Steven K. Baker - Full Biography
Steven K. Baker, a former Citibank executive and telecom entrepreneur with 30 years of professional experience in Asia, is the founder and CEO of Micronesia Registration Advisors, Inc. MRA has a 40-year exclusive contract with the Federated States of Micronesia to advise the government and to promote in Japan its corporate registry and captive insurance domicile, which has become the second largest revenue source for the nation.
He is also the founding managing partner of Topaz Fund, and of Palm Cove Capital, as well as the Vice Chairman of the board of trustees of Hawaii Pacific University, the largest private university in Hawaii, a member of the board of directors of the University of Hawaii’s Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship, a member of the board of advisors for Entrepreneurs Foundation, an investor and member of Blue Ventures, and a member of Hawaii Angels. He was recognized as Hawaii’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015 by the Hawaii Legislature and the Hawaii Venture Capital Association.
Formerly, Mr. Baker was an executive with Citibank for over 22 years, based in Asia Pacific for the majority of those years. He was a member of the Group of 55, Citicorp’s senior strategy body, and was also designated a Senior Credit Officer for the bank. He was the Division Executive in charge of the Worldwide Securities Services division, with staff in fifty-two countries. In 1992, he headed up one of the well-publicized global Task Forces, established by the Chairman, to help turn the bank around. Formerly, he was based in Hong Kong for eight years and was Citibank's Division Executive for North Asia countries, as well as Hong Kong’s Country Corporate Officer, and developer with Great Eagle of Citibank Plaza’s 50-story towers. Prior to that, he was in Australia as Citicorp’s only Managing Director, where he formally and simultaneously launched five retail branches of the first foreign-owned nationwide bank, with Australian Treasurer Paul Keating. His earlier Citibank assignments were in Indonesia, as second in charge, and in New York, as head of the Corporate Real Estate department, for major homebuilders and land developers in the US.
After leaving Citibank in 1994, he was based in Singapore, as the Managing Director of Transmarco Limited, a computer distribution and telecom service company listed on the Stock Exchange of Singapore, in which the Sampoerna Group, a billion dollar tobacco group based in Indonesia, had a controlling interest.
In 1996, he became a founder, the largest individual investor, and until September 2005 the Chairman of Lanka Bell (Private) Limited (www.lankabell.net), a fixed-wireless telephone company in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with a 25-year nationwide license, which has grown to well over 1.5 million subscribers. In this context, he raised US$175 million in debt and equity funding over the years, and helped arrange the sale of the company to Stassen Group, the largest business group in Sri Lanka.
In community and industry affairs, Mr. Baker has served on numerous boards in Asia, North America and Europe. In Hong Kong, he served on a number of Government and other Boards, including the Hong Kong Port Development Board, as appointed by the Governor, the Community Chest, the American Chamber of Commerce, and the Hong Kong Centre for Economic Research, and he was appointed an Advisor to the Student Associations of the top two universities. Until 2005, he was also a member of the Board of Advisors of Round Hill Capital Partners, a Singapore and Tokyo based opportunity fund. Outside Asia, Mr. Baker was a Board member of the National Securities Clearing Corporation in New York and McLaren Cars N.V., based in the U.K. He was also a Participating Member of the Zurich-based International Society of Securities Administrators. In Hawaii, he was a member of the search committee to identify and recommend a taxation director for Governor Lingle.
Mr. Baker has successfully lobbied in Washington DC on four Asian issues, including leading an effort which resulted in an unprecedented law on U.S. Immigration directed at Hong Kong university-educated citizens, and signed by President Bush in 1990. He has also contributed chapters and articles in several publications, published in Hong Kong and in London.
A graduate of the Business School of the University of Denver in 1972, Baker completed the Executive Program at the Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia in 1977. He also completed the Strategic Management in Telecommunications Program at the Telecommunications Institute of Canada in 1998. His younger years were spent in Des Moines, Iowa. After 10 years in New York and 20 years in Asia, he now resides in Honolulu with his wife, Nan Hwang.
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