Speakers

Paul Bloxham

Chief Economist Australia and New Zealand, HSBC
Paul Bloxham is HSBC’s Chief Economist for Australia, New Zealand and Global Commodities and is a Managing Director. He is chief spokesperson for HSBC on forecasts and trends for the Australian and New Zealand economies and their interaction with global financial markets and international economies and a key spokesperson on HSBC’s unique view on global commodity markets. Paul is a regular commentator on local and international business television and a frequent contributor of opinion editorials to the Australian newspapers. In 2017, Paul’s team won two Focus Economics awards: for best overall forecaster for each of Australia and New Zealand. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Curtin University. Prior to joining HSBC in 2010, Paul spent 12 years as an economist with the Reserve Bank of Australia. Paul holds a Master’s degree in public financial policy from the London School of Economics.
Neil Bourne

Neil Bourne

Managing Principal, Eaton Square

Neil Bourne is a Principal with Eaton Square in Sydney having recently joined from Nextec Strategic Capital.

With over 20 years experience in the IT industries in roles ranging from technical, operational through to financial and strategic, Neil brings a distinctive range of insights to bear on the journey from start-up through to final exit for businesses in the technology sector.

Neil has been working as a corporate advisor in the technology sector assisting with growth strategies, capital raisings, mergers and trade sales for over 10 years. His clients range from software companies, IT services businesses and digital media businesses. Neil’s venture capital experience includes working as an investment analyst at Technology Venture Partners and making his own angel investments.

In addition Neil draws on his experience with large organisations based on his time as a management consultant with Andersen Consulting (Accenture), assisting commercial and government clients with eCommerce strategies and IT implementations. Neil is an active early stage investor and director of several early stage companies.

James Brown

James Brown

Co-founder & CTO, Bondi Bio
James Brown is the Chief Technology Officer of Bondi Bio, a Sydney-based bioengineering startup that he co-founded in 2018. Bondi engineers cyanobacteria to produce traditionally plant-derived natural products from light, water and carbon dioxide.

James is an experienced genetic engineer, who has helped catalyse the emergence of Synthetic Biology on the international stage. Prior to founding Bondi, James was the architect of a new wet lab facility at world-leading technical-consultancy Cambridge Consultants. There he took the technical lead on a range of projects including HT characterisation platforms, cell-free sensing & DNA data-storage, culminating in the successful authorship of Wikipedia in DNA.

James worked in Microsoft Research’s Biological Computation Group & spent time in Saudi Arabia, working to generate sustainable biomanufacturing solutions for global chemical producer SABIC. James served as National Programme Director for UK Synthetic Biology & was Secretariat to the UK’s Synthetic Biology Leadership Council, where he supported the implementation of the UK’s Strategic Roadmap in Synthetic Biology. He was an iGEM Ambassador during the formative years of the competition, and was Principal Advisor to the University of Cambridge iGEM teams from 2007 through 2010, including the award-winning E. chromi team in 2009.

James holds a PhD, MA & MEng from the University of Cambridge.

James Burton

Senior Manager, Strategy, Leapfrog
James Burton is the Senior Manager, Strategy, at Sydney-based international impact investment firm LeapFrog Investments.

LeapFrog makes ‘profit with purpose’ investments in emerging economies in Africa and Asia. The company only invests in businesses which improve the lives of low-income people and has achieved some impressive private equity scale exits.

James has a breadth of experience in financing and nurturing the growth of organisations that leverage innovative technologies for social impact. This work has included helping Boston Consulting Group’s corporate venturing arm BCG Digital Ventures launch its first social impact start-up and aiding senior members of the Swedish Nobel family in their development of initiatives that support and reward sustainable technologies. James has also advised the World Bank and the Nigerian Ministry of Finance on maximising the impact of funds directed toward early stage entrepreneurs.

Earlier in his career, James served on the personal staff of XPRIZE and Singularity University founder Peter Diamandis and as an analyst direct to the chairman of Australian private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners.

Jared Connor

Jared Connor

Senior Manager, EY
Jared Connor is a Senior Manager in EY’s Financial Services Practice in Sydney. Jared has been servicing the alternative investments industry for more than 10 years with a focus on private equity and venture capital.

Jared has served clients in multiple EY offices, including Los Angeles and Boston, where he serviced prominent alternative asset managers. His experience in different jurisdictions has enabled him to gain experience over a wide range of investment structures, strategies and regulatory frameworks that align with the complexities of global private equity and venture capital fund managers. This has also enabled Jared to develop a comprehensive skillset on the challenges which present around valuation of companies at various stages in their life cycle.

Lindley Edwards

Group CEO, AFG Venture Group
Lindley Edwards is a specialist adviser in merger, acquisition, divestments, fund raising, strategic consulting and licensing for growth in public and private companies.

She has a track record of successful advising to private and public companies. Previously Lindley was a State Manager (Vice-President) with Citibank. Prior to this position she spent nine years with Macquarie Bank and was an Associate Director with the Corporate Banking Division. Lindley has also worked on a secondment basis for Boston Consulting Group and for the Victorian State Government.

She is an accountant and a Senior Fellow of FINSIA. Lindley holds two undergraduate degrees, one in Accounting and the other in Banking and Finance. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Governance of ASX Listed Companies. Lindley is a non-executive Director and Advisory Board member of various organisations and Government bodies.

Lindley has been a state finalist in the Telstra Businesswomen’s awards for Private Sector with less than 100 employees. In the year 2000 Lindley was admitted to the Australian Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame.

Kylie Frazer

Kylie Frazer

Founder, Eleanor Venture
Kylie Frazer is the founder of Eleanor Venture, an early stage venture capital firm, which makes it easy for private investors to build their own diversified technology portfolios. In its short history, Eleanor has already invested into 20+ great Australian startups including Fresh Equities, Jig Space and Goterra, making material financial contributions to their growth journey. Eleanor’s model is designed to focus exclusively on early stage tech investments, long recognised as one of the most prospective yet neglected segments of the Australian venture capital market.

Passionate about introducing more investors to the joys of early stage tech investing, Kylie is a regular contributor at Australia’s leading investor education providers in the sector: Wade Institute’s VC Catalyst; The Australian Graduate School of Management’s Angel Education Program; Airtree Venture’s Explorer Program and Startmate’s First Believers program.

Prior to her role at Eleanor, Kylie was an M&A consultant at Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Jason Georgatos

Managing Director, Partners for Growth
Jason Georgatos has 18 years of experience financing growth businesses and managing private investment funds with a particular expertise in providing mezzanine debt financing with equity upside to growth stage technology and healthcare companies. Key strengths include sourcing, structuring and monitoring debt and equity investments and building relationships with companies, investors, intermediaries and sponsors. Jason is a founding member of the team that grew the Partners for Growth family of technology debt funds from $50MM under management to over $500MM over six funds. Prior to joining PFG in 2004, Jason was with Silicon Valley Bank providing loans to technology and healthcare companies. Jason holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and a Master’s degree from the University of Oxford.

Genevieve Gregor

Partner, Colinton Capital
Genevieve Gregor is a founding partner at Colinton Capital. Prior to this role, Genevieve spent 20 years working for US investment banks, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. She was Managing Director and Co-Head of the Australian Special Situations Group at Goldman Sachs, a lending and investing platform where she lead investments across a range of industries. Genevieve is the Chair of Dimeo Facility Services, a leading commercial cleaning and facility management services company. Genevieve was the former Deputy Chancellor, member of the Board of Trustees and chair of the Finance and Investment Committee for Western Sydney University.

Adrian Herbert

Managing Editor, Private Equity Media
Adrian Herbert has worked as Managing Editor of Private Equity Media since 2006 and led a management buyout of the business in 2012.

Private Equity Media is Australia and New Zealand’s first and leading private equity and venture capital publisher. The company is working to develop this position to serve the entire private capital investment community in the two countries.

Howard Leibman

Howard Leibman

Co-founder and Partner, Equity Venture Partners
For over 10 years Howard Leibman has served as investor or adviser to a broad cross section of technology startups. He’s worked alongside the founders of Oneflare, DesignCrowd, Siteminder, Rezdy, Shippit, Deputy and others, in many cases from the very earliest stage, as they’ve gone about building some of Australia’s most enduring technology businesses.

Before co-founding EVP in 2011, Howard spent most of his career at the intersection of finance and technology. He began his career as an electrical engineer with GEC Marconi, at the time one of the world’s largest diversified engineering groups. After business school and a brief period in management consulting, he joined the corporate finance team at Emerging Growth Capital, a specialist technology focused investment firm. In 2005 he joined Heartware International as head of corporate development, having served as corporate adviser to the company during its IPO. There, over a five year period, he saw HeartWare’s technology evolve from venture-backed pre-clinical development through to global market leadership, ultimately transforming the lives of many thousands of heart failure patients.

Howard’s objective upon founding EVP was to partner early with talented technology entrepreneurs with ground-breaking products and ambition to create Australia’s next generation of global businesses. As the EVP team and portfolio grow, this vision remains core to what we do.

Howard holds undergraduate degrees in arts and electrical engineering from the University of NSW and an MBA from the AGSM and London Business School. He is a director of EVP portfolio companies Deputy, Outfit, Practice Ignition, Fergus, Practifi, Rezdy, Oneflare and Fusion Sport.

Peter Manettas

Peter Manettas

Founder, ShoreTrade
Peter Manettas is an experienced Director and Founder. Since launching Manettas Seafood Market in 2016, Peter has been instrumental in bringing to the forefront the relationship between technology and the seafood industry and further developing and shaping the future direction in this space. Peter has since founded ShoreTrade, a B2B trading platform designed to bring the industry into the digital age and shift the power and money back into the hands of fishermen and their customers.

Tom Matthews

Partner, Pemba Capital
Tom Matthews has over 15 years of experience in private equity, principal investment, investment banking and middle market advisory and valuations.

Tom joined Pemba in 2015 and has led a number of transactions across Pemba’s areas of sector focus. These include HR3, JobReady, Vital Software, VETTrack, Esher House, EmployGroup, Smart Loyalty and THREE60. Tom represents Pemba on the board of ReadyTech and Marque Group.

Tom joined Pemba from Sovereign Capital, the UK ‘Buy & Build’ specialist private equity fund, where he was based in London and focused on investing in mid-market consolidators in the healthcare, education and business services sectors. Tom was previously with the Investment Banking Group at Macquarie Bank Limited, which focused on principal investment opportunities across a variety of sectors.

Prior to Macquarie, Tom gained substantial transaction experience at Deloitte Corporate Finance both in Sydney and London. Tom’s primary areas of expertise at Deloitte Corporate Finance involved business valuations, independent expert’s reports and corporate advice.

Kelly Morton

Managing Director, Skye Capital
Kelly Morton is considered a market leader in developing funding solutions and providing financial advice to corporates and private equity firms, including specialist advice on business transformation strategies to effect change, drive profit and stimulate growth.

With over 17 years’ experience, Kelly has led the refinancing of many corporations, using both the Australian and US financial markets, as well as a diverse range of small, mid-sized and large leveraged and acquisition finance transactions. This has led to her cultivating strong relationships with financial institutions, law, accounting and private equity firms which she believes is critical in achieving the best outcomes for all involved.

She is well known for superior financial analysis and judgement, which has increased profits and shareholder value within risk and governance frameworks. Her reputation for remaining calm and focused under pressure and ability to think outside the box has led to workable solutions to the most complex issues. However above that Kelly has a reputation for providing the ‘right’ advice. The philosophy that “the best advice is always the right advice” has led to Skye Capital holding so many long standing relationships.

She is extremely hands on and passionate about working with clients to achieve results.

Previously Kelly was at Pottinger, where she started up and built a successful debt advisory and capital structuring business. Prior to this she spent nine years at UBS, where she was one of the most senior members in the private equity, leveraged and acquisition finance team and also Head of Corporate Lending. She has previously worked at National Australia Bank, Macquarie Bank and Andersen Consulting.

David Odgers

Executive Director, IFM Investors
David Odgers is responsible for sourcing, structuring and negotiating new private equity investments, managing existing investments, as well as fundraising. David has more than 20 years of experience in private equity, consulting and business leadership roles. He joined IFM Investors from Bain Capital, where he was an Operating Partner with responsibility for investments in MYOB, Retail Zoo and Camp Australia. Prior to joining Bain Capital, David held senior management roles at eBay as Sales and Marketing Director, and at The Nuance Group as COO. Earlier in his career, David spent 10 years as a management consultant, chiefly with Bain & Company, where he worked in Europe, the United States and Australia on a range of industries and strategic issues for private equity and corporate clients.
Kieren Parker

Kieren Parker

Managing Partner, Addisons
Kieren Parker works with clients across the spectrum of mergers and acquisitions, corporate and commercial transactions. He brings the additional perspective gained through investing a significant part of his career working on the client side of transactions holding executive roles from corporate development and strategy to line management with profit and loss responsibility.

Kieren trained with a US corporate firm in Sydney, and then worked with a magic circle firm in London, specialising in private equity. He has never been too far from the industry, taking commercial roles with portfolio companies of The Carlyle Group in London (energy infrastructure) and Advent Capital in Sydney (construction), and consulting to CHAMP Private Equity.

David Potter

Head of Business Development, Apex
David Potter is Head of Business Development in Australia for The Apex Group, one of the largest global providers of outsourced administration services to private equity and other alternative investment firms globally.

Previously a chartered accountant, David has over 30 years’ experience across a broad range of operational accounting and consulting roles. David has focused on business development in fund administration services since 2016.

Justin Ryan

Justin Ryan

Managing Partner, Quadrant Growth Fund
Justin Ryan joined Quadrant Private Equity in February 2011 and has been on the Investment Committee for 35 Quadrant investments of which he has led or co-led 15, 8 of which have been successfully or partially exited. Prior to this Justin was Chief Executive Officer of Alesco Corporation Limited, an ASX 200 industrial company and before that a Director of Catalyst Investment Managers. Justin was Chairman of AVCAL (now Australian Investment Council) in 2003 and is currently Chairman of e-commerce businesses Adore Beauty (ABY), GraysOnline, Quad Lock and Modibodi and is also a Director of Love to Dream and Arq.

Justin has an MBA from The Wharton School and a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Law from The University of Sydney.

Elaine Stead

Managing Director, Human VC
Elaine Stead is passionate about working with organisations that deliver genuine benefits for the community. Her professional focus has been on the innovation spectrum, holding several diverse roles including CEO, Board of Director and executive level roles within industry, venture capital and both the public and private sector. Elaine has specialised in helping innovation companies grow value and develop products that genuinely improve people’s lives.

Nicholas Sweeney

Division Director and Head of Macquarie Mid Market
Nicholas Sweeney is a Division Director and Head of Macquarie Banking Financial Services Middle Market team. Nicholas has over 16 years’ experience providing corporate banking and growth capital solutions for clients. For the past 5 years, Nicholas has been part of the team empowered to build Macquarie’s Middle Market business, with a focus on providing acquisition and growth capital solutions, primarily to mid-market privately held and private equity sponsored businesses.

Prior to joining Macquarie, Nicholas worked as a Director in ANZ Banking Group’s Corporate Banking Division, as well as holding senior roles within Esanda FleetPartners and Campese Management Group.

Suzanne Tavill

Partner, StepStone
Suzanne Tavill is the global head of responsible investing, leading StepStone’s ESG initiative across all businesses and investment strategies. She is also a member of the private equity team.

Prior to StepStone, Suzanne was responsible for AMP Capital’s global alternative investment platform that included private equity, infrastructure and real assets. Before that, she spent five years at Van Eyk Research in Sydney, the last four as head of research. Before moving to Australia, she was an executive director at Goldman Sachs Investment Management, responsible for their UK small-and mid-cap portfolios.

Suzanne received an MSc in finance and economics from the London School of Economics, in addition to a BBS with honors in economics and honors in finance from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Barry Westlake B.E., Ph.D.

Dr Barry Westlake started his first company over 40 years ago, as a pioneer in Geographic Information and Computer Mapping Systems (the enabling technologies for products like Google Maps). He sold that business to a Fortune500 company in 1987. As a Venture Capital investor, he led an investment into a silent refrigeration technology which was commercialised by Panasonic. He was a founding Director of the Redfern Photonics Group, which raised $250million of international venture capital on a pre-revenue valuation of $1billion. He was a Director of world-leading incubator, ATP-Innovations from 2007-2017, where he was instrumental in making a seed investment in Elastogen, which was recently sold for a 9-figure sum. While with ATP-Innovations, he was a founding Director of DigitalCore Labs, which was sold to a NASDAQ-listed company for an 8-figure sum after just 5 years.

Barry is currently commercialising a revolutionary type of electric motor vehicle, first demonstrated by Ferdinand Porsche in 1899. He identified the basis of the problem that plagued this concept for over 100 years and patented the solution. The fully-tested prototype is currently being reviewed by people from the international motor vehicle industry. He is also working with a business that appears to have a cure for Parkinson’s Disease, another business with a game-changing technology for restaurants and is on the Board of a mental health enterprise.

He received an Advance Australia Award for his contribution to the computer industry.

Barry’s direct involvement in his own businesses over more than 40 years and his indirect involvement in hundreds of growth companies through the Redfern Photonics Group and ATP-Innovations, has given him extensive insights into the issues of timing, especially with regards to expansion and market-targeting.

Melissa Widner

CEO, Lighter Capital
Melissa Widner is the CEO of Lighter Capital, the pioneer and leading provider of revenue based financing to SAAS companies. She has a deep understanding of the entrepreneur’s journey and the importance of growth capital.

Previously she was the Managing Director of NAB Ventures, the venture capital arm of National Australia Bank, where she invested in and served as a director for several global fintech companies, including Lighter Capital.

As CEO she led two companies to successful acquisitions that provided over a 10X return to investors. She co-founded and was the CEO of Silicon Valley enterprise software company, 7Software (acquired by Concur Technologies NASDAQ: CNQR, acquired by SAP).
Melissa served as a general partner at SeaPoint ventures, a US based venture capital firm focused on mobile technologies and SaaS enterprise software solutions. She is an active angel investor who served on the board of US based Alliance of Angels, one of the longest running and most active angel groups in the world. She was a lecturer in the subjects of Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship at University of Washington’s MBA program.

In 2009, Melissa relocated to Sydney with her Australian husband. She is the co-founder and chair of Heads Over Heels, an organization that works with women entrepreneurs leading high growth companies. She served on the boards of AIC (The Australian Investment Council–formerly AVCAL), and currently serves on the board of the Shore Foundation and Heads Over Heels.

Dai Williams

Chief Growth Officer, SiteMinder
Dai Williams is the Chief Growth Officer at SiteMinder, the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, where he is responsible for the growth and diversification of the disruptive Software-as-a-Service model that placed SiteMinder among technology pioneers. As well as SiteMinder’s entry into new markets, Dai oversees new revenue streams that leverage the US$35 billion (AU$53 billion) worth of hotel bookings that flow through SiteMinder’s platform, and a partner network that generates in excess of 100 million reservations annually for SiteMinder’s 35,000 hotel customers around the world.

Prior, Dai filled several key roles that spurred SiteMinder’s growth from its earliest days. After establishing SiteMinder’s first overseas office, in London, he led the global sales organisation, and led the expansion of the company’s EMEA operation as managing director for the booming region.

David Willington

David Willington

Co-founder, Bombora Group
David Willington has over 25 years’ experience in corporate finance and investment banking. Over the course of his career, he has primarily advised companies in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors.

Previously, he was a Senior Partner at Deloitte Corporate Finance — and prior to that, an investment banker with NM Rothschild and Citigroup.

David currently serves on the boards of Janison Education Group Limited (ASX: JAN) and Orbx Limited.

He has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree. He is also a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia.

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