Global Access Announces Managing Director and Advisor Appointments

For Immediate Release

Minneapolis, New York and Hong Kong - December 20, 2017. Global Access CSG announces its Managing Director and Advisor appointments for 2017. We added ten Managing Directors and Advisors to our offices in Minneapolis, New York, and Hong Kong, bringing our senior team to more than twenty Managing Directors and Advisors in five offices on three continents. The company’s growth continues to accelerate as our early investments in building our global integrated direct investment platform is showing significant impacts on our business.

Chief Technology Officer

Mark Rasmussen joined us in Minneapolis as Chief Technology Officer and Managing Director. Mark is already playing an important role across a portfolio that is heavily infused and driven by complex technologies. Prior to joining Global Access CSG, Mark started a number of successful technology companies - personally selling two and helping grow three of the nation’s leading cloud computing services companies. We are looking forward to Mark’s thought leadership in areas such as software architecture and development, bioinformatics, health informatics, artificial intelligence, big data, DevOps, and cyber security with a special emphasis on Open Systems and cloud computing.

Healthcare Technology Group

Global Access CSG deepened its Healthcare Technologies group in Minneapolis, adding Dr. Scott Flaata, Peter Bartling, James Williams and Dr. Robert Weinmann to continue the firm’s growth into the healthcare sector.

We were pleased to add Dr. Scott Flaata to take over leadership of the Healthcare Technology Group located in our Minneapolis Office. The group which also includes our CTO Mark Rasmussen, covers biotech, genetics, AI, robotics, blockchain and other technologies impacting the future of healthcare. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Flaata was also an Innovation Fellow at Allina Health System, one of the largest health systems in the U.S. Prior to becoming a physician, Dr. Flaata was a Systems Engineer for 14 years with one of the true technology pioneers, Digital Equipment Corp

Managing Director Peter Bartling joined the team in Minneapolis after serving as CEO of TechVelocity Partners where he is currently still  serving as the company’s COO. Peter has led a number of healthcare technology firms to success, including Co-Med Corp., Consulting Radiologists, Ltd. and Minnesota Oncology. Peter received his B.S.  from Washington University in St. Louis and graduated as a Bush Fellowship Winner from Harvard University’s Program for Management Development.

James Williams  joined the firm as Managing Director in Minneapolis after previously serving as the long-time CEO of Life Force Therapies, Inc. and, prior to Life Force, as the  Asia General Counsel for Honeywell, Inc. James received his B.A. from New Mexico State University and  his J.D. from Georgetown University. He was also a graduate from the Harvard Graduate Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

Dr. Robert Weinmann, after a career as an accomplished MedTech investor and long-time member of St. Paul Radiology, has joined Global Access LLC as an Advisor in Minneapolis. Robert received his B.S. in Pre-Medical Studies from the University of Michigan and his M.D. from the University of Southern California.

The Healthcare Technologies team wasted no time in rolling up its sleeves to create the “Global Access Precision Medicine Architecture”, a blueprint and roadmap that defines current medical technologies, transformative medical technologies and the integration of both. The team created this roadmap which is interactive and intended to evolve over time in part to guide our investments in the sector and in part to permit us to play a role in the evolution of a field being transformed by technology. The team believes that integrated medical information, analyzed by powerful medical analytics provides the foundation for precision medicine in the future.

Hong Kong Office

To better serve the needs of the firm’s Portfolio Businesses in Asia and to continue to build our platform in Asia, Global Access expanded its office in Hong Kong to add Michael Shen and John Li. We expect to continue to expand our presence in Hong Kong and Asia generally to manage our opportunities in the region and the continued expansion of our Portfolio Businesses.

Michael Shen joins Global Access CSG as an Advisor after previously serving as the Deputy CEO and CFO of a Hong Kong stock exchange listed company, China Taiping Insurance Holdings Company Limited, where he helped to establish the company’s initiatives into venture capital and private equity. Prior to that, Michael was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs’ Financial Institutions Group in Hong Kong. He graduated first in his class, with a degree in Foreign Service, from Georgetown University and received his JD from Harvard Law School, where he was an Executive Editor on the Harvard Law Review.

In addition, John Li joined us as an Advisor in Hong Kong after previously serving as the Deputy General Manager of Anbang Asset Management, the asset management arm of Anbang Insurance Group of China. Prior to Anbang, John spent a decade in investment banking with Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs. At Anbang one of John’s tasks included the acquisition of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. John received a  B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto.

China Desk

Strengthening the firm’s China desk, Global Access CSG added Lulu Zhou as a Managing Director in our New York office and Todd Vollmers as a Managing Director and Associate General Counsel of our Minneapolis office.

Lulu Zhou advises on U.S.-China investments, cross-border mergers and acquisitions and assists companies and entrepreneurs in both regions on the investment in the others. Lulu has spent much of her career in public/private partnerships and on corporate social responsibility and ideas showcasing responsible investing in the not-for-profit sectors.

Todd Vollmers comes to Global Access CSG after previously serving as an international transactional attorney for a private equity firm with offices in Minneapolis and Shanghai. Prior to that, Todd served as a Senior Administrative Officer at the Minnesota Department of Commerce and, before that, as an attorney in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. In that capacity, Todd managed legal issues related to U.S. Government advocacy on behalf of U.S. companies with foreign governments, as well as foreign trade obligations arising under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Global Access Capital Fund

Leading the launch of the firm’s first private equity fund, the Global Access Capital Fund I, LP, is Robert Lada, Managing Director and Investment Manager in our Minneapolis office. Robert is a seasoned investment fund manager, previously serving as Managing Director of Wayzata Capital, managing all main asset classes and diverse range of financial ventures, with direct responsibility for planning, implementing, and managing all financial-related activities of the group.

About Global Access CSG

Global Access CSG is an independent global direct investment, merchant banking and advisory services firm. We provide sophisticated private and institutional investors and innovative growth companies with access to proprietary, off-market opportunities along with practical strategies and solutions to complex challenges, while managing the attendant risks, in an environment continuously characterized by intensifying competition and disruptive threats, often in real time. The result is an expanding portfolio of directly held private investments in established and growth stage companies, which include leading domestic and international brands, companies and technologies. A growing part of our business has been building and/or operating or co-managing some of our companies directly.

 Contact Information

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Global Access Healthcare to Exhibit at Arab Health 2018


Our Healthcare Technology Group will be exhibitors at Arab Health 2018 to be held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre on 29 January 2018. We will be showcasing two of our portfolio companies -  one in the heart disease prevention space and the other in stem cells. More details to follow. Meanwhile, if you would like to reach out to us to discuss, please email us at

Mid-Year Perspective on the Status of China’s Currency


Written by Todd R. Vollmers, Managing Director, Global Access CSG

There has been increasing interest in trends pertaining to China, particularly given its relatively new role as the world’s second largest economy and growing importance to international trade and the global economy. Since 1978 (when China began instituting political reform making it more open) according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased from 2.3 percent of the world economy to almost 18 percent. As a result, the Chinese economy exerts substantial influence on a variety of economic measures, including U.S. imports and exports, as well as global prices for such commodities as agricultural products and oil.    

A key question related to China has been its progress toward a flexible exchange rate for its currency (officially called the Renminbi (RMB), which is denominated in “yuan” as the unit of account).  China is one of the “Original members” of the IMF, which oversees the international monetary system as one of its core responsibilities. In addition, the IMF also monitors the financial and economic policies of its 189 member countries, which for each member country is part of a process known as an Article IV Consultation. The IMF recently concluded its Annual Policy Dialogue in Beijing in mid-June, and among other things, made some comments relevant to China’s monetary policy.

As described by the IMF, the key subject of discussions with Chinese officials and policymakers was the urgent need to accelerate the pace of reform, including allowing the yuan to move more freely, with improved communication with markets. A statement from the IMF’s First Deputy Managing Director, David Lipton, summarized that “[c]apital flow measures should be applied transparently and consistently” and that “[f]urther capital account liberalisation should be carefully sequenced with the necessary supporting reforms, including an effective monetary policy framework, sound financial system, and exchange rate flexibility.”  

Incidentally, the IMF meeting in Beijing happened less than one month after the Chinese central bank changed its daily yuan reference rate formula and introduced a “counter-cyclical adjustment factor” that it said was meant to reduce volatility in the currency.  Reacting to this move, some analysts have argued that the change was meant to reduce transparency over the yuan exchange rate, while others speculated that it was intended to counter downward pressure on the yuan in the event the U.S. Federal Reserve raises interest rates (thereby increasing the demand for the U.S. dollar). Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, reported that the “counter-cyclical adjustment factor” will be added to the closing exchange rate and to the basket of currencies for calculating the yuan’s daily fixing, or the mid-point rate from which the yuan is allowed to trade by up to 2 percent. In any case, this new component was expected to undermine the significance of the daily closing price against the U.S. dollar in the calculation. 

One of China’s primary goals is to further solidify its position as a global economic power. In a milestone event toward that goal, in 2016 the yuan joined the U.S. dollar, euro, Japanese yen, and British pound in the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket (which determines the currencies that countries can receive as part of IMF loans), and which was the first time that a new currency had been added since launch of the euro in 1999. Some pointed out at the time that the addition of the yuan was largely symbolic, since the yuan did not yet fully meet the IMF reserve currency criteria of being freely usable, widely used to settle trade, or widely traded in international financial markets. Symbols matter. China’s inclusion in the SDR basket is and has been a significant event. Chinese policymakers are, of course, aware that there is more work to do before full reserve currency status is achieved. It will be interesting to follow China’s path.