Grace M. Kataoka, Founder and CEO
Ash Sharma, Managing Director
Grace M. Kataoka
Grace is the founder and CEO of Amala Paradigm where she advises foundations, ultra-HNWIs and corporations on strategic philanthropy, impact investment, corporate responsibility strategy development and arts initiatives. Previously, Grace was the Head of Asia Pacific Corporate Social Responsibility and Foundation initiatives at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong and Head of Corporate Sustainability and Corporate Philanthropy divisions for Shinsei Bank in Tokyo where she oversaw community investment, arts and culture initiatives, ESG integration, strategic multi-stakeholder partnerships, and responsible business practices for the Asia-Pacific Region. In this capacity, her teams seeded and provided capacity building to hundreds of social enterprises and innovation platforms across Asia as a pioneer corporate sponsor. Grace has 20 years of nonprofit management and private/investment banking experience having previously worked at Salomon Brothers, BNP Paribas, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in the United States and Asia.
Grace is a TBLI Ambassador and currently serves on the corporate board for International Child Art Foundation. She is also an advisor to several social entrepreneurs and high-impact non-profit organizations. She graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington with a BA in Political Science and BA double major in Japanese and Chinese Language & Literature and East Asian Studies, where she spent the first two years exclusively in the Jacobs School of Music under the tutelage of Menahem Pressler, founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio. She holds an MA in Performing Arts Administration/Non-profit Management from New York University and an Executive Education Certification in Corporate Social Responsibility from Harvard Business School. She was listed among the Women to Watch in Banking in the May 2012 issue of FinanceAsia and the multi-stakeholder initiatives that her teams launched at Shinsei Bank have been recognized for leading NPO collaboration by the media, industry associations, conferences, and thought leaders.
Ash has over 15 years experience working at and advising banks and multi-nationals in Asia, Europe and North America in positions of responsible investment, sustainability, finance, investor relations, tech for social impact, corporate responsibility and global corporate development. He is the Managing Director at Amala Paradigm, a consulting firm that advises executives, high-net-worth individuals and institutions on the full spectrum of responsible investments, including impact investments, philanthropy, business strategy and the Arts. Ash creates strategic partnerships and advises on a range of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) strategies (integration, risk management, research, analysis and screening of investment funds and products) for companies and investors. Previously, he worked at Shinsei Bank in Tokyo where he was part of small high-impact teams that gained inclusion into the regional Dow Jones Sustainability Index through ESG benchmarking; managed US$4 billion in diverse capital market issuances to completely reset the Bank’s corporate finance strategy; and pioneered numerous innovative sustainability initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region, including integrating ESG through microfinance, responsible investments and accelerators for ventures focused on sustainability solutions. He has also leveraged his in-house corporate experience to consult family foundations and various global, public and private institutions on strategy integration around responsible investments and philanthropy.
Ash is a Monbukagakusho scholar and holds a MBA from the International University of Japan, where he conducted extensive research on ESG, sustainability and multi-stakeholder partnerships under the Secretariat of the Chairman of FujiXerox. He has a B.A. Honors in European Studies focused on Arts & Culture, Business German and French from Trinity College at the University of Toronto and completed his studies as a scholar at Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin, Germany and Universidad de Alicante, Spain. He speaks six languages, including Hindi, and has worked in North America, Asia and Europe. Ash works with his family on access to healthcare and empowering women, senior citizens and youth.