The Lantau Group celebrated its 10th anniversary on 13 December, marking when the Hong Kong subsidiary of a global consultancy transferred officially to the three original TLG co-founders: Mike Thomas, Tom Parkinson, and Sarah Fairhurst. Tom and Sarah, each instrumental in TLG’s establishment, have since become alumni.
A curious thing about a duck on a pond is that for all its grace above, there is a furious paddling of feet below. Forty-three team members and affiliates, four formal offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, and Perth, planned offices for Bangkok and Shanghai, and our countless valued clients make up TLG today. It hasn’t been easy. Reaching our 10th year is a milestone forged by a great deal of care, tenacity, and calculated risk taking, all supported by the exceptional experience, the steadfast belief, and the commitment of a whole lot of paddling feet. Plus a little luck, especially in attracting amazingly talented team members.
We recognised early that economics and analytics would matter increasingly as growth slowed in Asian markets, technology choices expanded, and life-of-asset power purchase agreements became ever rarer. Regulatory and policy matters would grow more complex. Tariffs and pricing would matter more strategically and commercially, and not just politically. Disputes requiring economic evidence would arise in new areas. Expertise gains its value because good decisions of consequence depend on mastery of nuance and detail. As Tom Parkinson once put it, TLG is where “the power of analysis meets the analysis of power.”
We’ve felt a sense of urgency to do work that matters, for clients who care, with colleagues that share a common bond of intellectual curiosity and focus on detail. Accordingly, finding ways to replicate the capabilities of much larger organisations when serving increasingly sophisticated and demanding clients across an expansive geographic space has always been one of TLG’s boldest commitments. Without our expertise, ambition, geographic diversity, and committed team, we would have been mere bystanders to important opportunities.
TLG started with a focus on the ASEAN market, reflecting rising commercial, regulatory, and policy activity across the Philippine, Singaporean, and Malaysian energy sectors. Western Australia, conveniently in the same time zone, was also an initial core focus market with its reserve capacity mechanism and sweeping sector reform initiatives. Mainland China was another key market early on, followed by Taiwan, a return to South Korea, as well as Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Engagements across the rest of ASEAN. as well as the major markets in South Asia and selected markets in the Middle East, soon followed. At each stage, our team developed invaluable experience across different markets so that we can deliver meaningful comparative insights in our work.
We are often advising clients across as many as 10 countries (or more) at any point in time ranging from New Zealand to Mongolia, and from Pakistan to Japan. Motivating our efforts to broaden and deepen our regional footprint has been the tremendous mix of leaders, boards of directors, investors, regulators, policy makers, and innovators we have been fortunate to advise as a result. The team effort required to make this happen is genuinely worth celebrating as we mark the completion of our tenth year
Thank you for being a part of this journey.
What next? The challenges and changes in 2020 have created new opportunities for our staff at all levels and have enabled us to enhance our ability to serve our remarkable clients. Our consulting team members hail from around the world, speak too many languages to count, and share a passion for the energy sector. Stefan Robertsson was already working in the Hong Kong office and became a partner to help TLG deepen and extend our regional commercial expertise. Dr David Kim, with extensive prior strategy consulting and industry experience, joined as a partner to set up our now fully staffed office in Seoul. Two TLG Senior Advisors, Dave Carlson and Dr David Broadstock, joined the TLG Board as non-executive directors to share their insights and experience via project work and mentoring. Our support team works steadily and cleverly to build out systems to cater for our multi-national complexity, with the associated accounting and tax issues, human resourcing challenges, and plain old-fashioned need for timely business and project support.
Having established TLG subsidiaries and offices in Singapore (2017), Seoul (2019), and Perth (2020), we are planning offices in Bangkok and Shanghai sometime in 2021. Dr David Broadstock and Paul Buckland have been instrumental in launching our Deep Analytics Resources and Tools (DART) initiative to support our clients in the areas of advanced data analytics and ever-more-complex market simulation modelling. In the past few months alone, amid the Covid pandemic, we have hired staff in each of our offices – Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and Korea – strengthening our execution capabilities and reinforcing our expertise in natural gas and associated infrastructure.
Our client base has also broadened, reflecting growing private sector investor interest in Asia Pacific markets, more complex regulatory and market challenges, and more technology and sustainability stakeholders ranging from rooftop solar portfolio players and short-medium-and-long duration storage innovators, to big tech and other major corporates who have made RE100 and similar sustainability commitments.
Overall, it has been 10 very rewarding years and we look forward to the next 10 years and beyond.