I was born in London on 19 February 1964 into a family with a long and established record in public service. I am the second in the family, in a family with three boys we became very competitive in everything from school to sports. I attended Somtavil elementary school until the 4th grade and Satit Pathumwan until the 6th grade – during which I was always the class president (although most of my peers would probably credit my early political success to my relative size more than any other factors.) My high-school days went spent in the U.K. where I attended the Old Malthouse Preparatory School and Winchester College. After high-school I was accepted into St. John's College at Oxford University where I studied politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) and had graduated with honours.
I began my career with Warburgs on the Asset Management side. After training periods with the Special Situations desk and a stint on the European desk, I became a member of the Pacific desk, initially managing Pacific non-Japan with James Robinson before taking over the portfolio in 1987. Confident in my new found career choice and becoming increasingly home sick, I left Warburgs to return to Thailand to set up Jardine Fleming Thanakom in May 1988 – at the tender age of 24. During this period, I was a founding partner with Finance One, a local finance company, and Jardine Fleming and was also the CEO of the firm from the start. The company was formed from scratch and we became the leading brokerage/investment bank within a few years and had number 1 market share by the years 1995-6. We were also the leading Investment Bank, being the first to handle a public takeover as well as the first to lead manage a Euro-convertible for a Thai firm.
In 1999, we sold our shares in JFT to JP MorganChase in a global deal initiated by Robert Fleming. I was asked to stay on as Senior Country Officer to oversee both Chase's banking/risk management business as well as the securities operations acquired from JFT. We also spun off the retail brokerage business in to a separate joint venture which was sold subsequently in a public offering. JP Morgan was the leading investment bank in Thailand as well as one of the largest institutional brokers.
I left JP Morgan in October 2004 to run for office as a Member of Parliament in Thailand, and won a Bangkok seat in the General Elections of February 2005. I was vice-chairman of the House Committee on Finance; served the House as an opposition member until House dissolution in March 2006 and at the time I was also the Party's Deputy Secretary General and its Secretary for Economic Affairs.
During the extremely hostile political environment of 2006 - 2007, I had a key role in dissecting ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's sale of his family's business to Temasek, and the alleged tax fraud related to the sale – the effects of which eventually led to coup of September 19th, 2006 and the fall of Dr. Thaksin along with his Thai Rak Thai Party.
The results of the 23 December 2007 although not in the Democrat's favour, was by no way disappointing. For even though the Democrats had won only 164 seat vs. PPP's 233 (out of a total of 480), our proportional representation (Party List) numbers had increased from a mere 7.21 million in 2005 (vs. TRT's 18.99 million) to 12.15 million in 2007 (vs. PPP's 12.34 million), an increase of 4.94 votes in just two years!
I am currently the Deputy Leader of the Democrat Party overseeing the Bangkok Region and also serving as the Finance Minister. The Democrat Party remains one of the most important political institutions in Thailand and will continue to provide the country with politics based on the principles of accountability, transparency and the promotion of a free and open society.
Personally, I remain active in sports, and am a keen golfer with a handicap of 5 and have continued to be a member of the Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club. Last but not least, I am most proud and grateful for my loving family who have always been understanding and supportive of me and what I do. My wife, Vorakorn (Jay), my two step sons Tank (26), Tink (16) and my daughter Jam (11) and Jom (9.)