About Us

More than a school of life, OCTAVE Institute is a platform to help people find clarity, harmony and a new level of consciousness and freedom, created by visionary Fred Tsao for the needs of our time. It is comprised of SANGHA Retreat in Suzhou, THE LIVING ROOM, an urban support centre in Shanghai, and AITIA, which powers the communal programs of OCTAVE Institute. Together, they create the foundation for growth towards a purposeful life, mindfully lived.

Our Founder


Frederick Chavalit Tsao

OCTAVE Institute and SANGHA Retreat are the vision of our founder, Fred Tsao. Fred took over as Chairman of the IMC Group in 1995, the fourth-generation steward of a business that started in The Shanghai Bund, transforming the company into a multi-national conglomerate with diverse business interests. The manifestation of many years of exploration and study, Fred’s own inward journey of conscious awakening led him to create opportunities for societal healing. With the intention of fostering harmonious communities, Fred conducted ongoing research in areas of globalization, societal and management issues. OCTAVE Institute, a unique blend of Eastern wisdom and Western science, is his response to our societal needs for the healing and fostering of a harmonious community. 

SANGHA is Tsao's vision of a utopian future - a wellness ecosystem that goes beyond traditional spa or retreat offerings.
Asia Tatler, January 2020

The Team

Chief Operating Officer

John Reed

John Reed serves as COO and overseas all elements of the projects and programs at OCTAVE Institute. He has extensive and rich experience in the wellness space, bringing over 35 years of experience having worked in various destinations including the US, Australia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bali and Bhutan. Most recently at the Aman group, John worked to grow and develop the brand for the past 20 years. 

Managing Director of Wellness

Jamie Waring

Jamie Waring serves as Managing Director of Wellness at SANGHA Retreat and has a wealth of experience as a wellness practitioner and manager of wellness retreats internationally. He strives to inspire guests through the property’s personalised programs and practices, and he believes that each of SANGHA Retreat’s offerings must not only bestow a transformational experience but deliver lasting results to guests’ overall well-being. 

Chief Sales & Marketing Officer

Christina Deeny

Christina oversees sales & marketing for Octave Institute with the purpose of bringing the vision and philosophy of Octave and Sangha Retreat to the global community. Her passion for wellbeing and transformational experiences is complemented by her extensive background in luxury hospitality brands, including Aman, Mandarin Oriental and Belmond.

Executive Chef

Paul Then

Our exquisite dining program is overseen by Executive Chef Paul Then, one of Singapore’s most celebrated chefs. With over 30 years of experience, he has been an integral part of multiple Michelin-starred restaurants and has been featured in various television programs across Asia. He combines a dedication for French culinary traditions with an intimate knowledge of Asian ingredients and flavors.