The Team

Alex Pollak: CIO and Founder

With 25 years experience in disruptive business models gained during a career with Macquarie Bank, Alex is a Director of Loftus Peak and heads one of the best-performing teams in disruptive investment in Australia.

He was instrumental in bringing both Seek and Carsales.com.au to the Australian stock market. His deep knowledge of investment and global change companies means Loftus Peak clients are ideally placed to benefit financially from the movements in technology which are daily changing the face of markets.

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Anshu Sharma: Portfolio Manager and Founder

Anshu started his career in global disruption investing more than a decade ago at TechInvest. This was followed by a Portfolio Manager and a Technology, Media and Telecom Analyst responsibility for Asia region at Eight Investment Partners.

Being mentored by the best in this space early on in his career and having extensively travelled in Asia to meet hundreds of companies, Anshu brings a wealth of experience to investing globally.

He has a M.Com from University of New South Wales and a B.Com (Hons) from Delhi University. Also, he holds CIPM® certificate and Chartered Financial Analyst® designation.

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Harry Morrow: Investment Analyst

Harry joined Loftus Peak as an analyst in 2018. He is a member of the investment team, with a focus on streaming, digital advertising and health sciences. He supports the Portfolio Manager and Chief Investment Officer through thematic, industry and company analysis as well as modelling for potential and current portfolio holdings.

He has graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Finance and Commercial Law.

Harry is a CFA Exam level III candidate.

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Julia Wright-Smith: Portfolio Analyst

Julia is responsible for the day to day operations of the firm. At Loftus Peak, Julia’s main focus is to provide operational support to the investment team and to management, including liaising with external service providers, and ensure the smooth running of the firm. Julia has completed an actuarial studies and commerce degree at the University of NSW.

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Pierre Kraft: Head of Business Development

Pierre has over 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry, having held a range of senior roles in financial advice, accounting and superannuation at organisations, including Aon, NAB/MLC and CountPlus.

As an authorised representative of Loftus Peak, Pierre’s main focus is taking the firm’s capability to market and ensuring that advisors and their clients are able to invest with Loftus Peak across multiple platforms.

Pierre has a Masters in Business (advanced) from Adelaide University, is a Fellow of CPA Australia, is a Certified Financial Planner and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Pierre also holds a Bachelor of Business, Certificate IV in Financial Services (Finance/Mortgage Broking) and a Diploma in Financial Planning, from Financial Planning Association.

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Charles Badger: Associate Director Distribution

Charles has an extensive background in the financial services industry, specialising in both platform and investment fund distribution, working closely with Australian Financial Service Licence holders and adviser groups. He has experience in both retail and institutional roles.

Charles has held senior positions with AMP, Westpac subsidiaries Securitor and Asgard, ING, Rothschild, BT and in the wealth and licensee divisions of IOOF / ANZ.

He holds a Bachelor of Business (Banking & Finance) from Monash University, Associate Diploma of Business (PIR) from the University of SA, Certificate IV Financial Services (Finance/Mortgage Broking) and has commenced an MBA at Charles Sturt University.

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Larry Achike – Head of ETF Distribution

Larry is responsible for the distribution of Loftus Peak’s newly introduced active ETF and helping to develop the firm’s sales and marketing strategy for intermediary and retail clients.

With over 20 years’ experience in sales and marketing across several industries, Larry has a strong background in business development. In his previous role, he was responsible for servicing wealth managers within stockbroking firms and financial advisory groups across Australia, including most recently, responsibility for a range of disruption funds.

As a two-time Olympian and former Captain of the Great Britain Athletics team, Larry has successfully transitioned his passion, drive and goal focussed attitude to carve an equally successful career as a sales leader. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from Kingston University (UK) and is RG146 compliant.

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Elaine Zhang: Communications Analyst

Elaine is responsible for Loftus Peak’s communications strategy including social media, website and more traditional means of communication. Elaine has a BA majoring in Art History and Curatorship from ANU and has completed a Master of Strategic Communication at UTS.

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Stuart Kennedy: Enterprise Technology Expert

Stuart Kennedy has over 30-years’ experience as a highly regarded journalist with a focus on finance and technology. From 2003 until 2015 Stuart was the editor of The Australian’s technology section. Stuart has observed and reported on major technology-based disruption waves since 1985, starting with the business PC revolution, office networking, the rise of client / server, the onset of the mass internet, the commoditisation of server hardware, the arrival of smart devices, hardware virtualisation, social media and the onset of cloud computing.

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Rob Forage: Life Sciences Expert

Rob’s career spans biotechnology, commercialisation and education. Trained as a biochemist at Oxford and Harvard, he led a group producing mammalian growth and reproductive hormones aswell as biopesticides with the Hoechst-CRA joint venture, Biotech Australia.

Rob then worked with CSIRO’s commercialisation arm, Sirotech, before establishing a private consultancy focused on technology commercialisation, working with clients such as CSIRO, RNSH and the Rural Research and Development Corporations. As Director of the MLA-AWI joint venture, SheepGenomics, Rob headed an international team to sequence the entire sheep genome and identify DNA diagnostic markers for traits of commercial interest.

After leading UNSW Global, an international education and assessment company , Rob now serves as Chair of Abbey College, a private vocational education provider.

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Els Termaat: ESG Expert

Els supports Loftus Peak’s ability to integrate environmental, social and governance criteria into Loftus Peak’s investment processes. Els is an investment industry specialist with over 30 years’ experience and has strong skills across financial asset classes and responsible investment. Els’ career commenced at the Australian Treasury and has taken her from Head of Debt Markets at Macquarie Bank, to management of portfolios of ethical/ impact investments and consulting to large super funds on asset allocation and responsible investment.

Els graduated with Economics Honours from the University of Queensland and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Company Director’s Course and Kaplan Professional’s Diploma of Financial Management.

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Gary Cullen: Head of Risk and Operations

Gary Cullen has extensive operational experience in the funds management industry in Australia and overseas. In addition to his role as Head of Risk and Operations, Gary is Chair of the Investment Risk Committee and responsible for maintaining existing and implementing new operational capabilities and driving improvements in operational processes. Gary has also served with INVESCO Asset Management, the Irish Stock Exchange, JP Morgan, AMP Capital Investors and Eight Investment Partners. Gary has a Bachelor of Business Studies from the University of Limerick and Financial Services Diploma from University College Dublin. He has successfully completed level 1 of the CFA examination.

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Tom Gilbertson: Operations Analyst

Tom began his career in finance at Westpac where he worked to deliver banking solutions to a range of commercial clients. There, he maintained client accounts, conducted financial analysis and reporting, and streamlined processes within the business.

At Loftus Peak, Tom’s main focus is on the operations of the firm, including accounts payable and receivable, IT platforms, insurance, audit and supervision of external service providers. Tom also has responsibility for the development and maintenance of the firm’s ESG policy.

Tom is currently studying for a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Economics at the University of NSW.

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Rick Steele: CEO

Drawing on more than 30 years in funds management and government Rick is the CEO of Loftus Peak.

After a successful career in the Australian Treasury, Rick held senior positions at Prudential Assurance, Morgan Grenfell Australia, BT Funds Management, TechInvest and Eight Investment Partners.

Rick is also chairman of CitizenBlue, an impact enterprise operating a container recycling service for its environmental members.

Rick has a MEc from the Australian National University, is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia and has completed the AICD Company Director’s Course.

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Paul Davis: Research Advisor

Paul is one of Australia’s most experienced investors in listed global change companies. He was the founder of Connect.com, Australia’s first internet service provider, as well as the founder of E*TRADE Australia, which was sold to ANZ for over $400 million.

Paul co-founded TechInvest, which was one of the best performing fund managers of technology investments in Australia.

He began his career in Silicon Valley (having worked there in the 90’s) after completing his BSc (Mech Eng) at Stanford, the University which provided the grounding for some of technology’s finest (and most profitable) businesses.

As Research Advisor, he is ideally placed to spot key industry trends and macro themes. He has an MBA and holds Chartered Financial Analyst ® designation.

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