Sean Rothsey – Group Executive Chairman
Sean Rothsey is the founder and Executive Chairman of The Merkin Group, a professional investment and management group of companies he founded in 1981. He is currently Chairman and director of a number of public and private companies including Global Chairman for Emerald Foods Group and New Zealand Natural in NZ, Australia,Hong Kong, China and BVI. He is also past Chairman (2007 to 2013) of ASX-listed company, MDS Financial Group Limited, Trader Dealer Online Pty Ltd, MDS Financial Services Pty Ltd and D2MX Pty Ltd.
Overseeing The Merkin Group’s infrastructure, finance, business and legal affairs and strategic alliances Sean also has a particular interest in the human aspect of businesses and corporate social responsibility, and this is reflected in the portfolio of The Merkin Group’s businesses and management as well as the local and global stakeholders around him.
An accomplished and proven asset and business manager, strategist, deal maker, facilitator, mediator and negotiator, his success as a director in both public and private companies since 1981 has been reflected in many industries. Sean has been involved in equity capital markets, start ups and has amassed experience as an operating partner and global connections in property, shipping and transport, global trade and commerce, asset and wealth managers, the accounting, legal, insurance and underwriting professions, retail and private banking, e- commerce and technology, media film and entertainment distribution and marketing, cattle and agriculture, conservation, environment and sports administration, mining resources and energy and the financial services industries including stock broking, institutional investors and high net worth, sophisticated and professional investors.
Sean Rothsey was a co-founder and Deputy Chairman Noosa Institute for Socio-Economic and Environmental Research (2006–2010); a member of the Community Rating Reference Working Group for Noosa Shire Council, 2007, and an active founding member of the Lake MacDonald Catchment Coordinating Committee for Noosa Shire.
He is recognised for building strategic relationships with and providing large-scale funding opportunities for Greening Australia, Green Corps, Mary River Catchment Co-Ordinating Committee and National Heritage Trust.
A past President of the Sunshine Coast Combined Equestrian Group Inc. and past Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Doonan Eventing Group (Noosa, QLD) (2006–2009), he is also accredited as a Level 2 National Eventing Technical Delegate under the EFA National Officiating Accreditation Scheme having trained under EFA EFNZ and FEI, and has organised EFA Accredited Course Design Seminars and an EFA Accredited Technical Delegates Clinics. Sean has previously organized EFA Accredited Course Design Seminars and an EFA Accredited Technical Delegates Clinics.
Sean’s experience with his successful Pinefilm Entertainment and later partnership – Horizon One Entertainment identified opportunities and manifested in independent, studio and financial strategic relationships. Pinefilm emerged as a major indie player in 1999 and 2000. Their strong catalogue of releases in Australia includes the hits Saving Grace, Maybe Baby, Onegin and Gods and Monsters. Horizon One’s hits from 2006 until 2010 included Bangkok Dangerous, 88 Minutes, Outlander and many others. Overseeing infrastructure, finance, business and legal affairs and strategic alliances, Sean is well known in the Hollywood and global entertainment businesses having acquired and distributed over 400 titles and many series of libraries.
Originally from Sydney, Sean has lived and worked throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the Far East, North America, the UK, Africa and The Bahamas. Sean moved to Cooroy-Noosa in 1995 and operated his family office on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland Australia from where he easily also serviced his interests in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Kong. Since 2011 Sean spent most of his time in Asia heading the Group’s Hong Kong office which closed in 2019 due to the civil unrest and judicial uncertainty and Sean is back at his Noosa base in Australia.
Company Director – public and private, listed and unlisted.
Corporate Advisor, Negotiator, Mediator, Arbitration.
Advice on and management of listings on the ASX, NZX LSE for IPOs and capital raisings. Business strategy development and strategic alliances. Corporate restructuring, defensive strategies and succession planning.
Facilitation of joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions and trade sales.
Private equity transactions.
Facilitating debt & sub-underwriting.
Global Funds Management
Agribusiness and Soft Commodities
Mining and Resources
Transport Shipping and Logistics
Film Media and Entertainment
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Nicholas (Nick) Ballantine – Commodities Manager – Merkin Advisory Pty Ltd
Nick acts as our Commodities Manager for our gold and precious metals and liquid energy commodities businesses effective 10 Feb 2021.
Merkin Advisory have been working with Nick through his firm Ballantine Resources Pty Ltd, based in Thailand, since September 2020 as a facilitator as well as a senior consultant to our gold and precious metals and liquid commodities business.
With this new team, we also remain focused on completing due diligence on two gold mining sites identified in Thailand and Queensland for initiating these new business opportunities which the Group intends to develop to either listing stage as an IPO or RTO on the ASX or as a potential acquisition by way of trade sale or farm in joint venture with existing explorers or producers.
Nick assists to ensure that our governance framework consists of Strategy, Performance Standards that set the minimum benchmarks and expectations of performance for global assets, Process Standards that support the operation of the business, company policies that show the overarching intent within the business and enable our stakeholders to hold us to account, and the annual business planning process which sets the priorities. These all support our proposed ventures as a Modern Mining Company that creates value for all stakeholders.
In Commodities Trading Nick assists the Group’s trusted connections with ultra high net worth individuals, advisors, placement agents, relationship, investment and private bankers which allow The Merkin Group to act as originators and facilitators of a multitude of transactions including commodity trading in wholesale precious metals, such as bullion, and in oil and gas.
Merkin Advisory have leveraged their roots in ship chartering, ship management and liner and tramp operators to facilitate oil and gas transactions and shipments providing their clients and partners with worldwide trading services for the acquisition and negotiation of physical liquid energy commodities and he is jointly responsible for all aspects of the trading activities.
Nick fits with and underpins The Merkin Group’s growing footprint in to the gold and precious metals and liquid commodities business. He supplements our engagement of industry stakeholders as well as our Asian strategic partners such as PAP E-CON ,and other specialist consultants.
Prior to his mining and commodities experience Nick spent 9 years as a successful property developer with his family in NSW and Queensland and 7 years in the prestige motor vehicle industry as an importer, and boutique sales of cars and and export brand marketing for auto parts.
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William (Bill) Purpura – Responsible Manager & Compliance Manager Merkin Advisory Pty Ltd
Bill Purpura’s acts as both our Responsible Manager and Compliance Manager for our gold and precious metals commodities businesses effective 17 Feb 2021.
Merkin Advisory have been working with Mr Purpura through his firm GLT Direct, based in the DMCC in the UAE, since September 2020 as a facilitator as well as a senior consultant to the gold and precious metals and liquid commodities business.
William Purpura has been involved in the gold and precious metals markets since 1976 and currently is serving his fourth term as Chairman of the COMEX Governors.
He is Principal at GLT Direct DMCC and Managing Partner at GLT Group LLP in the USA.
Mr. Purpura traded gold in Chicago until 1983 when he was approved as a member of COMEX in New York. In 1987 he co-founded Great Lakes Metals which became one of the largest brokers and trading firms on the Exchange. Clients included major bullion banks, fund managers and large professional traders. He also served as a Senior Vice President of NYMEX and advisor to the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME). In 2007 he rewrote the rules for the COMEX Gold Futures contract and implemented the first iteration of the electronic warrant system for COMEX deliverable metals.
Mr. Purpura was the chief negotiator for the COMEX members during the NYMEX IPO, resulting in more than $800 million of equity for the members.
Mr. Purpura founded Northport Commodities in 2011 with offices in New York, Singapore, and Shanghai. Northport’s Shanghai company was one of the first foreign firms permitted to trade precious metals on Chinese Exchanges. He sold Northport in 2017 to focus on the physical commodity markets.
He has served as an advisor to various exchanges in the US, China, and Singapore along with major banks and brokerages in China and Hong Kong. This included an appointment as an International Advisor to the Shanghai Gold Exchange from 2007 to 2013. Mr. Purpura has conducted numerous seminars in Asia and lectured at major universities in the region. He was a member the Board of Advisors to the Faculty of Business at the University of Macau as well as the Advisory Board of Asia Pacific Academy of Economics and Management. (APAEM).
Mr. Purpura is active in the physical precious metals and energy markets through his firm GLT Group LLP and is one of the founders of Dillon Gage Asia, a distributor for major sovereign mints around the world. In 2019 he formed GLT DIRECT DMCC in Dubai as a licensed trading firm in oil products and metals.
Mr Purpura brings a global network, a wide skills matrix and specialist core competencies in governance, transparency, risk mitigation and compliance oversight that fits with and underpins The Merkin Group’s growing footprint in to the gold and precious metals and liquid commodities business. Bill supplements our engagement of industry stakeholders, banks trade commodity, criminal and anti fraud units ,specialist legal consultants such as global sanctions and World Trade Office specialist lawyers, Asian strategic partners such as PAP E-CON , Ballantine Resources, and other specialist consultants.
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Anthony Latimer – Advisory Board Isbister & Co Pty Ltd,Isbister & Co Wholesale Pty Ltd & High Street Hero , & Downtown Beverage Co Pty Ltd
Anthony advises national and international clients including Government enterprises and non-Government enterprises and has a focus on corporate clients in Asia Pacific (in particular China and Papua New Guinea) mainly in the energy, mining, agriculture and infrastructure sectors.
With over 30 years experience Anthony was previously with some of Australia’s most pre eminent firms including Norton Rose Fulbright, Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Ebsworth & Ebsworth.
Anthony has a strong reputation in working with Chinese investors, and Australian and Chinese Governments.
Anthony holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Sydney, NSW, Australia and he is admitted as a solicitor in NSW and Victoria. He is ranked by Australasian Lawyer’s hot 40 – 2014 private practice lawyers and Best Lawyers of the Year 2014-2015 – Corporate Law.
Anthony is a non executive and indepndent director John Swire & Sons Pty Limited (Australia) (a wholly owned subsidiary of UK based John Swire & Sons Ltd, whose holdings include Swire Pacific, Cathay Pacific Airways, Swire Properties, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Ltd and the PNG based Steamships Trading Company) whose large scale business activities in Australia include cold chain transport and storage, bulk logistics transport, materials recycling and handling and mining services.
In addition Anthony has worked with and advised Sean Rothsey and The Merkin Group since 1984 and continues to do so.
Jason Rudy Advisory Board Isbister & Co Wholesale Pty Ltd & High Street Hero
Jason has an extensive and successful track record at running, expanding and trading businesses. He was CEO of Catch Group (Owner of Catchoftheday.com.au, Catch.com.auand Scoopon) from 2013 to 2016.
He was also Executive Director and CEO of EatNow from 2012 when it was a small startup until its merger with MenuLog and subsequent sale shortly after to JustEat in 2015 for $855m. Prior to this, Jason held various GM positions and was on the executive committee within ASX listed software provider IRESS where he worked for 10 years and commenced his relationship with Sean Rothsey and Damian Isbister when the led the acquisitions of stockbrokers Trader Dealer Online and D2MX .
Trish Rothsey Director – Merkin Management Pty Ltd, Queensland
Trish began full time work at The Merkin Group in early 2006.Trish’s responsibilities included front office management, financial control and treasury management, foreign exchange dealing, database management, accounts payable and receivable, film title data basing, banking reconciliation, records keeping, corporate governance, risk and compliance. Trish is also became proficient in Commercial Property Management,Wealth and Asset Management viz a viz Financial Planning and Investment Strategies in core portfolios of the Group.
Trish received training by, and assisted Sean and several Group directors, Chief Financial Officers and General Managers and executive assistants , in the higher aspects of financial control, treasury management, audit, commercial, business and legal affairs, compliance, corporate governance, property management, high volume share trading and investment strategies.
Trish’s exposure to a Family Office since her formative years has given her experience and skills beyond her years. In our past media businesses Trish travelled to The American Film Market in Los Angeles and co administered over 400 titles including acquisition, distribution and sub distribution from potential acquisition status through to modeling, acquisition and all aspects of sub distribution.
Trish’s passion for equestrian pursuits and cattle has led her to gain invaluable management experience on numerous Merkin Group owned and operated cattle stations throughout SE Queensland and a performance horse stud on the Sunshine Coast and also undertook third party veterinary and cattle stud cadetships. Trish is an accomplished equestrienne having been selected in the 2004 – 2006 QLD Junior Eventing Elite Squads & competed to 2** level (FEI and EFA) in the extreme Olympic Sport of Eventing.That courage, commitment and resolve combined with discipline is demonstrated in her work ethic and her accelerated acquisition of financial and management skills.Trish has a medium rigid truck license and a firearms license.
In October 2012 Trish and former Merkin Group Executive Assistant Amy Colley established an independent business providing paralegal services to North Coast Law in Pomona on the Sunshine Coast.North Coast Law provides a full-scale law service, and that business predominantly specialise in property Conveyancing, wills and other generic and specialist estate and succession related solutions. This business is not owned or affiliated with The Merkin Group in any way but is highly recommended by us – and utilised bu us.In 2014 Trish (along with her mother Lee) independently established Tallowwood Farm , a racehorse and performance horse spelling and agistment and education and training operation at Pomona on the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast Saddlery at Cooroy and an online equestrian portal .
Trish remains a director of Merkin Management Pty Ltd and remains responsible for financial control, treasury management, audit, commercial, business and legal affairs, high volume share trading and investment strategies of The Rothsey Superannuation Fund.
Trish has a Certificate 1 in Horticulture (2005) , a Certificate 1 in Agriculture (2005), a Certificate III in Business Administration (2008) and commenced a 6 year Bachelor of Business at Southern Cross University in January 2013. Trish is Sean’s daughter.
Damian Isbister – Founder & CEO – Isbister & Pty Ltd, Geelong Co Founder & CEO Isbister & Co Wholesale Pty Ltd, Gerkin Pty Ltd (T/A High St Hero), &Downtown Beverage Co Pty Ltd,Geelong
Damian Isbister is an engaging senior manager and company director with more than 15 years experience leading large businesses in Australia’s finance and online retail sectors.Damian holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Deakin University and completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course in 2011.
2000 – 2005 Damian held a number of positions working for a boutique Sydney finance company. He was the ASFL license holder undertaking equity and option trading, third party licensing and capital raising for listed companies or companies looking to list on the ASX.
2006 – 2012 Damian worked for The Merkin Group and BoXRED Corporate in Cooroy – Noosa. The business then had a large range of financial interests ranging from film investment and agriculture and it undertook equity trading and management of family funds. At Merkin, Damian helped to orchestrate the acquisition of MDS Financial, an ASX listed company. Under Sean’s mentorship Damian became CEO at MDS Financial. Under his tenure growth of trading turnover within the company grew from $2 million per month to over $60 million per month within 2 years. The company become a full ASX trading participant and held a number of AFSL licenses, which were overseen by Damian for compliance. Damian oversaw fundraising activities for 13 ASX companies.
2012Upon exiting MDS, Damian identified an opportunity in the way that large manufactures and wholesalers cleared their excess inventory. Having a strong network of senior executives Damian setup and managed Straight Jacket Capital to manage the clearance of excess inventory for these companies. He successfully created clearance channels via the leading online retailers in Australia in a way that satisfied both parties.
Acquired and subsequently sold a computer game retailer via a liquidation process. It had 20 stores, 500,000 games and IP assets including a Facebook page and customer database which exceeded 500,000 users.
2013 Negotiated the clearance of 500k of inventory for a large name branded electronics supplier that had under gone a major change of direction.
Worked with the largest online fashion retailer in Australia to clear their excess stock position by creating a retail event.
Acquired a book retailer / wholesaler with 30 stores, 1.5 million books and their IP assets
Acquired $500k of stock from a high fashion denim brand that had undergone a change of ownership
Established an exclusive clearance distributor license with an ASX200 company in the ladies fashion, work wear and bedding industries with the sole purpose of liquidating their excess stock position which was valued in excess of $40m
2014 -2016Arranged the transaction of a high fashion ladies shoes wholesaler/ retailer via a liquidation process. The acquisition included the intellectual property, inventory, 120k Facebook fans and 90k email address.
Negotiated the exclusive right to liquidate the excess stock of an ASX listed active sport retailer. To date this relationship has handled circa $10 million of excess stock.
Establishment of a Joint venture with Australia’s Largest Online retailer Catchoftheday.com.au where he was a director of a subsidiary of this business which handled fashion and general clearance stock along with liquidations. Damian also identified a opportunity for a warehouse sale event which in just 6 months allowed the company to clear millions in excess stock to 10’s of thousands of customers. The sales were such a successful phenomenon it was covered by national news and a current affairs programs on major TV networks. The strategy to generate this crowd was created by Damian independently of the Catch Group.
2016 /2017 With the Merkin Group’s investment banking transaction acquisition and financing of Emerald Foods Group & New Zealand Natural and Sean’s subsequent chairmanship and shareholding was appointed Executive Director and Interim CEO of New Zealand Natural in Australia. During this period Damian undertook the restructuring of the business. He also co led the acquisition of the Movenpick Master Franchisor from Peters Australia with Sean.
Setup Isbister and Co to advise companies that needed management assistance
Co founded Isbister and Co Wholesale & Downtown Beverage Co Pty Ltd with The Merkin Group
Linsey Kilmartin – General Manager Isbister & Co Pty Ltd,Isbister & Co Wholesale Pty Ltd & High Street Hero , & Downtown Beverage Co Pty Ltd
Linsey started at the Cotton On Group in 2007, as and administration assistant for the international stores, then moving on to an Allocation Analyst for Rubi Shoes, Linsey was responsible for making sure stores received the right amount of stock and maintaining their stock levels to a level that stores could manage.
After her time at the Cotton On Group, Linsey thought she would try her luck in Sales as the Sales Manager for Victorian Digital Solutions. Selling large format printers and consumables in a time where most companies are moving to be more digital proved a little harder than first thought but the challenge was rewarding none the less. Whilst at VDS, Linsey also helped to set up the business’ eCommerce platform.
In 2013, she moved to work for Damian in Straight Jacket Captial as a Wholesale Sales Assistant. Dealing mainly in shoes and clothing this was a much better fit and something that she felt came more naturally. In 2014, Straight Jacket Capital was purchased by Catch of the Day and Linsey went along to be a Consignment Manager and Buyers assistant. Helping with the purchasing of stock and making sure that orders were placed and arriving on time, keeping all parties happy.
Mark Meenan Head of Advisory – UK Europe for Merkin Advisory Pty Ltd.
Mark Meenan – Mark has been in Executive Search for the past 15 years working firstly in EMEA from London before relocating to Hong Kong in 2010 where he specialised across APAC – being Director and Head of Recruitment for Merkin Advisory Ltd in Hong Kong.
He has a proven track record of successfully completed mandates working with both start up and blue chip organisations across the Technology, Financial Services ( Private Equity / Asset Management / Fund) Research Property, Health Care, IOT, disruptive and high value collectible arenas in deal origination, senior level executive placements and other bespoke workplace solutions.
Prior to his career in Search he was a professional Rugby player in the UK with international honours on the IRB 7s Circuit representing England.
Director – Merkin Management Pty Ltd, Queensland & Hong Kong. Group Media and Public Relations.
Loretta has been Head of Media and Public Relations for The Merkin Group since 2011 with a particular emphasis of assisting with Australian Chamber of Commerce and other networking in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia, client liason, preparation of mandates, deal summary sheets, information memorandums, research and analysis, due diligence, due diligence site visits and deal origination and distribution for both The Family Office and for third party clients.
Since 2014 Loretta has been a director of Merkin Management Pty Ltd and Loretta shares responsibility with Trish Rothsey for financial control, treasury management, audit, commercial, business and legal affairs, and high volume share trading and investment strategies of The Rothsey Superannuation Fund.
For over a decade from 1997 Loretta worked for several Sunshine Coast consulting engineers managing small to medium sized offices with principals, engineers, geotechnical testers and draughtsmen including controlling invoicing, banking, drawing site plans with Autocad, compiling reports for presentation to certifiers, organising site inspections, liaising with clients, training and supervision of administration staff and all aspects of front and back office management. Major projects included Eenie Creek Retirement Village, “The Boardwalk”, Peregian Beach and “Coral Cove” development in Bowen. Previously Loretta worked with the Noosa Shire Council’s Building Department in administration and contract work.
Originally from Cairns, and then with a long period as an ex-patriate in Cambodia, Thailand and Singapore Loretta accumulated a wealth of experience in positions as diverse as executive secretary for Radisson Long Island Resort Airlie Beach, establishing and operating Nuce’s Bar in Battambang, Cambodia in 1992 – 1993 catering exclusively for the United Nations Defence Forces which necessitated negotiating with local authorities for required licences, stock purchases, product retailing, financial management and all aspects of maintaining an owner business in a challenging and difficult environment. Other previous employment included project coordination of “Trekback”, a reunion event of Armed Services personnel in WWII, and a retailing position in Cairns’ leading store , “Anchor Sports Store” and a long stint in the personal fitness industry in Singapore.
Loretta is highly computer literate with advanced skills in Microsoft Word, Presentation, Excel, MYOB, Photoshop and Autocad Engineering Plan Program and is highly proficient in front and back office management and staff training.
With a high level of interpersonal skills Loretta is an accomplished communicator with proven organisational skills and a recognised flexibility to adapt quickly in varying roles. With high activity levels accompanied by an effervescent and outgoing personality Loretta is a face that represents the Merkin Group and its missions efficiently and conscientiously. Loretta is Sean’s partner.Contact Loretta [email protected]