EXECUTIVE TEAM

GNC Group’s executive team is accountable for the strategy, people, operations and ongoing performance of the business.

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Jamie Downs

Partner

Luke Ritchie

Partner

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Nick Johnston

Partner

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Chris Wong

Partner

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Allard Sjollema

Managing Partner – Asia

OPERATIONAL LEADERSHIP TEAM

Our Operational Leadership Team provides functional and project leadership, team development and strategic input across geography and client.

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Chris Peile

Director

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Bree Zampogna

Director

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Richard Bowen

Director

Richard Bycroft

Director

Brad-Atkins

Brad Atkins

Director

Wi-Liem-Chua

Wi Liem Chua

Director

Loki Lim

Director

Geoff King

Director

JAMIE DOWNS

 

Jamie started his career with a brief spell in merchant banking in London before joining Tesco as an Accountant in the UK head office. After 5 years having worked in Commercial Finance and Operations roles, Jamie was gripped by the retail bug and moved to ASDA, where he successfully completed a number of General Manager roles in Commercial Finance, Retail Operations and Global Sourcing following ASDA’s acquisition by Walmart.

 

Jamie and his family moved to Australia in 2005 to join Coles, where he worked for 4 years in various Finance roles reporting directly to the CFO covering Strategy, Merchandise, Marketing and Store Formats. Jamie has worked with GNC Group since it was founded in 2010 and formally joined as a Partner in 2013.

 

Jamie currently leads GNC Group’s Sydney practice and works predominantly in the Retail and FMCG space across all functions.

LUKE RITCHIE

 

Luke brings 22 years of commercial experience across a wide variety of consulting and line-management roles within large organisations and SMEs. Luke has worked in General Manager level roles across the retail value chain in strategy, finance, business development, marketing, merchandise and IT.

 

Luke is a change agent who is well-practiced at leading and implementing large change management programs within organisations. His recent engagements with GNC Group include Target, Coles Online, The Reject Shop, Metcash and Godfreys.

 

Luke has degrees in Computing, History, Political Science and an MBA from Melbourne Business School. A keen (former) sportsperson, Luke takes an active role in his children’s activities including cricket coaching and management of his son’s soccer team. He also enjoys reading, running and horse racing and is completing a Master of Arts (Literature) part-time.

NICK JOHNSTON

 

Nick has two decades of experience in finance and commercial roles, the last fifteen of which have been at senior executive level.  Nick has worked in both small businesses and large multinationals across the retail, manufacturing, financial services and energy industries.

 

Holding a BA with Honours, Nick held senior roles at Coles where he led finance and strategy teams. Prior to joining Coles, he worked for Goodyear and General Electric in Australia and Arcadia Group and Signet in the UK.

 

Outside of work, Nick and his wife Louise live in Melbourne with their son and have a keen interest in several themed restaurants. Originally hailing from Leeds, Nick still enjoys the EPL and is intent on converting his colleagues!

CHRIS WONG

 

Chris is a Senior Executive with over 15 years’ experience in Corporate Finance and Strategic Consulting.

He has worked with top tier professional services firms in Investment Banking and Corporate Advisory. He has also held a number of senior management positions in industry, including with Transurban where he was Development Manager (Australia) and also a Senior Corporate Finance Manager responsible for heading up the Internal Advisory unit. Prior to this, Chris worked with Deutsche Bank in the UK and KPMG in Melbourne as part of their Corporate Advisory business. 

Through his career, Chris has been involved in a number of significant transactions ranging from hostile takeovers to privately negotiated deals with Government agencies. He now works as a specialist finance and transformation consultant helping clients of all sizes and across industries to successfully execute their strategic plans. 

 

Chris holds Bachelor’s degrees in Commerce and Arts from the University of Melbourne, and has a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investments from the Financial Services Institute of Australia.

ALLARD SJOLLEMA

 

With over 25 years of retail experience across 3 continents, Allard started his career with the Dutch retail and energy group, SHV Makro.  Originally from the Netherlands, he returned to Europe with retail giant Metro Group leading their market entry into Slovakia.

 

Allard joined Tesco in China as Commercial Director, before becoming CEO of Courts Malaysia, an electronics and furniture retailer. At Courts, Allard achieved important cost reductions, optimizing the supply chain and improving supplier terms.

 

Allard has a Master’s Degree in Law and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.  Fluent in Dutch, English, Spanish and French, Allard cares about humanitarian causes, and is an avid sportsman enjoying swimming, hiking and soccer.

 

CHRIS PEILE

 

Chris Peile started his career as a mechanical engineer with BlueScope Steel. He worked at their manufacturing site undertaking design, build and project management roles. During this time he began his MBA and partway through it, decided to make a career change.

 

He then began working at the management consulting arm of GHD, a large technical consultancy. During his four rewarding years there he specialised in Asset Management and Optimisation as well as the facilitation of ‘Due Diligence’ reporting to support large infrastructure M & A’s. This led to a natural transition to a role with Industry Funds Management, the primary investment bank for superannuation funds. He spent another four years with them and was an integral part of their Infrastructure Investment team, focusing on M & A/bids/divestments and shareholder reporting of outcomes.

 

Chris was also a support to IFM selected Independent Directors with IFM owned assets (power generation and distribution, rail networks, toll roads, airports) within Australia, the US and Europe. He then turned his hand to independent consultancy and spent a brief period acting as a GM of manufacturing for a small firm and facilitated their strategic review. After this he joined GNC Group and has been here for the last four years.

 

Chris’s time as Director of GNC Group has been a highlight of his career primarily because of their approach to engagements with clients. GNC Group always keeps the ability to deliver firmly in mind. They also have a real pride in actually delivering value to their clients - whether in cost savings, revenue uplifts or efficiency – and this fires Chris’s passion. He firmly believes GNC Group is transparent in all they do and are willing to sacrifice short-term benefits if it is in best long-term interests of their clients.

 

Chris’s current client is Target in their Supply Chain division. He is focused on delivering cost savings through optimisation of their network. This has included the design, layout and selection of properties. Chris has also incorporated automation into these facilities which has produced strong benefits for the client. He foresees further opportunities for automation across their whole warehouse by combining individual automation components under an overarching warehouse ‘controller’ to optimise movements.

 

Outside of his work with GNC Group, Chris is all about family. He also loves ‘things that go’ such as sailing, cars and motorsport. He recently completed a three year build of a 1950’s sports car and had the pleasure of driving Kimi Raikonnen around the Melbourne GP track immediately before the 2016 Formula 1 race.

BREE ZAMPOGNA

 

Bree Zampogna began her career as an accountant at PwC as an eager, fresh-faced graduate. In these early years learning her craft, she took every opportunity to try something new, be it working across a variety of industries to writing and delivering training materials or working on international project teams.  After 16 years, it was time to pack up her skill bag and move into commercial finance in retail and on to FMCG. During her time in FMCG, she tackled a large system implementation followed by a business integration project.  She then did some independent consulting before joining GNC Group as a Director in February 2016.

 

The work that GNC Group does sits squarely in the space that Bree most likes to operate -  the spot where she can marry her commercial acumen and analytical skills to work collaboratively with cross functional teams. She thrives in an action-oriented environment that provides opportunities to grow and this strongly aligns with the values of GNC Group. She is very excited to contribute to the Group’s growth and success.

 

In her private life, Bree’s lifelong passion has been dancing in various forms. She was recently able to combine her love of dancing with work when she led her team of facilitators in a flash mob during a series of innovation workshops.

RICHARD BOWEN

 

Richard is a senior business consultant with a broad range of experience in large corporates, SMEs and government.

 

After practising as a Solicitor, Richard has held management roles in supply chain, procurement, information technology, marketing and strategy. His consulting career covers many industries including retail, health, logistics, financial services, airlines and manufacturing.

 

Outside of GNC Group, Richard is a member of the Advisory Board for Cortex Health, a medical food distribution business. He and his wife also own an online business retailing urban and commuter cycling gear.

 

Richard is the Vice President of the Hampton Rovers Junior Football Club and he’s often found riding one of his bikes or supporting his children’s’ academic, creative or sporting endeavours.

RICHARD BYCROFT

 

Richard Joined the GNC Group team in 2016 and brings extensive experience in leading global retail brands in the UK, United States and Australia.  He has held senior roles in Finance, Strategy, Merchandise, Business Development and Marketing.

 

A particular strength is the development of business growth and profitability across Fashion, Department Stores, Supermarket and Convenience channels. Partnering with leading consulting firms on major transformation projects has added frameworks and tools to a broad spectrum of knowledge and expertise. 

 

A collaborative and adaptive style of leadership has generated strong commercial outcomes whilst developing teams and building strong stakeholder relationships.

 

Career foundations built in Finance and Strategic Planning have fostered a strong commercial acumen and financial management skills. This strong financial base has been complimented with experience in marketing, store design and development, category management, project management and store operations.

 

Richard is currently working through an engagement with a Melbourne based National Retailer to identify and deliver significant efficiencies and benefits, leveraging his cross functional experience to consider opportunities from a business wide perspective.

 

Richard spends his spare time surfing with his Son, horse riding with his Daughter and cycling with his friends.

 

BRAD ATKINS

 

Brad Atkins’ strong project and program management skills have served him well over his career. He has managed projects across many industries such as retail, automotive and education both in Australia and overseas. Before arriving at GNC Group, Brad was responsible for change and innovation management in the advanced technical work area at General Motors, North America. He then spent some time as a Program Manager at General Motors, South Korea, where he was responsible for driving vision and strategy for Asia Pacific Advanced Design. After spending significant time overseas, Brad returned home to make his move to GNC Group.

 

Brad holds a Bachelor’s degree in Science from the University of Melbourne, as well as professional certification in Program Management. As a Director of GNC Group, Brad has worked alongside various stakeholders in helping to manage and implement cultural change.  His working strengths lie in his ability to be structured, consultative and logical and brings a great depth of knowledge and cultural diversity, contributing to GNCGroup’s overall vision.

 

Outside of work, Brad is the owner and Micro Producer of a boutique vineyard in the Yarra Valley. He is committed to producing the best quality wine possible and at the same time, ensuring he is environmentally responsible.

WI LIEM CHUA

 

Wi Liem joined GNC Group in June 2016 and comes in as a young retail professional with eight years’ experience spanning FMCG and apparel retailing. Wi Liem held management roles in both Coles and Target across Procurement, Sourcing, Transformation, Buying and Planning.

 

From his career Wi Liem brings hands on retail industry specific experiences within business transformation, operating model redesign, retail strategy, range resets, sourcing, pricing and promotion strategy.

 

Since joining GNC Group Wi Liem has worked with Country Road Group, Coles and Siam Makro in Bangkok.

 

Close to his heart is his wife and three young girls who keep him 100% occupied when not at work, and he would not have it any other way.

LOKI LIM

 

Loki Lim started his career as a Treasury analyst with John Holland Group, an iconic Australian engineering, contracting and services provider, where he was responsible for cash and liquidity management, and working capital optimisation. During this time he completed a graduate diploma in applied finance and investment with the former Securities Institute of Australia.

 

He then turned to the global soft commodity markets, working in several roles across trading and finance at a European commodities merchant and processor. During this time Loki completed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program, and became a CFA charterholder. He then spent several years in agribusiness investment management; as an integral part of a Corporate Finance team that was responsible for capital management and planning, farm and water portfolio acquisitions and divestments, and inception of structured alternative investment products. Loki also helped to manage relationships with syndicated lenders, investors and external analysts. He was also briefly involved in the mining and minerals processing industry, before joining GNC Group in 2012.

 

As a Director of GNC Group, Loki is highly driven to deliver upon our unique consulting model. We are a team that is proud of our focus on achieving real, tangible and lasting outcomes for our clients, on every engagement. Loki has worked alongside a diverse set of clients to help manage and implement transformational merchandise and supply chain projects both in Australia and overseas. He is currently engaged with Coles Supermarkets to help deliver step change programs across range and space, and merchandise process.

 

Outside of working life, Loki enjoys travelling, discovering new restaurants with friends, and has recently taken up surfing and paddle boarding. One of his goals is to wear shorts every day.

 

GEOFF KING

Geoff has over two decades of experience in a variety of senior finance roles across the Tesco group. The first half of his Tesco career was spent in senior finance roles in the UK core business, and the second half helping develop the Tesco overseas businesses with various country and central international CFO roles.

Geoff has more recently taken residency in Malaysia and was the Group CFO of the country’s largest telecom operator, before beginning his consultancy career in 2014 with extended projects in India and Russia.

 

Holding a BSc with Honours in Mathematics and a prize-winning CIMA finalist, Geoff now resides in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and has joined GNC Group at the start of their Asia operation.

 

Outside of GNC, Geoff is a non-executive director and audit committee chairman of X5 Retail Group, Russia’s largest grocery retailer. His hobbies are swimming, walking and visiting new places.