We are a diverse team of individuals with varied backgrounds, diverse experience and complementary skills.

Who we are

Ours is a passion for helping realise business ambition. Working with those we intuitively feel have the right balance of people, operations, opportunity and timing.

That’s why we work with all manner of businesses. With an unparalleled ability and resource to find the right capital fit, we are more agile, more instinctive, more willing and more able to find a solution that works better for our potential partners.

We’re not locked in a sector paradigm nor limited by a one dimensional offer. We pride ourselves on doing the unusual but smart, the challenging but rewarding, the complex but worthy.

Chris Giufre

Chris has more than 18 years' experience undertaking corporate M&A, direct investment and property transactions, with extensive expertise in both public and private market transactions. He has successfully completed a number of private equity exits and IPO’s in both New Zealand and Australia, and has a proven track record of partnering with growth companies and entrepreneurial business owners.

Grant O’Neill

Grant has more than 20 years experience in private equity and principal investments, M&A advisory and acquisition finance across NZ and Europe. He has a successful private equity investment track record with Nikko Principal Investments and HSBC Principal Investments in the United Kingdom, undertaken mid-market acquisition finance and advisory transactions with ASB Bank in New Zealand, as well as having debt restructuring and recovery experience with PwC in New Zealand and Europe. Grant has a real passion for supporting ambitious business owners and management teams to achieve their strategic objectives.

Michael Johns

Michael has partnered with many founders and management teams across a broad range of industries in Australasia and North America to accelerate organic and acquired growth. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst Charter holder, holds a Certificate in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors and has Post Graduate qualifications from Stanford University, University of Virginia and The University of Auckland. Michael has over 16 years' experience working in the Capital Markets and has extensive Corporate Finance, Banking and Direct Investment expertise. Most recently he led the Private Capital, Business Development and the New Zealand Regional Corporate businesses at ASB Bank. Michael enjoys competitive sport having represented New Zealand in golf and triathlons.

Anthony Ford

Anthony has over 15 years’ experience in the corporate mergers and acquisitions field. He is a qualified lawyer having previously worked for several top tier law firms. During his time as a lawyer in private practice, Anthony specialised in corporate mergers and acquisitions transactional matters and brand protection advisory to various market leading consumer product brands.

Anthony has developed a particular expertise in advising on large-scale industry aggregation transactions. Over the last seven years he has had significant roles (both legal and commercial) in over half a dozen industry transactions that resulted in successful IPO / listing or trade sale exits.

Brad Fris

Brad has extensive experience in growth strategy, operations and private equity value creation through Bain & Company, where he was a leader in their TMT and Industrials practices and was instrumental in leading some of Australia and New Zealand’s biggest growth transformation programs for ASX and NZX listed companies. Prior to Bain, he worked in numerous commercial, sales and marketing roles in medical, biotech and scientific organisations across New Zealand, UK and Ireland, and he is a former forensic scientist with ESR in Auckland. Brad has an MBA from INSEAD and undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in neurobiology and forensic genetics from the University of Auckland.

Drishen Naidoo

Drishen joined Ascentro in 2020. He began his career in banking with ICBC before moving into private investment. Drishen holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Commerce (First-Class Honours) from the University of Auckland and was also a recipient of the INFINZ scholarship.