Founder, investor and leading advisor on technology, finance and entrepreneurship, Duncan has lived and worked in Asia for over thirty years. His experience and network of relationships across Asia gives Duncan unique insights into the future shape of global innovation.
Duncan's career in Asia started as a technology investment banker with Morgan Stanley.
With the backing of Morgan Stanley, Duncan founded leading technology investment advisory firm BDA China (www.bda.com) where he has served as Chair since its establishment in 1994.
Duncan also oversaw BDA's expansion to South East Asia and South Asia with the establishment of BDA India in New Delhi.
From its offices in Hong Kong and Beijing, BDA continues to be a key advisor to leading investors in technology and consumer innovation across the region. Duncan is also spending an increasing amount of time in Japan with a base in Tokyo and a new role on the board of counselors of OIST, the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology.
In recent years, the divergence between China and the West in geopolitics and technology has led to increasing calls for "decoupling" or "derisking". With his network of relationships with policy makers and analysts in the US, UK, France and beyond, Duncan is engaged with key stakeholders to assess the extent of the divergence ahead in key areas such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence and quantitative computing - and how this will shape all of our futures.
An early advisor to leading China Internet entrepreneurs, Duncan is author of ‘Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built’, the definitive work on China’s e-commerce and technology giant, its founder Jack Ma, and the forces and people that propelled its rise. Published in 2016 in English by HarperCollins, ‘Alibaba’ was named a Book of the Year by The Economist magazine and short-listed for ‘Business Book of the Year’ by the Financial Times/McKinsey. The best-selling book has been released in over thirty five languages around the world.
A senior policy advisor to institutional investors, corporations and governments, Duncan is a cofounder or early stage investor of a number of technology ventures including Data.ai (invested by Sequoia, formerly known as AppAnnie), Radish Fiction (sold for USD 0.44 billion to South Korean Internet giant Kakao) and Story Protocol, a new Silicon Valley venture backed by a16z.
To contribute to continued dialogue between Asia and the world, Duncan has served for almost a decade as a member of the Global Board of Trustees of the Asia Society in New York. He also currently serves as Co-Chair of Asia Society France, the first center of the Asia Society in the European Union. Duncan co-founded Asia Society France in Paris together with leading tech entrepreneur and investor Fritz Demopoulos, and four subsequent Founding Trustees. Duncan is also a founding member of Asia Society Japan in Tokyo.
In addition to his advisory role at OIST in Japan, Duncan is a member of the advisory board of the Pictet Digital thematic mutual fund, managed by Pictet Asset Management in Geneva, Duncan also serves on the international board of WildAid, the San Francisco non-profit whose mission is to end the trade of illegal wildlife products in our lifetime.
A graduate of the London School of Economics (LSE), Duncan is again active within LSE's new School of Public Policy (SPP) as a Visiting Senior Fellow and supporter through the Duncan and David Clark Scholarship fund to support students from Asia to pursue studies at the SPP.
At a time when US-China relations were more propitious, Duncan was a former Visiting Scholar at Stanford University where he established the 'China 2.0' initiative to bring together key players in technology from China and the US. He previously served as Chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in China, and was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to UK-China trade and investment.
A UK citizen raised in the UK, US and France, Duncan is fluent in Chinese, French, conversant in Spanish and is currently learning Japanese.