John Kain was appointed Chairman of Blue Sky Alternative Investments Limited (ASX: BLA) in 2011. Blue Sky is an alternative asset manager investing across private equity, venture capital, private real estate, real assets (water, infrastructure and agriculture) and hedge funds. He also serves as Chairman of the listed investment company Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund Limited (ASX: BAF).
John is a corporate lawyer with over 20 years of experience in corporate advisory, private equity and mergers and acquisitions. John is the managing director of Kain Lawyers, an innovative legal consulting company specialising in complex transactions, disputes and advice.
John grew up on a farm at Hamley Bridge in South Australia’s mid north. He graduated from Adelaide University and was admitted to legal practice in South Australia in 1990. He was subsequently admitted to practice in England and New South Wales. He has served on a number of boards, including as a director of public charitable trusts, as chairman of a Commonwealth government advisory panel and as director of a number of private companies. He is also a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Robert Shand joined Blue Sky in 2010 as part of its private equity team where he was responsible for sourcing and executing investment opportunities, as well as managing and exiting those investments. In this capacity, Robert has served on the board of a broad range of Blue Sky’s private equity portfolio companies. Robert also played a key role in the listing of Blue Sky in 2012.
Robert was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Blue Sky in January 2013. In that role, he was responsible for driving all aspects of the company’s growth, including playing a pivotal role in the listing of the Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund (ASX: BAF) in June 2014. He was also responsible for all of Blue Sky’s middle and back office functions, including finance, distribution, funds administration, investor relations, marketing, HR and IT. As part of this role, he managed Blue Sky’s network of offices, including the establishment and growth of Blue Sky’s North American offices.
Prior to joining Blue Sky, Robert was a management consultant at Bain & Company working in their Sydney, Tokyo, London and Johannesburg offices. In this role, Robert advised a range of large Australian and global businesses on business strategy across a range of industries, including financial services, telecommunications, retail, consumer products, resources, and private equity.
Robert holds a Bachelor of Commerce (first class honours) and a Bachelor of Laws (first class honours) from the University of Queensland. He has also completed the Australian Institute of Company Director’s company directors’ course.
Tim Wilson is the managing director of Blue Sky Private Equity and is responsible for leading the private equity team, sourcing and negotiating deals, advising portfolio companies on financing, entry and exit negotiation and building the Blue Sky network. He is also a director on a range of boards, both within and outside Blue Sky’s portfolio companies.
Tim has worked in private equity for the last seventeen years through investment banking roles in London, Sydney and Brisbane. He began his career as a commercial lawyer in Brisbane with Minter Ellison before moving to London where he worked for nearly seven years in investment banking roles with Paribas and Credit Suisse First Boston. Tim then returned to Australia and worked in finance roles with Babcock amp; Brown, Westpac and Investec before joining Blue Sky.
Tim holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland, a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment, and a Master of Science in Finance from the London Business School. He has also undertaken the Private Equity and Venture Capital course at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA.
Alexander McNab joined Blue Sky in 2009 as a partner in Blue Sky’s private equity business. In that capacity, Alexander is responsible for sourcing potential investments, leading due diligence, negotiating and executing transactions and managing Blue Sky’s portfolio of private equity investments.
Alexander also takes a broader investing role across Blue Sky, sitting on the board or investment committee of Blue Sky Venture Capital, Blue Sky Private Real Estate, Investment Science and Blue Sky Water Partners.
Prior to joining Blue Sky, Alexander spent eight years at Bain & Company, a global strategy consulting firm. During his time at Bain, Alexander formulated corporate and business unit strategies, led performance improvement projects and influenced management teams to drive results, working with clients across a range of industries, including financial services, telecommunications, retail, consumer products and technology.
Alexander holds a Masters of Business Administration (with Distinction) from INSEAD, and a Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland. He is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Alex is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Company.
Kim Morison is a senior executive with a wealth of experience in irrigated agribusiness, derivatives markets, and the international trade of soft commodities.
Kim joined Blue Sky Water Partners in 2010 as Managing Director and Investment Director with responsibilities across Blue Sky’s real assets portfolios, including water, water infrastructure, and agriculture. Prior to BSWP, Kim held various roles in Australian agribusiness including General Manager (Marketing) at CSR Sugar, Australia’s largest sugar milling and refining company; Division Director and Joint Head of the international cotton trading business at Macquarie Bank; General Manager of Colly Cotton Marketing, a division of the Twynam Agricultural Group; and Commercial Manager at Colly Cotton Limited, Australia’s largest cotton growing company at the time.
Kim holds a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance (Securities Institute of Australia), a Graduate Diploma of Agricultural Economics (University of New England) and a Bachelor of Commerce (University of Western Australia).
Elaine Stead is the Managing Director of Blue Sky’s venture capital division and is responsible for the management of the Blue Sky venture capital funds and portfolio. Since joining Blue Sky, she has launched two funds and deployed more than $80 million across early stage expansion investments. Elaine also sits on the boards of a number of Blue Sky’s venture capital portfolio companies.
Elaine has worked for a number of years as a venture capitalist and management consultant to the venture capital industry across Australia and the United States. As an Investment Manager at CM Capital Investments, a venture capital fund with $250 million under management and a dual focus on healthcare and digital technology, Elaine focused on investment origination and portfolio management as well as portfolio company performance. Elaine has also worked in strategic management consulting, with both NASDAQ and ASX listed and private companies based in Australia and the US.
Originally trained as a stem cell biologist, Elaine has since spent the last decade within the innovation and investment spectrum, initially in technology commercialisation assisting public institutions and founders translate and commercialise their technology across a broad range of industry sectors including agriculture, healthcare and IT.
Elaine has a strong academic foundation holding a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Adelaide. She is actively involved in Australia’s professional venture capital community, as a member of AVCALs venture capital stakeholder committee and as a member of the investment committee of ANUConnect Venture Capital, the Australian National University’s venture capital fund.
Nicholas Dignam is an Investment Director at Blue Sky Private Equity and is responsible for originating new investment opportunities, working with portfolio companies to deliver growth and managing exit processes. Since joining Blue Sky, he has he has led the investments into several private equity portfolio companies (including HPS) and was instrumental in the successful sale of Readify to Telstra in June 2016. Nicholas currently sits on the board of a number of Blue Sky Private Equity portfolio companies.
Prior to joining Blue Sky, Nicholas spent six years with Catalyst Investment Managers, a Sydney based mid-market private equity firm. During this period, Nicholas worked across a broad range of sectors including consumer goods, retail, e-commerce, mining services and trade distribution. Before Catalyst, Nicholas spent three years with Ernst & Young in the mergers and acquisitions group.
Nicholas holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland, and a Masters of Applied Finance from Queensland University of Technology.
Independent Non-executive Director
Michael Gordon has over thirty years’ experience in the financial services and funds management industry, in Australia, the UK and Asia. Most recently, Michael was Group Executive for Perpetual Investments where he was responsible for over $30 billion of funds under management for institutional and retail clients. In this role, Michael was responsible for all aspects of investment management, distribution, products and operations. Prior to Perpetual, Micahel held roles as global Chief Investment Officer (CIO) at BNP Paribas Investment Partners in London, global CIO at Fidelity International worldwide and as joint Managing Director and CIO for Schroders in Australia.
Independent Non-executive Director
Philip Hennessy was the Queensland Chairman of KPMG from 2000 until he retired from the partnership in 2013. Philip also chaired KPMG’s Audit Committee Institute in Queensland which provided a forum for chairs, audit committee chairs and non-executive directors to focus on emerging trends and best practices for public company boards. Philip is currently an independent director and advisor to a range of public, private and not-for-profit organisations, and has served on the board of the Blue Sky Alternatives Access Fund (ASX: BAF) since it listed in 2014. Philip will retire from this role on Wednesday, 31 May 2017.