Kate Kao

Founder & Managing Partner of HWK Group

Senior Advisor of Roland Berger | Senior Advisor of Partners Group

Kate Kao has 10 years of consulting experience. She started her career as a strategic consultant for multinational companies, domestic firms, institutional investors/ PEs and targets for major global investment funds with Roland Berger Greater China. Not only does she work as a corporate strategist, she also develops rapport and credibility with all appropriate levels of the organization for the prominent industrial families in Greater China. She also worked closely with various diplomatic missions and commissions to bridge cross-border business and opportunities for family business owners and family offices in Greater China and overseas.

Kate was the Head of Strategy and Board of China Leadership Team for Avon Product Co. Ltd, advising strategic planning of retail business transformation and organization restructuring. Prior to Roland Berger, Kate’s career focused on bringing new creative vision to the chocolate market in Asia Pacific. She was the Head of Sales for Barry Callebaut Chocolate Co. Ltd., the world’s largest cocoa and chocolate manufacturer for notable chocolate brands, steered by Chairman Dr. Andreas Jacobs the renowned Jacobs family, Jacobs Holdings AG, which has diverse interest across e-commerce, human resources and farming. Also, as an innovative and creative director, first in region, Kate commercialized winning new recipes and product series in Greater China region; optimized and executed route-to-market, branding, product and pricing strategy. She returned to Roland Berger heading up family business and family office client division for Greater China. Kate is the founder and managing partner of HWK Group, privately owned and independent multi-family office that serves individual and families of substantial wealth with personalized advice and service.

Trained as a computer science engineer and a professional ballerina, Kate applies deep core values and a culture of sustainability and growth to everything she does – providing the “real deal” to the problem. Kate works as Asia Pacific financial advisor for global investment funds and charitable foundations. She has been active in volunteer works in Germany, Singapore and Greater China.

In parallel, Kate invests in startups and other businesses.

Favourite quotes:

“To be KIND is more important than to be right. Many times, what people need is Not a brilliant mind that speaks but a SPECIAL HEART that LISTENS.”

“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed” – Ernest Hemingway

“This planet can provide for human need, but not for human greed.” – Mahatma Gandi

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