Ben Simpfendorfer is Founder and CEO of Silk Road Associates. Ben has worked in Asia and the Middle East for the past 20 years. He advises a range of Fortune 500 multinationals on their commercial strategies in Asia, providing global boards and regional strategy teams with data-based solutions into fast-moving markets and value-chains. His extensive specialist networks add further insights into today’s key operating challenges.
Before establishing Silk Road Associates in 2010, Ben spent over a decade tracking China’s business landscape as Chief China economist for RBS and senior China economist for JPMorgan based in Hong Kong. He started his career in Beirut during the early 1990s where he worked as a management consultant, later joining Dun & Bradstreet based in London as the firm’s Senior Analyst for the Middle East & North Africa assessing commercial and political risk.
Ben speaks Mandarin and Arabic. He is author of The Rise of the New East (Palgrave: 2014), examining commercial opportunities and complexities in the Asia market, and The New Silk Road (Palgrave: 2009), exploring China’s commercial ties with the Middle East. The book is translated into six languages including simplified and traditional Chinese. He appears regularly on CNBC, Bloomberg, and CNN, and his editorials have been published by the FT and WSJ.
Ben has delivered keynotes and CEO briefings worldwide. He is a member of the Foreign Experts Committee providing policy recommendations to China's central leadership on the 'Belt and Road' initiative under the auspices of SAFEA. He is Co-Chairman of the China Business Committee for the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. He also sits on the advisory board of the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) in Hong Kong.
"Ben is a thorough and totally involved observer of matters Eastern with an ability to articulate his thoughts clearly both orally and, as in this case, in a totally unstuffy, readable and informative book. A tireless traveler with an enquiring economist's mind, he shines because of his ability to cross cultural and language barriers with an ease I have yet to find in others."
"We were thrilled with the value which Ben brought to our meeting. His materials and presentation were extremely relevant and right on point. He had a style and presentation which was appropriate to and comfortable for our audience. He left us with a lot to think about."