2020 Speakers

Chaired By: Fran O’Sullivan

Managing Director


Fran O'Sullivan is a high-profile columnist for the New Zealand Herald and a frequent business commentator on radio and television. 

Fran is Head of Business for NZME she also acts as  executive editor of the Herald's annual Mood of the Boardroom CEO Survey which she founded. 

She has a strong interest in New Zealand's international success and has attended all partnership forums between New Zealand and the United States, China and  Australia. 

Susan Paterson


Steel and Tube, Theta Systems Ltd


Reserve Bank of NZ, Goodman Property Trust, EROAD, Les Mills, Sky Network, Arvida and the Electricity Authority

An Independent Director since 1996, Susan was appointed an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit in recognition of her services to corporate governance in the New Years Honours 2015. She currently Chairs the Audit Committees of the Reserve Bank of NZ, EROAD, and Les Mills with past Audit Chair roles including Sky Network, Airways and Ports of Auckland. She has experience from listed companies, government entities, regulators, private companies and Not For Profits. With a pharmacist background, followed by an MBA at London Business School and strategy consulting, Susan has focused on turnarounds and significant year on year growth and value creation, in the companies in her portfolio. She has added regulatory skills in her role as a Director of the Reserve Bank and Electricity Authority, and was formerly a Monetary Policy Advisor to the Governor of the Reserve Bank.

Dr Alan Bollard


NZ Infrastructure Commission

Professor of Practice at the School of Government

Victoria University

Dr Alan Bollard is a Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria Business School, and newly-formed Infrastructure Commission,  He is NZ Governor of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia. 

From 2012 - 2018 Alan was the Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat based in Singapore. 

Prior to joining APEC, Dr Bollard was the Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand from 2002 to 2012.  

From 1998 to 2002, Dr Bollard was the Secretary to the New Zealand Treasury.   

From 1994 – 2008, he was the Chairman of the New Zealand Commerce Commission.  Prior to this from 1987 to 1994 he was Director of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research. He has a PhD in Economics from the University of Auckland. 

He wrote a best-selling account of the GFC called Crisis: One Central Bank Governor and the Global Financial Collapse.  He has published several novels: The Rough Mechanical and The Code-cracker and the Tai Chi Dancer. He has also written a biography of famous economist Bill Phillips, and a popular economics book Economists at War. 

In 2012 he was honoured as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. He is a Fellow of the NZ Royal Society. He also has honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Auckland and Massey University. 

Anna Davis

Deputy CFO


Anna is current the Deputy CFO at Tower Insurance, a New Zealand based general insurer operating in the New Zealand and Pacific Islands markets. Anna leads financial control, FP&A and finance operations for Tower’s New Zealand and Pacific Islands operations.

Prior to joining Tower in April 2020, Anna held roles in global start-ups, Teknique (CFO) and Rocket Lab (Finance Director). She had previously spent time in senior finance roles at larger corporates such as Spark (Head of Finance) and Pamu New Zealand (Financial Controller). In 2016 she was awarded the CFO Summit’s Emerging Financial Manager of the Year.

Anna is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand and the Institute of Directors. She currently holds governance roles as the Deputy Chair of the YWCA Auckland Board, a National Councillor for Muscular Dystrophy New Zealand and is a board observer of UBCO Bikes as part of the NZTE’s Onboard programme.

Cecilia Tarrant

Establishment Chair

New Zealand Green Investment Finance

Cecilia Tarrant is the Chair of New Zealand Green Investment Finance Limited, a company established by the New Zealand Government to accelerate low emissions investment in New Zealand. She is a professional company director with a background in international banking and finance. In addition to New Zealand Green Investment Finance, she is a Director of Seeka and Payments NZ, a Member of The University of Auckland Council and a Trustee of The University of Auckland Foundation.  Cecilia is also active in early stage angel investing. She is the Chair of ArcAngels, an angel investment network that focuses on investing in, and supporting, women-led companies, and a member of ICE Angels.

Colin McKinnon

Executive Director

New Zealand Private Capital

Colin is the Executive Director of the New Zealand Private Capital Association. In the role since May 2008, Colin is responsible for driving the strategy for development of the New Zealand private equity and venture capital industry, communications with members, sponsors and industry participants, coordinating the NZ Private Capital active government lobbying programme and supporting the Council Chairman and members.

Previous roles included Chief Advisor for government involved with policy development for capital markets, issues of “access to finance” for fast-growth businesses and the commercialisation of innovation. With a background in corporate banking and strategic marketing for National Australia Bank and Bank of New Zealand, Colin has held leadership roles in business development, digital transaction management tools and institutional banking relationships with many of New Zealand’s largest corporations.

Colin is an Economics graduate of Canterbury University and holds a master’s degree in management from Auckland University.

Craig Stobo

BA (Hons) Economics, First Class, Otago, Advanced Management Programme, Wharton, Associate Member CFA Society NZ, CFInstD

Craig has worked as a diplomat, economist, investment banker and was CEO of BT Funds Management (NZ) Ltd. He has authored reports for the NZ Government on the Taxation of Investment Income (which led to the PIE tax regime for managed funds); and the creation of a funds domicile in NZ; and provided specialist advice to government and private sector clients.

He is an independent Chair of the Local Government Funding Agency, AIG Insurance New Zealand and NZX-listed Precinct Properties. He is also Chair and shareholder of private companies including Elevation Capital Management, Saturn Portfolio Management, Biomarine Group and Legend Terrace.

David Smith

Head of Corporate Governance, Asia Pacific

Aberdeen Standard Investments (Singapore)

David Smith is Head of Corporate Governance based in Singapore. His main responsibility is to lead engagement with members of the board and management of Aberdeen’s investee companies in Asia. In this role he also spearheads public advocacy on Environmental, Social and Governance issues. He represents the company at the Asian Corporate Governance Association and leading international organisations dedicated to improving corporate best practice. He has appeared frequently at regional conferences, industry round tables and has written for various Asian newspapers and professional publications. 

 Day-to-day David is an integral member of the regional equity team and works closely with the head of stewardship in London. His expertise is deep: before joining Aberdeen in 2011 he worked for ISS as head of Asia (ex-Japan) research. David is a CFA charterholder and gained a PhD in Corporate Governance and an MA in Corporate Strategy and Governance from the University of Nottingham in the UK. He graduated with a BSc in Business Economics from the University of Wales. 

Grant Ellis

Group Chief Financial Officer

Restaurant Brands

Grant has been the Chief Financial Officer for Restaurant Brands since its listing in 1997. He is responsible for the finance, treasury, investor relations and company secretarial functions within Restaurant Brands. 
Prior to joining Restaurant Brands, Grant held a number of senior finance roles in other New Zealand public companies. Grant has a BCom (Accounting) and MBA from Auckland University. He is a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and currently serves as a councillor on its main governing body.

Matt Cawte


Vista Group International

Matt leads Vista’s group finance team, providing finance support and commercial guidance to the Vista ecosystem. Prior to joining Vista, Matt headed the sales, marketing and finance functions at Biomatters, a bioinformatics SaaS and subscription business, including its successful sale to the US software investor Insight Partners. Prior to that he spent five years as General Manager for Ixom NZ (formerly Orica), NZ’s largest chemicals business. He has a strong background in innovative and high growth technology companies, was CFO for Wellington Drive Technologies and held commercial, finance and technology leadership roles in Lion Nathan, Mediasoup, Sony Playstation Europe and Oracle Europe. Matt has an MBA from London Business School and a BCom from the University of Auckland.

Matt Crockett

Transformation Director

Vodafone NZ

Matt Crockett is currently Transformation Director at Vodafone New Zealand overseeing company strategy and transformation planning and execution. He is also currently acting CFO of the company.  Matt has deep industry experience in telecommunications, infrastructure, technology and digital media coupled with experience in multiple transformation programs both as Chief Transformation Officer and as a divisional line executive.

Prior to joining Vodafone NZ Matt was Chief Transformation Officer at Optus in Sydney, Australia. Over the 15 years before joining Optus Matt held a variety of senior executive and director roles in New Zealand and Australia. This experience includes time as Chief Executive of Fletcher Building’s Building Products Division, Chief Development Officer at APN Media (then parent company of NZME) and almost ten years at Spark NZ where he most recently was Chief Turnaround Officer, and prior to that was CEO of the Wholesale and International Division.

Before this Matt worked for management consulting firm McKinsey & Company in both their Sydney and Auckland offices.  He initially studied and worked as a mining engineering in Western Australia before being awarded a Rhodes scholarship for postgraduate study at Oxford University, where he completed a Master of Philosophy in Management.

Nicola Taylor


Tax Traders

Nicola Taylor is co-founder and Director/CEO of Tax Traders, one of New Zealand’s most innovative and fastest growing fin-tech companies, which is now used by over 500 different accounting firms across New Zealand. Tax Traders was founded upon transparency and the belief that clients should have a clear view on the value they are receiving from their transactions. This value of transparency flows strongly through the work and culture Nicola has co-created with her team.

Nicola has over 20 years' experience in commercial law, governance and leadership roles, including in the not-for-profit space. In addition to her strategic and technical expertise, Nicola brings a commitment to building human-centred workplaces and has a driving belief, that ‘the work we do every day, can be the greatest force for good in the world’. She has a Masters of Law with First Class Honours from Auckland University, and is a member of the NZ Institute of Directors.

Dr Ross McDonald

Professional Teaching Fellow - Economic Justice, Sustainability and Economic Development

University of Auckland

Dr Ross McDonald is a multiple-award winning teacher working in the areas of economic justice, sustainability and economic development. He has worked on educational advancement with the United Nations, on the economics and psychology of wellbeing with the OECD and played a significant role in the development of Bhutan's unique approach to development in the form of gross national happiness.  Ross was an inaugural teaching fellow at the University of Auckland Centre for Learning Advancement and Research and teaches courses in organisational ethics and sustainability. 

Ruth Stroppiana

Senior Director

Moody’s Analytics

Based in Sydney, Dr. Stroppiana oversees the global forecasting service, including non-U.S. alternative scenarios. Dr. Stroppiana writes on a variety of issues for Economic View and the Regional Financial Review. She formerly directed EMEA economics in the Moody’s Analytics London office and has extensive experience in analyzing countries in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe and in international economic consulting. Dr. Stroppiana received her PhD in economics from the University of Queensland, Australia.

Shane Sampson

Chief Financial Officer


Shane has been CFO at NZX-listed Pushpay Holdings Limited for over four years. Pushpay’s revenue has grown strongly over that period from just over US$1 million for the year to 31 March 2015 to US$130 million for the year to 31 March 2020. Shane has over 27 years’ experience in finance, commercial and leadership roles, including at NZX-listed Vector for around five years, of which two and a half he served as Acting CFO and at Spark in various positions including General Manager Finance and Commercial for Gen-i. In addition to his technical expertise Shane brings strong commercial acumen and a broad strategic outlook to Pushpay’s senior management team.

Sheridan Broadbent

Board and shareholder advisory, Investor, Deputy Chair



Chair of Risk Committee, Transpower

Sheridan is an independent director.  She is deputy chair of mission-critical communications provider Kordia Group; a director of Timberlands Ltd, manager of the Kaingaroa Forest; a director of national electricity transmission provider Transpower; and is on the management committee of the NZ Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum.     

Sheridan has worked in NZ, Australia and the South Pacific in a variety of infrastructure, energy and ICT in roles including most recently as the CEO of lines company Counties Power, GM Strategy and Business Technology of Genesis Energy, EGM of Downer’s Telecommunications business unit in Australia  and GM of Downer EDI Engineering in NZ.   

Sheridan has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland, is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Programme and is a chartered member of the NZ Institute of Directors.    

Silvana Schenone

Partner & Head of Corporate


Silvana leads the Corporate team at MinterEllisonRuddWatts and is experienced in advising clients on a range of commercial and corporate governance matters. Silvana is known for her ability to get the most complex and innovative deals done in a pragmatic way. Skilled at getting to the heart of the matter and delivering excellent results for her clients, Silvana’s expertise is recognized in a number of international directories as a leading adviser in the M&A and corporate governance fields.  Silvana is a Board Member of the NZ Takeovers Panel, evidence of her expertise and experience in the capital markets’ sectors locally and internationally. Silvana is the author of ‘Duties and Responsibilities of Directors and Company Secretaries in New Zealand’, a highly acclaimed text referred to by the directors’ community in New Zealand. She has a remarkable international background, having practiced law in New York, Chile and New Zealand, and is a frequent speaker on forums discussing corporate governance and leadership. 

Vangelis Vitalis

Deputy Secretary of Trade and Export Group

Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade

Vangelis returned to Wellington in 2017 having been New Zealand’s Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation in Geneva since August 2015. In addition to his role as Deputy Secretary, Vangelis was also the Chief Negotiator who led the conclusion of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP), which enters into force on 30 December 2018. 

Before his posting in Geneva, Vangelis was Ambassador to the European Union, NATO and Sweden based in Brussels and has had postings to Canberra as Deputy High Commissioner and before that in Moscow. From 2008-2011 Vangelis was the Chief Negotiator who led the conclusion of the regional ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the separate FTA with Malaysia. He was also part of the negotiating teams for the FTA with China and the precursor to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the Pacific-Four FTA. 

Vangelis has worked at the OECD from 2001-2004. In addition to chairing the agriculture negotiations at the WTO, Vangelis was also elected to chair the OECD Committee on Trade and the Environment (2008-2016) and the OECD Global Forum on Trade and Climate Change. Vangelis helped establish the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform and is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on International Trade and Investment (2016-2018), and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network on trade issues. He is also the New Zealand Special Envoy for the Small Advanced Economies’ Initiative.