Senior Advisor and Member Advisory Board
Michael is the CEO of Global Management Strategic Focus Pty Ltd specialising in business advisory, commercial negotiations, acquisitions, divestments and business turnaround. He is an Advisory Councillor of the Australian Industry Group (AIG) and a Councillor/Treasurer of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA).
Michael is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of Autopak-Vetlab Group, a manufacturer and serves on the Advisory Board of Web Profits, an online Marketing Strategy company. He also mentors 8 Partners/Senior Managers at Crowe Horwath a Chartered Accounting Firm.
In 2015 he was appointed as the Reviewer of the Export Market Development Grants Scheme by the Minister of Trade & Investment, the Hon Mr Andrew Robb AO, MP. He joined the Zip Industries Group in 2001 as Group Finance Director and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer during the Group Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008.
He was also instrumental in opening offices in New Zealand, Malaysia and the UAE for the Group and as part of the Senior Management Team in building the UK and Australian business to what it is today. The company enjoyed double digit compound annual growth in both top and bottom line during his time at the company.
He retired as CEO in December 2014. Prior to working at ZIP, he worked as Finance Director at Nick Scali Furniture Pty Ltd (1999 to 2001) and as the Operations & Finance Director at Cenovis Pty Ltd (1989 to 1996) – both leading Australian brands in their own industry.
He lived in New Zealand for 15 years and was the Group Accountant of the Fletcher Challenge Group, New Zealand’s largest Company.He commenced his career in audit in 1977 and was Audit Supervisor at KPMG Wellington, New Zealand.
Senior Consultant, Indonesia
Lydia specialises in the niche area of Indonesian-Australian law. She is an Australian qualified lawyer and Public Notary, having obtained a combined Arts/Law degree from the University of New South Wales. Lydia speaks fluent Indonesian and English and has worked in law firms both in Sydney and Jakarta. Lydia is well known in the Indonesian community in Sydney and has amassed a large number of Indonesian clients both in Australia and Indonesia. Lydia has acted for many Australian businesses with interests in Indonesia, many Indonesians living in Australia and Indonesian business owners located in the greater Sydney area, Indonesian property developers.
Being half Indonesian and half Australian, Lydia understands the Indonesian culture and provides valuable assistance to Australians who are unfamiliar with the Indonesian culture, language and the Indonesian Legal System. Similarly Lydia advises Indonesian nationals who do not understand the Australian legal system fully or who do not speak the English language. Having worked in Indonesia, Lydia has gained the knowledge and skill in how to operate within the unique Indonesian legal system. Lydia has close relationships with Australian Government both at the Federal and State levels, and the Indonesian Consulate. She has provided advice as country expert for companies who are looking to enter the Indonesian market.
Lydia’s work in the Australian-Indonesia relations is widely recognised by the Australian Government, having just been recently appointed by the Government to be a director of the prestigious Australia Indonesia Institute and a member of the selection panel for the New Colombo Plan 2014 & 2015. Lydia also holds the title of Advisor to the National Board of the AIBC, Committee member of the IDN NSW Chapter and is the current Vice President of the Australia Indonesia Business Council.
Senior Consultant, Indonesia
Barnaby has worked for fifteen years on international affairs, with particular expertise in Indonesia. Barnaby studied Indonesian language, politics and culture at university, including semesters in West Timor and Lombok. He started his career working on Australia-Indonesia foreign policy with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Department of Defence. He later managed international development assistance programs on behalf of government, the United Nations, international non-government organisations (NGOs) and private consultancy firms.
Barnaby moved into the aid sector in response to seeing first-hand the devastation in Aceh following the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. He has led projects across the Indonesian archipelago (Aceh, Yogyakarta, Lombok, Flores and West Timor), including as Country Director with international NGOs, and later as Emergency Operations Manager at the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). He also represented the Australian Government in Jakarta on disaster-response coordination efforts.
As a fluent Bahasa Indonesia speaker, Barnaby brings a deep knowledge of Indonesian culture to his cross-cultural consulting work. Barnaby’s cross-cultural experience has also been developed through living and working in diverse cultures across South East Asia, Liberia, and North Korea where he recently worked as a consultant to the United Nations.
Most recently, Barnaby has provided consultancy advice and training on the complexities of managing foreign projects, particularly the softer skills needed for successful business operations in difficult foreign environments.
Stacey Martin is known as a strategic connector. She founded the Expat Advisors Community network for professionals with internationally connected clients, a platform for financial and professional services ongoing business engagement with Asia.
With a Wealth Advisory career spanning twenty years providing financial strategy and investment advice to Company Directors, executives and SME’s, increasing global mobility saw the development of a niche in cross-jurisdictional wealth planning. Her paper “How to maximise offshore assignments: Financial strategies for Australian expatriates” highlights issues to consider prior to departure, whilst offshore and importantly repatriating wealth for return.
Today, Stacey assists companies looking to do business in China to navigate culture, facilitate strategic connections and provide professional services introductions.
Hamish is Principal of Netherfield Investments, a diversified investment company serving the interests of private investors, family offices and pension funds. He has more than 20 years’ experience in investment markets in Australia and the UK.
As an investment manager, Hamish has a long term track record of benchmark out-performance for his portfolios. He also has extensive experience in capital market transactions and placements both in listed and unlisted markets.
He began his financial services career in 1995 as a private client adviser at Greig Middleton & Co where he specialised in UK equities and government bonds. He moved to Australia and joined Wilson HTM in 2001, where he later became a partner, a firm heavily involved with mid-cap and smaller companies . In 2012 Hamish moved to Ord Minnett and spent 4 years as a senior investment adviser before establishing Netherfield Investments in 2016.
Business runs in Jack’s blood. Jack was born in a business family which gave him the opportunity to immerse into business since at very young age. Jack is an entrepreneur and investor himself. In the last 20 years Jack has founded an online company, a language school, 2 IT companies and invested into a number of private companies.
Jack has gained inside knowledge of both Asian and Australian business cultures through working and living in multiple countries. Jack graduated from Monash University, Australia. The first 10 years in his career were in Malaysia and Singapore working for some biggest financial institutions and consulting firms such as OCBC Bank and Capgemini before moving to Sydney in 2004.
The subsequent 10 years in Sydney, he had worked has an independent consultant for Optus, Westpac Bank and Macquarie Bank managing and delivering over 50 projects of different kinds before leaving his cooperate life in 2013.
Since 2013, Jack has been working with Benchmark Business Sales as the most experienced Asian-born business broker in the team specialising in migrations through business investments, attracting and facilitating sales and investments from mainland China.
Recently in June 2016, he has just established Jataroo International Distribution helping Australians’ food produce raising capital and market entry to China and Malaysia.
He is passionate about working in this cross-cultural business space. He loves challenges because he enjoys solving problems and achieving win-win outcomes for all parties. In his free time, he loves spending time with his wife and son.
Connect with Jack on LinkedIn.
Senior Financial Analyst
A well versed financial analyst and investment banker who is connected to a broad range of corporate finance transactions; business planning, corporate preparation for Initial Public Offering (IPO), Initial Public Offering (IPO) prospectus modelling, corporate valuations, due diligence for corporate acquisition purposes, developing Private Placement Memorandums (PPM) and start-up company valuations based in Australia, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to name a few. Nizar also established and led a capital markets buy side equity research initiative.
Nizar’s skillset consist of financial modelling, valuation of shares, advanced analysis of financial statements, benchmarking corporate performance and simulating hypothetical business environment change and its impact on bottom line net income, share values and cash flows.
Previously employed by SAI Global property, Arab banking corporation, Tuhama Investments and occupied the role of a supervisor in the Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) Middle East division of Ernst & Young consulting.
Nizar holds a bachelor of business administration, master of applied finance, diploma of financial services (RG146) and passed level I of Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)© designation.
Senior Consultant, Iran
Pouyan Afshar specialises in providing advice on doing business in Iran.
He has a deep understanding of Iranian culture and commerce practices, having been Iranian born and raised and having worked extensively with Iranian businesses both in Iran and abroad. As a lawyer, he brings experience in strategic planning and of operating in the Iranian business and legal environment.
As the principal of Caspian Capital, he focuses on assisting businesses wishing to invest or deploy in Iran in the energy, agricultural, financial services and technology industries.
Senior Consultant, Europe and the US
Luca is a management consultant and marketing professional with over 15 years experience in numerous sectors in Europe, the US and Australia. He founded and managed a luxury goods export business based in Florence, was Head of Marketing for an international jewelry company in Australia and is now General Manager of a Sydney based marketing consulting business. His main areas of expertise are sales and marketing strategy, strategic planning and execution, financial analysis, brand development and management, and cultural alignment. Although he consults across various sectors, his main expertise is in luxury and lifestyle goods/services.
Luca holds a Bachelor of Science in International Relations and Politics, and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Southampton in the UK. He is also a recipient of the ECIS Award for International Understanding. His passion for strategic marketing is contagious and his knowledge and experience in international business are extensive.
Connect with Luca via LinkedIn.
Senior Advisor, China
Gary is a senior executive, management consultant and corporate adviser. His extensive international business experience and technical knowledge enables him to achieve strategic change for clients with an international focus and advise business leaders on new market entry.
Gary has special expertise in advising on financial feasibility; market analysis; corporate and project finance
His preferred areas of geographic focus are China and the Middle East and he works across a range of industries with clients in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Wuzhen-Tonxiang and Dubai.
Middle East Energy Specialist
Michael Barron is an expert in international market entry and government relations, specialising in the United Kingdom and the Middle East and North Africa.
He has more than 25 years experience analysing and living in international markets around the world. Michael’s work includes engagement at the highest levels of government.
Michael spent 13 years experience as a government and public affairs manager for the major gas company BG Group with assignments in Egypt, Oman and on the Gaza Marine project.
Michael studied Arabic at the University of Edinburgh and spent time in Cairo. He has also worked for Middle East Broadcasting, Control Risks Group and Eurasia Group. Michael has particular expertise in country entry (and exit) and navigating through complex political situations.
Cross-cultural Expert & Communication Psychologist
Silke Irmscher is a cross-cultural expert and communication psychologist specialising in Indonesian culture. Originally from Germany, she has lived and worked in Indonesia for more than 15 years.
Silke has a diverse background, having come from an Indonesian-Germany family and lived in a Javanese village community in the suburbs of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Cross-cultural communication is intrinsic to both her professional and everyday life.
Silke is fluent in German, English and Indonesian and speaks some Javanese, Spanish and Russian – languages that she has learned along the way in Europe, South America and Asia.
She researched Javanese culture, organized cultural programs for the Goethe-Institute Jakarta and worked with the development aid program of the German International Cooperation (GIZ) throughout Indonesia.
In recent years she has supported international organizations and companies in Indonesia with cross-cultural training, coaching and team development to enhance communication and productivity among diverse workforces.
Silke has always been fascinated by cultural exchange. Her passion is to encourage managers and experts in international business embrace cultural diversity for the benefit of both their teams and their own personal development.
International Business Advisor
Jemima Riley is an international business and marketing consultant specialising in emerging markets, including the Middle East, China and Indonesia.
She has worked across a range of international consulting projects, including food and beverage market access to Indonesia, investor relations and business development in China, and strategic business connections programs between Australia and the Gulf States.
She was the Project Director of the 2014 and 2015 Australian Arab Business Forum, and previously managed the NSW Chapter of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AACCI).
She holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics from Macquarie University, and a Masters of Commerce, majoring in International Business from the Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.
Senior Advisor, Central and Eastern Europe
Anton worked abroad almost all his professional life. As an Austrian native he has commenced his career in neighbouring Hungary shortly after the break-down of the iron curtain beginning of the nineties. Following this, he has covered a number of Managing Director and CEO positions in distinct countries like Austria, Hungary, Russia and China. During his time in line management positions and later in his capacity as an International Business Developer, Anton gained vast experience notably in industries like FMCG, food, pharma and medical devices.
Having been at the helm of small and medium sized enterprises as well as subsidiaries of multinational companies like Rothmans (nowadays part of British American Tobacco), Mars International and others, Anton started his International Business Development Company in 2009. Since then he has supported various Austrian companies defining and implementing their going international strategies and, moreover, gaining access into CEE, CIS- (including Russia) and European markets by thorough market research, finding, selecting and contracting potential distribution partners. .
Anton graduated in international marketing and foreign trade at the University of Economics and Business Administration in Vienna. Besides being fluent in German and English, he is also well-versed in the Russian and French language. In addition to deep knowledge and understanding of general management practices, Anton has thorough knowledge of the cultural and business environments in CEE, CIS and EU-countries. Moreover, having successfully negotiated numerous international import and distribution contracts, he is perfectly equipped to smoothly navigate through the complexities of contractual difficulties and negotiation issues typically arising in cross border business transactions, like payment and delivery terms (Incoterms), payment security and applicable law.
Diana is an Arab-Australian who worked as an executive with international companies both in Australia and the Middle East. She worked with Esso Australia, an oil company, for 3 years and also worked with State Street Australia, private investment banking company, for 2 years. In the United Arab Emirates, she worked with the Intercontinental Hotel Chain for 5 years and Abu Dhabi Audit Authority for 11 years. A specialist in property development, Diana has an extensive business network in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
Diana currently divides her time between Sydney, Australia and the Middle East..
IBA Program Manager and Executive Assistant
Ghenwa joined Dearin & Associates in 2014 as a Marketing and Communications Intern, where she worked across a range of marketing projects including the 2014 Qatar International Businesswomen’s Forum and the 2015 Australian Arab Businesswomen’s Forum. She re-joined the team in 2016 as an Executive and Marketing Assistant to the Managing Director.
Ghenwa is of Lebanese origin, having been born in Beirut and raised in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, where she acquired her High School Diploma from the International School of Choueifat. She continued her Education in Beirut at the Lebanese American University (LAU), completing a Bachelor Degree in Business Marketing and a Masters of Business Administration in Management and Marketing.
She worked at the Lebanese American University (LAU) as a Post Office Assistant and a Graduate and Academic Assistant in the Department of Economics and Finance. Ghenwa was also a part time Marketing Instructor at the Arts Sciences and Technology University in Lebanon (AUL) where she taught Consumer Behavior. She has four years of banking experience in Bankmed – Lebanon as a Customer Service Representative and has successfully completed the Lebanese Financial Regulations exam held by Banque du Liban (Central Bank of Lebanon).
International Business Advisor, Perth
Maher is an International Business Advisor focused on Brand Development and Customer Relationship Management. Born and raised in Perth, Western Australia and having lived in the Middle East for seven years, he is experienced in dealing with people of different cultures and backgrounds. He has a passion for designing marketing strategies that reflect these differences when helping businesses expand into the international market.
Having started his career in Management, he also has a wealth of knowledge in directing both teams and individuals towards a common goal whilst being highly results driven. After joining GlobalTech as a Marketing Coordinator his love for Branding and New Product Development became more evident. This experience allowed him to realise his own desire to assist business owners create success through the implementation of the most suitable and effective plans and strategies, giving them a far more risk-free approach when looking to grow and expand on a global scale.
Maher has a Bachelor of Commerce, Majoring in Marketing from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia and has taken part in a number of Business Mastermind Groups to further develop his ability to assist businesses as they move onwards and upwards. He speaks English and Arabic.
Marketing and Research Assistant
Masa Tuffaha is an international business professional, specialising in project management and research.
Masa started her research experience in 2009 as an awareness employee at Palestine Capital Market Authority (PCMA) (Insurance Directorate), where she developed a consumer awareness strategy based on customer needs assessment, and research.
She then worked in project management during her career at the Palestine Ministry of Foreign Affairs (International Cooperation Department). Here she was responsible for managing a number of projects within the Ministry, in collaboration with other line ministries, non-governmental organisations and the private sector.
In 2013, she moved to Perth, Australia where she obtained her Master’s degree in International Business from Curtin University, and has been living in Australia since then.