Our board of directors has the skill and experience to best position SLI Systems for continued success in the fast-growing market of e-commerce and SaaS-based site search. The board is comprised of four independent directors, two non-executive directors and two executive directors, SLI Chief Executive Officer Chris Brennan and SLI Chief Innovation Officer and co-founder Shaun Ryan.
Greg Cross has more than 25 years of experience in the technology industry throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He is the chief executive, executive director and co-founder of PowerbyProxi, a fast-growing company in the industrial component and consumer electronics markets. Greg has been on the SLI board as an independent director since July 2003 and has been the board’s chair since 2005. He is vice chair of the Meteorological Service of New Zealand and a director of Fronde, a cloud systems integration company based in Wellington. Greg is currently the Sir John Logan Campbell executive in residence at the University of Auckland Business School. Previous roles include chairman of the IceHouse, a technology incubator associated with the University of Auckland Business School, chairman of NZTE Beachhead Advisory Board, CEO of Advantage Group Limited, which was a NZX-listed company and managing director of Microsoft New Zealand.
Chris leads SLI with the vision and experience to inspire management teams, achieve market leadership, scale global growth and deliver outstanding financial performance. Prior to SLI Systems, Chris’ leadership experience spans technology businesses ranging from pre-revenue start-ups to organizations over $1B. He served as CEO/President of six companies including NetAuthority, Contactual (acquired by 8×8), LogLogic (acquired by Tibco), Banter Systems (merged with iPhrase and acquired by IBM), Roamware and UB Networks (acquired by Newbridge Networks). He also served as CFO of Genesys Telecommunications (acquired by Alcatel) and Diamond Lane Communications (acquired by Nokia). Chris has led or participated in successful initiatives that raised over $100M in capital and created nearly $2B in shareholder value. He was twice given the prestigious award of Red Herring 100 North America Winner. Chris has also been member to a number of public and private boards, including international companies and a public university.
Shaun Ryan is an e-commerce visionary. For more than 15 years, he has led the development of innovative solutions to significantly improve site search for online retailers. Ask him how site search became his life’s work, and he will tell you a story about his brother Grant and a Sunday hangover. Grant, Shaun says, had the original idea of improving search results based on relevance. As a result, GlobalBrain was born in 1998 and purchased by NBCi in 2000. In 2001, Shaun and his fellow founders bought back the patented technology and formed SLI Systems. In 2013, SLI Systems (SLI.NZ) launched its IPO on the New Zealand Exchange. Today, SLI is the most chosen SaaS-based site search solution for U.S. Internet Retailers Top 1,000 companies. Shaun has a background in software development and a doctorate in artificial intelligence from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
Matthew Houtman is a co-founder and managing director of Pioneer Capital Partners, an investor in New Zealand businesses focused on international growth. In addition to SLI, he has portfolio responsibilities with Orion Health, Pukeko Pictures, WhereScape and YikeBike. Before joining Pioneer Capital Partners, Matthew had a career in investment banking, most recently with UBS Investment Bank, where he worked in the Auckland then London offices. Activities during this period included mergers, acquisitions, trade sales, balance sheet recapitalizations, IPOs and debt funding. Matthew has a master of management studies with distinction from the University of Waikato.
Sarah Smith has extensive business and governance experience in both the private and public sectors. She has held key financial and business development roles in New York and New Zealand. As an independent director, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience and is currently chairman of Ngai Tahu Tourism. Sarah is also a director of Christchurch City Holdings, WhereScape Software and EcoCentral, and she is a trustee for several charitable organizations. She is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors.
Andy Lark is an internationally renowned marketer with 25 years of experience running multi-billion-dollar e-commerce businesses and building highly successful online and marketing teams. Andy has served as chief marketing and online officer at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), where he revitalized the CBA brand and played a key role in establishing the bank’s digital and online leadership. Prior to this, he was a vice president and general manager at Dell, where he was head of global marketing for the computer manufacturer’s enterprise and public group. He has led marketing teams at LogLogic, Sun Microsystems and Nortel Networks, and he is a former senior vice president and partner at Fleishman-Hillard. Today he leads Group Lark, a consulting firm accelerating digital and marketing strategies for leading brands. His achievements have earned him recognition including the New Zealand government’s prestigious Worldclass New Zealander Award. He is also a member of the boards of Mighty River Power and Fronde. Andy is a native of Auckland and has received accolades for his contributions to New Zealand businesses.
Silicon Valley-based Steven Marder has more than 25 years executive, advisory and investment experience in the global technology, media and communications sectors. In addition to serving as a co-founder and director at SLI Systems, Steven currently holds the position of Director, TMT Investment Banking & Capital Markets at global financial services firm BTIG, LLC., while also serving on the board of NextMinute Ltd. and Ingenious Ventures. Prior, Steven has served as an operating partner for merchant bank Morgan Joseph TriArtisan and New York-based private equity firm Avista Capital Partners. While at Avista, he was a director for WideOpenWest (WOW!) and InvestorPlace Media. In addition, he served as director and co-founder of social search company Eurekster, co-founded and served as managing director of North America for Gramercy Venture Advisors, co-founded and served as chairman and CEO of eMemberDirect/PetPlanet.com, served as a director for New Zealand-based technology company GlobalBrain, and was a senior executive at EMI Music and Tribune Company. A graduate of St. John’s School of Law, Columbia University and Horace Mann School, Steven is also an attorney and member of the State Bar of New York and the State Bar of California. He is an investment banker holding FINRA Series 62, 63 and 79 licenses.