Hugh Killen

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Hugh Killen was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in February 2018. Prior to this, he held the position of Chief Commercial Officer in a consulting capacity assisting AACo’s operations and finance functions.

Hugh is a highly experienced senior executive with over 25 years’ experience in global financial markets and has worked in London, New York and Sydney.

Before joining AACo, Hugh spent 15 years at Westpac Institutional Bank. He held several senior executive roles which included managing Westpac Banking Corporation’s North American business throughout the global financial crisis, and finally as the Managing Director of Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities.

Hugh has also served as a board member of the Association for Financial Markets Global Foreign Exchange Division, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) Australian Foreign Exchange Committee. Hugh has represented Australia internationally as the RBA appointed member of the BIS Working Group developing the Global Code of Conduct for foreign exchange markets.

Hugh is an alumni of the Kings School, Parramatta and Harvard Business School and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Hugh has a lifelong association with agriculture having being raised on pastoral properties in northern NSW and south-west Queensland, and has retained strong personal involvement in the industry through private investments in farming.

Shehan Dissanayake

Executive Director

Shehan Dissanayake is a senior Managing Director and member of the Board of Directors of the Tavistock Group, a privately held investment company. He has responsibility for portfolio strategy across 200 companies in 15 countries, and is CEO of Tavistock Life Sciences, an operating unit of the Tavistock Group.

Before joining Tavistock Group in 2002, Shehan was a Managing Partner of Arthur Andersen with responsibility for strategy and business planning for the global legal, tax and HR Consulting Divisions of the firm, encompassing 1,600 partners and 15,000 professionals.

Earlier in his career, Shehan was involved in the medical research and technology industries. He holds a PhD in Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences from the University of Chicago.

Nigel Simonsz

Chief Financial Officer

Nigel Simonsz was appointed Chief Financial Officer in August 2018.

Prior to joining AACo, Nigel held a number of executive roles with LSE-listed consumer goods organisation, PZ Cussons, where he was a member of the Group Operational Board and served in a number of senior positions, including CFO Australia/NZ and Global Finance Director. He also held executive leadership responsibility as regional CEO for Africa and as CEO of the Australia/NZ business.

Nigel previously held a number of senior financial roles with leading international food group General Mills, as well as in BHP’s corporate and operating divisions.

Nigel has over 25 years’ experience in global consumer goods and industrials businesses, including extensive experience in the food sector across diverse geographical markets in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa and Europe.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Economics, and is a member of CPA Australia.

Anna Speer

Chief Operating Officer

Anna Speer was appointed Chief Operating Officer in August 2018.

Prior to joining AACo, Anna was CEO of AuctionsPlus, where she was responsible for growing the business into Australia’s largest marketplace for livestock, facilitating the exchange of over $830 million in livestock each year. Anna was previously General Manager of agricultural technology firm, Livestock Exchange. She has deep experience in the pastoral industry, including as Stud Registrar of Consolidated Pastoral Company’s Newcastle Waters station.

She holds a Bachelor of Science, as well as a Bachelor of Primary and Secondary Education, as well as being a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the University of Sydney’s Global Executive MBA program.

Dane FitzGibbon

Head of Strategy & Growth

Dane FitzGibbon was appointed Head of Strategy & Growth in 2017. Before joining AACo, he was a Managing Director at UBS Investment Bank. In this role Dane was responsible for providing advice to corporate clients, with a specialisation on capital markets.

Dane has over 17 years of experience in the finance industry, having advised a larger number of corporates in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

Dane holds a Masters of Applied Finance and a Bachelor of Business.

Bruce Bennett

Company Secretary & General Counsel

Bruce Bennett was appointed Company Secretary and Legal Counsel of AACo in 2006. Before joining AACo, he was a partner in a leading law firm, specialising in company and property law, mergers and acquisitions and other commercial contracts.

Bruce has over 18 years experience in legal practice, having practiced in both Queensland and New South Wales. Bruce is an associate member of the Chartered Secretaries of Australia.