The Board of ArborGen Holdings consists of six directors:

  • George Adams (appointed 12 August 2019)
  • Thomas Avery (appointed 18 July 2018)
  • Ozey Horton (appointed 11 July 2018) 
  • David Knott* co-Chairman (who has a 28.28% relevant ownership interest in ArborGen Holdings) (appointed 16 December 2011)
  • Paul Smart (appointed 21 August 2018)
  • Ranjan Tandon co-Chairman (who has a 17.64% relevant ownership interest in ArborGen Holdings) (appointed 12 September 2017)

* David Knott Jr is David Knott's alternate (appointed 24 February 2017).

Biographies of the ArborGen Holdings Board of Directors 


George Adams

Independent Director

FAE Queens University Belfast; Diploma in Company Direction, Corporate Direction and Governance, University of Ulster; Diploma in Foundation Studies in Accounting (Hons)  University of Ulster

George, who is based in New Zealand, brings broad industry knowledge to the Board. His previous management positions include Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil in New Zealand and Finance Director of British Telecom Northern Ireland. He is currently a director of Competenz and Tegel Group Holdings, deputy chairman of Cavalier and chairman of Netlogix and Mix Cosmetics. In addition, Mr Adams is the chairman and co-founder of Apollo Foods Limited (a Hawke's Bay lifestyle beverage company) and
Insightful Mobility (a tech start up focusing on delivering market leading sales force solutions).


Thomas Avery

Independent Director

MBA Harvard Business School; BSc Georgia Institute of Technology

Tom has nearly 40 years of investment banking and venture capital experience. He has served on numerous private company boards throughout his career, advising companies on the successful financing, planning and execution of growth strategies.

As an investment banker, Tom worked primarily with middle market growth companies in executing mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, and private placements of equity and debt. He served as a Managing Director at Raymond James & Associates from 2000-2014, which involved the management of the technology investment banking group and the financial sponsors’ efforts. Prior to that, Tom’s career saw him act as the head of the investment banking group at Interstate/Johnson-Lane, be a general partner at Summit Partners and at Noro-Moseley Partners, and work as a Senior Vice President at The Robinson-Humphrey Company.

He currently has directorships at Cicero Inc., CRA International Inc, and KIPP Metro Atlanta.


Ozey Horton

Independent Director

MBA Harvard Business School; BSE Duke University

Ozey has extensive experience in global operations, strategic planning, merger and acquisition integration and change management. He has been a Director Emeritus of McKinsey & Co., a business consulting organisation, since 2011 when he retired after nearly 30 years with the firm. At McKinsey, Ozey led various practice areas around the globe, including Pulp, Paper and Packaging, Industrial, Change Management, Global Operations in Energy and Materials, and Basic Materials. His McKinsey client service and practice leadership provided for considerable experience working in Europe, South America, India, and Asia. He is a faculty member for McKinsey’s leadership development program and also serves as an independent business advisor.

He currently serves on the boards of Metso Corporation, Worthington Industries, Al Dabbagh Group, and Louisiana–Pacific Corp. He also serves on the Board of Spoleto Festival, USA and the Advisory Board of The MUSC Hollings Cancer Center.


David Knott

Director and co-Chairman 

BA University of Pennsylvania; MBA Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

David is the Co-Chief Executive Officer, Co-Chief Investment Manager and Co-Managing Partner of Knott Partners who, with associated entities, is ArborGen Holdings' largest shareholder. He has served as Chief Investment Manager of Knott Partners since 1987, and prior to this he was a General Partner and analyst at Mandrakos Associates.


David Knott Jnr*

Alternate Director*

BA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

David is the Co-Chief Executive Officer, Co-Chief Investment Manager and Co-Managing Partner of Knott Partners who, with associated entities, is ArborGen Holdings' largest shareholder. He has served as Co-Chief Investment Manager of Knott Partners since March 2017. David is on the Advisory Board of The HiGro Group, LLC.


Paul Smart

Independent Director

BBS, Finance Massey University, Chartered Member Institute of Directors (CMinstD)

Paul is New Zealand based, with a broad background in growth companies in both the public and private markets, and extensive experience in all aspects of finance across a wide range of industries. He has operated at both senior management and non-executive board levels throughout his career, with a focus on growing successful companies in the broad technology and energy fields.

His prior management positions have included CFO of Meridian Energy and CFO of Sky Television. He has previously held nonexecutive Director and/or Chairman roles in Arc Innovations, NZPM Group, and Southern Hydro (Melbourne) amongst others, and he is currently a non-executive Director of InterCity Holdings, Geo40, Mercer Group, Argus Fire Systems Service and SolarCity. He is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Member of the NZ Institute of Directors.


Ranjan Tandon

Director and co-Chairman

MBA Harvard Business School; B Tech Indian Institute of Technology

Ranjan is Founder and Managing Member of Libra Advisors LLC (Libra), which holds a 17.6% interest in ArborGen Holdings. Libra had assets of $2.5 billion and invested in domestic and emerging market equities prior to conversion to a family office in 2012. He previously served as Sr Management Trainee with DCM in India, CFO of an LBO, InterMarine Incorporated, Houston and as a VP with Merrill Lynch prior to establishing Libra in 1990.

Ranjan is also a Board Member of the NYU Tandon Engineering School, the Carl Schurz Park Conservancy and has endowed Faculty Chairs at the Harvard Business School and Yale University. He is also a Director of a listed Stockholm Company, Vostok Emerging Finance, which invests in early and growth stage fintech companies across emerging markets.