Leo Chessell

Financial securities expert

Leo has over 40 years combined experience in financial securities and ICT. For 15 years he was joint-CEO of Syscorp p/l that developed systems for financial securities and collective investments. Leo held an Australian principal security’s dealers license for a long period. He has advised on large telecommunications projects.

For the past ten years Leo has been advising governments, banks and corporations in the Asia-Pacific on investment strategy and regulation. He has also had extensive experience in Africa.

Romeo Esangga

International banking expert

Romeo has ten years experience working in leading financial institutions in the United States and Australia.

He began his career at the Bank of Montreal in Chicago. As senior investment officer he was responsible for multi-billion dollar investments. He gained valuable experience in fixed income investments, foreign exchange, equities, and derivatives.

Since he has worked with the World Bank and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammnarbeit (GTZ) in a variety of senior positions. He has experience in: institutional capacity building, public and private sector investments, financial services development and management, fund management, accounting, auditing, strategic planning and advising on banking related information technology systems. Romeo has also worked in Europe, Africa, Russia, Central Asia, Asia / Pacific, and Latin and South America.

Romeo is co-founder of the International Association of Deposit Insurers, Basle, Switzerland and currently a city council commissioner in Skokie, IL USA. He has co-authored books and published articles on investments.

Romeo enjoys hiking and gardening.

Bernard Lietaer

Currency expert

Bernard Lietaer has been active in the domain of money systems for a period of 30 years in an unusual variety of functions. While at the Central Bank in Belgium he co-designed and implemented the convergence mechanism (ECU) to the single European currency system. During that period, he also served as President of Belgium’s Electronic Payment System. His consultant experience in monetary aspects on four continents ranges from multinational corporations to developing countries. He was General Manager, Co-Founder and Chief Currency Trader for the Gaia Hedge Funds, one of the world’s largest off-shore trading funds during which time Business Week identified him as “the world’s top currency trader” in 1990. He is the author of eighteen books including The Future of Money translated in 18 languages. His most recent co-authored books are RethinkingMoney (February 2013); Money and Sustainability: the Missing Link (May 2012); People Money (June 2012). His book The Future of Money (1999) has been translated in eighteen other languages, and Au Coeur de la Monnaie (2012) is available in eight languages.

He is currently a Research Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Resources of the University of California at Berkeley (; member of the Club of Rome; Fellow at the World Academy of Arts and Sciences; of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences; and of the World Business Academy.

More information about his background and current work is available on

Gordon Renouf

Consumer protection expert

Gordon is a lawyer and public policy specialist who has worked for civil society and government, mostly on consumer protection and access to justice.

He spent 5 years as Director of Policy at Australia’s largest consumer organisation, CHOICE (2005-2009) and 18 months on the governing Council of Consumers International, the international peak body for consumer organisations. He has provided training and advice to consumer organisations in the Asia Pacific, and coordinated a project in partnership with CI, the Consumer Council of Fiji and others to document Asia Pacific consumer protection laws of. He is a member of the Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council.

In 2001 Gordon consulted with civil society organisations in Timor Leste resulting in published background paper on the nascent legal system, a joint Timorese/Australian forum in Darwin to coordinate assistance from the Australian legal profession assist, and training programs for staff of Timorese civil society legal organisations.

Gordon has recently been undertaking consulting projects for the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

Gordon recently published Fair Consumption? Consumer action on labour standards, in K Macdonald and S Marshall (eds), 2010, Fair Trade, Corporate Accountability and Beyond: Experiments in Globalising Justice (Ashgate, London). He is Chair of the Governance Committee of Good Environmental Choice Australia and a member of the Australian Corporate Responsibility Index Advisory Committee.

Gordon and Jnana are working on a consumer awareness program. Empowering consumers to act on their ethical choices contributes to a stronger economy. It is hoped that this will also contribute to a more equitable society.

Mark Swivel

Consumer credit expert

Mark Swivel is a lawyer, problem solving consultant and budding social entrepreneur.

Mark currently runs his own consultancy in Sydney specializing in strategic planning, risk management and regulatory advice for credit unions and other MSMEs.

He worked as a senior executive with Barclays Bank company, Firstplus 1999-2003 (Chief Operating Officer Wholesale) and was director of the UK regulatory body FISA (2000-2002). He is now a director of the Sydney Credit Union.

Mark has specialised in consumer credit, financial services and APRA prudential standards. He also has expertise in commercial contracts and corporate governance.

Mark has degrees in law and arts from Sydney University. He is currently completing a Masters in International and Community Development with Deakin University.

Mark has an active interest in microfinance and is exploring a social business focussed on investment in Asia-Pacific MFIs. He is also a graduate of the NIDA Playwrights Studio and has a new play, Water Falling Down, in Playwriting Australia’s National Play Festival in Brisbane 8 to 21 February 2010.

Mark and Jnana correspond with each other on related work and undertake projects together.