audio close compressed excel CS_logo_icon_solid_yellow_alt Created with Sketch. x x image insta-black menu pdf Print BTN - Shortlist Created with Sketch. Share Asset 1 word


Keynote Speaker, Thought Leader and Business Futurist.


David Thomas is well known in the Asia Pacific region for his experience, credibility, and passion for identifying, building, and facilitating business and investment relationships between developed and emerging countries.


Over the past 20 years, David has inspired, motivated, and educated global business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors to pay attention to the massive growth potential offered by modern China as the financial engine of Asia and taken them on a journey to identify and build long-term business and investment relationships.

David lived in Hong Kong in the 1980s and 90s with his father, Michael Thomas QC, who was the Attorney General for Hong Kong (1983-88) and was intimately involved in the negotiations between Britain and China to design and implement the new Basic Law of Hong Kong to take effect from 1997. In addition, his step-mother, Baroness Lydia Dunn, was a senior political leader in Hong Kong and worked with Deng Xiaoping and Margaret Thatcher to negotiate the future of Hong Kong under Chinese sovereignty post-1997. These unique insights and high-level family connections provided David with a fascinating perspective on China’s ambitions for the future which prompted his first visit to Beijing in 1989 and a life-long interest in China’s role on the global stage.

David ran his own successful wealth management firm in Hong Kong from 1988 to 1995 before moving to Australia and working with a leading financial planning firm, Godfrey Pembroke (1996- 8) before joining the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (1999-2001). Over the past 20 years, David has led and organized many missions, study tours, and business delegations to China and the other “BRIC countries” which, in addition to enhancing his reputation, influence, and networks within the Asia Pacific region, has provided him with unique opportunities to stay ahead of the trends that are impacting the wealth management sector in China, Australia, and the Asia Pacific region.

Talking Points

The future of your business and industry is here and now!

We live in the Asian Century. A massive wave of people, capital and resources is heading our way as cashed up Asian middle class consumers, tourists, students, migrants and entrepreneurs head to our shores and start participating in our economy. Whatever industry you are in, and whether you're an SME or working for a large institution, you can position yourself and your business to take advantage of the new opportunities arising from this fast growing wave. All you need are the knowledge, tools and skills to adapt to the changing environment. Are you ready?

Business growth - capturing the Asian market

With the massive transformation taking place in China and the rest of Asia, many industries and sectors throughout the world are being disturbed, shaken up or changed forever. Innovative entrepreneurs and business leaders in the services sector, particularly in food, healthcare, education, tourism, real estate and financial services, are adapting quickly to the changing environment and staying ahead of the curve. How are you and your organisation placed for this disruption? How are you repositioning yourself to take advantage of the opportunities, whilst managing the risks? Will you be at the front or the back of this big wave of change?

The Art of Relationships - take 3 cups of tea

There is a saying that in order to do business in the Asian Century you need to take 3 cups of tea with your prospective clients, partners and investors. With the first you're a "stranger", the second you're a "friend" and, if you ever get to the third cup, you'll become part of their inner circle. It's only after the third cup that you can talk business! This is only one of the many skills and tools you need to master to succeed with your Asian clients, partners and investors, and there are many more. Are you ready to learn the others?

Innovation and Consumption

There has never been a better time for foreign entrepreneurs and business leaders to consider entering the China market despite negative noise, media and commentary to keep you away. Consider the following:

- China’s economy today is driven by domestic consumption (now 80% of GDP growth). This is the time for foreign businesses to tap into the fast growing local demand for world class products, goods and services.
- China invests more money in innovation (USD60 billion) than any other country in the world and is determined to become a global leader in areas like high value manufacturing, healthcare, environmental protection, technology and education. Foreign entrepreneurs must now participate in this innovation story.

China has the money and the market to transform the lives of foreign entrepreneurs and business leaders who are willing to invest the time, money and effort to:

- understand the local market via on the ground market research and intelligence
- embrace the cultural differences involved in working with chinese investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders
- Commercialise their products, services and capabilities into the key sectors which are driving China’s transformation

David Thomas has spent a lifetime uncovering opportunities in modern China and inspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs to take their first step into the China market. He delivers unique skills, practical insights and long term experience on the ground to every presentation. His audiences enjoy his anecdotes, case studies and stories from travelling around China for the past 30 years.
"Thank you so much for being a part of The Business of Real Estate Conference. Your content and energy was amazing and everyone received a lot of value from your session”. Real Estate Results

“David was the highlight of our recent real estate event for business owners. He provided loads of practical tips on how to embrace the opportunities in China. His talk was highly relevant, entertaining (lots of brilliant English humour) and everyone walked away with ideas they can use immediately in their business to make the most of the Chinese market.”

L J Hooker

“David delivered a great speech at the Business of Real Estate conference this year on developing positive business relationships with Chinese, by understanding culture - insightful & interesting”

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand

David presented at a TEC Briefing event and delivered a very engaging and relevant presentation on the BRIC countries, particularly focusing on the emerging market of China. Wow! He gave us plenty of take-home value, zeroing in on the enormous potential and opportunities for Australian businesses in the key areas of Education, Healthcare and Tourism.

Ruth Power, TEC

David delivered a great speech at the Business of Real Estate conference this year on developing positive business relationships with Chinese, by understanding culture - insightful & interesting useThaDavid.”

Bindi Norwell, CEO, The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand
Let us know

and we'll send all the latest Saxton updates and news direct to your inbox
Thanks, you have been subscribed
View Shortlist