Advisory Board

Steve Smith

Photo of Steve SmithSteve Smith (BSc MCIPD) joined the Advisory Board of Opus in 2013 as Managing Director at Ability Executive Limited, a firm that worked closely with Opus providing expertise to Board and management teams wishing to manage their growth, change, and transformation. In 2017 he joined Opus and took over the day to day running of the firm following its restructure. With over 30 years helping organizations become “fit for purpose”, Steve has experience delivering commercial HR and change management solutions notably within the regulated financial services and upstream oil and gas sectors.

Working with SEC and FSA regulated entities, listed in both New York and London, he has supported Mercer UK, Alliance Trust PLC and Aberdeen Asset Management PLC with programs including corporate governance and many remuneration (compensation) structures. At Franklin Templeton Investments one of the world’s leading investment and asset managers, he was responsible for all European HR programmes successfully supporting major corporate growth into new markets.

Jim Rutherford

Photo of james-rutherfordJames Rutherford is the current Non-Executive Chairman of Centamin Plc, NED with Anglo Pacific, NED with Tantallon and was NED with Anglo American till 2020. He worked for 16 years from 1997 to 2013 with Capital International Investors, a division of the Capital Group Companies Inc., as a Senior Vice President, with research responsibilities for European, Australasian, and Emerging Markets metals and mining companies. Prior to joining Capital International in 1997, he spent ten years as an equity analyst with James Capel in New York and Laing & Cruickshank in London & New York. Before that he worked for CRU International, a business analysis and consultancy firm that specialises in the mining and metals industries, Mr. Rutherford received an MA in development economics from the University of Sussex and a BSc in economics & computer science from Queen’s University Belfast.

Brian Stapleton

Photo of Brian StapletonBrian Stapleton was a Managing Director in Stroz Friedberg’s London office. With 16 years’ experience in the investigations industry Mr Stapleton has built up an extensive knowledge of multi-jurisdictional asset-tracing and recovery, corporate contests and disputes and bribery and corruption investigations. He also advises a number of High Net Worth clients.

Prior to joining Stroz Friedberg, Mr Stapleton was a founding partner of Tyrian Partners LLP, an independent financial investigations and forensic accounting firm based in London with a global client list. Before that Mr Stapleton worked at Kroll Associates where he held a number of senior positions. At Kroll he co-founded the Financial Investigations Practice which grew from a four person team in London to an international group of 60 professionals operating from five regional hubs. At the time of leaving Kroll Mr Stapleton was responsible for leading the organisation in EMEA.

Mr Stapleton has managed numerous high profile investigations for multi-national corporations, governments and individuals. He has operated in most European countries, the Gulf, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Pakistan, India and China.

Mr Stapleton has a degree in law, trained as a barrister and prior to entering the investigations industry worked in financial services in the City of London for five years.

Mike Jones

Photo of Mike JonesMike is arguably one of the most respected Investment Bankers in small to mid Cap mining worldwide. With 30 years of experience he is a BSc qualified mining engineer from the Royal School of Mines – Imperial College London. Mike moved into Mining operations in South Africa, initially with Gencor where he achieved Mine Management status, thereafter flourished with DeBeers in various operations. After achieving a high degree of success with DeBeers Mike moved to Iscor to help the company move into base metal projects in the Congo (DRC) and Zambia. He returned to the UK in 1997 and moved into the corporate finance sector as a mining analyst with T Hoare & Co, which was a predecessor of Canaccord Genuity, progressing to his most recent role as Global Co-Head of Mining. He is now the regional Director, Investment and Planning with Hatch.

Jacob Kunzer

Photo of Jacob KunzerJacob Kunzer has a Masters degree in international affairs from the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa. He specialised in international trade and international economics. Jacob has been a Canadian Trade Commissioner for more than 25 years working in Canadian Embassy offices in emerging markets in Asia, Central, Eastern Europe, CIS countries and the Caribbean. He has helped Canadian companies in their international business including investigating market prospects, identifying key contacts and providing relevant advice and market intelligence in areas such as risk management, financing and corporate social responsibility. He has specialised in commercial matters related to the oil, gas and mining sectors. He was the Deputy Director of the Canadian government’s International Trade Centre in Vancouver from 1997 to 2002 where he facilitated incoming investments from Japan and Korea to British Columbia, Canada and oversaw export related matters in the mining, forestry oil & gas and natural resources area. From 2002 to 2007 he was the Trade Commissioner at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow responsible for all matters related to the natural resources sectors involving the Canadian government and Canadian business matters in Russia, Uzbekistan and Armenia. Most recently Jacob was Senior Adviser to Petro-Canada in London on international corporate relations.

It is rare to find a business partner who is selfless. If you are lucky it happens once in a lifetime.

—Michael Eisner

Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.

—Vince Lombardi

What have I achieved today and how can I do better?

—Dave Clarke

Success is not for the timid. It is for those who seek guidance, make decisions, and take decisive action.

—Jose Silva

Failure is a word I don't accept.

—John H Johnson

I love that i think outside the box. There is so much more outside than inside, inside is very limiting for someone like me..