About Us

The International Centre for Financial Services (ICFS) seeks to foster excellence in, and understanding of, the Financial Services industry by providing, world class education programs, innovative research, global partnerships and industry thought leadership.

At The International Centre for Financial Services (ICFS) , we are:

  • collaborating with industry leaders throughout the Asia Pacific to prepare students for the opportunities and challenges associated with disruptive change in financial services
  • creating awareness of South Australia’s capabilities in wealth/funds management
  • helping to shape the perspective and knowledge of some of the world’s leading financial services business leaders
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  • Our staff

    • George Boubouras - Director
    • Celeste Kelly - Business Support Coordinator, ICFS
  • Our researchers

  • Management committee

    The Management Committee is responsible for the overall academic and business strategic direction of the centre. It comprises of representatives from the various schools and departments within the Faculty of the Professions.

  • Advisory board

    The role of the Advisory Board is to advise the International Centre for Financial Services (ICFS) on its activities, particularly the development of new activities, assist in fund raising and support for research projects, provide a communication channel between the ICFS and the financial services industry and enhance the scope and quality of the Centre's activities. 

    • George Boubouras - Director, Caledonia Pacific Capital Partners

    Over 25 years experience in the financial services industry as a Portfolio Manager, Chief Investment Officer (CIO) and Managing Director (MD) at various global and domestic financial firms. Experience includes managing investment mandates across multiple asset classes, head of asset allocation and dynamic / tactical overlay and managing financial services companies. Also an experienced MD of listed companies and also a Non-Executive Director (NED) of fund management firms and Charities. Experience includes: CIO at Atlas Capital; Director of Salter Brothers Asset Management; MD and CIO at Contango Asset Management; CIO and Executive Director (ED) at UBS; CIO and Head of Asset Management at Equity Trustees; Head of Asset Allocation, Fixed Income, FX and Equity Research at HSBC Asset Management and Economist at Westpac, NSW Treasury and SBC (now UBS). George holds a Bachelor of Economics, Hon (Flinders University); Portfolio Management Executive Certificate from the AGSM at the University of New South Wales (UNSW); Executive Certificate in Management & Leadership from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management; Investment Decisions & Behavioural Finance Program at Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education and the Securities & Derivatives Industry Association (SDIA) Accreditation (PS146).

    • Peter Burgess - Peter Burgess – Deputy CEO / Director of Policy & Education, Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) Association

    Peter Burgess is the SMSF Association’s Deputy CEO / Director of Policy & Education. Peter is a previous Association Board member and worked at the Association as Technical Director for three years prior to joining the SMSF administrator SuperConcepts in 2013 as General Manager, Technical Services & Education.

    With over 20 years of industry experience Peter is recognised as an authority in SMSF technical matters and Government policy design. He is a widely published author and media commentator on SMSFs and is regularly sought for comment on the latest technical and policy sector developments. He is passionate about SMSFs and the role they can play in providing a dignified retirement, in the right circumstances, for those who seek greater engagement and control over their retirement savings. Through his contribution to the development of SMSF education standards, his Government advocacy work and his commitment to professionalism and thought leadership, Peter has dedicated much of his career to improving SMSF advice competency standards and the vibrancy and credibility of the SMSF sector.

    Peter holds an MBA from the University of Adelaide an Economics degree and postgraduate qualifications in finance. In 2016, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the SMSF sector, Peter was awarded the SMSF Association’s Chairman’s Award. In June 2021, Peter achieved Fellow Member status with the SMSF Association, recognising his significant commitment, leadership and contribution to both the Association and the SMSF sector.

    • Jane Dharam - Manager, Investor Services and Superannuation Research

    Jane Dharam is Product Manager Investments at QSuper.  QSuper invests over AUD$110 billion on behalf of more than 600,000 superannuation members.  Jane's professional career includes over 25 years in funds management, from company analyst to fund manager and head of investor services and superannuation research. Jane has held board positions and chaired committees within the finance, education and arts sectors. She is currently the Deputy Chair of the Retirement Products Special Interest Group for the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST). 

    • Natalie Luzecki - Director of Vue Wealth Pty Ltd and Senior Financial Adviser for Hendersons Financial Planning

    Natalie Luzecki is the Director of Vue Wealth Pty Ltd. Natalie has a Degree in Economics and a Post Graduate Degree in Global Wealth Management from the University of Adelaide, along with an Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning, Natalie has more than 25 years’ experience in the Financial Services Industry. She has served many roles from analytical, Accountant to Financial Adviser in the Credit Union and financial planning sectors, including with the Australian Central Credit Union, Police Credit Union, AMP Horizons, Hillross, Westpac and Harvest Wealth. Natalie is fully accredited in Self-Managed Superannuation Funds and is a Justice of the Peace for South Australia. Natalie’s specialty is with analysing historical and current markets, including international and domestic sectors and industries to provide creative and practical financial solutions which has helped her develop the strong relationships she has with her clients. Clients of Natalie’s vary from Institutional clients to clients of varying degrees of complexities to everyday families. Natalie is passionate about people considering careers in financial services and the wealth management industry and encourages this through her unique opportunity through her involvement on the Advisory Board.

    Paul Hutchinson was the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Rural Bank following over nine years leading the business. During his tenure he has led the entire transformation of the organisation from a relatively underdeveloped operating model typical of a new market entrant, into a relevant, sizeable and profitable banking business. His focus on clear market positioning, sales and distribution execution, service excellence and risk management are underpinned by strong strategic thinking and commercial skills as well as very developed people leadership and change management competencies. These attributes have been honed through nearly 30 years of experience and credentials in the Australian, New Zealand and international financial services communities. Before joining Rural Bank Paul was the Chief Operating Officer with New Zealand Post, responsible for the sales and distribution capabilities of the group and notably the key origination capability for Kiwibank. His prior experience has included senior appointments with Westpac Banking Corporation (Australia), National Australia Bank and Bank of New Zealand

    Paul is well versed in corporate governance practices having been a respected director of the Rural Bank Board in addition to being a member of the Bank’s various management committees.  He is also a member of the University of Adelaide’s Business School Agribusiness Advisory Board and International Centre for Financial Services Advisory Board. Previous board appointments have included the Datamail Group Ltd (now Converga) and Outsource Australia Ltd. Paul has attended the New Zealand Bankers Institute (in association with Victoria University, Wellington) Bankers Course, is a graduate of the Harvard Business School General Management Programme and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Paul continues to be engaged by Rural Bank in a project capacity and is also providing consultancy services to the University of Adelaide.

    • Con Michalakis - Head of Investments Statewide

    Along with the Investment Committee, Con is responsible for managing Statewide Super’s over $10 billion in funds under management.

    Prior to joining Statewide Super, Con was Director of Marketing and Client Services for Manhattan-based boutique investment firm Pzena Investment Management, where he was responsible for marketing the firm's products and services in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. He was previously the Director, Head of Institutional Business, for Merrill Lynch Investment Managers based in Sydney. Con has also worked in London with Alliance Capital Management and was the first Australian practice leader of investment consulting for Watson Wyatt.

    Con has a Bachelor of Mathematical Science from the University of Adelaide, a Masters of Science from the University of London and a Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Strategy from Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

    • Mario Pegoli - Venture Partner & Head of South Australia, Sapien Ventures and Managing Partner, HFG Capital

    Mario is a corporate lawyer and provides advice on the full range of corporate transactions, including capital raisings, mergers and acquisitions, and capital restructures.

    Prior to his legal career, Mario worked in senior roles in State Government, including leading the financial services and capital market team and working on significant and complex transactions.

    Prior to State Government, Mario worked for a leading Hedge Fund in London. In this role, he experienced the origination and syndication of complex global corporate transactions. Mario has an in-depth understanding of investment grade and sub-investment grade investment financing. From an investment perspective, he has had experience working on the world’s largest corporate finance transaction at that time ($33 billion).

    Mario has a particular interest in start-up companies and/or existing businesses seeking transformational growth. He also understands the different dimensions of potential investor requests with varying funding rounds (i.e., Seed, A, B, C funding). He has provided valuation, capital structure and transaction advice on debt and equity transactions in investment grade and sub-investment grade portfolios.

    Mario has completed a Master of Laws, Master of Business Administration (MBA), and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at the University of Adelaide, a Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning at the Securities Institute, and a Bachelor of Business; Banking and Finance at the University of South

    • Professor Ralf Zurbrugg - Associate Head of Research, Adelaide Business School and Academic Director, ICFS University of Adelaide

    Ralf Zurbrugg is the Associate Head of Research within the Adelaide Business School and the Discipline Leader for Business Analytics. He has held a number of administrative appointments within the university including as Interim Dean, Head of School and Deputy Dean. He also serves on various committees both inside the University and in the private sector. Ralf has taught and held various visiting positions around the world, including the UK, Singapore, Switzerland, UAE and the US. He is a Justice of the Peace for South Australia, an endowment fund manager for two not-for-profit institutions, serves on the editorial board of several journals, is the academic convenor of the International Centre for Financial Services and a director of a quantitative investment solutions company. He regularly consults for industry, particularly for the hedge fund sector, as well as being an expert witness on a number of state and federal court cases. He has also appeared on television and been quoted in national newspapers over the years.


 

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