Wendy Cai-Lee, Immediate Past Chair, Board of Directors
Wendy is Executive Vice President, Head of U.S. Eastern and Texas Regions with East West Bank, overseeing all businesses for the bank’s strategic markets including Greater New York, New England, Southeast and Texas. With $29.9 billion in assets and a market capitalization of $5.8 billion, East West Bank is one of the 30 largest public banks in the U.S. Wendy was formerly a Managing Partner with OliveTree Partners, a merchant banking firm focuses on providing strategic financial advice to fast growing, privately-held Chinese companies, especially with regard to their outbound investment activities. Wendy also served as a senior investment advisor to several international luxury brands. Prior to that, Wendy was a Managing Director with Deloitte Chinese Service Group, working with U.S. companies investing in China and Chinese companies accessing the U.S. markets. She has a successful 19-year track record in managing & growing business units in Fortune 500 companies as well as start-ups.
Based in New York but travels extensively in China and the U.S., she worked with many Fortune 1000 U.S. companies as well as large Chinese companies on various issues relating to investing and operating in a new market, including market-entry strategies, cross-border M&A, corporate strategy development, and deal negotiation. She successfully completed numerous complex acquisitions for Chinese companies in the U.S. Prior to joining Deloitte, she co-founded a POS software company and was the driving force behind raising multi-million dollar venture investments and building strategic alliances in the U.S. and Greater China. Her other previous experiences include investment banking, product & marketing management roles at JP Morgan Chase and Citi.
Wendy serves as the Chair of the Board of Friends of UNFPA (United Nation’s Population Fund). She is a member of the Board at Douglass College, Rutgers University, a member of the Board of Trustees at Queens Museum, and a member of the Corporate Council at Asia Society Texas Center. She is also a member of numerous China-related trade organizations, including the U.S. Council on International Business and China Investment Group.
In 2015, Wendy was honored as one of the “50 Most Important People in Commercial Real Estate Finance” by The Mortgage Observer. She also won an “Above & Beyond” award from the City & State Magazine for her extraordinary leadership and contribution to the business community. Wendy was selected for multiple “40 Under 40” awards by NJBIZ (2013), M&A Advisors (2013) and Crain’s New York (2007). She was also the youngest recipient of Award for the Health and Dignity of Women by United Nation’s Population Fund. Wendy fundraised for charitable organizations, disaster relief efforts and micro-financing projects in Asia. She is a frequent speaker at industry forums, universities and media programs including CNBC. Wendy speaks multiple Chinese dialects.