Grace M. Kataoka, Founder and CEO
Ash Sharma, Managing Director
Grace M. Kataoka
Grace is the founder and CEO of Amala Paradigm LLC 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 10 years experience working at and advising multi-nationals and banks in Asia, Europe and North America in positions of sustainability, corporate responsibility and finance. He is the Director at Amala Paradigm LLC, a consulting firm that advises executives, high-net-worth individuals and institutions on philanthropy, impact investment, business strategy and the Arts. Ash has created strategies for companies to leverage core business and philanthropic activities to reach distinct demographics, including women, private wealth, youth, multicultural, and underserved markets. Previously, he worked at Shinsei Bank in Tokyo where he was part of small high-impact teams that pioneered corporate sponsorship and education in the Asia-Pacific region for microfinance and social entrepreneurship; gained inclusion into the regional Dow Jones Sustainability Index through Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) benchmarking; and managed US$4 billion in diverse capital market issuances to completely reset the Bank’s corporate finance strategy. He has also leveraged his in-house corporate experience to consult family foundations and various public and private institutions in North America and Asia on strategy integration around impact investments and philanthropy.
Ash is a Monbukagakusho scholar and holds a MBA from the International University of Japan, where he conducted extensive research on CSR, 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. Ash speaks six languages, including Hindi, and has worked in North America, Asia and Europe.