Simeon Burnett

CEO/Co-Founder, Snowball Effect. 

Simeon is passionate about developing New Zealand businesses into successful international ventures. He spent his first year as manager of a small water reticulation business in Auckland. Then from 2006 to 2015, he held a number of different roles at Fonterra, gaining extensive experience in company valuation, external fundraising, and commercial agreement structuring. More recently he was involved with international business strategy development and financial portfolio management. He is also involved with Lightning Lab and Flying Kiwi Angels. Simeon stepped into the business full time in December 2015.

Andy Symons

Andy Symons, Innovation Partner – Financial Services Sector Lead PwC

Andy is the New Zealand territory leader for Financial Services and brings more than 20 years experience in innovation commercialization, retail banking, loyalty and insurance to the firm. Andy’s previous roles include Head of Customer Led Design, Innovation and Digital capability at National Australia Bank, Director of Retail at Bank of New Zealand and CEO of Loyalty New Zealand. He is active in New Zealand’s startup and angel investment community, and has a background in expert decision software in marketing and credit management.

Binu Paul

Binu Paul is founder of FinTech start up SavvyKiwi, a pioneering initiative and a New Zealand first, that helps users maximize their retirement savings. The SavvyKiwi app is a fully automated investment-decision support system that empowers users to make unbiased financial decisions.
Binu has spent the last 19 years in funds management and investment research, with the recent 4 years in technology development and commercialisation. Binu is also a part-time consultant to the Financial Markets Authority. Trained at the Wharton business school on corporate strategy execution, Binu has also gained MBA and Bachelor of Technology degrees. Binu organises Finnotec, New Zealand’s only dedicated FinTech conference series, and is passionate about establishing a FinTech community in New Zealand.

Mark Pascall

Mark has spent the last twenty years immersed in complex internet-based technology solutions. He is passionate about helping organisations to understand emerging technology trends and their potential for business transformation. He has presented at conferences all over New Zealand on topics including the Internet of Things, digital disruption and the Blockchain.

In 2016 he ran the conference in Wellington and Auckland and has been on a mission to educate/inspire business people and put New Zealand at the centre of the blockchain disruption.

He is currently director of, co-founder of and a Blockchain trainer at Tech Futures Lab. He has also recently been accepted onto the SingularityU New Zealand local faculty training which will involve becoming accredited to deliver ongoing blockchain content to continue the mission of helping New Zealand understand, adapt to and thrive in an exponential world.

Mark is also the organizer of the third blockchain conference to run in New Zealand - www.TheBlockchain.NZ in May 2017.

Mitchell Pham

MITCHELL PHAM is a business & technology entrepreneur.  He is a cofounder and director of the Augen Software Group, chairman of their operation in Vietnam, and cofounder of the Kiwi Connection tech hub – a platform for New Zealand technology businesses to accelerate presence & engagement in South East Asia.

Mitchell is experienced in information management, software products & services, sales & marketing, international operations, strategy development, collaborative partnerships and business growth through innovation.  Internationally, he is recognised in leadership as a World Class New Zealander by KEA Global, an Asia 21 Fellow by the Asia Society, and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

In industry leadership, Mitchell is Chair of the NZ Technology Industry Association (NZTech) and the NZ Financial Innovation & Technology Association (FinTechNZ), co-founder of the NZ Health-IT Cluster (NZHIT) and former board member of Health Informatics New Zealand (HiNZ).  He is a New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) Beachheads Advisor in technology business for the ASEAN region.  

In public service, Mitchell is an advisor at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Asia New Zealand Foundation, and trustee of the Auckland Refugee Family Trust (ARFT) and the Foundation for Social Responsibility NZ (FOStR-NZ). He was formerly a trustee of Refugee Services Aotearoa (now merged with NZ Red Cross) and the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

In business community, Mitchell is a member of the Ethnic People in Commerce (EPICNZ) network, the NZ Asian Leaders (NZAL) forum, and the NZ Superdiversity Council.  Internationally, he is a member of the Strategic Alliance Vietnamese Ventures International (SAVVi) network and the Executive Committee of the global Vietnamese diaspora business network (BAOOV).

Stuart Christie

Stuart is an Investment Manager for the NZ Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) and the Chair the AI Forum of NZ.

Stuart has a strong mix of entrepreneurial, corporate and investment management experience gained from 30 years in the capital markets, banking and telecommunications industries. He is an experienced entrepreneur, mentor & investor. He was the founder of the mobile banking and payments company M-Com which was established in 2000 and sold to Fiserv (USA) in 2011. Prior to sale, M-Com was ranked as the world's best mobile banking platform by a variety of international research agencies, deployed by 1,000s of banks and used by millions of end users. 

Prior to M-Com Stuart held a variety of senior management roles in the capital markets, banking and telecommunications industries including Merrill Lynch, ANZ Bank, Telecom Mobile, Advantage Group and InvestmentLink in NZ and the Derivatives Broker GNI Ltd in the UK. He was also Vice President of the NZ Wireless Data Forum.

Stuart has an MBA from the Bradford School of Management in the UK and a B Hort. Sci. (marketing) from Massey University.

Mary Leung

Mary Leung, CFA Head, Standards and Advocacy, Asia Pacific CFA Institute Mary joined the CFA Institute as Head, Standards and Advocacy, Asia Pacific in 2016. She is responsible for the development, maintenance and promotion of capital markets policy perspectives in the APAC region. She also oversees the promotion and development of CFA Institute professional standards in the region.

Mary has over 20 years of experience in the global financial industry, having worked in corporate finance, wealth management advisory and fund management. She joined from Coutts & Co, where she was Director of Business Development and Management for North Asia. Prior to that she was Executive Director at UBS AG, where she led the Corporate Advisory Group in Hong Kong. With experience in both the buy- and sell-sides, Mary has a strong understanding of the drivers and dynamics of different investor groups, including institutional investors, corporates, family offices, asset owners, and high net worth individuals.

Mary graduated from Peterhouse, Cambridge with a degree in Engineering. She is a CFA  charter holder and speaks English, Putonghua and Cantonese.

Deemple Budhia

Deemple is a partner at Russell McVeagh, specialising in financial regulation and debt capital markets.  

She has advised banks, listed companies and other financial entities on a diverse cross-section of regulatory issues ranging from the Financial Markets Conduct Act, Financial Advisers Act, Reserve Bank Banking Handbook, Non-Bank Deposit Takers Act, AML/CFT Act and the CCCFA. 

In addition, Deemple acts for issuers and arrangers on various debt funding programmes including corporate bond and regulatory capital issuances, securitisation, covered bonds, US, European and domestic commercial-paper programmes and US private placements.

Sam Stubbs

Sam Stubbs was most recently CEO of Tower Investments, a KiwiSaver default provider. Before that he was Managing Director of Hanover Group, and spent 10 years working for Goldman Sachs in London and Hong Kong. 

He previously worked for NatWest Markets, Fay, Richwhite and IBM NZ. He has been a Board Member of the Financial Services Council, and a member of the Government Taskforce on Financial Services.

Sam has an MA (Hons) from the University of Auckland.

Sam is the father of two children. He dreams of Simplicity and sailing %)

Neil Roberts

Neil Roberts is the Founder and Joint CEO of Harmoney, Australasia’s largest peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform and the first company to receive a P2P lending licence in New Zealand. In only two years Harmoney has facilitated $300 million in lending via its marketplace. Educated in Wales, Neil is a financial services business leader with an impressive record of growing businesses. 

He launched Pacific Retail Finance Direct in 2001, achieving $100 million in profit over five years. Ultimately heading the business as GM, Neil was responsible for over 400 staff and a balance sheet of $750m in assets. He then joined financial solutions business FlexiGroup, as Head of Sales and Business Development. In the role he led a team of more than 80 with $30m profit and $200 million sales responsibility, driving development and delivering double digit revenue growth. 

Neil has a passion for digital disruption and the use of tech to drive frictionless customer experience. In creating Harmoney, he brought back together a core team of people that had been led by him before. He is regarded as an industry leader for peer-to-peer in Australasia.

Gabriel Walker

Gabriel Walker, Chief Digital Officer Latipay

“As a digital evangelist Gabriel spends most of his time watching the future take shape across the vast digital landscape.  The rest he spends working with people to understand how to secure brand value from where technology is headed.

Gabriel is a digital native having spent most of his career leading cyber capabilities development teams for Intelligence agencies.  After immigrating to NZ in 2014, he served as a digital guide for New Zealand intelligence agencies instructing them in the ways of business digitalisation and transformation.”

Carmen Casagranda

Carmen is driven by a passion for designing and developing customer focussed solutions that enable connectivity, collaboration and innovation using technology.  With a strong focus on digital innovation and its role in transforming business models, Carmen has a business technology background with over 12 years’ experience in financial services in the London Market and NZ.  Prior to this Carmen held senior consulting roles at KPMG and customer intelligence consultancy Experian. 

Stephen Macaskill

With a decade of experience in monetary theory and traditional financial markets, Stephen dived head first into the cryptocurrency space when his precious metals company was the first in the industry to accept bitcoin as a payment method. He is now the CEO of Digital Asset Exchange, a platform for Kiwis to trade blockchain-based digital assets, and President of the Blockchain Association of New Zealand. 

Stephen is also an Alumni Board Member of the Foundation for Economic Education, an organisation dedicated to the education of Austrian Economics. He has made presentations across the US on the topics of bitcoin, blockchain technology, financial markets, and open source solutions including: Money 20/20, Denver Bitcoin Center, Freedom Fest, Liberty on the Rocks, and the Foundation for Economic Education.

Amy Fletcher

Amy Fletcher (Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations at The University of Canterbury), specializes in science, technology and environmental policy. 

Prior to taking up a Lecturer’s position at Canterbury in 2000, she worked in the United States Congress as a legislative assistant on telecommunications and technology issues.  She is an Associate Editor for Politics and Life Sciences Journal (Cambridge University Press) and an expert panel member with TechCast Global (based in Washington, DC), and has been an invited speaker on technology and society issues.  

She is the lead academic on the recently launched Futures Studies Research Network at Canterbury, which focuses on interdisciplinary research related to anticipatory governance of emerging technologies.  Her current research focuses on the social and policy implications of exponential technological change and the workforce.