pacific Financial Institutions Practice of Boston Consulting Group. He is Associate Fellow at Chatham House and a Founding Fellow of the Hong Kong Institution for International Finance. A graduate of Harvard Business School and Cambridge University Andrew speaks French, German, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

Bob Grace OBE - Partner

Bob’s career spans more than 30 years in the luxury automotive sector, including former President of Jaguar Land Rover China where Bob led the strategy development, company inception and managed operations and sales from 2010. Under Bob’s leadership, exports to China grew to become the most profitable and biggest volume market accounting for over 50% of global profits and >£6bn of annual sales. Experienced working at Board level, Bob is skilled in business planning, operational management, sales and strategy development. Bob studied at Warwick Business School and Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in China. He is a former board member of China-Britain Business Council and has held Non-Executive Director roles in China with JV Partners.

Lord Oxmantown - Partner

Patrick’s family have a 100 year history with China. His grandfather visited in the 1920s followed by his grand uncle in 1935. Patrick first visited in 1992 to learn Mandarin and develop his career in real estate, spending over 15 years as one of the first western developers in Beijing. Patrick met his wife, Anna Lin, in China and they have a daughter and son who are both bilingual. Patrick served as the Olympic Attache for the Irish Team in 2008 and he and his family continue to work on enhancing Chinese relations and understanding in the UK and Ireland.

Dr. Mark Wareing - Partner

Mark is internationally experienced businessman and latterly, Strategy Director and Senior Diplomat at the British Embassy, China. Mark was responsible for all Technology, Manufacturing and Transport sectors, advising Government, Industry and business on emerging trends and connecting with market opportunities. The Automotive sector (NEV and CAV) has  been a particular focus where Mark led global expansion for SMEs, MSB’s and FTSE 100 companies alike, covering start-ups, M&A, Greenfield expansion, operations, organisational development, IP exploitation, and financial oversight.Mark’s Board experience includes Director at Pera Technology Ltd. 

Anne Groves - Associate 

Anne has over 30 years’ experience in public relations and reputation management in professional services and financial services. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Relations at Richmond, the American University in London and has taught at Edinburgh Business School. Former roles include Global Head of PR at Clifford Chance and EMEIA Head of PR at Andersen. She previously worked with international insurers Old Mutual and Aviva, and at The Guardian newspaper. Anne has worked with top 50 UK and US law firms, is a non-executive board member of Infinite Global and an advisory board member of The Quorum Initiative. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relatiions. 

Iris Qian - Associate

Iris has extensive experience working together with international companies and China. She previously worked in the International Department of China's largest and most prestigious entrepreneur platform, the China Entrepreneur Club (CEC). In this role Iris worked with hundreds of Chinese companies and entrepreneurs across all sectors. With a deep understanding of Chinese business culture and how to support international cooperation, Iris is fluent in English and has a Masters from Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Felicia Schwartz - Associate

Felicia has had an international career in branding and communications with Ogilvy and Dentsu in Austria, France, U.S.and China where she spent 13 years in strategic planning and consumer insights. Felicia excels at helping companies understand the Chinese consumer through research and cross-cultural executive education. She has worked extensively with HR teams delivering global mobility workshops. Her sector experience includes automobile, luxury, cosmetics, retail and FMCG. She is fluent in German, English, French and Mandarin Chinese.

Our fees

We work on the basis of fixed-project fees, daily rate consultancy fees and success fees, depending on our clients needs. We never engage with clients on a success fee only basis.

Due to our current portfolio of pro-bono commitments, we are not currently able to support new projects on this basis.

We do, however, offer not-for-profit clients generous fee discounts.


CKGSB is China's leading executive business school.