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Our Team of Experts

Our team is a collection of only the top people in their respective industry and have achieved successes. Professionally known and respected them for years but now I am fortunate enough to work with them at Synergy. They have not only years of experience in research but investments and insights in what’s to come. We try to pass on this experience and knowledge tour clients and connect the right people/businesses

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John Lee

John Lee John Lee is the CEO and Founder of Synergy Group. He graduated from UCLA and began his career at Wilshire Asset Management, followed by a role in institutional investment consulting at Verus Investment, which manages over $1 trillion in client assets. At Verus, John conducted qualitative and quantitative research on manager selection, asset allocation, Monte Carlo simulation, and interviewed managers across various asset classes, including alternatives. With the rise of Asian markets, John relocated to Asia to work as a sell-side equity salesperson, covering global hedge funds. His expertise earned him multiple top broker rankings in Asiamoney magazine before he retired from the industry. Subsequently, John co-founded ABTS, LLC, a biotech company in San Diego, where he managed operations, business development, fundraising, and asset sales. He then went on to establish Synergy Group. In addition to his role at Synergy, John serves on the Board of Here to Serve, a non-profit organization supporting families affected by cancer

Ron Lee, CFA, MBA

Ron Lee, CFA, MBA is the Head of Research at Synergy Group. He holds an engineering degree from the University of Texas and a Master of Science from Stanford University. Following his graduation, he attended Wharton Business School, where he received top honors. Ron began his career at Nvidia and later managed over $1 billion in the global tech sector for Citadel, a renowned hedge fund. His career then took him to Hong Kong, where he worked at Conning, managing the tech sector. At Synergy Group, Ron is responsible for research and wealth management for clients.

Sam Gong

Sam Gong (Managing Director) Sam, Managing Director | Consultant, has over 27 years of experience and serves our clients with extensive experience in FX trading, short-term funding, and credit rating after working with rating agencies like Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s. Then he moved on to trade cash equity trading at Samsung and Deutsche Bank where he was ranked #1 by Greenwich Associates. At Deutsche Bank he was the Head of Equity and joined the Board of Directors. He also worked as Head of Sales & Trading at Barclays, where he covered mostly Hong Kong, Singapore and UK clients. Later he joined Consul Asset Management as Executive Managing Director and managed a portfolio that outperformed KOSPI by 30% in 2022. He will be consulting our cross-boarder corporation clients as a consultant along with our advisors with FX implementation, transfer pricing, among other areas utilizing his diverse experiences.

Steve Yoo

Steve Yoo, CFA (Managing Director) – Steve has extensive financial services experience as an equity research analyst and portfolio manager.

Also has experience researching start-up internet/media companies. He has worked at Lehman and Nomura where he was a senior analyst. He has an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and an MBA from NYU Stern Business School. 

Steve also played safety position in division one football prior to that and has a NCAA championship ring. Steve was also a three-year starting outfielder for the Georgetown Hoyas and was a part-time scout for the Detroit Tigers. He was also a lecturer in Finance at Yonsei University.

Sang Chung

Sang Chung (Managing Director) has over 25 years of experience as a fund manager and investment banker. His expertise lies in evaluating companies for investment, corporate finance, and M&A. His career, which began in NYC, has taken him to various parts of Asia including Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

He has been associated with leading firms such as Fidelity, Temasek, and Morgan Stanley. He earned his B.S in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Chicago Booth School of Business.

Beyond his professional life, he has volunteered to feed children in Kabul. He enjoys golfing and is an accomplished squash player.

Alison Yip

Alison Yip (Advisor), a senior investment analyst at T. Rowe Price, specialized in the tech sector with a particular focus on long-term semiconductor and display price trends.

Notably, she was regarded as one of the best tech analysts in Asia. In addition, she evaluated semiconductor makers, ranging from small to mid-cap companies across Asia.

With 21 years of industry experience, she has also worked on the sell-side at CLSA and Credit Suisse.

Gene Ryang

Mr. Gene Ryang (Senior Advisor) serves as Synergy's Senior Advisor and is considered a pioneer in the financial industry in Asia.  After graduating from UCLA, he worked at Arthur Anderson as a Certified Public Accountant (US AICPA) auditing as a senior manager and supervised audits of large corporations in the greater Los Angeles area. After he relocated to London, Seoul and Hong Kong with W. I. Carr as Head of Sales and served clients in Europe and Asia. He was also a research analyst while at W. I. Carr. Then when HSBC James Capel started, he grew the franchise Korean (front and back offices). He led and managed a global team of 30 staff and the company's revenue from zero to double digits in the millions working with global investment firms. He also founded Deutsche Bank in Korea increasing the company's revenues and raising market share ranking 2nd among foreign investment banks and growing/managing a team to 50 staffs supervising all area of the businesses including compliance, back office and liaised with overseas offices in HK, NY and London. Later as an Executive Managing Director Daewoo Securities, he oversaw electronic trading, execution, Direct Market Access products and prime brokerage. Before serving as Synergy's senior advisor, he Co-founded SoHo Investments, a multi-asset solution investment firm raising multi-millions in AUM. He was at UCLA Varsity Golf Team and Korea Amateur Golf Champion (Johnny Walker Classic).  

Keith Whang

Keith Whang (Advisor) serves as our advisor and his specialty is in real estate. He's have conducted many deals including Novotel in Daegoo and other developments. Currently he is Representative Director at South Gate, a Seoul based financial consulting firm specialising in institutional inbound and outbound investments in Korea and Asia. Keith has over 25 years in real estate, hedge funds, equity research and sales based in Seoul and Hong Kong. Previously, he was with SG (Societe Generale) Securities Asia as an equity research analyst for Autos, Internet, and Media Sectors and at KDB Daewoo Securities as senior sales and Hana Securities as Head of International Sales. Keith was recognised in various polls as among Korea's top hedge fund sales and has strong research/trading background in technology as Managing Director at Tarascon Capital Management in Hong Kong, a hedge fund specalising in TMT. In addition, Keith has extensive experience in commercial real estate working with private funds in fund raising, value add strategies and analysis, advising on completed real estate investments of USD 500 million. Keith earned his BA from UCLA in Business Economics.

Charles Jo

Charles Jo (Advisor) is our advisor with special focus in transfer pricing for most of his life. Charles specializes in Transfer Pricing under U.S. Treasury Regulation section 482 of the Internal Revenue Code. Charles has over 15 years of extensive experience providing Transfer Pricing planning, compliance, valuable intangible property (IP) valuation and IP migration/cost sharing, tax audit defense, and other related services to large, multinational corporations with respect to their cross-border, intercompany transactions. Charles has provided these services while working for mainly the Big 4 accounting firms in the U.S., and also has extensive experience providing Transfer Pricing services under the Korean Transfer Pricing Regulations and the OECD Guidelines, while working in Seoul for the Law Offices of Kim & Chang and Ernst & Young. Charles is pursuing a Master of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Southern California. In his spare time, Charles loves to golf, snowboard, hike, and swim.

Avaneesh Acquilla

Mr. Avaneesh Acquilla(Advisor) is currently our Advisor in Blockchain. Avaneesh founded Arrano Capital in 2019 and has been in the investment industry for over 20 years serving on the sell-side and the buyside overlooking research and investments in multi-countries as a hedge fund manager. He currently serves and Chief Investment Offer at Arrano Capital investing and hedging crypto currency. Avaneesh experiences past experiences include capital markets and asset management. He was most recently responsible for managing the investment team at Kenetic Capital, a blockchain investment firm with portfolios including early-stage and publicly traded digital assets. Prior to joining Kenetic, he was an Equity Analyst at Och-Ziff Capital Management Asia, a position which he held for nine years. Prior to Och-Ziff he was an Equity Research analyst at Goldman Sachs and UBS in London.

Michael Reed

Michael Reed (Advisor), a founding partner of KeelinReeds Partners (KR), has led a broad range of projects for over 30 emerging biotech, medical device and diagnostics companies, including asset valuation and product development strategy, partnership strategy and deal term negotiations and portfolio management. Recognizing that mid-sized biotech and specialty pharma companies face complex decisions regarding product development and out-licensing/in-licensing, he led the development of KR’s breakthrough methodology for optimizing portfolio-level decisions that incorporate both R&D resource allocation as well as partnership dimensions. For a client in recent out-licensing negotiations with a much larger company, Michael led the negotiations session between the two parties that persuaded the partner to significantly increase its peak sales projections, netting KR’s client over $10 mm in additional upfront and milestone payments. Previously, while at SDG, he led strategy and portfolio management projects for Global 1000 companies. In addition to his management consulting experience, Michael brings the practical knowledge of a seasoned industry executive. He co-founded Chiron Informatics, where he developed HIV disease management solutions, then co-founded Fast Track Systems, the leading provider of industry benchmark data to biopharmaceutical R&D organizations. His work at Chiron and Fast Track resulted in five patents. Michael has chaired numerous international healthcare standards committees, including HL-7 Decision Support and the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC). He received his BA in Philosophy from Stanford University, where he was a premed student and completed the entire graduate curriculum in Decision Science courses, and a MA from Naropa University in Psychology.

Dr. Martín S, MD, MSc

Dr. Martín S, MD, MSc (Advisor) is a distinguished Medical Oncologist and leader in oncology drug development, served as the Chief Medical Officer at SystImmune. In this role, Dr. Olivo was responsible for leading all oncology clinical efforts outside of China. He has been instrumental in facilitating and leading key clinical aspects of business development initiatives, resulting in successful partnerships and licensing agreements. Notably, he played a pivotal role in the collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) for the first-in-class bispecific ADC (BL-B01D1), a deal valued at $8.4 billion. Before his tenure at SystImmune, Dr. Olivo was the Chief Medical Officer at Protara Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to that, he was the Vice President of Clinical Development at Gilead Sciences, Inc. (formerly Immunomedics, Inc.), where he led the clinical efforts in metastatic breast cancer therapeutics. His leadership contributed to the successful development and approval of Sacituzumab Govitecan, leading to the company's acquisition by Gilead for $21 billion in 2020. Earlier in his career, Dr. Olivo served as the Global Clinical Lead at Daiichi Sankyo Cancer Enterprise. There, he established a comprehensive clinical development plan for an early-stage oncology product candidate with applications in lung and breast cancer. He also held various roles with increasing responsibilities in the oncology group at Eisai Inc., where he was the International Program Team Leader for Halaven, a significant drug for breast cancer treatment. Dr. Olivo received his M.D. from the University of Buenos Aires and an M.S. in Clinical and Pharmacological Research from Austral University in Buenos Aires. He completed advanced training as a Clinical Oncologist at the University of Salvador. Additionally, Dr. Olivo has held various academic and clinical positions at the School of Medicine at the University of Buenos Aires, Hospital "Dr. Enrique Tornú," and the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group. Dr. Olivo's career is marked by his unwavering commitment to oncology research and his significant contributions to the development and approval of novel cancer therapies. His leadership and expertise continue to drive advancements in the treatment of various solid tumors, improving the lives of countless patients worldwide.

We are also advised by Advisory Boards from CEOs of Private Equity, Venture Capital, Investment Banking, and Industrial Industries. Our Marketing Team Includes Sports Casters, Aerospace Engineers, Cosmetic Logistics and Branding and Sales.

The Power of Synergy

Collaborative effort to create greater value.

SGC in the works:

We educate the investors in the market/businesses/industry trends and investments. There are many new asset classes and however, some while correlation may differ from traditional assets, there are other risk factors to consider. Our consultants consists of experts that have over 20 years of experience in their respective fields and have gone through many market cycles.

Current projects:

Digital marketing/Brand ambassador consulting and negotiations with retailers. SGC is currently consulting to an international cosmetic company expanding their business in the Americas launching their brand with FDA guidelines, usage of various ingredients and designing their products.

SGC is currently looking for deal sourcing for our international fund with strong track record since inception. We are searching for an infrastructure sourcing. They have already funded in building infrastructure in Europe, US and emerging market countries.

Assist in sales of a smaller pharmaceutical company sell their services to the bigger pharmas. Biotech and tech are one of our stronger areas. Testing and going through the trials could be expensive but also rewarding in monetary and moral aspects. One firm figured out how to get more accurate results species that only grow in their country.

Institutional investment consultants generally use asset allocation strategy, peer group performance (mostly looking at 3 to 5 year) track-records and fees to evaluate managers. However, over the last 2 decades, equity market has changed. Many pension, endowment, and foundations are no longer the usual 60/40 asset allocation. There are many new and interesting funds in the market that don’t belong in your traditional asset class. Many endowment funds have allocated beyond these asset classes so it has become more difficult to classify them in a box. Consultants now have to take a deeper qualitative research and see if it makes sense to invest in such asset classes. We help our clients understand, how these relatively new alternative funds work and investing risks and reward profiles are.

Most consultants have already attended more than thousands of meetings with corporates, attended multiple conferences, meetings with management. Additionally, as for fund investing, some of us have met and experienced, how various funds invest in their portfolio. As a client, through our research portal you get access to real experiences of meeting not only the corporate management but also the fund managers and their strategy.

SGC not only help fund raising process but also help start-ups generate strategy and sound structure.

For larger clients, we move our consultant team assigned to the project, utilizing the shared-office space so they are available at all times.