Speakers

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.

Will Davies

CEO and Co-Founder, Car Next Door
Will Davies is the CEO and co-founder of Australia’s biggest peer-to-peer car sharing platform, Car Next Door.

Will believes in sustainable business as key to addressing the environmental challenges the world is facing, and wants to empower people to take steps in their everyday lives to reduce their climate change impact.

Car Next Door is on a mission to free people and the planet from the ‘one person, one car’ mentality. By connecting car owners with trusted borrowers in their local community, Car Next Door empowers people to save money, reduce waste and build cleaner, greener, better communities.

Founded in 2012, Car Next Door has grown to a community of over 4,000 car owners sharing with over 150,000 borrowers, with over 400,000 trips taken through the platform.

Alison Deans

Non Executive Director and Advisor
Alison Deans has spent over 20 years working with technology-enabled businesses – driving innovation and business growth. She was the first managing director of eBay Australia and was the CEO of two technology funds: publicly-listed ecorp and then netus, which enjoyed one of the highest returns of any fund in Australia. Alison remains focused on technology-enabled growth and transformation as a non-executive director of Cochlear, Deputy, Westpac and Ramsay Health Care. She is also on the Investment Committee of Main Sequence Ventures and supports entrepreneurs building digital businesses in Australia.

Alison previously spent eight years with McKinsey & Company. She has a Masters in Physics from Cambridge University, and an MBA from Stanford University.

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 Project.

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.

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.

Craig Griffin

Executive Director, Head of Marketing and Growth, Macquarie
Craig Griffin is an Executive Director, and the Head of Marketing and Growth for Macquarie’s Banking and Financial Services division (BFS). With 24 years’ experience in growth, consulting and working with leadership teams to drive change, Craig has a wealth of expertise helping companies realise their potential and drive growth.

He has been a key part of Macquarie’s team since 2013, and has played an important role in the execution of a strategy that has seen the division triple management profit and grow its mortgage book from $11 billion to $40 billion. During this time, the business has also transformed its client experience across Personal Banking, Wealth Management and Business Banking.

Prior to joining Macquarie, Craig was Managing Partner at Ernst & Young and sat on their Financial Services Global Executive Team. Prior to that he was Founder and Managing Director of Team Performance, a consultancy firm working with growth companies.

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.

Georgina Lalor

Executive Director, Equity Capital Markets, Macquarie
Georgina Lalor is an Executive Director in Macquarie’s Equity Capital Markets team. Georgina has over 15 years’ experience advising on equity capital markets transactions, the last 13 with Macquarie based across our Sydney, Brisbane and New York offices.

Primarily focused on the Infrastructure, Industrials and Financial Services sectors, Georgina has played a significant role on many of Macquarie’s largest capital raisings and principal transactions. Prior to joining Macquarie, Georgina worked as a solicitor at Clayton Utz focused on ECM transactions.

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.

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.

Francis Milner

Chief Investment Officer, EverEdge Capital
Francis Milner is chief investment officer of Auckland-based intangible assets investments firm EverEdge Capital. He co-founded EverEdge Capital in 2018 after returning to New Zealand following 16 years working overseas as an investment banker and private equity investor.

In 2014, Francis co-founded London and Geneva-based private equity turnaround firm Valtegra LLP where he served as managing partner until 2018. He has had a long-standing interest in the under-recognition of intangible assets and has demonstrated expertise in realising the value of such assets. While working in Japan, Francis negotiated the sale of Kodak’s OLED (organic light emitting diode) technology to LG which enabled LG to become the world leader in using the technology for brighter and more efficient television displays.

EverEdge Capital focuses on maximising value in assets such as data, patents, software, code and knowledge. The firm seeks to invest alongside businesses to increase the value of intangible assets or in the divestment of under-utilised intangible assets.

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.

Grant Petty

CEO and Founder, Blackmagic Design
Grant Petty, founder and CEO of Blackmagic Design, has become one of the world’s leading innovators of creative video tech. His goal was – and still is today – to empower creativity by making film, television and AV production equipment affordable for everyone. And because of Grant Petty, a huge amount of the new films, TV shows, commercials, music videos and live concerts you watch was created with Blackmagic Design product.

Blackmagic Design, with more than 1,000 employees in seven countries, has millions of customers around the world. This includes Oscar winning cinematographers to 15 year old students; and projects from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, to Game of Thrones, NCIS, Elton John’s end tour and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

Grant is focused on design and problem solving, and has assembled world leading software, hardware, R&D, industrial design, interface design, manufacturing and marketing, and focused them all on design and creativity.

Justin Ryan

Managing Partner, Quadrant Growth Fund
Justin Ryan joined Quadrant Private Equity in February 2011. Prior to this Justin was Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Alesco Corporation Limited, an ASX 200 diversified industrial company, which he joined in 2004 (Alesco was taken over by Dulux Corporation Limited in 2011). Before joining Alesco, Justin was a Director of Catalyst Investment Managers and was Chairman of Australian Investment Council (formerly AVCAL) in 2003.

Since joining Quadrant, Justin has been on the Investment Committee for 31 Quadrant investments of which he has led or co-led 14, 6 of which have been successfully exited.

Justin leads the Growth Fund and is currently Chairman of GraysOnline, Modibodi and Adore Beauty and a Director of Love to Dream.

Margaret Schlott

Investment Director, Cambridge Associates
Margaret Schlott is a Senior Investment Director who works in Cambridge Associates’ Sydney office. She has over 18 years investment experience gained working in Australia and in the U.S.

Margaret contributes to the firm’s research on private investment managers and facilitates the firm’s Australian and New Zealand private investment benchmarking data. She is a member of the firm’s Mission Related Investing Group focused on ESG/SRI matters for Australian and New Zealand clients.

Margaret also works with clients in Australia and New Zealand including superannuation funds, foundations, family offices, and sovereign wealth funds. She works closely with clients on their investment portfolios including; investment policy, asset allocation, manager selection, and monitoring.

Margaret began her career at Cambridge Associates in 2001. Prior to relocating to Sydney in 2007, she worked in the firm’s Menlo Park, California office supporting general advisory work for several endowment and family office clients as well as aided in managing the Menlo Park analyst team. Prior to this, Margaret worked in the firm’s Arlington, Virginia office for the Manager Information Group.

Nick Speer

Partner, The Riverside Company
Nick joined The Riverside Company in 2014 and is a Partner in the Melbourne office. Prior to joining Riverside, he was the Executive Director at leading domestic PE fund, Catalyst Investment Managers. Previously he was an M&A adviser at Greenhill Caliburn. He holds a Program for Leadership Development degree from Harvard Business School and a +Bachelor of Commerce, with Honours in Finance from The University of Melbourne.

Elaine Stead

Committee Member, Australian Investment Council
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 Co-Head, Macquarie Mid Market
Nicholas Sweeney is a Division Director and Co-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

Managing Director, NAB Ventures
Melissa Widner is a Managing Director at NAB Ventures, a division of National Australia Bank. Through her experience she has a deep understanding of both the entrepreneur’s journey and the role of a Venture Capitalist. 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. Melissa has served on the boards of several venture backed technology companies. 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 co-founded Heads Over Heels, an organisation that works with women entrepreneurs leading companies with high growth potential. She serves on the boards of AIC (The Australian Investment Council–formerly AVCAL), The Shore Foundation and Heads Over Heels. She has served on the boards of several US and Australian based venture backed technology companies.

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.

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