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Providing Capital & Management Solutions for Private & Public Companies and Sophisticated Investors


Brent Needham
Founder and Executive Chairman

Brent is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Kennedy Needham Corporate Advisors which was founded in 1987. Kennedy Needham merged with the BlueMount Capital group in 2017.

Brent has over 40 years’ experience in Corporate Advisory, Investment Banking and International Management Consulting. His career also included two periods as CEO of private enterprise organizations. Over his career, he has worked on projects involving capital raising, listing activities in a wide range of industries including life sciences, acquisitions, divestments, MBOs, and senior consulting assignments in Australia and overseas.

A commerce graduate from the University of Melbourne, Brent has wide industry experience having worked among others with clients in Financial Services, Food Manufacture, Records Management, Retailing, Engineering and Architecture Consulting, Building and Construction, and Marine & Aviation Insurance and Payment Services.

Michael Shaw
Managing Director

Michael has a both deep and rich experience garnered from working with leading securities firms in M&A in Australia that is now applied to assisting clients, to ensure they are continuously creating strategic value for their businesses.

  • Value Added Food and Specialised Manufacturing
  • Capital Raising and MBOs/MBIs
  • Cross Border transactions in the Agriculture and Food Industries
  • Growth capital for international Health and Life Sciences businesses

Michael specialises in assisting mid-market, growth-oriented private businesses to move through all phases of their life cycle – including creation, growth and transition.

His Corporate Advisory background spans merchant and investment banking, private equity and venture capital in the food industry, and specialist funds management in life sciences. He has acted in over 60 transactions in Australian and New Zealand major and mid-market segments – including capital raisings, acquisitions, MBOs and divestitures.

Michael has led several companies in the capacity of Managing Director and Chairman, in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. He has also acted as a pivotal figure in the transfer of business skills to several leading Australian not-for-profits.

Mark Sheppard
Regional Director, Structured Finance

Mark is a highly-experienced investment banker with more than 30 years’ senior experience in structured financing, including cross-border funding and investment structures, hybrid financial instruments, derivatives, and in the management of liquidity and regulatory risk for corporate and institutional clients.

His most recent position was Head of the Financial Solutions team at National Australia Bank. His previous positions include Executive Director and Head of Financial Structuring Group – Asia-Pacific (RBS), Executive Director and Head of Structured Funding and Investments – Asia-Pacific (ABN Amro) and Director and Co-head of Structured Finance – Asia-Pacific (Chase Manhattan).

Mark holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) from the University of Canterbury and Master of Philosophy (Economics) from the University of Auckland.

Matt Williams
Regional Director, Capital Projects

Matt is a Senior Advisor, particularly on major capital projects in industries where he has had extensive exposure; including economic and social infrastructure (including water), energy (renewables), forestry, agribusiness, mining and Government, as lender, equity investor and advisor.

Matt has over 29 years of experience having worked on projects each with a total capitalisation in their time in excess of $80 million across 18 countries.

He advised on capital structuring, senior and mezzanine lending, infrastructure, private equity investment and advisory, limited recourse project finance and acquisition finance. Government transactions include privatisation, Public-Private Partnerships and long-term outsourcing contracts.

Matt is a Director of major listed and unlisted public and private companies.

Dr Mona Chung
Regional Director, China & Asia

Mona is widely recognised as one of Australia’s leading Chinese Australian business women and negotiators with her rich and deep insights into the cross-cultural differences between China and the Western World

Mona has a PhD from Monash University, Australia. Her PhD was titled “The Impact of Cultural Differences in Business between Australia and China”. She holds several other postgraduate Australian qualifications including a Master of International Business from Deakin University and an undergraduate degree from Beijing Renin University, China.

Mona is a bi-cultural business expert in doing business with China, particularly with cross-cultural negotiations and communication. She addresses the major issues and overcomes the cultural gap between Westerners and Chinese in the fields of commerce and education.

Mona has extensive experience in Western-China business relationships. She specialises in strategic planning, management and marketing practice for international organisations, commencing with the understanding of the culture of the Chinese market. With her bicultural background, Mona short-circuits processes and produces results that increase efficiency and effectiveness by 50% to 70% with consequent generation of significant cost savings.

Mona has a broad range of experiences in a large number of industries including aged care, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, education, manufacturing, professional services, mining etc. She also has experience in setting up joint ventures in China for foreign enterprises since the late 1990s and has deep knowledge in Chinese Joint Venture Law.

In addition to Mona’s current role as Regional Director, China & Asia, she serves on the executive board of the Victorian Branch of the Australia China Business Council. She is a frequent visitor to China, and a regular guest speaker at public forums. Mona is also the author of an extensive list of over 80 publications in cross-cultural business studies and has authored and published 4 books on “Doing Business with China”.

Kelvin Templeton
Regional Director, MENA

Kelvin is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program from the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania (USA). He has been Managing Director of Abu Dhabi based corporate advisory Firm Templeton Galt for 15 years. For six of those years, he served as Chairman of the Australian Business Group (ABG) in Abu Dhabi. ABG is an initiative of the Australian Embassy to promote trade between Australia and the UAE. Prior to founding Templeton Galt, Kelvin served as Chief Executive Officer of the Sydney Swans Football Club.

Previously, he acted for 10 years as General Manager of the Medical Clinics division of Australia’s largest private health insurer, the Medical Benefits Fund of Australia (now BUPA), where he was responsible for medical clinics in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania.

Kelvin is a former elite sportsman and a winner in 1980 of the Brownlow Medal, the highest individual honour in Australian Football.

Michael Owen
Regional Director – Singapore & Hong Kong

Michael grew up in a multi-disciplined medical family and initially studied in Australia, prior to working in the FinTech sector for a large US Corporation and before taking up roles with a respected UK-based Investment Bank.

He has been based in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia at various times over the last 28 years, initially heading up the Asian region for a UK-based provider of software-based Investment Banking solutions. In Hong Kong, he spearheaded the push into China for a US-based provider of Investment Banking services and solutions.

Michael then undertook several corporate advisory and turnaround roles that included the establishment of a new entity in the Asia Pacific region for an LSE-listed company and the restructuring of a Swedish/French firm across the Asia Pacific region.

He helped to formulate and deliver the Asia Strategy for one of Australia’s largest banking and financial services groups, subsequently heading up Strategic Projects across Asia for the largest global FinTech corporation.

Michael has worked across several disciplines, with an emphasis on Banking and Financial Services, Information Technology, Software Development and technological innovation. He has held Directorships of several companies based in Australia and overseas, including an ASX company. He also has deep experience in restructuring, capital raising and M&A

Tim Weight
Director, Agribusiness & Property

Tim studied Agricultural Science at Melbourne University. Over the years Tim’s career shifted from living and working on the land to being instrumental in its development. Tim now operates a consulting business with emphasis on corporate management, strategy, feasibility assessment, governance and property.

Tim was appointed to the Board of Riviera Properties Limited and was the Group Managing Director from 1998 to 2013. Tim has been involved in agricultural systems and economics, regional economic development and property development. Tim has extensive experience in the management of property development and property investment ventures in East Gippsland and Melbourne.

Tim has been involved with a number of boards; public company, private syndications, government and not-for-profits. He currently is the Deputy Chair of Regional Development Australia – Gippsland and Chairman of Kings Cove Club Limited.

Tim formerly held the roles of Director and Chairman of East Gippsland Institute of TAFE Board (1987- 2014), Member of the Monash University Gippsland Advisory Council, Director of Gippsland Development Limited and Chairman of the East Gippsland Shire Development Board.

Gavin Whiteley
Director, Agribusiness & Food

Gavin is a highly experienced professional in the fields of agribusiness, primary production, food production and processing, property, funds and business management, commodity trading, government business enterprise and in the agri-food supply chain.

Mr Whiteley is the Founder and Managing Director of the Micketymulga Group, an agri-business advisory group located in Bungendore, New South Wales. Previous roles at major agri-business operators and investors included Westchester Group (Chief Financial and Risk Officer), Bartter Enterprises, Dunavant Enterprises and Heytesbury Beef, as well as number of Government positions in the sector.

Mr Whiteley holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics (Hons) from the University of New England and Associate Diploma in Farm Management from Orange Agricultural College as well as many relevant graduate programs.

Mr Whiteley is a CPA qualified accountant and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Yang Song
Director, Corporate Advisory

Melbourne based and Director of Corporate Asian activities, Yang provides timely service, particularly on major Merger & Acquisition activities in industries where she has deep experience.

Yang has many years of experience working with Asian clients and has previously worked on various major projects in the property and nutraceuticals sectors. Two of these buy-side transactions had a total enterprise value in excess of AUD 1 billion each.

Yang specialises in cross border M&A transactions, Mezzanine Financings, Management Consulting in industries which include Medical, Pharmaceutical, Nutraceutical, Agriculture, New-Technology and Property Development & Construction. She has strong connections in Hong Kong, Australia and China.

Gerald Teh
Director, Debt Capital

Gerald has over 15 years’ experience in the banking industry and has worked in a number of Australian banks in addition to global finance companies. He spent many years of his career with a focus on businesses looking for growth funding (M&A or otherwise) and also those requiring restructuring and re-capitalisation.

His outcomes are achieved through a thorough understanding of business operations and the ability to structure transactions that benefit corporate balance sheets. Gerald’s experience spans the various markets from SME businesses to global corporates.

Gerald holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) and Bachelor of Science (Psychology). He is a full member of the MFAA.

Syed Hassan
Director, Debt Capital

Syed has over 20 years direct experience in Banking and Finance, working to support clients achieve their strategic and financial goals.

Syed’s background includes careers at three of Australia’s major banks and roles in business development, global markets, international trade, corporate banking and retail banking.

Syed’s clients benefit from his professional and independent advice and support across all facets of cash-flow, property and asset-based financing, as well as his insights into bank decision-making processes and client relationship management practices.

Syed holds a Commerce Degree, a Post-Graduate Diploma and Masters in Business Administration. Syed is a full member of MFAA.

Graeme Lavelle
Director, Financial Advisory & Valuations

Graeme is a Chartered Accountant (Fellow) with over 3 decades of experience in professional practice within the accounting profession. He worked with Coopers & Lybrand for some 25 years, 16 years as a Partner.

Graeme has a background in providing audit and assurance, investigation services, forensic accounting, expert evidence, investigating accountants and independent expert reports for public companies, as well as valuations and due diligence reviews, for a wide range of businesses and industry sectors. He has specialist experience in the mining, manufacturing, financial services, property and securities industries.

During his career Graeme has been involved in a wide variety of assignments covering financial investigations, expert reports, valuations, corporate reconstructions, takeovers, rights issues and public company share floats. He has been responsible for audit and assurance of companies in the mining, finance, property construction, property syndication, telecommunications, transport and manufacturing industries. He also has experience in company listings on the Australian, Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Nasdaq and London Stock Exchanges.

Dr Martin Hoogland
Director, Innovation & Technology

Martin is highly experienced chemical engineer specializing in water and waste water treatment and brings skills in project management, assessment and application of technology to the team.

Dr Hoogland has worked on projects in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa and throughout Australia with major multinational companies in the engineering, water and waste water sectors. In addition, he has held research positions with the University of New South Wales, the University of Hertfordshire (UK) and the Co-operative Research Centre for Waste Management and Pollution Control.

In addition to English, Dr Hoogland speaks conversational French and German, and basic Mandarin.

Dr Hoogland holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical, Honors) and a PhD, both from the University of NSW.

John Sabatino
Director, M&A Organisational Performance

John became CEO of TMI Australia in 2010 and Managing Partner of Epicentrum in 2014.

With a background in science, John established his successful career within the healthcare industry. Following his Masters of Business Marketing at Monash University, John led and transitioned a number of multinational organisations within the healthcare industry.

John was previously Vice President Asia/Pacific for a US based multinational organisation (Danaher Corporation). During this time, John embarked upon a strategy of organic growth that saw the organisation transformed from a good market position with 27% market share to one of market dominance capturing over 75% market share in just over a four-year period. These strategies were later adopted by the organisation globally. In addition, John was globally prominent in the organisation in the areas of strategic planning, strategies for competitive advantage, go to market and key account development sales processes.

John is passionate about organisational performance, creating a high performance culture and how organisational culture impacts on success. John has been active in the area of understanding the influence of organisational culture on outcomes, particularly in company amalgamations, mergers and integration of businesses. John believes that people make all the difference and once the culture is right, the rest often just falls into place.

John is zealous about the continuous improvement process where he has consulted for several organisations, both locally and internationally, in the areas of lean processing, especially transaction process improvements and strategy deployment.

Robert Bolton
Director, Major Projects

Robert is an internationally experienced business transformation executive with engineering, project management and governance qualifications and experience. He is an international thought leader in the implementation of complex projects and programs.

Robert has more than 30 years’ experience, including successful implementation of infrastructure, mining, oil & gas, capital markets, banking and information technology projects. In addition, he has acted as Chairman and Executive Director of ASX listed companies.

Robert holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from the University of Sydney and a Master of Business Administration from Ashridge Management College (UK).

Robert is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, he is certified by the Theory of Constraints International Certification Organization and the International Supply Chain Education Alliance.

Michael Emery
Director, Property and Construction

Michael has a Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Economics, Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment and Graduate Diploma in Property.

He commenced his career in law, specifically property transactions, town planning, property development and construction.

After a 7 year period with 2 of Australia’s most prolific billion dollar real estate developers, managing developments of residential, retail, retirement, hotel and entertainment complexes, Michael formed his own company, developing residential and commercial projects throughout Melbourne. He was formerly the CEO and majority shareholder of a property trust with $300 million of assets under management, leased to an ASX 200 listed company.

Michael’s capability extends to property acquisition and development structuring, property development analysis, real estate finance, syndications, property trusts and development.

Colin Aubrey
Director, Strategic Advisory & Food

Colin brings to with him more than 30 years of mergers and acquisition, divestment, broad strategy and financial, accounting, costing and budgeting, with experience gained in such industry sectors as food, consumer products, retail and local Government.

He has previously held senior positions with international leaders such as Philip Morris, General Electric, Red Tulip Chocolates, Campbell’s Soups, Stonnington City Council, Jorgenson Waring Foods and Bollé Australia.

Some of Colin’s notable achievements include a substantial involvement in the takeover of Arnott’s Biscuits, joint ventures with Spring Valley Fruit Juice and Melbourne Mushrooms, and the sale of the Kia-Ora brand for Campbell’s Soups. Colin held Directorships with each of these joint venture companies representing Campbell’s interests.

He implemented cash flow management and expense reductions whilst at Stonnington City Council which resulted in a bottom line turnaround and the doubling of funds available for capital expenditure.

Colin is a Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants and holds a Master degree in Business Administration from the Melbourne Business School at the University of Melbourne.

Peter Nicholls
Director, Business Development

Peter is a business executive with 20+ years’ experience in managing companies in the manufacturing, aerospace, aviation, construction and the hospitality sectors. As a ‘later lawyer’ Peter is also an admitted Australian Solicitor and has recently worked in the areas of commercial and corporate law, personal bankruptcy, corporate insolvency and commercial dispute resolution.

As past National Vice President of the Australian Industry Group and Past President of the Australian Industry and Defence Network, Peter has provided significant input into influencing the decisions of peak industry bodies and government. He has also led several government sponsored industry delegations throughout the USA, Japan, India, Europe and the UK.

Peter utilises his extensive commercial experience to provide commercial advice to BlueMount clients. He specialises in capital raising in the manufacturing and technology sectors.

Peter is also a Member of the Institution of Engineers Australia, is a Chartered Professional Engineer and holds an MBA.

Dr Darren J Grubb
Senior Advisor – Innovation & Life Sciences

Dr Grubb carries more than 20 years expertise in the Venture Capital, Funds Management and Life Science sector, encompassing funding, corporate strategies, clinical and operational planning, budgeting, M&A, and many other capabilities required for start-up and small to medium sized enterprises.

Previously, he held positions with IB Managers, Intersuisse, the Queensland BioCapital Fund and the Queensland Investment Corporation, as well as executive roles with various emerging life science companies. Notably, Dr Grubb engaged with the executives and the board of various innovation companies, leading to the execution of positive funding outcomes or enhanced corporate activities.

Dr Grubb has a PhD from Melbourne University, an MBA from the Queensland University of Technology and a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance.

Christine Cussen
Senior Advisor, Life Sciences & Cleantech

Christine has extensive leadership and international business experience, having worked as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in global pharmaceutical, entrepreneurial, ASX listed and biotechnology start-ups and in the cleantech, industrial and water sectors in Australia, North America, Europe and Asia.

More recently she worked with international investment and corporate advisory firm AFG Venture Group.

Christine brings very diverse commercial, strategic, entrepreneurial and governance skills to BlueMount Capital, having worked in the corporate, government, digital and innovation sectors.

Christine recently completed a Senior Executive MBA at Melbourne University and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has business and science qualifications from Swinburne University of Technology and Monash University, and is currently Non-Executive Director of Goulburn Valley Water, The Victorian Fisheries Authority, Musculoskeletal Australia as well as Chair of Camberwell Girls Grammar School.

Previously Christine was Non-Executive Director of the Gordon Institute of Technical and Further Education in Victoria and of Eiffel Technologies Limited. She was on the Board of Advisers of the Climate Alliance Group.

Clive M. Whittington
Senior Advisor, Metals Projects

Clive has in excess of 30 years’ experience in the nickel, aluminium and other base metals industries throughout Asia, living and working in both Australia and Hong Kong. Initially he worked with Inco Limited (now Vale S.A), followed by Alcoa, before operating his own companies that are based in both locations.

Clive currently works with primary producers on the marketing and distribution of nonferrous metals and chemicals throughout the region, covering London Metal Exchange hedging, marketing, the establishment of distribution channels, direct sales and customer service. In addition, he provides advisory services to investors in new and existing projects, covering metals technology development, industry analysis, global market research and feasibility studies to support business planning.

Presently much of Clive’s activity relates to the fast-growing Electric Vehicle battery related industries.

Clive is a Graduate in Metallurgy from RMIT, F.I.E. Aust, CPEng and FIMF (UK).

Geoff Dale
Senior Advisor, Strategy & Business Performance

Geoff specialises in helping businesses achieve sustainable results in any environment. His approach is focused on the combination of key business performance attributes of any successful organisation – Embracing Change, Strategic Focus, with a strong Operating System, and line-of-sight Accountability for Delivering Results.

By acting as personal advisor to Directors, CEOs and senior leaders, Geoff focuses on the best ways to implement and operationalise change and strategic business thinking to achieve exceptional results.

Previously, Geoff held senior global leadership roles in GE, one of the world’s ‘most admired companies’ – a business environment that demanded results. In these roles, he was involved with some of the best global thinking on business performance.

In recent times, he has been engaged in assignments involving change leadership, strategy development, building a shared culture, business simplification, outsourcing and shared services, creating a global procurement hub, improving performance review processes, improving Board Reporting and facilitating board and management annual strategy session, to mention a few.

Andrew Sartori
Principal Consultant, Acquisitions, Divestments & Corporate Sales

Andrew is a Principal Consultant in the areas of Acquisitions, Divestments and Corporate Sales.

Andrew has been involved in small to mid-tier acquisitions and divestments throughout his career working at some of Australia’s leading banks and boutique financial institutions. He specialises in transactions of up to AUD 50 million.

Andrew’s core focus is film and entertainment (digital & physical). Other fields of expertise include Fast Moving Consumer Goods, franchising, chemicals, manufacturing, biotechnology and health science. He works closely with both private equity and fund managers, assisting them with sourcing new procurement options, vendor openings and identification of hidden M&A opportunities.

Devon Li
Financial Analyst  & Accountant

Devon is a final year student pursuing a Masters in Accounting and International Finance at Deakin University.

Devon is undertaking a wide variety of Investment banking and Corporate Advisory tasks and aids the Executive Chairman and Managing Director.

Devon has strong interest in China stock markets and trading and cross border business flows between China and Australia.

Frank Hu

Frank is a Melbourne based analyst with experience in financial services, specialising in financial modelling and economic forecasting.

Frank has strong academic and research background in economics and finance. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) degree with first class honors from the University of Melbourne. He has also worked for Melbourne University and various other institutions with research specialization in economic analysis and forecasting.

Consultant Legal Counsel

Peter Nevile – B. Juris & L.L.B.
Senior Legal Counsel

Peter has practiced law for more than 45 years primarily in the commercial corporate areas with a significant involvement with inbound investment from a number of countries especially China. He has dealt with joint ventures, complex commercial arrangements and negotiations as well as advising on the acquisition and sale of numerous major business transactions, including hotels, hospitals, international engineering firms, agribusinesses and wineries. Peter also presently advises a number of start-up companies in the biomedical and technology areas and advises a number of charities and not for profit organisations.

Peter and his company have many years of experience in serving clients in China, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Dubai, Italy and the United States of America.

David Dudderidge – JD, L.L.B.
Legal Counsel – Corporate and litigation

David specialises in Commercial, Corporate and Commercial Litigation. He has extensive experience in commercial and business matters. Prior to being admitted as a lawyer David owned and operated a successful business for over 15 years.

David has acted for many local and international clients in a range of commercial transactions. They range from robotics to entertainment with a wide variety in between. They include setting up complex commercial structures and corporate advice on setting up businesses in Australia. He also acts in commercial litigation for a number of those clients.

Andrea Lucas L.L.B. MBA GAICD
Legal Counsel – Commercial

Andrea practices in commercial, corporate and property law. In addition to her experience as a lawyer, Andrea has extensive experience in senior commercial management and corporate governance, having held both executive and non-executive directorships in leading international organisations in aviation and tourism. She has had an extensive career in Asia in the international aviation and tourism industry.

She currently serves as Deputy Chair and Chair of the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee of a Victorian State Government established Regional Tourism Board and has previously served as Secretary, and on the Remuneration Committee. Andrea also presently serves as Vice President on the Victorian Board of a national Not-for-Profit organisation within the disability services sector. She has a focus on best practice governance and corporate compliance.