China Luxury Advisor’s team includes a roster of experienced China operators and strategists.
Sage Brennan, Co-Founder
Sage first visited China in 1987, and has been studying and speaking the language and culture ever since. He has worked in China as a researcher, investor, entrepreneur, journalist and advisor, with a specialization in digital, mobile and strategy.
Sage contributed the weekly “Sage Brennan’s This Week in China” column to Dow Jones’ MarketWatch for two years, and remains a frequent commentator on China-related media and technology issues in print media and on programs such as CNBC’s Asia Squawk Box, Wall Street Journal and others.
Sage is a founder and curator of the Shanghai chapter of MobileMonday, with over 3,000 participants, and founded the TEDxShanghai chapter. He is also a regular speaker on China at conferences such as SouthXSouthwest, AdTech and others. A native of Boston, Sage holds both an MBA and an undergraduate degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and harbors a lifelong passion for Mandarin and China.
Renee Hartmann, Co-Founder
Renee has been working and living in China since 2000, with a specialty in understanding and selling to the emerging Chinese consumer. She has worked as a brand owner, retail operator, consumer researcher, public relations specialist and market entry strategist in China.
Renee has advised companies such as Under Armour, Horizon Hobby, Advanstar and Symphony IRI on their China market entry strategy. She co-founded and later sold Shanghai based China consumer insights agency, Enovate, which advises multinational clients such as New Balance, Kraft, Unilever and Coca-Cola in targeting China’s emerging consumers.
Renee was co-founder of Shanghai-based apparel brand, Eno, and served as its COO and CFO for more than five years. During this time, Eno opened ten self-run retail locations in China and fifteen franchise and partner operated stores. Eno also ran its own e-commerce platform, as well as sold online through Taobao and other partner sites. Renee led the company’s fundraising efforts, which resulted in raising more than US$8 million from venture capital and angel investors. She oversaw Eno’s groundbreaking marketing practice, resulting in the company’s recognition as one of the Top Ten Most Innovative companies in China by Fast Company in 2010.
Renee holds a BBA from Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business, and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and was named one of CNN’s “Top 20 People to Watch in Shanghai” in 2010. Renee has operated and lived in China for more than ten years and speaks Mandarin.
Philip Guarino, Director Europe
With business experience in more than 40 countries and travel to over 70, Mr. Guarino brings both unique perspective and practical insight to the benefit of growing businesses. He has held numerous leadership positions in international business development and strategic planning in a variety of industries in the US, Europe and Latin America- both in corporate management and as an entrepreneur.
Mr. Guarino graduated from Harvard College in 1992 with an A.B. in Government (International Relations) cum laude, where he was also the recipient of the John Harvard and Harvard College awards for academic achievement. He received a Masters in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 with a specialization in Entrepreneurial Management. He also completed adjunct studies in International Relations at the Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1990) and in business administration at the SDA Bocconi in Milan, Italy (1997).
Mr. Guarino is fluent in five languages (English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese) and is an avid- and intrepid- traveler.