Loading...

The Team

  • icon
DAMON BARNARD ESQ

DAMON BARNARD ESQ

Founder and Director

Damon is a seasoned C-level executive and respected professional advisor in the technology and start-up space. Damon is an English-qualified corporate lawyer, specialising in M&A, intellectual property, regulatory affairs and technology law. Having been at the forefront of the highly technical online gaming industry for many years, and having played a significant role in its consolidation, Damon was appointed as General Counsel and Executive Director to one of the world’s largest online gaming communities in 2013, and was instrumental in its sale to an industry giant for a significant 8-figure sum. Most recently, Damon has served as COO to a leading group of technology and Internet infrastructure companies, and CEO to one of its leading brands – successfully growing the business from nothing to one of the largest within its industry in just 2 years.

Damon has a BA Honours degree in Business Management and Information Technology from the University of Manchester, and Postgraduate Diplomas in Law and Legal Practice from the University of Law.

Damon is most at home behind a Gibson Explorer, or the wheel of a race car.

  • icon
CHRISTOPHER COUSINS

CHRISTOPHER COUSINS

Founder and Director

Christopher began his financial career over 14 years ago learning to trade equities and S&P futures to supplement his income during university. His ability to analyse opportunities and trade profitably allowed him the freedom to pursue a variety of entrepreneurial opportunities.

As the years progressed Christopher continued as an equities trader for a private investment group, trading over $20m at his discretion. After moving to Europe in 2010, Christopher continued his career as a buy side trade and acquisitions consultant for privately managed funds. In 2015 Christopher joined a leading group of technology and Internet infrastructure companies as the group’s CRO.

Christopher has a BA in Accounting and Finance from Saint Joseph’s University.

Christopher is a true entrepreneur, having launched several successful businesses, including his award-winning (deservedly so!) Thai restaurant.

When not working tirelessly in the office, Christopher enjoys water sports, extreme skiing, downhill mountain biking, and other adrenaline-fuelled activities. Yes, we took out life insurance…

  • icon
JOANNAH BARNARD FCA

JOANNAH BARNARD FCA

Finance and Professional Services

Joannah is a chartered accountant and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales.

Having qualified with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the UK, Joannah spent the early part of her career focusing on public sector audit, prior to making a move into industry and internal audit with one of the UK’s largest media groups. From 2009 to 2013, Joannah established and headed up the entire finance function of a group of highly profitable privately held technology businesses in Gibraltar, serving as Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer. Joannah was instrumental to the sale of the group’s core business for a significant 8-figure sum in late 2013. Most recently, Joannah has served as COO of a large multinational law firm headquartered in Gibraltar.

Joannah has a first-class BA Honours degree in Business Management and Information Technology from the University of Manchester.

  • icon
OLIVER SMITH

OLIVER SMITH

Legal and Compliance

Oliver cut his legal teeth training with the Investment Funds Team at Hassans International Law Firm before moving in-house with a leading group of technology and infrastructure companies. The last three years has seen him gain widespread experience in all areas of legal practice from intellectual property, financial services, dispute resolution, employment, compliance, and technology law. His day to day duties have included managing the legal affairs of a regulated Gibraltar Experienced Investor Fund, and working closely with organisations such as the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, and the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers on compliance and regulatory matters.

Oliver has a BA Honours degree in Law from the University of Birmingham, and qualified as a barrister following successful completion of his Bar Professional Training Course at the University of Law London.

In his free time, he is most likely to be found acting as a legal advisor to early stage start-ups, cycling, or climbing a boulder on a hilltop somewhere in the countryside.

It is universally agreed that Oliver has the best hairline in the office.

  • icon
PAUL MORGAN

PAUL MORGAN

Technology

Paul has been involved with leading edge development for over 20 years and has been an early adopter of major advances in technology during this period. Specialising in the finance and insurance sectors, Paul has played a leading role in the defining and planning of complex secure systems, not only to serve current requirements but also ensuring future-proofing as businesses continue to develop and expand.

Paul has enjoyed a variety of technical roles including Project Management, Business Analysis and currently Chief Technical Architect, supported with extensive commercial experience with Agile, Paul has been instrumental in the success of many major projects. With the ability to understand complex requirements and simplify, be proactive and communicate efficiently during projects, this has given Paul an exceptional reputation in the industry.

CRAIG JOHN

CRAIG JOHN

Technology

Stemming from a keen interest in digital forensics and network security, from a .NET application developer and penetration tester, Craig’s career gained traction with his ability to combine business logic with secure modern technology. To date, Craig has successfully designed and delivered over 120+ secure web and mobile business applications, across a diverse range of commercial sectors including insurance and finance. With his background in security, Craig takes a keen interest in refining coding standards and testing methodologies to ensure developers are knowledgeable and follow stringent coding standards that, where applicable, comply with ISO27001, data protection and PCI DSS security standards.

With a continued interest in leading edge technology, Craig has seen the successful implementation of many teams of technical experts in artificial intelligence, robotic process automation and blockchain technology, with the objective to continue to enhance ability to deliver innovative, intelligent and highly secure commercial solutions to market.

  • icon
MATTHEW GUY

MATTHEW GUY

Technology

Matthew has a wealth of experience in IT and software and continues to have a hands-on approach to application development. For over 25 years, Matthew has worked on a wide-ranging line-of-business applications across a number of commercial sectors . Matthew is technically skilled in technologies such as SQL Server, C#, .NET, Visual Basic, ASP.NET, Azure, Solidity and other blockchain technologies.

Previous projects include leveraging Microsoft’s Azure Cloud architecture to service secure commercial Solidity contracts over the Ethereum blockchain. With a refined focus on emerging technologies, Matthew is known as the “technical brain” in the industry and plays a key part in maximising the successes of solutions in the market.

  • icon
ADAM BUJEGA

ADAM BUJEGA

Technology

Adam has over 12 years’ experience in the software development industry playing a key role in the development and successful delivery of over 45 innovative insurance and finance sector solutions.

Adam likes to promote a hands-on approach to the development lifecycle and regularly improves efficiency in deliverables through sharing his experience and knowledge of the sector with the technical team. Adam’s strength is in customer engagement and his experience in the finance sector helps shape business requirements by promoting modern solutions through a phased technical strategy.

Adam has been successful in maintaining project budgets and ensuring standards and deliverables meet client technical specifications. Adam’s greatest success to date was the delivery of a £1m+ suite of PCI DSS compliant travel insurance products to the market on time and under budget.

RICHARD DAVIES

RICHARD DAVIES

Technology

Richard is a skilled and experienced developer with a vast knowledge of a variety of development languages. Richard has more than 14 years of experience in the software industry working on enterprise level, web based solutions for large commercial and secure government based contracts.

Richard has had a strong influence in defining the technical approach and architecture of over 30 line-of-business solutions in banking and insurance and is currently focussed on bringing innovation through intelligent products to the finance sector. Richard is heavily involved in the development of web and mobile-enabled blockchain products and solutions in the utilities and finance sector – believing that this technology will redefine such solutions going forward, Richard is taking steered focus in encapsulating this technology into future commercial solutions.

ISABELLE LUO MSc

ISABELLE LUO MSc

Investor Outreach (APAC)

Isabelle is Ignite’s Chinese crypto community expert and is in charge of managing Ignite’s opportunities in the far east. As a long time Gibraltar resident she has worked with Chris and Damon for many years helping to develop and grow a marketplace for digital assets in the APAC regions – and blown past all sales expectations in the process!

Isabelle has an MSc from the University of Loughborough (UK), BA from China West Normal University and BSc from the University of Electronic Science and Technology and grew up in the beautiful city of Chengdu, China – in her spare time, Isabelle likes playing mahjong, watching tennis and making money in the digital asset space, in which she has rapidly become something of an expert.

JOSEPH CAMMARATA

JOSEPH CAMMARATA

Advisor - Technology

Joe currently serves as President of T Zero, a global leader in blockchain technology, distributed ledgers, and private market exchanges. T Zero is a key technology partner of Ignite.

Joe began his career in the financial industry over 20 years ago and has been instrumental in the use of electronic trading to effect industry wide company launches, efficiencies and changes – including the Island ECN, Datek Online, and Sonic . He began his career at Datek where he pioneered NASDAQ market orders. While at Datek he developed an internal cross that would eventually become the Island ECN. He then joined and orchestrated the growth of Datek Online – which was sold to Ameritrade, for just under $1.4 billion. As co-founder and CEO of Sonic Trading he architected the system that would serve as its core product. Recognized for its innovative query handling, superior market data processing, and all-around reliability, the Sonic system served more than twenty-four Institutional clients and Broker/Dealers before being acquired in 2004 by the Bank of New York.

After the acquisition, he served as Managing Director for BNY Brokerage and its spin-off BNY ConvergEx as the head of Electronic Trading and Strategic Planning and Development. In 2010 he purchased the broker dealer assets of the defunct Order Execution Services Holdings, Inc. As President and CEO he has launched a broker-dealer routing system, SpeedRoute and an ATS, Pro Securities. SpeedRoute is currently routing for some of the largest Banks, Broker Dealers and Stock Exchanges in the United States and has plans for continued growth across a robust product suite.

  • icon
PETUR EYTHORSSON

PETUR EYTHORSSON

Advisor - Security

Pétur is a data protection and security expert with 18 years’ experience in advising corporations in the enterprise sector as well as government agencies.

Pétur focuses on market analytics and acts as a technical strategist for leading vendors in data protection and security fields on resiliency-related subjects.

Techincal author, university lecturer and current Member of IBM´s Advisory Council, Pétur is one of only 80 “Certified Advanced Certified Security Master” worldwide.

As a leading expert in his field, Pétur advises Ignite on best practices when it comes to software security and data handling and is responsible for ensuring that the Ignite RATINGS platform is being built with security as its main priority.

Pétur is an experienced cryptocurrency trader and early stage contributor to several high profile ICO projects.

  • icon
ASHISH GIANANI

ASHISH GIANANI

Advisor - Capital Markets

Ashish is a Chartered MCSI with experience as a regulated financial services professional in the UK and in India. He began his financial career with the Tata group and then went to work for PwC in London – before moving to investment management for private bank clients. He managed $200 million in client assets at Citibank in 2015 before moving to Gibraltar, where he is currently the Portfolio Manager for a family office and independent asset manager, Atlantic Capital Limited.

Ash is a key player in the Gibraltar start-up community, co-founder of the Futureday incubator and is currently a co-director of Startup Grind’s local Gibraltar chapter. He has been connecting Gibraltar with innovation and investment hubs internationally for many years.

Ash has a BA in Maths and a Masters in International Business.

He believes in being a team player – as a midfielder in football and hockey teams, middle order batsman in cricket and in the middle of the court in racket sports…you get the idea.

Ignite Partners