Past Event: Stanford GSB Chapter of Hong Kong

Lunch, Monday, 12 September 2016
Speaker Series:
: Chairman, Global Counsel LLP & Lazard Int'l, Member House of Lords
Under PM Gordon Brown: Secretary of State for Business; 1st Sec. of State
For the European Union: EU Trade Commissioner
Under PM Tony Blair: Sec. of State for Trade & Industry; Sec. of State for N. Ireland

Brexit: "We Brought a Spoon to a Knife Fight"
How the Remain Campaign Lost, the Upcoming Labour Leadership Fight and the Costs & Consequences of Brexit for the UK, for Europe and for Asia.

12:00   Registration & Informal Gathering
12:15   Opening Remarks
12:35   Open Discussion
13:45   Close & Post-Event Interaction
China Club, 13/F, The Old Bank of China Building, Bank Street, Central, Hong Kong
NB: please note strict China Club dress code (no t-shirts, polo shirts, shorts/short trousers, sandals, trainers or slippers permitted)

Cost & Registration:
To register, please go online and CLICK HERE to RSVP and PAY NOW

Early Bird Online Credit Card/Paypal Payment: HKD 650 (before midnight Friday 9 September). Cash Payment/Late Bird Pre-Payment will be HKD 850.

Please bring exact amount if paying cash at the door (no change will be provided). No refunds for no-shows or post-payment cancellations. Space is very limited. Early Bird registration is strongly encouraged. Questions/problems? Contact Beatrice Wong, Chapter VP, at

Guests/Walk-Ins: Alumni only, no guests, no walk-ins. Advance registration only.

Lunch Menu:
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Speaker's Bio
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Event Details:
The Stanford GSB Chapter of Hong Kong is pleased to invite you to special lunch with Lord Mandelson (Peter Mandelson) discussing Brexit and the fallout of its lessons, costs, and implications for the UK, for Europe, for Asia and for the World. Lord Mandelson is currently Chairman, Global Counsel LLP (founded by Lord Mandelson in partnership with advertising giant WPP), Chairman of Lazard Int’l and Member of the House of Lords. He is a former senior minister of government under both Prime Ministers Gordon Brown and Tony Blair and served as EU Trade Commissioner.

As one of the key Labour leaders of the Remain Campaign, Lord Mandelson was at the heart of debate, with few bringing more relevant UK and EU experience to the case for the potential costs and dangers of Brexit, arguing that anything outside of the EU would be “second best” for Britain, that the “only certainty from Leave is uncertainty,” and dismissing the argument that the UK could do without Europe and trade just as well with the rest of the world with a pithy “Grow up. Get Real.”

Yet Remain lost. And Lord Mandelson saw first-hand the challenges of a political campaign hamstrung by (a) a Tory PM reluctant to criticize his own party members (Boris Johnson, Michael Gove) on the Leave Campaign; (b) the “halfhearted support” of Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn who was “at times…actively sabotaging a campaign he was happy to see fail”, leading friends to wonder “did he just get out of bed the wrong side every day and not…want to help us?” and (c) a public being asked to vote on “a referendum on a subject [they] didn’t understand”.

Or, in Lord Mandelson’s words, “our gang was taking a spoon to [a] knife fight,” under “a conspiracy of complacency.”

The broader backdrop to the Brexit vote has been unprecedented EU disruption – be it pressures of domestic separatism (the UK, Spain, Belgium); threats of other “exits” (Italy, Spain); rise of populist parties (Netherlands, Austria, France); pressures from immigration/Syria; or unfinished “work-outs” in Greece, to name but a few.

What does Brexit, its fallout, and the ability of Europe to address these challenges mean for the UK, for Europe, and for Asia (25% of all EU trade, with China being the EU’s 2nd single largest trading partner)?

The personal and professional perspective Lord Mandelson brings to these questions is unparalleled.

Widely heralded as “the Architect of New Labour”, Lord Mandelson took the Party from years of “suicidal loony left-wingery” in the political wilderness to an unprecedented 18 years in power and transformed business from Labour adversary to critical partner in growth. He has then seen the lows of the 2010 Labour defeat to Cameron when “[not only voters] didn’t miss us….they ripped the stripes off our shoulders.” And he has seen the rise of Corby-mania take the Labour Party to an unprecedented point of revolt and chasm, with 60 MPs resigning their front benches in the wake of the Remain defeat, with a challenger (Owen Smith) broadly supported by the public, but with a majority of party members continuing to support the incumbent.

The Stanford GSB Chapter of HK could not be more honored to have Lord Mandelson share his insights, experience and wisdom on all of the above. We hope you can join us.

Speaker's Bio: Lord Mandelson (Peter Mandelson)

Lord Mandelson is current chairman and founder of Global Counsel, a strategic advisory firm, and Chairman of Lazard International, as well as former European Trade Commissioner, and former senior minister of government both under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and under Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Most recently, he was one of the key leaders of the Remain Campaign during the 2016 Brexit vote.

Lord Mandelson is widely heralded as the key architect and strategist of New Labour, along with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, leading the party’s return to the center of British politics and control of 10 Downing Street (from which it had been absent for 18 years), beginning with its landslide victory in 1997 through 2010.

In 2004, Lord Mandelson became European Union Trade Commissioner, serving until 2008 when he re-entered the British government serving as Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and First Secretary of State until 2010. As Trade Commissioner between 2004 and 2008, he negotiated trade agreements with many countries and led European negotiations in the WTO Doha World Trade Round.

Lord Mandelson first entered the British government in 1997, and under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown between 1997 and 2010, he was Minister without Portfolio, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in the British government. He was made a life peer by the Queen and joined the House of Lords in 2008, and serving as First Secretary of State and Lord President of the Council from 2009 to 2010. He is also President of the Policy Network think tank and was Joint President of British Influence, a campaign organization to keep Britain in the EU.

Lord Mandelson graduated from St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University where he read Politics, Philosophy and Economics, having started out in politics as a Youth Communist League member (despite being the grandson of a Labour foreign minister and deputy PM). After leaving university, he entered the media industry, rising to become a senior television producer. He was also director of the British Youth Council. In 1992, he was elected to Parliament, and was Member of Parliament for Hartlepool from 1992 to 2004 and Director of Campaigns and Communications for the Labour Party between 1985 and 1990.

In 2010, he published his autobiography and political memoir, “The Third Man” covering, among others topics, Lord Mandelson’s time as one of the three leaders of New Labour, along with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. It is widely considered one of the most compelling takes on the New Labour era and the leading personalities behind its ascent and time in power.