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John Thornton

John Thornton

Chairman of the Board

Mr. Thornton is one of the world’s leading investment banking professionals with over 40 years of experience working across Belt and Road countries.


In addition to his role at SRFC, he is the Executive Chairman of Barrick Gold Corporation, Non-Executive Chairman of PineBridge Investments, Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the Brookings Institution, and a member of the board of Ford Motor Company.


From 1980 to 2003, Mr. Thornton held several senior roles at Goldman Sachs, including company President, co-chief operating officer, chairman of Goldman Sachs-Asia, and co-chief executive of Goldman Sachs International. Over the course of his career, Mr. Thornton has served on the boards of many large public companies, including China Unicom, HSBC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Intel, and News Corporation. Mr. Thornton was honoured with the Friendship Award of China in 2008, the highest honour accorded to a non-Chinese citizen. In 2007, he was named by Institutional Investor as one of 40 individuals who had the greatest influence in shaping global financial markets over the previous 40 years.


Mr. Thornton holds an MA in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management, a BA/MA in Jurisprudence from Oxford University, and a BA in History from Harvard College.

Oliver Hart

Dr. Oliver Hart

International Advisor

Professor Hart is the Andrew E. Furer Professor of Economics at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1993. Professor Hart is the 2016 co-recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.

Professor Hart’s fellowships include the National Academy of Sciences, the American Finance Association, the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Econometric Society. Professor Hart is the former President of the American Law and Economics Association and Vice President of the American Economic Association. Professor Hart works mainly on contract theory, the theory of the firm, corporate finance and law and economics. His research centers on the roles that ownership structure and contractual arrangements play in the governance and boundaries of corporations.


Professor Hart holds a PhD in Economics from Princeton University, a MA in Economics from Warwick University, and a BA in Mathematics from Cambridge University.

Javier Solana

Dr. Javier Solana

International Advisor

Dr. Solana is a former Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union, and has also served as the Secretary General of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain.


Dr. Solana currently serves as the President of ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics, and is a Distinguished Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Solana is also a member of the board of the International Crisis Group and the European Council on Foreign Relations.


Dr. Solana holds a PhD in Physics from the University of Virginia and a BSc in Chemistry from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

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René Bruelhart

International Advisor

Mr. Bruelhart is the former non-executive President of the Financial Information Authority (AIF) of the Holy See and the Vatican City State, and owner of a consultancy firm. Previously, he acted as Director of AIF and advisor to the Holy See. Before his appointment at the Holy See, he served as Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Principality of Liechtenstein for over eight years.
From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Bruelhart also served as Vice Chair of the Egmont Group, the global network of national Financial Intelligence Units and from 2013 to 2017, he was a Member of the Auditing Board of the Council of Europe Development Bank. Furthermore, he acted for many years as the coordinator of the task force on countering Terrorism Financing in Liechtenstein and as the head of the country’s delegation to Moneyval, the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism, an associated regional body of the Financial Action Task Force. 

Mr. Bruelhart earned his law degree from the University of Fribourg and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in European Business Law from the Pallas Consortium, hosted by the Catholic University of Nijmegen.

Shan Li

Dr. Shan Li


Dr. Li’s leadership experience with global financial institutions and major Chinese investment banks spans over 25 years. A member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Dr. Li is Vice Chairman of the Silk Road Planning Research Center, Chairman and CEO of Chinastone Capital, Vice Chairman of Chinese Financial Association of Hong Kong, member of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse Group AG, and Senior Advisor to Zurich Insurance. Dr. Li’s former positions include Chief International Business Advisor of China Development Bank, Vice Chairman of UBS Investment Bank Asia, and CEO of Bank of China International Holdings (BOCI). Prior to joining BOCI, Dr. Li was the Managing Director and Head of China Investment Banking at Lehman Brothers, and Executive Director of Investment Banking and Chief China Economist at Goldman Sachs.


Dr. Li holds several academic positions including Vice Chairman of the Institute for Governance Studies at Tsinghua University, Visiting Committee member of the MIT Economics Department, and member of the MIT Sloan Finance Advisory Board.


Dr. Li holds a PhD in Economics from MIT, a MA in Economics from the University of California, Davis, and a BS in MIS from Tsinghua University.

Peter Wheeler

Peter Wheeler


Mr. Wheeler has over 30 years of experience in investment and wholesale banking. In addition to his duties at SRFC, Mr. Wheeler is a Co-Founder and Trustee at New Philanthropy Capital, and serves as a board member of Rift Valley Corporation.


From 1985 to 2001, Mr. Wheeler worked in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore for Goldman Sachs in investment banking, corporate finance and capital markets. He became a partner of the company in 1994 and led the establishment of the company's investment banking business in Asia. He led the Goldman Sachs team on many of the first wave of cross-border capital markets transactions for Chinese SOEs, and was the company’s first Chief Representative in Beijing. Mr. Wheeler previously served as the Head of Wholesale Banking West, including EMEA and the Americas at Standard Chartered Bank; Co-Founder and former Director of Climate Change Capital; Executive Vice President at The Nature Conservancy; and a member of the board of Actis, a leading investor in growth markets across Africa, Asia and Latin America.


Mr. Wheeler holds a BA in English Language and Literature from Oxford University.

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