19 & 20 SEPTEMBER 2024


The third major event in this region for the Search Fund & EtA Community.

Register Your Interest

14 & 15 SEPTEMBER 2023


The second major event in this region for the Search Fund & EtA Community.

We'd love to see you there!


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Discover what awaits you at the 2023 EtA Forum

Event Information

Our 2023 Speakers

Luke Taylor

Managing Director
Acheron Capital

Nick Bamford

Managing Director
SRO Technology

Lui Pangiarella

Managing Director & Co-Founder

Hari Hara Priya Kannan

Chief Data Scientist
The Demographics Group

Newton Campos

Professor of Entrepreneurship through Acquisition
IE University

Monte Davis

Scipio Holding Group

Jan Simon

Managing Partner
Vonzeo Capital Partners

Jason Andrew

Director/Head of Growth
SBO Financial

James Frank

Chief Executive Partner
Frank Law + Advisory

Ak Sabbagh

Managing Director | Co-Founder
WayFinder Capital Managers

Jamie Restas

HWL Ebsworth Lawyers

Pete Seligman

Search Investor

Nima Sedaghat

Co-Founder WayFinder Capital
Tax Partner HWL Ebsworth Lawyers

Dean Carey

Founder & Director, Dean of Theatre 
Actors Centre Australia

Alex Simmons

Inerva Software

Michael Chew

Managing Director
Flywheel Effect

John Williamson

Founder & Director Founder
Construct Health

Johnson Wang

Riverlane Capital

Scott Middleton

Founder & CEO

Jake Nicholson

Managing Director

Paige Kohalmont

Greenstorm Capital

Mick Mooney

Founder & Creative Director
Scale Up Media

Jack Lancaster

Evolution Surgical

José Moreno

Managing Partner
AIJ Global Holdings

Michael Kurland

Founder and Managing Director
Arrowpoint Capital

Douglas Cook

DaS Private Capital

Derek Roth-Biester

Anderson Lloyd

Noriko Shimazu

Founder & CEO
Japan Search Fund Accelerator

Andrew Zorzit

Therapy Care

Ray Lehrer

Advance Design Group

Matthew Hall

Gas Equipment Solutions

We Love  Our Sponsors



Platinum Forum Partner &

Water Taxi Sponsor

We are motivated by our client relationships to design world class banking and finance solution for Commercial and Corporate clients and their Home Lending needs.

Represented by a team with half a century of banking experience we are driven to ensure you receive the right access to market solutions.


Visit our Website

Platinum Education Partner - Operator Stream


Frank Law + Advisory is a boutique, client centric, corporate and commercial law and corporate advisory firm.

We practice in areas where we can deliver expert advice: Corporate Advisory; Strategy & Growth; People, Culture & Safety; Corporate & Commercial Law; Restructuring & Turnaround and Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Visit our Website



Platinum Forum Partner


Terem Joint Ventures builds and buys ambitious technology businesses that bring about meaningful change. We’ve been on the AFR Fast 100 twice.

We’re looking to partner with businesses that have an unfair advantage that we can build upon together and spinout. This may include data assets, intellectual property, domain knowledge, distribution channels and scaled infrastructure.

Visit our Website



Coffee Cart Sponsor


The Home of High-Growth Business

SBO Financial is an operational finance firm that provides the full stack of finance function services to high-growth businesses. Our services include bookkeeping, financial modelling, cash flow forecasting and tax services.



Visit our Website



Gold Forum Partner & Lanyard Sponsor


Liston Newton Advisory are an innovative Accounting and Financial Services firm that helps ambitious business owners grow and scale their business.




Visit our Website


Networking Breakfast Sponsor


Nexia Sydney is a leading mid-tier accounting and advisory firm.

Our sector and service expertise expands across several industries, such as property and construction, healthcare, and professional services.

We’re driven by our purpose to connect our clients with their true potential by giving the insight, advice and support needed to navigate to success.

Visit our Website

Networking Drinks Sponsor


Arrowpoint is an Australian-based lender dedicated to providing flexible, purpose-driven debt and hybrid debt solutions to mid-market companies in Australia and New Zealand.

Arrowpoint’s strength is understanding more complex borrower requirements and responding in a timely and bespoke manner.


Visit our Website


Gold Education Partner


Ambit Partners is a dedicated global Search Fund investor, backing the next generation of business owners in diverse and compelling markets around the world.

To date, Ambit Partners has invested in 65+ Search Funds across 28 countries and 6 continents. 


Visit our Website




Sponsor - Dean Carey (Speaker)


WayFinder Capital Managers is Australia’s first Fund Manager of Search Funds.

We champion the aspirations of entrepreneurs who want to acquire a company. We source, invest in, and support that talent to grow value together in Australia’s Mid-Market sector. 

Visit our Website
Sponsorship Packages

EtA Forum Charity Partners

Established in 2022 to bridge the gaps in recovery support for victim survivors of domestic and family violence
A Non-Profit Organization focused on global reforestation
 RMHC Sydney gives sick and injured kids and their family what they need most – each other


Australia’s ocean impact innovation ecosystem and startup accelerator

Event Partners

Photography by gdphoto

Check Out Our 2022 Event:


Australasia's First Annual



The first major event in this region for the Search Fund & EtA Community.

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View Presenters
View Session Content
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2022 EtA Presenters



KEYNOTE: Search Funds becoming a mainstream asset class

In 2003 Tim Moore commenced a self-funded search which resulted in the acquisition of a mining industry enterprise software company. The purchase involved a combination of capital from a family office together with vendor finance. The Gemcom Software business grew to 17 global offices and 450 staff. It was acquired in 2008 by Washington, DC-based Carlyle Group for A$200m. Following the sale, Tim has worked at Dorado and been involved nationally in investments in venture capital, real estate, and private equity.

In 2021 Tim, and colleague Jake Maisey, raised A$10 million in Dorado PE Search Fund 1 which is investing in supporting entrepreneurs seeking companies to acquire, where the entrepreneurs will take on the role of CEO post-acquisition. Tim’s perspective is multi-faceted from being a searcher, acquirer, family office principal and investor in search funds in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.



Market Research: The fundamentals of the Australasian Market for EtA and Search

Jake is Managing Director of SMEVentures, a platform for search fund entrepreneurs that, in partnership with searcher Rob Gaunt, completed Australia's first search fund acquisition in 2020.

Heavily involved in search funds since 2011, Jake was a searcher himself before helping build and run Search Fund Accelerator, the world's first accelerator of search funds. He teaches entrepreneurship through acquisition at INSEAD, from which he obtained his MBA and where he currently serves as Entrepreneur in Residence.

Jake also manages a blog about search funds at smeventures.com, as well as The Search Fund Podcast.


An Entrepreneur “in real life”: A case study of entrepreneurship in action

Nick is Managing Director of SRO Technology, a mining services and technology company head-quartered in Brisbane with a growing national platform. As well as being an experienced operator, Nick is also an investor in three Australian Search Funds. He holds a Master’s Degree in Engineering from The University of Oxford and an MBA from The University of Queensland.

In the past, he has been a business owner and engineer in oil and gas, a consultant in a global strategy firm, and a cowboy in the Northern Territory.

In his spare time, Nick runs ultramarathons well and plays the guitar poorly. He is married to the excellent Emma, they have one dog together.


The role of Investors in Search: Supporting and shaping Searchers through their journey

Luke began his career with a 12-year stint in the Royal NZ Navy as navigator and ship captain, before changing tack to become an executive, working predominantly leading large organisations through periods of significant growth and transformation both in New Zealand and Australia. Following 2 years as the Director of Strategy at Wellington-based design thinking consultancy, Launchsight, Luke founded and raised Acheron Capital: NZ’s first traditional Search Fund.

Luke holds a Master’s degree in Strategy and is a current doctoral candidate at the University of Otago School of Business, where he is researching entrepreneurial finance.



Honing the Search: What makes a deal backable?

Paige is an experienced small-business operator, with a passion for growing business and building great teams. She has over a decade in operations management and an MBA from Macquarie University.

Paige gained her business skills working initially in her family’s import and distribution business, then running her own small business and moving on to various operational roles in SME’s.

She recently founded her search fund Greenstorm Capital and is currently seeking to acquire a business to lead for long-term holding and growth.


The First 100 Days: Transitioning from Searcher to CEO

Johnson is a co-founder of Riverlane Capital, where he looks to invest in and acquire SMEs in Australasia. He is also co-Managing Director of the Australian Paramedical College, the leading vocational college in emergency healthcare.

Previously, Johnson worked in private equity at Oaktree Capital Management, and management consulting at McKinsey & Company. As an entrepreneur, he co-founded CHOPCHOP, a food-tech startup, and was a product manager at Thanx, a Sequoia-backed loyalty and analytics startup.

Johnson holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BEng and BComm from The University of Melbourne.



Why invest in Search?: The unique aspects of Search Funds as an asset class and the impact on appetite of new Investors 

Andrew is a Co-Founder and Partner at Ambit Partners, a global investor in Search Funds with investments in 20+ countries, including multiple in the APAC region. He is an experienced investor, advisor, and board member.

Before founding Ambit Partners, he worked as a Private Equity investor and management consultant, focusing on high-growth and emerging markets.

He lives in Cape Town, South Africa.



The Four Seasons of Search: The entrepreneurial journey from A-Z


Richard is the Managing Director at Broadleaf Financial Group, responsible for day-to-day operations including engagement, financing and project management of the acquisition of equity stakes in financial planning businesses.

From a corporate consulting background, Richard has extensive acquisition, strategic and financial management experience, developed during his 20+ year career in blue-chip global enterprises including EY, Rio Tinto and GlaxoSmithKline.

He has a passion for business growth and improvement and enjoys helping teams and individuals fulfil their potential.


The flavours of Search and EtA: There are many variations on the theme, so what flavour of EtA might suit you as an Entrepreneur or an Investor?


Rob is the CEO of ACE Training, a registered training organisation that he acquired in 2021, marking Australia’s first-ever Search Fund acquisition.

With a 20-year history and approximately 50 employees across four campuses in Victoria, ACE provides courses and licences in civil construction and heavy machinery, selling both to corporate customers and to unemployed jobseekers.

Rob started his career selling photocopiers and worked his way up to COO and then CEO of Marine Rescue Technologies in the UK, where he managed a team of 35 and grew EBITDA threefold before exiting to a strategic buyer.

He then obtained an MBA at Macquarie Graduate School of Management before launching his search for a company to acquire in partnership with SMEVentures, a platform for Search Funds in Australia.


The Owner Operator's Journey: The energetic highs and lows of running a business


Ak is Director and Coach at Beckon Business, Co-Founder of Second Squared and Managing Director and Co-Founder of WayFinder Capital Managers.

Ak works extensively with entrepreneurs and business owners in the Mid-Market Enterprise (MME) sector across Australia. For over 20 years his work has primarily focused on sustainable business growth, alignment of commercial strategy with partnership/shareholder aspirations, structuring for growth (including setting up of boards and governance processes), acquisitions, and succession (MBO, outright sale, etc).

Ak co-founded Second Squared in 2018 to develop the ecosystem and accelerate the development of the Searcher Community in Australia.

He mentors and advises many of the existing and imminent Searchers throughout their searches and acquisitions.


Deal Structuring: What structures, both funding and commercial, might best suit your deal?


Michael Chew runs Flywheel Effect, a Search company he established in early 2021 after he stumbled upon the HBR guide to buying a small business.

Before Search, he spent over 20 years as an entrepreneur and operator, working with companies like Deloitte, IBM and ANZ, providing technology advisory and delivering business and digital transformation.

Michael founded a financial services company in the SME space, which he ran as the CEO for six years.

Panelists & Topics


Breakout Session: Deal Structuring

Brent gained his experience as a Corporate Finance Partner in one of the world’s largest accounting firms where he spent 10 years in the London office before returning to their Sydney office.

Brent has also worked on the client side, working in the corporate development and strategy team in an ASX 20 company.

Brent works on a range of corporate finance transactions including valuations and expert reports, M&A buy and sell side, IPOs, valuations, private fundraising and due diligence for corporate, private equity and bank pre-lending.


Breakout Session: Deal Structuring

For over 15 years Nima has been advising entrepreneurs, business owners and executives, Australian and foreign investors, on restructures, mergers, acquisitions and investment transactions.

He has been appointed to senior roles in various leading professional service organisations and is currently a capital partner and management advisory committee member of the law firm HWL Ebsworth.

Nima is a co-founder of WayFinder Capital, a specialist fund manager investing in Search Funds and Searcher-led Transactions.


Breakout Session: Deal Structuring

In late 2012, after a 15 year career spanning engineering, investment banking and general management, Pete Seligman co-founded Alpin Group to acquire, operate and grow small businesses in Australia. He acquired his first business in June 2013 and over the next 4 years acquired four more. 

Pete acted as CEO for three of those businesses, for periods ranging from 6 months to three years, after which he managed his own succession and remained on the Boards of each as a Non-Executive Director.

This owner/operator experience gave Pete that mix of autonomy/accountability he was seeking, opening his eyes to the world of small business and the global EtA/Search community. He's now leveraging his own Search and Owner/Operator experience to back other aspiring entrepreneurs as a Search Investor, playing his part in supporting the critical global transition of small business ownership from baby-boomers to the next generation of entrepreneurs.


Breakout Session: Honing the Search: What makes a deal backable?

Tom has nearly 20 years of experience in finance, product management, risk management and governance across banking and financial services.

Initially, Tom held a variety of banking roles in the SME market and subsequently in Corporate Banking at NAB.

Tom left NAB in April 2018 having held senior roles in Business Banking and Business Lending Products.

Since 2018, Tom has started his own management consulting business and has been working with start-ups around Australia with financing and operational management needs and in Debt Advisory, working with sophisticated equity groups to improve access to debt capital, predominantly in the SME acquisition markets. 


Breakout Session: Honing the Search: What makes a deal backable?

Lui is a Managing Director and Co-Founder of WayFinder.

Lui has had significant involvement in corporate development activity (mergers, acquisitions and divestments) in a range of industries covering transport and logistics, retail, chemical manufacturing, professional services, marine and civil engineering, laboratory services, subscription-based technology services, and for-purpose organisations.

He has spent more than 15 years working with business owners and executives to grow the sustainability and value of both themselves and their businesses.

He is an experienced executive and business coach, Non-Executive Director and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountant and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Lui co-founded Second Squared three years ago to develop the ecosystem and accelerate the development of the Searcher Community in Australia.  He has mentored and provided advice to many of the existing Searchers throughout their searches and acquisitions.


Breakout Session: Honing the Search: What makes a deal backable?

Sahil Shekhar is co-founder of Riverlane Capital, where he looks to invest in and acquire SMEs. He’s also co-Managing Director of Australian Paramedical College, Australia’s leading emergency health care vocational education institution.

Previously, Sahil worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he focused on the healthcare, education and private equity sectors, and as CEO of Tappl, an HR technology company. Sahil has also worked in the public sector as consultant to the World Bank and various governments, particularly on topics related to workforce development and education.

Sahil holds an MPA/ID from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne, where he was a National Scholar.


Breakout Session: The role of Investors in Search: Supporting and shaping Searchers through their journey

Jake is Investment Director at Dorado Capital, a family office based in Perth. Dorado Capital invests across all asset classes including Property, Venture Capital and Private Equity and recently raised a A$10m fund to invest in Search Funds in Australia and New Zealand. 

Before joining Dorado in May 2019, Jake worked in Corporate Finance at KPMG in Perth and Fund Management at Stenprop in London.

Jake is an experienced investor and corporate advisor and sits on a number of boards as a non-executive director. 


Breakout Session: The flavours of Search and EtA: There are many variations on the theme, so what flavour of EtA might suit you as an Entrepreneur or an Investor?


Greg founded Single Trail Capital and has set about searching for, acquiring and operating a single, excellent business. 

Greg has spent the last eight years providing merger, acquisition and strategy advice to small and medium companies. He has worked across a number of industries including engineering, industrial distribution, real estate, manufacturing, technology and property. 

Greg has previously worked for a boutique investment house providing investment and strategic advice to clients. Prior to this, he worked with Westfield’s treasury, providing account management, debt capital funding and transaction services. 

Greg holds an MBA from Bond University. ​


Breakout Session: The flavours of Search and EtA : There are many variations on the theme, so what flavour of EtA might 

Scott is the founder and CEO of Terem, a tech product development firm. Scott led Terem’s growth from a $0 to over $10m in annual revenue, featuring twice on the AFR Fast 100.

Scott has been involved in the launch and growth of over 61 tech products, including Terem’s joint ventures with market leaders like IAG.  Scott’s insights on product management, venture building and software development have been viewed globally over 150,000 times.

Scott’s passion for the business of technology started at age 14 when he developed and sold a mobile game that was distributed globally.

Scott holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Sydney.


Breakout Session: The role of Investors in Search: Supporting and shaping Searchers through their journey


Prior to launching Crux, Orlando worked in investment banking, private equity, and entrepreneurship across New York, London, and Paris. He has performed financial analysis, valuation, and due diligence of companies and investment portfolios around the globe. He has also created operating, growth, and diversification strategies for companies looking to expand across borders.

Orlando holds an MBA from HEC Paris, a Master of Finance from London's Cass Business School, and a Bachelor of Economics from Boston University.

Originally from New York, Orlando has taken his passion for travelling to 80 countries worldwide. Before moving to Australia, he lived in the USA, Puerto Rico, England, France, Poland, and Mongolia.

Orlando is passionate about soccer, rock climbing, helping entrepreneurs launch startups, and is now getting his certification for scuba diving in underwater caves.


Breakout Session: The First 100 Days: Transitioning from Searcher to CEO

Alexander Simmons is Managing Director of Inerva Software, which provides ERP software to the Australian aged care industry.

Alex acquired Inerva in November 2021, after raising Australia’s first traditional search fund in 2019.

Prior to searching, Alex was a management consultant in Sydney and PE investor at Bestport Capital in London.

He holds an MBA from INSEAD and BA from Oxford University.

Session Content

Not able to attend this year's event? You can still learn from our speakers and panelists!

Drop your name and email below to access the presenter slides and photos from the 2022 EtA Forum