Key staff - Directors and relationship managers.
James Brien – Fund Consultant | Project Management | Director | New Zealand & Singapore
James has Directorship, Trusteeship, Managerial, technology, and project management, project funding and finance expertise… a trailblazer by definition. He constantly seeks greater challenges, and that often means networking globally in search of like-minded entrepreneurs who passionately create and innovate.
Being well suited to Project Management and Project Funding, with extensive experience and knowledge on what it takes to raise capital, sell an idea, keep a project alive and succeed, he is able to assist projects achieve the funding they require… a particularly rare attribute for southern hemisphere projects & entrepreneurs.
James has a flare for green projects where there is benefit to humanity or the environment. He will work to achieve far better than expected results. His plans for Ardent are to expand coverage of Ardent's services to encompass the whole APEC/ASEAN & PIF regions and then again reach further abroad. He sincerely believes that Ardent can make a sizable, successful impact in the world by matching commercial support with funding. James has two children in New Zealand who are each growing up to be independent and creative.
John Twizell – Logistics Consultant | Project Team Leader | Director | New Zealand & Singapore
John comes from an extensive background in manufacturing and logistics with a tertiary qualification in this field. He has over thirty years experience in Search & Rescue from Search Team Leader to Search Management to National Council and is an on-call Advisor to the New Zealand Police.
John does not believe in “winning at all costs”. He believes in doing what’s right and what’s best for all the parties involved (“for the greater good”) & in developing long term professional relationships based on trust and mutual respect. He believes in ensuring that all parties benefit from dealing with him & has a broad range of life experience to draw on. He has travelled extensively; he believes in enjoying life and in helping others less fortunate to live with dignity.
He is a devoted husband and father, happily married with two daughters; one at High School and one infant.
"I choose who I align myself with very carefully, so I was very happy to be invited onto the Ardent team because it’s values are mine; honesty, transparency, diligence, work ethics, professionalism, philanthropy & humility.”
Martin Visser – Financial Analysis & Marketing Advisory | New Zealand & Singapore
Martin has a Bachelor of Management Studies (Hons), with strengths in marketing, strategic planning, research and finance. He has worked for large national and international companies including Carter Holt Harvey, Fletcher Challenge, American Express and the Bank of New Zealand.
Prior to joining the Ardent Group in Singapore he was a District Councillor in Whanganui, Property and Reserves Portfolioholder, Infrastructure Deputy Portfolioholder and he was the Council's representative on the Whanganui & Partners Board. He was the key proponent of the city's new Innovation Quarter.
As a driven social entrepreneur, Martin brings a wealth of experience to our team. His calm and composed demeanor in all situations is a hallmark trait of a reliable professional.
Joining our Singapore office from mid 2016 as the Financial Controller and a member of our Board, he provides valuable oversight and management to our accounting and project auditing team, our consultants and third party financiers and intermediaries.
Kristine Arbolonio / Brien – Management Team - Executive Assistant | Singapore
Kristine speaks fluent English, Tagalog and various Filipino dialects, comprehends several other Asian languages and also basic Arabic. She has worked in the Philippines, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.
Kristine has held many positions including Executive Secretary, Accounting Assistant, Personal Assistant, Sales Assistant and Manager. She is professional and relates easily to people of all social and professional levels. She has a diverse set of skills specialising in sales, marketing and customer services.
Kristine performs all secretarial functions for Ardent, assists with our marketing strategies, takes meeting minutes and assists with the general administration of the management team as an Executive Assistant to the Singapore Directors and Seniors.
As a motivated and dynamic networker, Kristine will also assist Ardent with our strategies for alignment with various global agencies, organisations and Governments, that may benefit from the services provided by Ardent and/or our project clients and partners.
Tony Griffin – General Manager | New Zealand
Tony is passionate about what Ardent can do for our clients. He has been in business development, sales and management roles for over twenty years in a variety of industries including security, IT, communications, and insurance.
Tony spent almost ten years in the Royal New Zealand Air Force as an Aircraft Technician, which has provided him with the discipline necessary to achieve whatever he puts his energy into and an ability to understand and appreciate technologies from many different fields.
Tony has enjoyed turning business ideas into profit making realities and achieving this through smart work habits and high ethical standards. To just make profit is not enough; to provide ongoing solutions that continue to provide good business results is more satisfying to him.
High on his list of achievements are his three children who have grown up to be fine adults. Tony is very proud of their achievements and they will continue to be a great source of motivation for him.
Warren Bull – Technology Administrator | New Zealand
Warren is our resident technical support and administration expert for anything that requires or involves the setup of domains, mobile infrastructure, email etc.
Warren is a Computer Technician and security system expert, gifted with a unique ability to install, test and problem solve a piece of equipment or a program that wasn’t performing how it should, and so it was fitting that he be Ardent’s go-to-guy in the digital world.
He is licensed in New Zealand as a security expert and holds various accreditations from computer, networking and security related suppliers, installers for equipment use, installation and management.
He is interested in music, movies, adrenalin related recreation, programming, designing and building technical hobby projects and his ability to think outside the square for technical problem solving is well appreciated within our team.
Joshua Novak – Chinese Commerce and Banking Relationship Manager | China | Hong Kong
Josh is our resident China / Hong Kong corporations and banking relationship manager. Aside from his first language English, he is fluent in Spanish, Mandarin, Russian and Pashto. With advanced qualifications in both the academic and military arenas, and with much experience and success in international business, he is ideally qualified to assist us in strategic planning to solidify our group’s position in delivering world class professional services globally. He has travelled extensively and lived in many locales, including Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East.
Josh is a team player and easily builds rapport. He has firm relationships with the highest levels of governments, industry & commerce worldwide. He rose to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army and was attached to Special Operations Groups in areas of conflict around the world. He has received numerous awards for both performance and bravery. Joshua loves a challenge and is skilled at problem solving, enjoying bringing order from chaos and providing positive outcomes for all participants.
Ralph J Leonard – Fundraising and Philanthropy Advisory | Singapore | Hong Kong
Ralph has extensive cross-functional experience during his 36 years in Asia. He has helped raise some USD$250 million for global and local non-profit organisations since 1986. He is proficient in English, Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese.
He was with Nanyang Technological University as their Director to supervise all cultivating and soliciting of their 220,000+ alumni as well as driving UHNW major gift initiatives in Greater China and North America.
At the Child Development Centre, Ralph helped launch a capital fundraising campaign that included two Asian "firsts" with privately placed Social Enterprise Bonds and Preferred Shares to leverage donor / investor support.
At the Singapore Eye Research Institute, Ralph prepared a capital fundraising campaign, budget and building plans for a new Headquarters with a projected cost of US$100 million.
As a Brakeley Senior Consultant he worked with the Nanyang Technological University. He drafted their case for support and fundraising strategy (USD$900 million) he helped guide the International Rice Research Institute to secure over USD$100 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.