Team | Ascender
Team | Ascender

Team

object(stdClass)#951 (6) { ["title"]=> string(31) "Director and Executive Chairman" ["role-level"]=> string(18) "Board of Directors" ["bio"]=> string(1311) "Andrew Gray is Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors for Ascender, and founding-Managing Director of Potentia. He also serves as non-executive director of TIG and V8 Supercars, and is on the board of Hit100, an emerging diabetes management company. Prior to Potentia, he was Managing Director at Archer Capital, where he led the acquisition and subsequent sale of MYOB, Archer Capitals most successful investment, and the acquisition of V8 Supercars. Before joining Archer, he was a Partner at Francisco Partners — a $5bn private equity manager focused on technology companies, where he led numerous transactions including the Australian P2P of Mincom, and the divisional purchase of Aderant from Solution6. He has also led many deals in the US and Europe including CMAC Micro Technology, Ex Libris, and Endeavor Systems. Prior to Francisco Partners, Andrew co-founded and was COO of software firm Abilizer Solutions which was ultimately sold to BEA. Andrew began his private equity career as a principal at Genstar Capital and early in his career, Andrew was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, and an investment banker at James D. Wolfensohn in New York. Andrew has a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering (first class honors) from Sydney University and an MBA from Harvard Business School." ["background"]=> string(74) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/team-andrewgray.png" ["href"]=> string(44) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/team/andrew-gray" ["name"]=> string(11) "Andrew Gray" } object(stdClass)#959 (6) { ["title"]=> string(8) "Director" ["role-level"]=> string(18) "Board of Directors" ["bio"]=> string(756) "Rishabh is Board Director of Ascender since the acquisition in May 2015 by Private Equity firm Potentia, of which he is also Managing Director. Rishabh has over 20 years' executive and board experience spanning the private equity, healthcare, software and consulting industries. During his time at SHPS, Rishabh led the sale of their HR Outsourcing business to ADP, in addition to the sale of Landacorp to EXL Services. Prior to joining SHPS, Rishabh was co-founder and CEO of Abilizer Solutions, Inc., a software firm in San Francisco (sold to BEA/Oracle). Rishabh is a graduate of Tufts University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Quantitative Economics, and holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School." ["background"]=> string(79) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/team-rishabhmehrotra.png" ["href"]=> string(51) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/team/rishabh-mehrotra-2" ["name"]=> string(16) "Rishabh Mehrotra" } object(stdClass)#954 (6) { ["title"]=> string(23) "Director and SVP of M&A" ["role-level"]=> string(18) "Board of Directors" ["bio"]=> string(747) "Michael is Director and SVP of M&A of Ascender and has been an Investment Director at Potentia since January 2015. Prior to Potentia, Michael was an Investment Manager at Archer Capital for three years where he was involved in a number of successful transactions including Allity Aged Care (previously Lend Lease Primelife), the bolt-on acquisition of ECH Aged Care and the sale of Ausfuel. Prior to joining Archer, Michael was Associate Director at UBS Investment Bank in Sydney where he advised on over $5bn of transactions in the General Industrials, Infrastructure and Utilities sectors. Michael holds a Bachelor of Commerce (First Class Honours and Valedictorian) and a Bachelor of Laws (Distinction) from the University of Western Australia." ["background"]=> string(79) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/team-michaelmcnamara.png" ["href"]=> string(49) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/team/michael-mcnamara" ["name"]=> string(16) "Michael McNamara" } object(stdClass)#952 (6) { ["title"]=> string(8) "Director" ["role-level"]=> string(18) "Board of Directors" ["bio"]=> string(1199) "Adrian MacKenzie is a Director on the Board of Ascender, and founder of Five V Capital, where he has made several successful investments in both established and venture capital businesses. His recent success includes the acquisition of Ascender, becoming the major shareholder in Madman Film & Entertainment, and the successful exit of his investment in Mysale, where he remains a director. His venture capital investments include Canva, Standard Media Index, ImageBrief and Parcelpoint. Prior to Five V Capital, Adrian was Managing Partner and board member at private equity firm CVC Capital Partners (London), where he worked on numerous transactions before moving to Hong Kong to help establish the Asia Pacific business, and then to Sydney to open the Australian office. During this time, he completed many significant transactions including Pacific Brands, Tech Pacific, Affinity Healthcare and Nine Entertainment. Having become a Managing Partner and board member, Adrian left CVC after 17 years in 2012. Adrian's career began in corporate finance with J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co Ltd, in the London and New York offices. Adrian holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in engineering and economics." ["background"]=> string(79) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/team-adrianmackenzie.png" ["href"]=> string(49) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/team/adrian-mackenzie" ["name"]=> string(16) "Adrian MacKenzie" } object(stdClass)#1005 (6) { ["title"]=> string(23) "Chief Executive Officer" ["role-level"]=> string(12) "Team Leaders" ["bio"]=> string(817) "Marjukka is the Chief Executive Officer of Ascender. Prior to joining Ascender, Marjukka was the President of the ANZ business of NGA Human Resources. She also held various leadership positions within NGA Human Resources across the Nordic region, UK and South Africa, over a 12 year period. Prior to NGA Marjukka worked for several years for KPMG Consulting and IBM Global Services based out of London and Helsinki. Marjukka’s international experience and track record in the enterprise market, ERP and HRM cloud software industries is what drives the continued growth and focus of the businesses she leads. Marjukka is a graduate of the Helsinki School of Economics with a Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business, and holds a Master of Business Administration from Henley Management College." ["background"]=> string(83) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Interim-Headshot-Website.png" ["href"]=> string(55) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/team/marjukka-maki-hokkonen" ["name"]=> string(22) "Marjukka Maki-Hokkonen" } object(stdClass)#490 (6) { ["title"]=> string(23) "Chief Financial Officer" ["bio"]=> string(676) "Neil is the Chief Financial Officer at Ascender. He comes with over 30 years of Strategic and Senior Finance experience. Prior to joining Ascender, Neil has held a number of Senior Corporate Finance Executive roles in both ASX listed and private equity backed companies.  Most recently he has applied his skills in the arts sector as one of the founders and Executive Chairman of the Australian World Orchestra. Neil has a strong background in financial reporting, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, market analysis, budgeting and forecasting, capital management funding, treasury and cash management. He holds a Bachelor of Economics from La Trobe University." ["role-level"]=> string(12) "Team Leaders" ["background"]=> string(76) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/team-neilthompson.png" ["href"]=> string(46) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/team/neil-thompson" ["name"]=> string(13) "Neil Thompson" } object(stdClass)#963 (6) { ["title"]=> string(41) "General Manager Australia and New Zealand" ["role-level"]=> string(12) "Team Leaders" ["bio"]=> string(627) "Philip is the General Manager of ANZ for Ascender. Philip has 20 years of experience in the HR technology and services sector working with global leaders such as Mincom & NGA Human Resources. The experience Philip has developed as a high performing Sales and Account Management professional have been essential in leading over achieving "Go to Market Teams". The critical part of his teams continuing success is collaborating with customers to discover new ways of solving business critical problems. Philip holds a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and Management from the Australian Graduate School of Management." ["background"]=> string(63) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Phil.jpg" ["href"]=> string(50) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/team/fred-van-der-tang" ["name"]=> string(13) "Philip Harris" } object(stdClass)#1076 (6) { ["title"]=> string(20) "General Manager Asia" ["role-level"]=> string(12) "Team Leaders" ["bio"]=> string(328) "June Lee is the General Manager of Asia for Ascender. She has extensive experience in senior executive roles, with her most recent role being Vice President at Software AG. June specialises in enterprise software sales for both business and technology. June holds a Master’s in IT Management from the University of Wollongong." ["background"]=> string(63) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/June.jpg" ["href"]=> string(41) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/team/june-lee" ["name"]=> string(8) "June Lee" } object(stdClass)#1078 (6) { ["title"]=> string(18) "Head of Operations" ["role-level"]=> string(12) "Team Leaders" ["bio"]=> string(378) "Christine Budd is Head of Operations at Ascender. In the past, Christine has extended her capabilities worldwide, with senior executive roles in Manila, India and the UK. Her expertise is in running multiple HR Shared Service Centres across multiple locations. She prides herself on the ability to think outside of the box and create an environment for innovation for her teams." ["background"]=> string(69) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Chris-Budd.jpg" ["href"]=> string(47) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/team/christine-budd" ["name"]=> string(14) "Christine Budd" } object(stdClass)#1080 (6) { ["title"]=> string(11) "HR Director" ["role-level"]=> string(12) "Team Leaders" ["bio"]=> string(432) "Charmaine is the Director of Human Resources at Ascender. Prior to joining Ascender, she was the Regional HR Director at Concur, an SAP Company. Charmaine is passionate about driving organisational health across the business and is inspired by collaborative leadership, innovative solutions that challenge the status quo and a unique company culture. Charmaine is currently completing her Masters in HRM at Charles Sturt University." ["background"]=> string(68) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Charmaine.jpg" ["href"]=> string(50) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/team/charmaine-loratet" ["name"]=> string(17) "Charmaine Loratet" } object(stdClass)#1082 (6) { ["title"]=> string(15) "General Counsel" ["role-level"]=> string(12) "Team Leaders" ["bio"]=> string(497) "Stella is the General Counsel at Ascender. She has held senior executive positions at international organisations such as the White & Case (New York), Beaumont Partners and the United Nations. She has 14 years of transactional experience in private equity, mergers and acquisitions and venture capital across USA, Europe and Australasia. Stella holds a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales and is admitted to practice law in New South Wales and New York." ["background"]=> string(77) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/team-stellaargyrou.png" ["href"]=> string(47) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/team/stella-argyrou" ["name"]=> string(14) "Stella Argyrou" } object(stdClass)#1084 (6) { ["title"]=> string(21) "Chief Product Officer" ["role-level"]=> string(12) "Team Leaders" ["bio"]=> string(529) "Todd is the Chief Product Officer at Ascender. Todd has 30+ years’ experience in the technology industry and has held a number of senior management positions with NGA HR, ADP, Talent 2 and Saba. Todd specialises in bringing together the software and technology streams with the non-technical areas, and has a depth of experience and focus on customer-centric business outcomes. Todd holds qualifications in Electronics, Management, and a Masters in Business Administration (Technology Management) from La Trobe University." ["background"]=> string(67) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/toddCROP.jpg" ["href"]=> string(47) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/team/todd-mcdonough" ["name"]=> string(14) "Todd McDonough" } object(stdClass)#1096 (6) { ["title"]=> string(36) "Director, APAC Professional Services" ["role-level"]=> string(12) "Team Leaders" ["bio"]=> string(557) "Sandy is the Director for APAC Professional Services at Ascender. Sandy possesses 20+ years expertise in the HR and Payroll space, across both operational and leadership positions. Prior to joining Ascender, he worked with organisations such as Western Australian Education and Western Australia Police agencies. Sandy has a strong track record in ensuring the success and satisfaction of Ascender clients, through his effective delivery of project implementation and consulting. Sandy holds a Masters of Business from the University of Western Australia." ["background"]=> string(64) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Sandy.jpg" ["href"]=> string(46) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/team/sandy-forrest" ["name"]=> string(13) "Sandy Forrest" } object(stdClass)#1130 (6) { ["title"]=> string(23) "Head of Learning & TAPS" ["role-level"]=> string(12) "Team Leaders" ["bio"]=> string(661) "Fiona is the Director of Learning & TAPS, with over 18 years’ experience in leadership and specialist positions in the BPO and HRO industries. Fiona has successfully built and grown capabilities across all aspects of Learning and Development Organisations. Her highlights include; working with clients on large transformation projects with external and internal teams, building and delivering post implementation sustainable learning frameworks and helping clients realise the ROI on their change and learning initiatives. Fiona holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design from the University of Canberra, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Professional Management." ["background"]=> string(64) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Fiona.jpg" ["href"]=> string(43) "https://www.ascenderhcm.com/team/fiona-ward" ["name"]=> string(10) "Fiona Ward" }
Ascender Advantage Team Careers

Board of Directors

Andrew Gray
Director and Executive Chairman

Andrew Gray is Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors for Ascender, and founding-Managing Director of Potentia. He also serves as non-executive director of TIG and V8 Supercars, and is on the board of Hit100, an emerging diabetes management company. Prior to Potentia, he was Managing Director at Archer Capital, where he led the acquisition and subsequent sale of MYOB, Archer Capitals most successful investment, and the acquisition of V8 Supercars. Before joining Archer, he was a Partner at Francisco Partners — a $5bn private equity manager focused on technology companies, where he led numerous transactions including the Australian P2P of Mincom, and the divisional purchase of Aderant from Solution6. He has also led many deals in the US and Europe including CMAC Micro Technology, Ex Libris, and Endeavor Systems. Prior to Francisco Partners, Andrew co-founded and was COO of software firm Abilizer Solutions which was ultimately sold to BEA. Andrew began his private equity career as a principal at Genstar Capital and early in his career, Andrew was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, and an investment banker at James D. Wolfensohn in New York. Andrew has a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering (first class honors) from Sydney University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Rishabh Mehrotra
Director

Rishabh is Board Director of Ascender since the acquisition in May 2015 by Private Equity firm Potentia, of which he is also Managing Director. Rishabh has over 20 years' executive and board experience spanning the private equity, healthcare, software and consulting industries. During his time at SHPS, Rishabh led the sale of their HR Outsourcing business to ADP, in addition to the sale of Landacorp to EXL Services. Prior to joining SHPS, Rishabh was co-founder and CEO of Abilizer Solutions, Inc., a software firm in San Francisco (sold to BEA/Oracle). Rishabh is a graduate of Tufts University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Quantitative Economics, and holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Michael McNamara
Director and SVP of M&A

Michael is Director and SVP of M&A of Ascender and has been an Investment Director at Potentia since January 2015. Prior to Potentia, Michael was an Investment Manager at Archer Capital for three years where he was involved in a number of successful transactions including Allity Aged Care (previously Lend Lease Primelife), the bolt-on acquisition of ECH Aged Care and the sale of Ausfuel. Prior to joining Archer, Michael was Associate Director at UBS Investment Bank in Sydney where he advised on over $5bn of transactions in the General Industrials, Infrastructure and Utilities sectors. Michael holds a Bachelor of Commerce (First Class Honours and Valedictorian) and a Bachelor of Laws (Distinction) from the University of Western Australia.

Adrian MacKenzie
Director

Adrian MacKenzie is a Director on the Board of Ascender, and founder of Five V Capital, where he has made several successful investments in both established and venture capital businesses. His recent success includes the acquisition of Ascender, becoming the major shareholder in Madman Film & Entertainment, and the successful exit of his investment in Mysale, where he remains a director. His venture capital investments include Canva, Standard Media Index, ImageBrief and Parcelpoint. Prior to Five V Capital, Adrian was Managing Partner and board member at private equity firm CVC Capital Partners (London), where he worked on numerous transactions before moving to Hong Kong to help establish the Asia Pacific business, and then to Sydney to open the Australian office. During this time, he completed many significant transactions including Pacific Brands, Tech Pacific, Affinity Healthcare and Nine Entertainment. Having become a Managing Partner and board member, Adrian left CVC after 17 years in 2012. Adrian's career began in corporate finance with J. Henry Schroder Wagg & Co Ltd, in the London and New York offices. Adrian holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in engineering and economics.

Team Leaders

Marjukka Maki-Hokkonen
Chief Executive Officer

Marjukka is the Chief Executive Officer of Ascender. Prior to joining Ascender, Marjukka was the President of the ANZ business of NGA Human Resources. She also held various leadership positions within NGA Human Resources across the Nordic region, UK and South Africa, over a 12 year period. Prior to NGA Marjukka worked for several years for KPMG Consulting and IBM Global Services based out of London and Helsinki. Marjukka’s international experience and track record in the enterprise market, ERP and HRM cloud software industries is what drives the continued growth and focus of the businesses she leads. Marjukka is a graduate of the Helsinki School of Economics with a Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business, and holds a Master of Business Administration from Henley Management College.

Neil Thompson
Chief Financial Officer

Neil is the Chief Financial Officer at Ascender. He comes with over 30 years of Strategic and Senior Finance experience. Prior to joining Ascender, Neil has held a number of Senior Corporate Finance Executive roles in both ASX listed and private equity backed companies.  Most recently he has applied his skills in the arts sector as one of the founders and Executive Chairman of the Australian World Orchestra. Neil has a strong background in financial reporting, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, market analysis, budgeting and forecasting, capital management funding, treasury and cash management. He holds a Bachelor of Economics from La Trobe University.

Philip Harris
General Manager Australia and New Zealand

Philip is the General Manager of ANZ for Ascender. Philip has 20 years of experience in the HR technology and services sector working with global leaders such as Mincom & NGA Human Resources. The experience Philip has developed as a high performing Sales and Account Management professional have been essential in leading over achieving "Go to Market Teams". The critical part of his teams continuing success is collaborating with customers to discover new ways of solving business critical problems. Philip holds a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and Management from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

June Lee
General Manager Asia

June Lee is the General Manager of Asia for Ascender. She has extensive experience in senior executive roles, with her most recent role being Vice President at Software AG. June specialises in enterprise software sales for both business and technology. June holds a Master’s in IT Management from the University of Wollongong.

Christine Budd
Head of Operations

Christine Budd is Head of Operations at Ascender. In the past, Christine has extended her capabilities worldwide, with senior executive roles in Manila, India and the UK. Her expertise is in running multiple HR Shared Service Centres across multiple locations. She prides herself on the ability to think outside of the box and create an environment for innovation for her teams.

Charmaine Loratet
HR Director

Charmaine is the Director of Human Resources at Ascender. Prior to joining Ascender, she was the Regional HR Director at Concur, an SAP Company. Charmaine is passionate about driving organisational health across the business and is inspired by collaborative leadership, innovative solutions that challenge the status quo and a unique company culture. Charmaine is currently completing her Masters in HRM at Charles Sturt University.

Stella Argyrou
General Counsel

Stella is the General Counsel at Ascender. She has held senior executive positions at international organisations such as the White & Case (New York), Beaumont Partners and the United Nations. She has 14 years of transactional experience in private equity, mergers and acquisitions and venture capital across USA, Europe and Australasia. Stella holds a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales and is admitted to practice law in New South Wales and New York.

Todd McDonough
Chief Product Officer

Todd is the Chief Product Officer at Ascender. Todd has 30+ years’ experience in the technology industry and has held a number of senior management positions with NGA HR, ADP, Talent 2 and Saba. Todd specialises in bringing together the software and technology streams with the non-technical areas, and has a depth of experience and focus on customer-centric business outcomes. Todd holds qualifications in Electronics, Management, and a Masters in Business Administration (Technology Management) from La Trobe University.

Sandy Forrest
Director, APAC Professional Services

Sandy is the Director for APAC Professional Services at Ascender. Sandy possesses 20+ years expertise in the HR and Payroll space, across both operational and leadership positions. Prior to joining Ascender, he worked with organisations such as Western Australian Education and Western Australia Police agencies. Sandy has a strong track record in ensuring the success and satisfaction of Ascender clients, through his effective delivery of project implementation and consulting. Sandy holds a Masters of Business from the University of Western Australia.

Fiona Ward
Head of Learning & TAPS

Fiona is the Director of Learning & TAPS, with over 18 years’ experience in leadership and specialist positions in the BPO and HRO industries. Fiona has successfully built and grown capabilities across all aspects of Learning and Development Organisations. Her highlights include; working with clients on large transformation projects with external and internal teams, building and delivering post implementation sustainable learning frameworks and helping clients realise the ROI on their change and learning initiatives. Fiona holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design from the University of Canberra, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Professional Management.