Wingate has built a leadership team with an extraordinary range of skills and experience, sharing a common set of values and investment approach.

There has been a notable stability in the core team over many years, while new people have been regularly added to broaden and deepen capacity.

Management Team

Farrel Meltzer

Group Managing Director

B.Comm, B.Acc (Cum Laude), Adv. Dip Banking (Cum Laude), Chartered Accountant

Farrel founded Wingate in 2004 after a highly successful career as an investment banker, including positions as head of ANZ Private Bank and Group Managing Director of Investec Bank (Australia) Ltd.

Recognised as one of Australia’s outstanding specialised financial service innovators and business builders, Farrel’s experience spans property investment & financing, listed equities, corporate and consumer debt and private equity.

Farrel is an advisor to and confidant of many of Australia’s largest private investment groups and families and serves on several boards, investment & risk management committees.

Richard Blumberg

Managing Director, Consumer Finance

B.Comm, B.Compt, Chartered Accountant

Richard has over 25 years of experience in financial markets both in Australia and offshore. Richard’s career has included senior roles at ING Barings, Investec Bank, Hindal Group and River Capital where he developed a strong track record successfully building and managing different businesses. Richard’s experience spans credit markets, structured debt, consumer credit as well as private equity both in Australia and off shore.

Mark Harrison

Managing Director, Property

Mark has extensive experience and knowledge in all facets of the property and property finance sectors, built through various senior executive roles over the course of the last two decades. He is well known and trusted within the property industry as a specialist in risk assessment, structuring and funding of leveraged property transactions. Prior to joining Wingate, Mark spent more than 10 years with Ashe Morgan Winthrop, as a director in various roles including responsibility for their commercial lending business.

Ryan Levin

Managing Director, Property

B.Sc, Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries (UK), Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (USA)

Ryan is an actuary, specialising in risk management and financial structuring. He has spent two decades in the financial services industry holding roles ranging across product development, financing and property. Ryan has business-building and investment experience across three continents and brings substantial marketing, innovation, analytical and entrepreneurial skills to Wingate, as well as specific experience in the finance, insurance and loyalty industries.

Prior to joining Wingate, Ryan founded Destiny Health, a Chicago-based health insurance company, spearheading what is now commonly referred to as the “Consumer Driven Healthcare” sector in the USA.

Kevin Wunsh

Managing Director, Corporate Investments

B.Com, LLB

Kevin has over 20 years’ experience working in Australia and internationally in investment management, corporate advisory and strategy with a particular focus on private equity.

Kevin started his career as a corporate lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills, and has held roles at AT Kearney, Babcock & Brown and was a founding Director of Alceon.

Dani Peer

Executive Director, Investor Services

B.Comm, B.Acc, Adv. Dip Financial Services, Chartered Accountant

Dani has over 20 years of experience in the investment industry and financial markets, primarily focussed on optimising the structure and operational flow of professional advisory practices. His career has included senior roles at Zurich Financial Services, Australian Financial Services and at National Australia Bank. He is regarded as a thought leader in the investment advisory business, specialising in business growth strategies and client engagement solutions.

DPeer@wingate.com.au

Franco Dogliotti

Group Finance Director

B.Comm, B.Acc, Chartered Accountant, CMA

Franco has over the past 23 years initiated, advised on and closed transactions valued at many billions of dollars in corporate finance, mergers & acquisitions and capital markets. Franco’s experience includes advising large privately owned businesses as well as national and multi-national public corporations on both local and cross-border transactions.

Prior to joining Wingate, Franco was a partner at PwC for 18 years and a leading member of the firm’s Corporate Finance team.

Adam Carew

Chief Financial Officer

B.Comm (Accounting & Finance), Chartered Accountant, GAICD

Adam has vast experience in financial management, corporate governance, accounting, taxation, investment structuring and private equity investing.

Adam spent the early part of his career as a manager at leading national accounting and tax firm, Pitcher Partners, following which he was Group Financial Controller at Jagen, one of Australia’s largest family offices. In addition to group financial management and control, Adam was responsible for the management of Jagen’s private equity investment portfolio.

Adam is responsible for Wingate’s financial management, taxation and regulatory compliance, operational risk management as well the Group’s statutory and secretarial functions.

Larry Rudman

Chief Operating Officer

B.Comm, B.Acc, M.Applied Finance, Chartered Accountant, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

Larry is an experienced, accomplished and highly regarded business leader with a career spanning over 25 years in financial and professional services.

He was previously CFO of HBF Health Insurance and also the former CFO and Deputy CEO of GESB, Western Australia’s largest, locally based superannuation fund, managing an investment portfolio of over $19 billion on behalf of over 330,000 members. Larry led significant structural change at GESB and provided strategic oversight and governance across the Fund. He worked with the Link Group, on the acquisition and integration of Superpartners, which provides outsourced administration services to the Industry Superannuation Funds.

Larry has worked both in Australia and internationally and was with PwC prior to joining GESB in 2004. He has a well developed understanding of the corporate and government sectors and has served on both commercial and not for profit boards. In 2008, he was awarded CFO of the Year by the Institute of Public Administration in Australia (WA) and is past President of the Carmel School Board.

James Brest

Director of Corporate Development

B.Comm, Grad. Dip. Applied Finance & Investment

James has significant experience in corporate finance, investment structuring and private equity investing.

James spent the early part of his career in corporate finance both in the UK and Australia, working for Citigroup in London. Following which he was Senior Investment Director at Ingenious Group, a UK based alternative private equity boutique where he managed a number of structured and private equity funds.

James is responsible for Wingate’s corporate development and group strategy functions.

Chad Padowitz

Chief Investment Officer

B.Comm, Chartered Financial Analyst, Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia

Chad is one of Talaria’s founders, has more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry, in the UK, South Africa and Australia.

His experience includes working as an analyst in the treasury department at HSBC Bank in London, in derivative reporting and analysis, and as an equities research analyst at First National Bank in South Africa.

In 1998 Chad co-founded Aurica Financial Services in South Africa, a private client asset management company. In 2001, this was sold to Anglorand and Chad moved to Melbourne where he joined AXA Asia Pacific in 2003 in the role of investment specialist in equities and fixed income.

Independents

Geoffrey Allan Tomlinson

Geoff has an extensive commercial background spanning more than 40 years. His executive experience has been gained within the financial services industry, in Australia and a number of other countries including Hong Kong, USA and UK. For the past eighteen years, he has been active as a non-executive director covering a broad range of industries including banking/wealth management, property and property maintenance, technology, spring water bottling and distribution, and mining services and infrastructure.

Shahen Mekertichian

Shahen has been involved in the field of finance and investment banking for over 30 years. He holds a Bachelor of Economics (Sydney University) and Master of Economics (Macquarie University). He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Registered Company Auditor, Chartered Tax Adviser and a member of the Taxation Institute of Australia.

Shahen joined Babcock & Brown in 1989, and was admitted as an International Partner in 1993. He specialized in structuring and arranging large scale domestic and cross border financing opportunities, with particular emphasis on equipment, power and energy and property projects. He retired from his directorship duties at Babcock & Brown soon after the company’s float in 2005.

Today Shahen is involved in a number of property development ventures and corporate investments and is currently a Director of Liquid Capital Management (Australasia) Pty Ltd where he heads his own advisory business specializing in structured finance transactions.

Shahen also has extensive experience in various aspects of TV and Film production in Australia, and is a Director at Sunstar Entertainment where he has been an Executive Producer for each of their feature films. The most prominent engagement in this area was his role as Executive Producer in the Oscar nominated film production of “Lion”.

David Laidlaw

David is a leading apparel entrepreneur and businessman. David’s family interests have included market dominant businesses in jeanswear, workwear and corporate clothing.

He commenced his career in 1981 as a trainee at clothing manufacturer Yakka Pty Ltd. In 1994 David established Icon Clothing Pty Ltd which became one of Australia’s leading jeanswear companies, marketing and selling its products in Australia, New Zealand and internationally

Icon Clothing and Yakka were sold to Pacific Brands Ltd in March 2007. David manages his family interests including investments in apparel, property, equities and fixed income.

Paul Rizzo

BCom, MBA

Paul has extensive experience as a Director and CEO  across a broad range of industries including banking and finance, telecommunication, broadcast and cable television, manufacturing, legal services, defence related organisations and higher education management.

Paul held Senior Executive roles in many of Australia’s most prominent blue-chip organisations, including Telstra, CBA, ANZ and the State Bank of Victoria. He has experience in both domestic and international markets, working across listed, private, government and not-for-profit organisations.

In recent years, he has been appointed to serve on the board of several notable organisations, including in the role of Chairman for Foxtel and the Defence Audit and Risk Committee for the Department of Defence, and other Non-Executive Directorships for companies including ASC, National Australia Bank, Rothschild, The Seven Network, Bluescope Steel, Mallesons Stephen Jaques and IBM Australia.

Paul is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and Harvard University and was Dean, Professorial Fellow and Director of Melbourne Business School from 2000 to 2004.

 

Antony Cohen

B App Sc, Grad Dip Acc; and Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia

Antony is a globally focussed Commercial Senior Executive with 32 years of experience. During his 28 years at KPMG he held positions as a partner including Head of Valuations, Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, Head of Industry Restructuring & Privatisation, Head of Energy & Natural Resources and a member of the Board. He was also CFO of Better Place Australia – an electric vehicle recharge network operator for three years and then its CEO. Antony has world recognised industry experience in energy and utilities along with many other industries including mining, retail, airlines, transport and logistics, media, manufacturing and real estate. He has played many community roles including Council member and former Treasurer of Bialik College; two terms as a Council member of Questacon, the National science and technology centre; former Member of the Solar Flagships Council; Former Director of the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of AUSiMED (current).

Geoffrey Tauber

B.Comm, B.Social Work

Geoff sits on a number of Boards pursuant to the management of his family’s investment holdings which range across property, equities, fixed income and private equity in Australia and globally. Geoff is also a director of the Precision Group which is involved in the acquisition, management and development of commercial property with interests in the retail, office and hospitality sectors of the property market.

Ronald Pitcher AM

Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, Fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants, Certified Cost Accountant

Ron is the founder and former Senior Partner of Pitcher Partners, Australia’s leading and most prominent mid-market accounting and tax practice. Prior to the founding of Pitcher Partners, Ron was Deputy Managing Partner of KPMG, Melbourne. He has over fifty years of experience in the accounting and business advisory professions, having advised and been counsel to some of Australia’s largest family businesses. Ron has served on the boards of several listed and private companies in the roles of Chairman and Chair of Audit and Remuneration Committees.  Ron’s key areas of expertise include audit, business and financial advisory and counsel, in a vast array of sectors, including financial services, manufacturing, service industries, wholesale, import, retail and agriculture.

Scott Keck

Fellow of Australia Property Institute, Associate Real Estate Institute, Certified Practising Practitioner (Finance), Certified Development Practitioner, Certified Facility Manager, Certified Practising Valuer (Business)

Scott Keck is Chairman of Charter Keck Cramer, a leading Australian independent, strategic property consulting firm. Scott has 48 years property valuation and Corporate Real Estate experience across the national markets. He is frequently engaged as a senior negotiator in complex commercial and statutory issues related to the property market and for advice in relation to large portfolio valuations for major statutory and private corporations. He has consulted to many corporate clients on asset acquisition and disposal and accommodation solutions. He regularly appears as an expert witness in litigation proceedings. Scott has a strong understanding of corporate governance, accountability, growth strategies and operations.

Jeff Cohenca

Jeff has more than 25 years’ experience in property finance and associated areas during which time he has built an outstanding track record in meeting clients’ objectives. He spent 10 years with BankWest and was responsible for establishing the successful BankWest Property Finance Unit in Perth in 1995.

He spent several years as a Director at Ashe Morgan Winthrop where he established the company’s structured finance capability in Melbourne and its national commercial property lending business under a CMBS program.  Prior to founding Cohenca Consulting, Jeff was Division Director Real Estate Structured Finance at Macquarie Group.

Darren Smorgon

B Ec (Honours), M Com (Merit), Grad Dip, Finsia

Darren is the Managing Director of Sandbar Investments, a private investment company. He was previously a Partner, member of the Executive Committee and a Director of CHAMP Private Equity where he spent 16 years. While at CHAMP he led the acquisition and portfolio management of companies including oOh!media (an ASX listed company which he remains on the board of as a Non-Executive Director), Study Group Pty Ltd, LCR Group Pty Ltd and Golding Contractors Pty Ltd.