Kern Kwong, Ph.D.
Pasadena and Hong Kong Offices
Dr. Kwok Keung “Kern” Kwong is an internationally recognized leader in bridging the gap between Western business practices and Asian cultures, especially China. A tenured professor of business and economics at California State University Los Angeles, he pioneered a program in international business practices for middle-level Chinese executives. More than 5,000 grateful graduates have gone on to achieve leadership positions in Chinese business and government..
His American education and experience as a senior executive of US-based firms has made him keenly aware of the cultural divide between the US and China. Having his feet in both cultures, Kern has resolved numerous difficult negotiations between US and Chinese owners, creating substantial economic benefit for both parties.
He is especially effective in complex international transactions. For instance, Kern negotiated the sale of a plastic card manufacturer owned by Hong Kong residents and run by a former HSBC banker, selling it to an American Indian private equity group in 2009.
In another instance, Kern represented a US-based laser manufacturer in negotiating enhanced credit terms and lower prices in exchange for increased volumes with its Shanghai-based supplier. This allowed both companies to prosper, and resulted in the US company gaining a 57% market share of the North American dental laser business.
More recently, Kern negotiated a joint venture purchase of a specialty chemical factory in Los Angeles by a Chinese company and a US manufacturer. Difficult issues of valuation, management responsibilities and cash contributions which had stalled the transaction for months were resolved through Kern’s intervention.
Kern is the Chairman of the Asia Pacific practice at Janas Associates and its Hong Kong and Chinese subsidiaries. He serves investment banking clients in the United States, China and other Asia Pacific countries. He has worked on projects for Saudi Aramco, Southern California Edison, Goldlion Holdings (USA), as well as merger and acquisition assignments for technology companies, distributors and manufacturers in China and Hong Kong.
Kern conceived, designed and implemented the California State University Los Angeles program that provided Executive Management Training programs for middle management employees of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE’s) in the People’s Republic of China. Kern also maintains a broad network of contacts to identify and support client initiatives in China, Korea, Vietnam and Japan.
Kern holds a Masters in Business Administration in International Business, and a Ph.D. in Operations Management and Strategic Management from Georgia State University. He is the author of 63 articles and papers which focus on business forecasting, manufacturing and sales practices in China, Japan, Korea and the U.S., and computers in the workplace. He is also specialized in management issues of small business firms. He was the first vice-president of the International Association of Business Forecasting.
Kern is an internationally recognized leader in solving business problems arising from cultural differences. His extensive network of grateful students and former clients regularly assist Janas in opening up new opportunities for clients.