Meet our team

Experienced executives that seek to broaden the boundaries of business and technology leading to the advancement of humanity.

Hon Robert Borbidge AO


Former Queensland Premier (Governor) Robert Borbidge is a trusted advisor. Azcende values Robert’s understanding and vision of a nation and its key functioning components –namely: infrastructure, society, policy and politics. He was formerly Minister for Small Business, Communications and Technology

Robert has been successful in leading significant change and supports us in providing strategic advice, as well as considering a broad array of challenges when dealing with all levels of government and industry.

Alok Patel

CEO & Managing Partner

Alok is a holistic technology and strategy executive with over 20 years’ experience across numerous industries including; Defence, Infrastructure, Engineering, Real Estate and Investment Banking.

Alok has succeeded in developing and leading technology initiatives across industry and government that leverage software and IoT for the operation of large capital assets. His strength lies in providing pragmatic vision that enables organizations to redefine themselves and retool for the future.

  • Built $25m Management consulting firm
  • Exited $50m Industrial Real Estate Portfolio
  • Australian Army Veteran
  • Harvard Business School Alumnus
Lani Refiti

Managing Partner

Lani, is a retired Deloitte Partner, having led its Smart Cities practice, along with Deloitte’s Critical Infrastructure cyber capability.   Lani also advised Deloitte’s VC arm – Deloitte Ventures on investments.

  • Retired Deloitte Australia Partner – Smart Cities Leader & Critical Infrastructure Cyber Leader
  • Deloitte Ventures – Corporate Venture Advisor
  • Former IoT Assurance Leader at PwC Australia
  • Lead Cisco Systems IoT Security capability 
  • 20 years+ in Cybersecurity

Azcende Advisors

Lesley Seebeck – Cybersecurity Advisor

Dr Lesley Seebeck is a distinguished Professor and executive with strong experience in technology and government. Dr Seebeck has a PhD in information technology, an MBA, a Masters in Defense Studies, a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science (Physics), and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

  • 20 years’ experience in federal government, primarily in national security
  • Former CIO at the Bureau of Meteorology, Federal Government CIO of the Year in 2017
  • Former Chief Investment Officer at the Digital Transformation Agency
  • Established a start-up, the Cyber Institute, at the Australian National University
  • Served on the Government’s Naval Shipbuilding Advisory Board from 2019-2020
Thomas Thurston – Venture Capital Advisor

Thomas Thurston is the CTO and Partner at WR Hambrecht + Co. For more than 50 years WR Hambrecht+Co and its predecessor Hambrecht & Quist have provided early-stage growth capital to more than 500 companies including Apple, Adobe, Amazon, Google, Genentech, Intel, Pixar and Salesforce.

  • Led the use of data analytics to guide growth investments the Intel Corporation and helped found a new Intel product group in the high performance computing industry
  • Co-Founded a joint R&D effort with Professor Clayton Christensen between Intel and Harvard to develop advanced analytics for venture capital, innovation and early-stage growth investing
Dr. Allan Wain – Fund Advisor

Allan is a former Chief Economist for BHP Petroleum with deep funds strategy experience. His experience includes: 

  • Harvard Law Fellow
  • Strategy: Lighthouse Infrastructure Fund
  • Investment Committee Member, Crescent Wealth
  • Head of Research and Strategy, CP2 Ltd
  • Strategic Development, Hastings Fund Management
Lt. General Lawrence Nicholson USMC (Ret’d)
Strategic Military Advisor

LtGen Lawrence D Nicholson USMC retired in November of 2018 after 39 years of active duty. His last assignment was as the Commanding General of III Marine Expeditionary Force in Japan. He previously Commanded the First Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California, the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Helmand Province Afghanistan, and the 5th Marine Regiment in Fallujah, Iraq.

He most recently worked as Vice President for Execution and Leadership for the H.T. Hackney Company (one of the US’ largest whole distributors).’

Board Roles:

  • Chairman: Still Serving Inc.
  • Asia Pacific Institute’s Military Statesman’s Forum
  • Team Afghan Power
  • Spirit of America
David Grevemberg – Critical Infrastructure Advisor

David is an executive and being the immediate past CEO of Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). He has built a unique understanding of activation (economic and social) of infrastructure thanks to his extensive experience including:

  • Chief Innovation and Partnerships Officer for Centre of Sports and Human Rights (Geneva)
  • Organising committee and CEO for CGF Glasgow Games
  • £380M Procurement/contracts program
  • Ticketing program leading to £33M of revenue
  • Alignment of key infrastructure capabilities (transport, stadiums, accommodation)
  • Executive Director, International Paralympic Committee
Australian National Security Advisor

We’re excited to tell you more about our upcoming advisors!