OUR TEAM

  • Mark Kirkham
    Operations Director Business Class Group

    Chief Executive Officer of the Business Class Group, Mark started his career in Financial Services in the UK in 1990. Originally working as a tied agent for a large insurance company he moved into sales management in 1992. He had a successful sales career and was promoted to Regional Development Manager in 1994 where he worked with the top producers in the company. In 1995 the organisation was taken over and Mark was re-appointed as Branch Manager where he guided his branch to a top three position in the following three years out of one hundred locations.

    Choosing to leave the UK in 1998 to look for his next challenge, Mark joined a large Independent Financial Adviser in Europe, starting his offshore career in Germany and Belgium, until his move to the Far East in 2003.

    Mark is registered with The Hong Kong Confederation of Insurance Brokers www.hkcib.org as CEO of Platinum Financial Services Hong Kong, one of the most widely respected Independent Financial Advisory companies in the territory, and is at the forefront of bringing international IFA standards and best practices to the region.

    Mark is a former member of the General Committee of CIB elected for his ILAS knowledge and experience. He is also a former Councilor and Vice Chairman of the Independent Financial Advisers Association of Hong Kong www.ifaa.com.hk as well as being qualified for membership of the Chartered Insurance Institute www.cii.co.uk.

  • Neil Smith
    Chief Financial Officer

    Neil trained as a UK Chartered Accountant and joined KPMG in their Hong Kong office in 1970. Since then he has held senior financial positions with professional firms and companies in the UK, Continental Europe, Asia and the US. In the 80s and 90s he moved into international operations with Knogo Corporation of New York, whose operations are now part of Tyco, and Esselte Meto International, part of the Esselte Group of Sweden, both technology companies operating worldwide. Neil joined the Business Class Group as Chief Financial Officer over five years ago and is based in the Bangkok office.

  • Lee Frost
    Group Development Director

    Lee is a graduate of the Imperial College London and has over 35 years combined experience in Corporate Marketing, Property Management and Financial Services. He joined the Business Class Group in 2007 and as a Regional Director was instrumental in setting up Business Class Thailand, Business Class Asia and introducing Lifestyle Property to Thailand. Now as the Group Development Director he is responsible for all recruitment, training, development and expansion of the associated companies within the Business Class Group.

    Lee's business philosophy is simple. Total commitment, hard work and attention to detail are the keys. Success is measured by innovation and client satisfaction.

  • Andrew Wood
    Executive Director

    Andrew has been a career expatriate for over 38 years, the majority of that time being spent managing businesses operating on the Australasian and South East Asian continents. His diverse management experiences have seen him responsible for overseeing the commercial operations of a number of international businesses.

    After 20 years in senior management positions Andrew moved to the Financial Services industry in 2004 where he was able to draw upon his many experiences and transfer a great deal of his corporate knowledge and his deeply embedded and disciplined work ethic to his new role.

    His high level of technical knowledge, along with his awareness and understanding of client’s needs, make him stand out from the crowd and be recognized as a leading authority on all the topics he advises on. He is widely respected by his colleagues, clients and industry peers and his key expertise has been helping individuals plan their retirement strategies; establish personal and family Trusts; make appropriate succession plans; advise on property acquisitions and management as well as a range of other personal expatriate matters.

    Andrew is a shareholder at Group level and regularly offers insight and advice to the board of directors based on his experience from time spent in the corporate world. Andrew is relocating from our Thailand office to undertake further work with the group in Europe. He will be based in the United Kingdom where we can continue to draw on his experience and enjoy his meaningful contribution to the business.

  • Gordon Franks
    Managing Director, Hong Kong

    Gordon Franks is the Managing Director of Platinum Financial Services in Hong Kong overseeing one of the region’s largest and most sophisticated financial sectors; focusing on providing quality advice to high net worth individuals around the region. For close to ten years Gordon has been helping individuals and their families maximize their personal and financial wealth, achieving peace of mind, comfort and reliable financial solutions.

    Gordon believes that it is important to align his clients’ financial decisions with what is important in their lives. By engaging meaningful conversations with clients he is able to gain a better understanding of what is important to them, their goals and values. By gaining a complete understanding of his clients it ensures that sound financial decisions can be in place for their future goals.

    Prior to moving to Asia, Gordon studied Financial Economics at Liverpool University. After graduating, he was selected for the Offshore Financial Trading Association training course where he was fast-tracked to employment in Hong Kong. He is fully qualified with the Hong Kong Confederation of Insurers.

    Gordon lives in Discovery Bay with his wife, Laura, and his two daughters Isabelle and Sophie.

  • Kevin Hennessy
    Branch Manager Shanghai

    Kevin Hennessy studied at Bournemouth University and obtained his degree in Business Management. He then worked for the UK government within the Inland Revenue and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. After a stint at the British Embassy in Iran and the UK he entered the wealth management business, advising clients on mortgages, life insurance, retirement planning and portfolio management. Kevin has been a consultant with Platinum Financial Services for 8 years, based in Shanghai, and has given sound guidance to help hundreds of people, both expatriates and Chinese nationals, to plan financially for their future.

  • Simon Taylor
    Branch Manager, Bangkok

    Simon started his career in Financial Services in 2007 working for the Co-operative Financial Services, where he excelled, becoming one of the top advisers in the region and in the top 5% within the Company. Simon has also worked for HSBC as well as being an IFA, before starting his own group of companies, specialising in niche investments and property to High Net Worth Individuals.

    He has consulted on the design of financial products in the UK as well as the US, and also provided coaching and training services to businesses in this sector.

    Simon has a keen eye for detail, is personable and very professional, ensuring that he can deal with all manner of clients, and giving them the best possible service, whilst keeping their goals and aspirations in mind.

    Simon is a member of the IFS School of Finance, the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association, and likes nothing more than to increase his knowledge and qualifications, so that he can bring value and experience to his clients.

    Simon is a family man, married with three daughters aged 10, 7 and 6.

  • Alex Bowden
    Head of Marketing Communications

    Founder and Managing Director of Liquid Branding, a leading independent branding and communications agency in Bangkok, Alex heads up the Business Class Group’s creative, communication and marketing programmes for all the member companies.

    A graduate of Sheffield School of Business and Management, he gained a BA in International Business and Marketing with Honours before working in the City as an investment banker. Realising early on a thirst for more creative pursuits, Alex entered the design and marketing industry, a passion for which has seen him grow a successful business in Bangkok by providing international standard creative combined with exceptional customer service.

    Alex has lived in Bangkok for 10 years and when not in the office, he can be found spending time with his young family or, when the weather permits, attempting to bowl an in-swinging yorker.

  • Kristina Davies
    Customer Services Executive

    Kristina joined Business Class Group in 2015 as the Customer Service Executive in Hong Kong. Previously she had been a seller of fine wines to corporate clients while also studying for a marketing degree at University of London. With her extensive experience in the hospitality industry, conscientious work ethic and bubbly personality, she fits perfectly into our team of client-focused professionals.

    When not working, Kristina can be found having fun in the sun with her two boys on the beaches of Lantau or trekking on one of the many stunning trails on the island. She plays the guitar and is a keen yoga practitioner.