Thought leaders and thought leadership

Mandy Simpson

Independent Director
Punakaiki Fund

Mandy Simpson is a professional director, consultant and keynote speaker with a particular focus on the business and human impacts of fast moving technologies. Mandy has held senior financial and operational roles in the New Zealand government and private sector including Chief Operating Officer at the New Zealand Stock Exchange and most recently Chief Executive at cybersecurity consultancy Cyber Toa. Originally from the UK, Mandy has a law degree from Cambridge University. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and a member of New Zealand Global Women.

Mandy will introduce cryptocurrencies as well as the underlying technology, blockchain. Her presentation takes a look at the wide variety of uses for blockchain technology, including some of the key financial services developments, how blockchain technology can improve financial inclusion and the importance of digital identity.

Mandy's keynote presentation is proudly sponsored by


Chief Economist
Bank of New Zealand

Tony Alexander has been employed as Chief Economist at the Bank of New Zealand since 1994 with responsibilities including informing senior management about economic developments and prospects, risks and opportunities, and provision of services for the bank’s staff and client base. He is an accomplished public speaker much in demand and each year delivers between 80 and 130 presentations at bank seminars, conferences, and client functions around the country and offshore. He writes and distributes the monthly NZ Observer directly to 11,000 email recipients with extensive links from other websites. Prior to joining the BNZ Tony worked as principal economist at a stock broking firm in Wellington and before that as Research Officer then Treasury Economist with Westpac Bank initially in Sydney, Australia, then New Zealand from 1987.

Tony's keynote presentation is proudly sponsored by

Gareth O'Connor

Strategy Director
PHD Group

Gareth has over 15 years’ experience in the media and advertising industry, 7.5 years in London and 8 years in NZ, and for the last five of those years he’s been with PHD as a Strategy Director both in a global role with Unilever and within the NZ office in Auckland. His career has spanned both media and creative agency life, working on a wide range of clients - IBM, Tourism Ireland, Kellogg’s, Samsung, Activision, EMI, Virgin Records, Associated Press, 2degrees, Pernod Ricard, Nissan, Lotto NZ, DB Breweries, ANZ, Farmers, Mercedes-Benz, Unilever and Spark NZ. He regularly talks at advertising and media industry training courses run by NZ’s advertising governing body the Commercial Communication Council, being a regular on both their Strategy Lab & Media Lab courses, as well as mentoring marketing students at Auckland University.

Gareth's keynote presentation is proudly sponsored by


Research Director for Digital Strategies and Insights
IDC New Zealand

Louise Francis is the Research Director for Digital Strategies and Insights at IDC New Zealand. Louise is responsible for managing IDC New Zealand's end user research programme which provides a 360 degree perspective of the ICT industry from both a vendor and business end user point of view. She provides strategic advisory services to C-suite decision makers, digital investment influencers and the technology provider ecosystem, leveraging IDC’s global research and insight on how New Zealand organisations compare relative to regional and global trends. Since 2008 she has provided actionable insights to help organisations transform their business and navigate the changes created by emerging technologies and digital transformation on their businesses. Louise has worked for over 25 years in the ICT sector within a diverse range of organisations, including Telecom New Zealand, Brocker Technology and Beca.

Louise's keynote presentation is proudly sponsored by


15 MAY 2018
9.00 AM – 4.30 PM

Horncastle Arena

55 Jack Hinton Drive, Addington, Christchurch

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22 MAY 2018
9.00 AM – 4.30 PM

TSB Bank Arena

4 Queen's Wharf, Wellington

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28 MAY 2018
9.00 AM – 4.30 PM

SkyCity Convention Centre

88 Federal Street, Auckland

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