Michael has worked in the forestry investment management sector for almost 15 years, across several different roles in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. In his current role, Michael is responsible for business development activities, researching, analysing, and executing on strategies to profitably grow the business. Michael is tasked with identifying investment strategies that seek to generate excellent returns to our clients but also enrich the landscapes and communities where we operate by addressing environmental and social challenges. Previously, Michael worked in New Forests’ investments team, where he had a lead role in originating deal opportunities and managing the investment of capital for New Forests’ funds in the Australia-New Zealand region. Michael also holds formal roles contributing to the strategic management and governance of investments in Australia and the United States. Michael has an MBA from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor in Environmental Management from Macquarie University. Michael is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Katie Lintner Chambers leads New Forests’ Human Resources function. She oversees the development and delivery of best practice Human Resources strategy across the company and manages consistent learning and development, recruitment, leadership, and well-being programs for all employees. Katie has more than 16 years of experience across the Financial Services, Legal and Architecture industries in Australia, Asia, and the UK. She is experienced in employee relations, recruitment, training and the development, implementation, and management of significant HR change programs within growing businesses. Katie has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology/Art History) degree from the University of Sydney and is a Professional Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute.
Margaret Cole is responsible for oversight of all legal, governance, risk, and compliance functions for New Forests. In this role she leads New Forests’ team of legal, governance, risk, and compliance professionals to provide services across the company’s international funds management business. Margaret has represented lenders and investors in emerging and developed markets worldwide and has also worked as counsel at the International Finance Corporation in Washington from 1991 until July 1995. She was a partner with international law firm White & Case from 1995-2005 and again from 2010-2015, working in London, Bangkok, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi. From 2005 until 2010, she was General Counsel of an internationally active principal investment and asset management company in the infrastructure, operating leasing, real estate, and corporate finance sectors. Prior to joining New Forests, Margaret was a partner with international law firm Pinsent Masons, based in Sydney. Margaret is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), Member of the New York Bar, Solicitor, England and Wales, and a Member of the NSW Law Society.
Sarah Culham is the assistant company secretary and has responsibility for ensuring New Forests’ corporate administration and compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry in Australia as a company secretary and governance professional and generalist compliance officer. Sarah’s responsibilities include company secretarial support functions and facilitating governance functions. Sarah brings expertise in dealing with company and financial sector regulators and is involved in ensuring compliance with New Forests’ governance framework across all locations. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Economics, is a Member of the Governance Institute of Australia, and a Member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.
Lauren Gow is part of the Business Support team. As the front-of-house, she is responsible for the day-to-day operations at New Forests Sydney headquarters. Her duties range from reception, to domestic group travel, to expense management. Lauren has over five years’ experience in administrative roles and customer support. A recent graduate, Lauren has a keen interest in sustainability as a profitable business model, not just a code of ethics. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and International Business from the University of New South Wales, Australia.
Sean is part of New Forests’ Legal, Risk, and Compliance and Finance teams supporting with governance, research and special finance tasks. Sean also provides support to the Secretarial team by carrying out corporate administration and statutory/regulatory requirements. Sean is responsible for contract management, updating/maintaining statutory registers and regulatory obligations supporting New Forests group across Australia, Asia, and the United States. Sean is currently a third year Bachelor of Business (Finance)/Bachelor of Laws student at the University of Technology Sydney.
Helen Jesse is New Forests’ Manager, Human Resources primarily focused on operational aspects of the Human Resources function, including recruitment, performance reviews and performance management, policy and contract updates, learning and development, and Human Resources reporting processes. Helen previously worked as a Consultant, providing expert Human Resources support to a range of small and medium sized businesses. Prior to that Helen had a long career in Human Resources in the financial services industry, working across a variety of roles including nine years managing an Indigenous inclusion program. Helen has a Bachelor of Arts (Accountancy) from South Australia Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Development) from the University of South Australia. Helen is also an Associate Member of the Human Resources Institute.
Christine Jones is the Executive Assistant to New Forests’ CEO and Executive Team. Christine has over 15 years of local and international experience in senior administration, governance support, and quality assurance roles. Christine has a Bachelor of Arts (Social Policy/Government and Public Administration) from the University of Sydney, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Management Studies from the Communications and Management Institute, Ireland, and holds ISO qualifications.
Kate joined New Forests’ legal, risk, and compliance team in 2016 supporting the company’s governance and corporate legal functions. She is responsible for the risk and compliance systems, policies, and regulatory obligations supporting New Forests’ funds under management as well as those of the New Forests group of companies across Australia, Asia, and United States. She has previous experience in the financial services sector across custodial, investment, and funds management businesses including operational risk management and portfolio compliance monitoring. Kate has Bachelor Degree in Business from the University of Technology and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist and is a member of the GRC Institute.
Paul Kennedy leads the risk and compliance functions across the New Forests’ group of companies and is responsible for the risk and compliance program supporting New Forests’ funds under management as well as those of the New Forests group of companies. Paul has over 15 years’ experience in governance, risk, and compliance management roles within the financial services industry. Paul has extensive experience in driving changes in risk and compliance culture and designing and implementing frameworks to enable management and boards to effectively optimise enterprise-wide risks and opportunities. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of British Columbia.
Jason Ross oversees the Business Support and Information Technology (IT) functions across New Forests’ international business environment. He leads the business support team to ensure provision of office administration and support functions within each of New Forests’ offices. Jason’s IT responsibilities encompass strategy, operations, and cyber-security. In this role, Jason works across the business to coordinate company-wide IT and administrative programs, procedures, and policies and to ensure delivery of high-quality support services for New Forests’ internal operations and business needs. He has over 20 years of IT experience and an extensive background in multinational, large-scale digital transformations, outsourced vendor management, application development, facilities and infrastructure project management, and operational service delivery.
Varuni De Silva is the group company secretary and has responsibility for ensuring New Forests’ corporate administration and compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. Varuni has more than 25 years of experience as a company secretary and governance professional having worked in major listed entities and in the financial services sector in Australia and Asia. She has experience in regulatory compliance, portfolio compliance, and governance systems and processes. Varuni’s responsibilities include managing New Forests’ committee and board processes, conformity with charters, and development of governance systems. Varuni brings expertise in dealing with the formalities of company regulators and will be heavily involved in ensuring compliance with New Forests’ requirements across all locations. Varuni is a Chartered Secretary having graduated from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators UK and has been admitted as a Fellow of this institute. She is also a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the National Committee for Corporate and Legal Issues Committee of the Governance Institute of Australia.
Aly Specht works with the Company Secretary and is responsible for Board reporting and corporate secretarial support. Aly has over 15 years’ experience in executive administration roles having worked overseas and in Australia at Colonial First State and Ernst & Young. Aly has a Diploma in Journalism and Certificates II to IV in Business Administration.