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Biographies of speakers

Ian Narev profile photo

Ian Narev

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer
Commonwealth Bank of Australia  

Ian commenced as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer on 1 December 2011.

Ian joined CBA in May 2007 as Group Head of Strategy, with responsibility for corporate strategy development, mergers and acquisitions, and major cross-business strategic initiatives. He led CBA’s acquisition of Bankwest in 2008 and investment in Aussie Home Loans.

In January 2009, Ian became Group Executive, Business and Private Banking, with responsibility for small and medium enterprise business banking, agri-banking, private banking and the CommSec retail brokerage and margin lending businesses.

Before CBA, Ian was a partner of McKinsey & Company. He worked in McKinsey’s New York, Sydney and Auckland offices from 1998-2007, becoming a global partner in 2003.

Ian holds a Masters of Law degree from Cambridge University and a Masters of International Relations degree from New York University.

Ian is actively involved in the not-for-profit sector and lives in Sydney with his wife and daughters.

Michael Blythe profile photo

Michael Blythe

Chief Economist and Managing Director, Economics
Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Michael is the Chief Economist and Managing Director, Economics at the Commonwealth Bank.  His extensive experience as an economist reflects thirty years working in economic policy and financial-market-related areas.

Michael’s role encompasses monitoring, analysing and forecasting trends in the Australian economy and financial markets.  In addition, he prepares a wide range of research material on matters of current interest.  In his capacity as the Commonwealth Bank’s Chief Economist, he is a regular conference presenter and media commentator on major economic developments and themes.  Michael and his team have consistently ranked in the top three for macroeconomic analysis advice in various industry polls.   Michael joined the Commonwealth Bank in late 1995. 

Michael works in the Institutional Banking & Markets division of the Commonwealth Bank.  This division is responsible for managing the Group’s relationships with major corporate, institutional and government clients and providing a full range of capital raising, transactional and risk management products and services.

After graduating in economics from the University of Sydney in 1982, he spent a total of 13 years in various roles within the Economic Group of the Reserve Bank of Australia.  He was the RBA's Senior Economist from 1991-95.  Key features of these roles involved the provision of economic analysis and policy advice.

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Adam Donaldson

Head of Fixed Income Strategy
Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Adam manages a team of credit research, ABS and quantitative analysts and is responsible for Commonwealth Bank’s fixed income strategy views.  The research team consistently ranks at or near the top of domestic fixed income research surveys, taking out KangaNews ‘Debt Research House of the Year’ award in 2011.  Adam and the team were ranked second in the most recent 2013 KangaNews Australian bond and semi-government category.

Adam has previously worked as Senior Economist for UBS Investment Bank in Sydney and Treasury Corporation of Victoria in Melbourne, where he was responsible for economic and fixed income research.  He also spent three years with the Commonwealth Government in Canberra.  He has Economics and Arts (International Relations) degrees from the Flinders University of South Australia and has completed an MBA at Melbourne Business School.

Claire Curtin profile photo

Claire Curtin

Associate Director
Sovereign and International Public Finance Ratings
Standard & Poor’s

Claire is an Associate Director within Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ Sovereign and International Public Finance Ratings group. Based in Sydney, Claire is responsible for a portfolio of sovereigns, state and local governments, and government-related entities in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific.

Claire joined the Sydney office in 2010, having previously spent five years as an analyst in Standard & Poor's London office covering financial institutions in Europe – primarily the U.K., Ireland, and The Netherlands.

Before joining Standard & Poor's in 2005, Claire worked as a credit analyst specialising in financial institutions for a range of companies in London, Dublin, and Sydney.

Claire holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the CFA Institute.

Stephen Knight profile photo

Stephen Knight

Chief Executive,
NSW Treasury Corporation

Stephen is Chief Executive of NSW Treasury Corporation (TCorp), the central borrowing authority for NSW, which is the largest of the Australian State economies.  TCorp has a balance sheet of around A$70 billion and an annual funding programme of around A$8 - $10 billion. TCorp also manages debt and asset portfolios on behalf of over 140 client authorities. Debt portfolios managed for clients total A$45 billion, with TCorp managing a further A$20 billion of investment portfolios on behalf of client authorities. 

Stephen joined TCorp in 1996 with 16 years experience in financial markets in the banking and investment banking sectors.  From 1992 to 1996 he was Head of Treasury and Capital Markets at Union Bank of Switzerland (Australia), where he was responsible for all financial markets activities for UBS in Australia.  Prior to this Stephen held senior Treasury roles for ANZ Banking Group, National Mutual Royal Bank, and Australian Bank Ltd.

Stephen is a director of AFMA Ltd, member of the FSC Investment Board Commitee and the NSW Advisory Council for CEDA.

Craig Michaels profile photo

Craig Michaels

Associate Director
Sovereign and International Public Finance Ratings
Standard & Poor’s

Craig is based in Melbourne and is responsible for analysing the credit standing of sovereign and regional governments in Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Prior to joining Standard & Poor’s, Craig was a senior economist at ANZ Banking Group with a focus on the Australian economy. Before this, he was a senior economist at the Victorian Treasury, where his roles included economic and revenue forecasting, economic modelling, and providing policy advice to government in the areas of tax, education and health reform.

Craig holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical, Honours), a Bachelor of Commerce and a Postgraduate Diploma in Economics at the University of Melbourne.

Melvin Nunes profile photo

Melvin Nunes

Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Western Australian Treasury Corporation

Melvin is a member of WATC’s Executive and in his substantive role, is directly responsible for its Corporate Treasury, Finance, Administration and Treasury Operations and Information and Communications Technology Branches.

Melvin has over 30 years financial markets experience and, his current role also includes responsibility for WATC’s domestic and overseas borrowings, investments, foreign exchange and asset and liability management.

Melvin holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Western Australia.  He also completed the Melbourne Business School’s Advanced Management Program in 2007.  He is a Certified Practising Accountant (“CPA”), a Fellow of the Finance and Treasury Association (“FFTP”), Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (“Finsia”), Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (“GAICD”) and an Accredited Dealer of the Australian Financial Markets Association.

John Powell profile photo

John Powell

Director, Financial Markets and Client Services
South Australian Government Financing Authority

John was appointed Director, Financial Markets and Client Services of the South Australian Government Financing Authority (SAFA) in 2009. His responsibilities include oversight of SAFA's activity in financial markets, portfolio management, and relationships with government agencies. John was a Senior Executive at Adelaide Bank from 1994-2006, and held various roles including Treasurer and General Manager, Strategic Development. John has had over 20 years experience in banking and financial markets, having also worked for Rismark International, DBSM, and BZW.

Laura Fan profile photo

Laura Fan

Head of Funding, Treasury Division
Inter-American Development Bank

Laura is responsible for overseeing the bond issuance and derivatives operations in the international capital markets and Investor Relations Program at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). 

Prior to her role with IADB, she worked at Societe Generale Securities, New York, in various positions, including Quantitative Analysis and Marketing, and ending as a Vice President, Fixed Income Sales.  She was responsible for selling European fixed income products to U.S. institutional investors.

She holds a Master of Arts degree in Economics from Columbia University, New York, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics along with a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Pennsylvania State University.

Pierre Katerdjian profile photo

Pierre Katerdjian

General Manager, Global Head of Fixed Income
Commonwealth Bank

Pierre is a career fixed income markets specialist with 12+ years working experience in the key areas that compose Capital Markets: Trading, Sales and Portfolio Risk Management. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UNSW, majoring in Economics & Finance, and a Master of Applied Finance degree from Macquarie University. Prior to joining CBA in early 2012, he worked at Westpac as the Head of Credit Markets, and the Head of Portfolio Trading CPM. Before that he held markets trading and sales roles at a number of large global investment banks.

Grant Spencer profile photo

Grant Spencer

Deputy Governor and Head of Financial Stability
Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Grant is Deputy Governor and Head of Financial Stability for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ).  Previous positions held by Grant at the RBNZ include Assistant Governor and Head of Economics Department (2004 to 2007) and Chief Manager of the Financial Markets Department.  Between 1995 and 2004 he held various roles with the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) including Head of Strategy and Business Development (NZ); Executive Manager for Group Strategy; and New Zealand Treasurer for ANZ Investment Bank.  He also worked at the International Monetary Fund between 1990 and 1993, including a period as Alternate Executive Director.  Grant has spent time as a Non-Executive Director of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research and a Council member and Vice President of the New Zealand Association of Economists.  He holds a BA (Hons) from Victoria University of Wellington and an MSc from the London School of Economics.

Richard Grace profile photo

Richard Grace

Chief Currency Strategist and Head of International Economics
Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Richard has been with Commonwealth Bank for almost 8 years. He has 20 years’ work experience as a currency strategist and economist, including two years working in London. He holds a Bachelor and Masters degree in Economics from Macquarie University, where he also spent some time working in the Asia Pacific Research Institute. Richard is an Honorary Associate in the Finance Discipline at the University of Technology Sydney.

Lachlan Shaw profile photo

Lachlan Shaw

Director - Commodities
Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Lachlan leads Commonwealth Bank’s mining and energy commodity research, featuring industry analysis and price projections across bulk, base and precious metals and energy commodities. Lachlan has been with Commonwealth Bank almost 6 years, and has over 15 years experience in economic analysis and forecasting in government and financial markets. Lachlan was ranked Top 5 commodity research analyst in the 2012 Peter Lee Australian investor survey.

Prior to joining Commonwealth Bank in November 2007, Lachlan worked for 6 years as an economist with Department of the Treasury in Canberra where his responsibilities included analysis and forecasting of the Australian economy for the Australian Government, in particular in the non-rural commodity sector. Prior to Treasury, Lachlan held research roles in equities research and equity capital markets for HSBC Securities and ECM Limited in Sydney. 

Lachlan holds a first class honours degree in Economics from Monash University and has completed studies towards Masters in Economics and the CFA program.

George Confos profile photo

George Confos

George Confos
Executive General Manager, Business and Corporate Finance
Commonwealth Bank of Australia

George joined the Commonwealth Bank in 1997 and has held various senior roles within the Institutional Banking and Markets business before being appointed as Executive General Manager of Business and Corporate Finance in 2014.

In this role he is responsible for delivering dynamic banking solutions to improve clients’ businesses and support economic development for the corporate finance division in Institutional Bank & Markets division. This includes corporate and commercial lending, origination and structuring of specialised lending portfolios and origination and distribution of debt securities.

George commenced his career as a Chartered Accountant after completing a Bachelor of Economics (Sydney University), majoring in Accounting and Economics.

George is an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

William (Bill) Whitford profile photo

William (Bill) Whitford

Managing Director
Treasury Corporation of Victoria

William was appointed as Managing Director for Treasury Corporation of Victoria (TCV) in July 2003. TCV is the central borrowing authority for the State of Victoria, and currently manages a balance sheet in excess of A$40 billion and a yearly borrowing requirement of around A$7.0 billion.

William has more than 30 years experience in financial markets including treasury and financial market roles with Banque National de Paris and State Bank of South Australia, and the financing of public infrastructure with the South Australian Government. 

He holds an MBA from Adelaide University Graduate School of Management, is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, is the Deputy Chairman of the Market Governance Committee of the Australian Financial Markets Association, and a non-executive Director of the Rural Finance Corporation of Victoria.

Richard Jackson profile photo

Richard Jackson

Executive General Manager, Funding & Markets
Queensland Treasury Corporation

Richard joined Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) in 2002 as Executive General Manager Funding and Markets and since that time has been responsible for all financial markets’ activities undertaken by the State’s Central Financing Authority (CFA).

QTC has the largest balance sheet of all the Australian CFAs and Richard’s principal responsibilities include raising and managing debt in excess of A$86 (US$79) billion, managing a short term Cash Fund and other financial assets totalling over A$20 (US$18) billion, and providing financial risk management advice to a wide range of customers.  Richard is a senior member of QTC’s management structure and forms part of the organisational management team reporting to the Chief Executive.

Richard is an experienced financial markets professional who has worked in several senior Treasury positions in Australia and Asia. His previous positions have included Executive Director, Treasury at Jardine Fleming Bank in Hong Kong where he established and managed a range of cash and derivative portfolios denominated in Asian currencies, Director of Financial Risk Management at Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore where he developed a successful swap and derivative business throughout Asia, and Executive Director and Treasurer at Security Pacific Australia Limited based in Sydney.

John Hindmarsh profile photo

John Hindmarsh

Director and Chief Executive Officer

John was appointed a Director and Chief Executive Officer of TASCORP in May 2002. John has over 30 years’ experience in the debt capital markets arranging finance for businesses, managing investment portfolios, and managing the risks associated with borrowing and investing activities. He has a masters degree in business administration, has been a part-time lecturer in corporate finance at the University of Auckland and was previously a director of the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund. He is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Simon Duggan profile photo

Simon Duggan

General Manager
Macroeconomic Policy Division
Australian Treasury

Simon is the General Manager of the Australian Treasury’s Macroeconomic Policy Division, advising the Government on monetary policy, fiscal policy, financial market conditions and productivity.  Simon’s previous position was General Manager of the Australian Treasury’s Domestic Economy Division, where he produced the Government’s economic forecasts.  Prior to this, Simon was Senior Adviser to Australia’s Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund during the global financial crisis, an economic adviser to a previous Australian Treasurer, Manager of Treasury’s Development Banks Unit, and an analyst in Treasury’s Budget Policy and Debt Management divisions.

Robert Nicholl profile photo

Robert Nicholl

Chief Executive Officer
Australian Office of Financial Management

Rob was appointed CEO of the Australian Office of Financial Management in January 2011. Prior to that he gained extensive public and financial policy experience during a number of senior executive appointments within the Tasmanian Government – most notably in its Treasury (10 years as a Deputy Secretary) and Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources. During this period he also gained significant commercial and regulatory experience taking a lead role in major whole-of-government projects. In 2000, Rob worked as Senior Advisor to the then Tasmania Deputy Premier.

Prior to joining the public service, he spent several years as a research fellow in the Department of Economics at the University of Tasmania. He has also worked as a consultant. Rob has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Tasmania and a Masters of Economics from the University of Alberta.

Heike Reichelt profile photo

Heike Reichelt

Head of Investor Relations and New Products
The World Bank

Heike is Head of Investor Relations and New Products at the World Bank. The World Bank borrows around USD30 billion annually in the international capital markets. Her team’s responsibilities include managing relationships with bond investors and rating agencies, and developing new debt products for investors – such as for climate change mitigation and adaptation through products like World Bank Green Bonds. Her team performs similar functions for the International Finance Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), for which the World Bank acts as treasury manager.

Heike plays a key role in the World Bank’s outreach to the sustainable and impact investing community in Europe and the US.

She has also been a part of the World Bank Treasury's Sovereign Investments Partnerships Program for central banks.

Heike has 20 years of experience in finance including the areas of export finance and capital markets.

Before joining the World Bank in 2000, she held various positions in the German development agency Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau (KfW), and worked at European commercial banks.

Andrew Hagan profile photo

Andrew Hagan

Head of Risk Policy and Balance Sheet
New Zealand Debt Management Office

Andy’s role covers responsibility for NZDMO’s risk management and compliance plus a wider role looking at overall Crown balance sheet risk and composition. Andy has performed a number of roles during his 9 years at NZDMO. These have mainly focused on transaction execution and portfolio management. In the 18 months prior to his current appointment Andy was responsible for managing NZDMO’s Portfolio Management Group with responsibility for NZDMO’s debt issuance operations and strategy, and other transactional activity. Andy has a Masters degree in Finance and is a CFA charter holder.

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Dr David Orsmond

Deputy Head of Economic Analysis Dept.
Reserve Bank of Australia

David is Deputy Head of Economic Analysis Department at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), the department responsible for monitoring and forecasting trends in the international and domestic economies. He also heads up the RBA’s Regional and Industry Analysis liaison program.

Prior to his appointment at the RBA, David worked at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra and at the International Monetary Fund in Washington. In 1999-2001, he was appointed as the IMF Resident Representative to Ukraine to oversee its reform program. He later worked on economic issues in the Pacific islands and was the IMF Mission Chief for the Solomon Islands.

David holds a PhD from Duke University (USA) and degrees from the University of Sydney and the Kiel Institute of World Economics (Germany).

Simon Maidment profile photo

Simon Maidment

Deputy Group Treasurer
Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Simon is Deputy Group Treasurer for the Commonwealth Bank where he has responsibility for the Group’s wholesale funding and liquidity management including senior, secured and subordinated debt issuance.

Commonwealth Bank is Australia’s largest bank by market capitalisation and is an active issuer of debt across a multitude of markets and currencies around the world.

Simon joined Commonwealth Bank in 2009 as Head of Group Funding.  Prior to joining Commonwealth Bank, Simon was Managing Director and Head of Fixed Income for a major investment bank in Australia where, over 17 years, he held roles in across the sales, trading and debt capital markets divisions.

Scott Rundell profile photo

Scott Rundell

Chief Credit Strategist
Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Scott has over 20 years’ experience in financial markets, specifically in credit and debt markets, both in Australia and throughout Asia, with an emphasis on portfolio management, fundamental credit analysis, and relative value analysis in both the high yield and investment grade space.  Prior to joining Commonwealth Bank as Chief Credit Strategist, Scott held the position of Head of Credit Research and High Yield Portfolio Manager at ING Investment Management.  During his 12 years at ING IM, Scott also held the position of Chairman of ING IM’s Asia Pacific Credit Committee.  Scott has also worked for ANZ Investment Bank and BNP Paribas.

Scott has a Bachelor of Economics from Latrobe University and a Masters of Finance from RMIT University.

Stephen Pearce profile photo

Stephen Pearce

Chief Financial Officer
Fortescue Metals Group

Stephen joined Fortescue Metals Group in March 2010 as Chief Financial Officer, a role which oversees the core financial departments including Tax, Funding, Investor Relations, Finance, Company Secretarial and Shipping.  Prior to 2013, Stephen was also responsible for non-finance departments comprising Information Technology, Strategic Procurement and Supply, Infrastructure Services and Human Resources.

In his time with Fortescue, Stephen has built a robust finance function to support the company’s rapid growth to a top 20 ASX listed entity. He has enabled major transformational growth through numerous high-level funding initiatives such as the US$5 billion Syndicated Term Loan, completed in September 2012, and in excess of US$7 billion of bonds to fund the rapid expansion to 155 million tonnes per annum.  

Prior to joining Fortescue, Stephen served as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Southern Cross Electrical Engineering Limited and Chief Financial Officer of Alinta Limited. Stephen has previously served as Chairman of Amadeus Energy Ltd, and Chairman of Surtron Technologies Pty Ltd. Until 2012, Stephen served as a member of the Western Australian Business and Industry Committee for the Salvation Army for 7 years.  He is currently a non-Executive Director of the Lions Eye Institute.

Stephen received a Bachelor of Business from RMIT and a Graduate Diploma in Company Secretarial Practice.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a Chartered Secretary and Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Asrar Rahman

Group Treasurer
Woolworths Limited

Asrar’s key responsibilities are to manage the Woolworths Group’s Treasury function and insurance program.

Treasury is involved in the management of Woolworths’ liquidity and funding requirements, foreign exchange and interest rate risk, and relationships with credit rating agencies.  Asrar is also responsible for the group’s capital management initiatives.

Following his initial years as a chartered accountant, Asrar has gained over 17 years’ experience in corporate treasury. He joined Woolworths in 2003 after working at Westfield, and prior to that in Adelaide with Faulding, Normandy Mining and Arthur Andersen.

Asrar has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide and is a chartered accountant. He is also a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia, and the Finance & Treasury Association.

Michael Larkin profile photo

Michael Larkin

Group Treasurer
Lend Lease Group

Michael joined Lend Lease as Group Treasurer in July 2012.  Since joining Lend Lease, Michael has refreshed the treasury team, completed a global review of Lend Lease’s funding strategy and treasury activities, successfully closed financings in the UK bank and A$ bond markets and kicked off a treasury transformation project, which is currently in detailed planning. 

Michael has over 20 years’ international corporate finance experience, gained in both blue chip corporates and investment banking.  He played an integral role in Asciano’s turnaround and transformation into an investment grade, top 50 corporate against the backdrop of the GFC. Michael joined Asciano from Rinker Group Limited, an ASX 20 and NYSE listed construction materials group.  Michael was appointed Treasurer of Rinker upon its demerger from CSR Limited, where he has worked in the treasury & strategy department for four years.  Prior to joining CSR, Michael spent 8 years at Bankers Trust Australia.  Michael has a Bachelor of Economics and an MBA.

John Collins profile photo

John Collins

Chief Executive Officer and Director
Western Australian Treasury Corporation

John was appointed CEO of WATC in October 2009.  He has over thirty years experience in banking and finance, including ten years with Cargill, Inc., two with the State Bank of South Australia, and fourteen at ANZ, most recently as CEO of ANZ Panin Bank in Jakarta.   He is accredited by AFMA (since 1998), is a graduate of the AICD Directors Course, has a BSBA from the Ohio State University and an MBA from the University of St Thomas in St Paul, Minnesota.

Joe Ostojich profile photo

Joe Ostojich

Executive Director - Strategic Projects
Government of Western Australia

Department of State Development

Joe has been working for the Department of State Development since 2006, helping to develop major resource-based projects that are of strategic value for the State. He is currently the Executive Director of Strategic Projects in the Department.

His two most recent success stories include the Gorgon Gas Venture on Barrow Island and the Roy Hill Project that connects the iron ore mine in the Chichester Ranges to port facilities in Port Hedland.

Joe is currently working on a variety of new developments that include various iron ore and infrastructure projects, as well as the planning associated with port projects in Dampier and Port Hedland. Prior to joining the State Government, Joe worked for the Australian Federal Government in the area of international trade and risk management. He was responsible for underwriting trade transactions and financing capital projects that enabled Australian exporters to access markets that would not otherwise be available to them.