Based in Te Waipounamu South Island, O’Connor Partners is a boutique advisory firm that supports senior leadership teams and boards with their strategic commercial and investment decisions. The firm was formed to provide rigorous, robust commercial advice, tailored to the unique needs of clients’ situations. 

Our friendly and professional team draws on local, national, and international experience to provide clients with a range of corporate advisory services. We combine the high quality standards expected of professionals in the finance industry with an understanding of what is socially important to our communities. 

We particularly thrive in complex situations where behavioural incentives, risk, and uncertainty mix with objectives that balance financial and non-financial factors.

Our team

Mike O’Connor

Mike has worked in financial markets for 35 years across New Zealand’s leading financial institutions. His diverse roles include being a bond dealer, equities analyst, head of equities research, investment director (direct equity and property), and investment advisory consultant.

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When the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2008, Mike completed a statistics and econometrics degree through Otago University and Edinburgh University. After a stint in Edinburgh as a consumer research analyst for a global equities fund manager, Mike returned to New Zealand to join a Big 4 firm in Ōtautahi Christchurch. After eight years, he left in 2021 to establish O’Connor Partners.

Qualifications/certifications

  • BA Economics and Human Geography, University of Auckland
  • Graduate Diploma in Accounting (with Finance), Victoria University of Wellington
  • BSc Economics and Statistics, Otago University / Edinburgh University
  • INFINZ Cert

Special interests

Māori business and investment sector, agricultural co-operatives, tourism.

Dace Caldwell

Dace is an investment, strategy, and risk professional with over 12 years of international experience in business advisory and in-house corporate strategy roles. 

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His focus is on using commercial tools to solve meaningful problems – which has often led to working on projects that blend commercial and non-commercial success factors (such as with cooperatives, iwi, or regional development projects).

Qualifications/certifications

  • BA Economics, University of Canterbury
  • BCom Accounting and Finance, University of Canterbury
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charter holder, CFA Institute
  • Professional Risk Manager (PRM) Designation, Professional Risk Manager International Association (2016 – 2021)

Special interests

Intersection of financial and non-financial factors in value creation, investment business cases.

Jacob Fone

Jacob is an experienced financial analyst with broad corporate finance and accounting experience in advisory and in-house roles. Jacob’s aim is to help simplify complex problems, and to help people understand both the financial and non-financial drivers that impact their decisions.

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Jacob started his career in the Audit and Assurance team at a Big 4 firm in Ōtautahi Christchurch, earning his Chartered Accountant designation. He then joined the Corporate Finance team for several years before moving to Edinburgh for his OE, working as an in-house finance analyst.

Qualifications/certifications

  • BCom Accounting, University of Canterbury
  • Chartered Accountant (CA), Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

Special interests

Balancing environmental, social and financial objectives, data visualisation.

James O'Brien

James is an independent subject matter expert who collaborates with the O’Connor Partners team on many client assignments.

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James is a management consultant with over 20 years of experience, specialising in advanced valuation, data science techniques involving big data, and machine learning applied to business problems.

James was previously a director in a Sydney-based Big 4 Deals team and worked at Stern Stewart & Co, a global corporate finance consulting firm. James began his career as an Australian Army officer, serving in the Royal Australian Engineer Corps (recipient of the Australian Service Medal and NATO medal).

Qualifications/certifications

  • MSc Operations Research and Statistics, University of New South Wales
  • MBA, Australian Graduate School of Management, University of New South Wales

Special interests

Business valuation, data science and quantitative risk analysis.

Charlotte Sullivan

Charlotte is an experienced business advisor with specialist skills in strategic B2B and B2C marketing. She has extensive local and international experience having worked in the UK and China as well as New Zealand.

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With an executive career that has spanned commodity and specialist products, consumer brands and complex ecommerce, Charlotte led the marketing team for Westland Milk Products; and before that was Head of Marketing at Dairy Crest UK (now Saputo Dairy UK).

Prior to joining the O’Connor Partners team Charlotte spent five years providing consulting services across strategy, marketing and innovation in a wide variety of industries, where she has brought customer focus and agility to all projects.

Qualifications/certifications

  • MCApSc in Food Science (distinction), Otago University
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Dairy Science and Technology, Massey University
  • Chartered member of the Institute of Directors

Special interests

Using customer/consumer insights to drive business decisions, and defining value propositions.

Advisory Group

We are privileged to be supported by a highly regarded advisory group which provides us with valuable sector knowledge and deep industry experience across Te Waipounamu.

Maurice Noone, Chair

Maurice brings considerable professional services experience to our advisory board, having spent most of his career as the South Island Managing Partner of a Big4 accounting firm. Maurice’s experience spans Corporate Finance, Advisory, and Assurance, especially throughout regional New Zealand but particularly in the South Island. Since retiring from professional accounting, Maurice has moved into a number of governance roles, predominantly in the primary industries and agribusiness sectors.

When the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2008, Mike completed a statistics and econometrics degree through Otago University and Edinburgh University. After a stint in Edinburgh as a consumer research analyst for a global equities fund manager, Mike returned to New Zealand to join a Big 4 firm in Ōtautahi Christchurch. After eight years, he left in 2021 to establish O’Connor Partners.

Qualifications/certifications

  • BA Economics and Human Geography, University of Auckland
  • Graduate Diploma in Accounting (with Finance), Victoria University of Wellington
  • BSc Economics and Statistics, Otago University / Edinburgh University
  • INFINZ Cert

Special interests

Māori business and investment sector, agricultural co-operatives, tourism.

Kim Wallace

Kim Wallace is a governance professional sitting on boards throughout New Zealand including AgResearch, Port Nelson, Origin Capital Partners, Overseer, and Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee for Christchurch City Council. Kim also consults to boards, drawing on her significant experience and passion for good governance and executive leadership. Prior to specialising in governance and consulting, Kim held senior executive roles within the dairy industry including CFO at Westland Milk Products from 2010-2016, and Vice President of Finance at Fonterra (USA) Inc from 2007 – 2009.

When the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2008, Mike completed a statistics and econometrics degree through Otago University and Edinburgh University. After a stint in Edinburgh as a consumer research analyst for a global equities fund manager, Mike returned to New Zealand to join a Big 4 firm in Ōtautahi Christchurch. After eight years, he left in 2021 to establish O’Connor Partners.

Qualifications/certifications

  • BA Economics and Human Geography, University of Auckland
  • Graduate Diploma in Accounting (with Finance), Victoria University of Wellington
  • BSc Economics and Statistics, Otago University / Edinburgh University
  • INFINZ Cert

Special interests

Māori business and investment sector, agricultural co-operatives, tourism.

Dr Michael Stevens

Dr Mike Stevens is a Ngāi Tahu historian from Awarua, Bluff. Mike provides valuable insight into Te Ao Māori and the Māori economy, particularly within the takiwā of Ngāi Tahu. Prior to becoming an independent historian, Mike was a lecturer at the University of Otago. He holds an LLB, BA(Hons) majoring in History, and a PhD in History. Mike is the Alternate Representative for Awarua to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and is a trustee of the Otago Community Trust.

When the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2008, Mike completed a statistics and econometrics degree through Otago University and Edinburgh University. After a stint in Edinburgh as a consumer research analyst for a global equities fund manager, Mike returned to New Zealand to join a Big 4 firm in Ōtautahi Christchurch. After eight years, he left in 2021 to establish O’Connor Partners.

Qualifications/certifications

  • BA Economics and Human Geography, University of Auckland
  • Graduate Diploma in Accounting (with Finance), Victoria University of Wellington
  • BSc Economics and Statistics, Otago University / Edinburgh University
  • INFINZ Cert

Special interests

Māori business and investment sector, agricultural co-operatives, tourism.

Fulton Hogan
Wakatu Incorporation

Our clients

CONTACT US

Contact us

Get in touch or contact one of the O’Connor Partners team directly.

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