Meet Our Team

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Management Team

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AJ SMITH
CEO
AJ Smith is a Business Strategist, Mentor, Serial-Entrepreneur, VC, Marketing Specialist, Fintech experienced and ...

AJ Smith is a Business Strategist, Mentor, Serial-Entrepreneur, VC, Marketing Specialist, Fintech experienced and driven CEO continuously winning high levels of business within a competitive market place. He founded more than 20 successful businesses in his lifetime and has created employment for thousands of people. He is also the co-founder of New Zealand based tech companies Imperial Digital and Entisy, while investing in more than 12 global start-ups (mostly in fintech). He has a passion for Cryptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech and is frequently invited to be a panellist for seminars. He has “retired" twice in his life and always made it back in business for the passion of the next successful venture.

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Kerry Friend
CFO
Kerry Friend is a VerifyUnion Shareholder and accomplished Senior Executive with a strong CFO background and ...

Kerry Friend is a VerifyUnion Shareholder and accomplished Senior Executive with a strong CFO background and demonstrated commercial acumen and leadership skills, who has recently returned to New Zealand after over 18 years working in Asia.

His most recent employment role saw him establish from scratch and grow over eight years a significant Asia region-wide business operation for a listed US entertainment software company, based in Singapore. Prior to that he controlled finances for a US$1 billion multi-channel TV joint venture of a major US media group in Japan.

Chartered Accountant (Australia & NZ) Member, Institute Of Directors (NZ)

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Johanna Malchow
Office Manager
Johanna is VerifyUnion’s Office Manager, coming from a retail background and moving into Operations/HR...

Johanna is VerifyUnion’s Office Manager, coming from a retail background and moving into Operations/HR, Johanna maintains everything from recruitment to planning staff events. She is currently finishing her Business Studies Diploma and is planning to continue further learning and development.

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Technology Team

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Dr. Andy Standley
Project Manager
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Dr. Grant Hu
Solutions Architect
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Sunny Kareem
PhD Candidate
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Felix Yan
PhD Candidate
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Shiva Kumar
Blockchain Architect
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Seung Hyun Myung
Lead Engineer
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Ivan Zhang
Senior AI/Software Engineer
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Derek Chen
Blockchain Engineer
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Michael Zhang
UI/UX Specialist
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Kwangkue An
Software Engineer
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Yiming Chen
Software Engineer
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Ananda Mohandram
Software Engineer
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Namal MC
DevOps Engineer
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Manasi Tiwari
Technical Quality/Business Analyst
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Chen Zhao
Intern Software Engineer

Advisory Team

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Leanne Graham
SaaS Expert
Leanne is a VerifyUnion Shareholder and one of New Zealand’s few female IT entrepreneurs and CEOs of a ...

Leanne is a VerifyUnion Shareholder and one of New Zealand’s few female IT entrepreneurs and CEOs of a NZX company. Previous Country Manager for Xero, propelling Xero from a newcomer cloud product to becoming the global accounting software standard. Board positions: Velpic – Chair, Cognitives – Chair and these advisory board roles: Nibo (Brazil) – Cloud Accounting, Anfix (Spain) - Cloud Accounting, Yudoozy (NZ) Freelance Platform, Big - (Australia) Video Platform .

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Nick Fitness
Financial Analyst
Nick is a VerifyUnion Shareholder and Investment Advisor, Stockbroker and Investor. With over 10 years of experience with ...

Nick is a VerifyUnion Shareholder and Investment Advisor, Stockbroker and Investor. With over 10 years of experience with top tier investment banks (Forsyth Barr, Macquarie & Morgan Stanley), both in the UK and New Zealand. He is an Authorised Financial Adviser (2012), and accredited NZX Associate Advisor (2013). Nick has also been a member of New Zealand Leaders, mentoring leading businesses and start-ups seeking knowledge, networks and capital to grow.

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Greg Sharp
IT Security Engineer
Greg Sharp has spent 23 years in the IT Industry both in the UK and in New Zealand, is a CISSP qualified IT security engineer and ...

Greg Sharp has spent 23 years in the IT Industry both in the UK and in New Zealand, is a CISSP qualified IT security engineer and currently is the Managing Director of Base 2 located in Auckland New Zealand.

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Peter Foyston
Consumer Goods Executive – Marketing/Supply Chain
Peter is a seasoned executive and investor. He has held senior management positions in the consumer goods sector around the ...

Peter is a seasoned executive and investor. He has held senior management positions in the consumer goods sector around the world, including 20 years in China where he introduced a number of market leading brands. An integral part of his responsibilities has been supply chain management. He has experience in the ambient; frozen; fresh; and livestock supply chain sectors with full responsibility from "field to fork". He has experience in domestic; import and export supply chains across a range of countries. He has been involved in a number of start ups in North America and Asia.

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Joe Duncan
Advisor
Joe holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Management, Majoring in Economics. He spent eight years working in the financial ...

Joe holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Management, Majoring in Economics. He spent eight years working in the financial markets for J.P Morgan. His roles and responsibilities included heading up the Interest Rate Derivatives Risk Management Desk in Tokyo as a Vice President of the Bank. He is an active investor across a range of industries and sectors, including Finance, Technology, Agriculture and Property Development. He has been involved in a number of privately held companies in New Zealand and Australia as CEO, Director and a major Shareholder. These have included companies such as e-Solutions, Ihug, The Better Drinks Company, Focus Capital, Alleasing and Equipment Leasing and Finance, all of which have been successfully sold to listed entities or Private Equity organisations. Joe is a Trustee for the Sir Thomas and Lady Duncan Trust, a significant donor to neuromuscular disorders and more recently he founded the Duncan Foundation, a nationwide clinic for support therapies and treatment for select groups of neuromuscular disorders.

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Michael Acland
Advisor
A graduate of the LIFFE floor, the London International Financial Futures Exchange trading as a ‘Local” or independent trader ...

Michael is an early-stage investor, director and advisor. He is a director of Ice Angels and EMH Trade. Prior to returning to NZ in 2012, Michael had a successful career as an independent derivatives trader in the UK and Barbados.

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Dewald Janse van Rensburg
(Doctoral Candidate)
University Registrar, Lecturer,
Attorney at Law, Governance & Legal Compliance Specialist
As University Registrar and Lawyer, Dewald form part of the Executive Management team of the institution with Strategic ...

As University Registrar and Lawyer, Dewald form part of the Executive Management team of the institution with Strategic Leadership, Institutional Governance & Legal Compliance responsibilities. Dewald is the Secretary to Council and Senate and manage more than 30 statutory institutional committees. He serves as Director on various boards and as Deputy Chief Executive, report to Council and Management committees on strategic matters affecting the institution.

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