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Thomas Manning  

CEO of Dun & Bradstreet; Global Business Leader & Expert on China

Tom Manning leads the Asia business of Cerberus Capital Management as CEO of Cerberus Asia Operations and Advisory Limited.

Formerly, he served as CEO of Indachin Limited, a private equity advisory firm focused on India and China, CEO of Ernst & Young Consulting Asia, CEO of Capgemini Asia, global managing director of the Strategy & Technology Business of Capgemini, a director of Bain & Company and member of the firms China Board. Earlier, he held leadership positions with McKinsey & Company, CSC Index and Buddy Systems.

Manning is a board director of three public companies in China, including the Bank of Communications, Chinas fifth largest bank (listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange); AsiaInfo, Inc., the leading telecom software and services firm in China (NASDAQ) and Gome Electrical Appliances, Chinas largest retailer (HKSE). Additionally, he serves on the boards of several private companies backed by private equity firms, including United Auto Parts and Next Horizon Limited. He is also a founding director of the Chicago-China Economic Development Corporation and advises the Mayor of Chicago on China matters. He is also an advisor to the World Economic Forum and member of the Global Agenda Council on China.

In 2007, Manning launched The U.S. China 2025 Project, an effort dedicated to deepening the level of mutual understanding between the US and China through the development and rehearsal of future case scenarios. He also published U.S. China 2025 A Hopeful Tale, a monograph that outlines a vision for greater cooperation between China and the United States.

A frequent commentator on China, globalization, and innovation, Manning has been published, quoted or profiled in numerous forums including the The International Herald Tribune, Fortune, BusinessWeek, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, South China Morning Post, and CNBC. He is also a noted speaker and lecturer on trends and concerns in corporate governance.

He is an honors graduate of Harvard University in East Asian Studies and received his MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Fluent in Mandarin, Manning lives with his wife, Ellen, in Hong Kong.

Speech Topics

US-China Relations in 2025 (English or Mandarin)

The relationship between the US and China is healthy but requires more vision and leadership. Without a framework for cooperation across a myriad of critical issues, both countries run the risk of a sudden falling out. Tom Manning identifies the future scenarios most likely to challenge the relationship between now and 2025.

China Goes Global

In the past decade, the world beat a path to China, but in the decade to come, Chinese companies will increasingly move in the opposite direction, globalizing their operations and acquiring foreign companies. What will this mean to the worlds most important industries? Tom Manning forecasts the competitive impact of this seminal change.

Is China the New Silicon Valley?

Many of the factors behind Silicon Valleys rise are now evident in China in places like Haidian, the high-tech district of Beijing. Will China claim its historical role as inventor par excellence? Under-estimating the possibility of Chinas ability to innovate could be catastrophic to U.S. competitiveness. Over-estimation will drive paranoia and protectionism. Tom Manning offers a new interpretation of global innovation with China at the epicenter.

The Changing Boardroom in China

Global corporations and investment firms are putting more investment into China than any other country in the world, and yet, supervision of their investments remains very weak. Most companies short-shrift supervision just when they need it most, and as a result, the list of failed ventures is growing. One of the first Americans to serve on the boards of the largest public Chinese companies, Tom Manning sums up the state of the boardroom in China and the discipline required by corporate investors and private equity firms who want to avoid unfortunate surprises.

Strategy for Success in a China-Modified World

Wise CEOs are watching China carefully, knowing that the China factor could determine the success or failure of their companies in the years ahead. The initial strategy of simply being there is no longer enough. Now, companies need a more nuanced strategy in order to penetrate secondary cities and market segments and to tap Chinas vast potential for innovation. Tom Manning challenges the conventional approach, provokes awareness of new techniques, and suggests how every Board and executive team can take their game to the next level, deepening their plan for China and integrating it with their global strategy.

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