Synergies has an impressive team of experienced people. Our team all have accomplished careers in their own right and work together exceedingly well to provide highly effective project teams. Our senior team is able to provide expert opinion and testimony. We carefully combine the skills of our people to deliver the best team for each project, tailoring a specific methodology and overlaying this with our thorough peer review process.
The Synergies team is known for its collaborative approach to identification, analysis and resolution of commercial and economic issues. Our expert team all share the capacity for strategic and innovative thinking, drawing on their own specialist expertise and experience. Many of our team have previously held senior positions in industry, government or regulated industries.
A key strength of the Synergies team is our communications skills. Our team members have extensive experience in presenting economic and technical information in both written and verbal forms, including public consultation documents, expert testimony and regulatory determinations. This breadth of experience means that our team is able to tailor information to each audience, to present this information succinctly and to defend its position.
As well as our specialist in-house team, Synergies enjoys close relationships with internationally renowned economists and associates who assist with more specialised tasks and peer review.
Euan Morton is a Principal practising across the infrastructure, policy, sustainability, corporate finance and competition fields.
Euan’s astute advice is repeatedly sought by clients due to his understanding of their interests and industries, his desire to advance those interests and his reputation for quick, effective and innovative solutions.
Euan is accredited as an Independent Expert under the National Electricity Rules and is a member of the Competition and Consumer Committee of the Law Council of Australia. His board memberships include Ecofund Queensland and AEIOU (a charity dedicated to providing early intervention for children affected by autism). In December 2005, Euan was appointed to an expert panel advising the Ministerial Council on Energy on energy access pricing.
Euan has lectured at post graduate and undergraduate level and is a highly sought after presenter on economic issues.
Skills and capabilities
• Economic impact and cost benefit analysis
• Competition policy and trade practices
• Policy advice
• Corporate finance
John Mangan is a professor of economics at the University of Queensland, Director of the Centre for Economic Policy Modelling and a principal of Synergies. John has a wide area of research interests in economics and is a skilled economic modeller.
Skills and capabilities
• Applied economic and social modelling
• Economic impact analysis
• Human resource management
• Workplace health and safety
• Applied micro-economics
Peter has over 40 years of consulting experience in Australia and overseas, specializing in public economics and cost-benefit analysis. He also runs regular executive training courses for public servants. His recent work in Australia includes government pricing policy, major transport projects, evaluation of public health programs and hospitals, planning for infrastructure, and analyses of housing prices.
Chris Arnold is an experienced Director and Senior Executive with more than 35 years’ experience and an outstanding delivery record in asset delivery and management, shared services, human resources, and industrial relations.
Chris has previously worked as an Executive General Manager for Energex and led the development of operating structures and targets for the merger of Energex and Ergon Energy. Chris has lead teams of up to 700 employees, with a demonstrated record in delivering strong results, engaging and communicating effectively, and developing high performing teams. He has extensive experience in asset management at a network level including developing and implementing capital, maintenance and risk strategies. Over the past 20 years, Chris has been heavily involvement in the National Electricity Market and regulatory environment, including in the design of market and regulatory arrangements for the Queensland Government in 2007-08. Chris is also well regarded for his strong value set with excellent relationships and strong industry networks.
Jerry Bowman is Emeritus Professor of Finance at the University of Auckland and was the Bank of New Zealand Professor of Finance until August 2008.
Jerry is one of the most respected academics in the field of cost of capital in Australasia and has taught courses on cost of capital at undergraduate and graduate levels. Jerry has also lectured to executive audiences in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States, and consulted and provided expert evidence on topics in financial economics.
He has also been involved in a range of consulting engagements, most of which can be categorised into three areas: cost of capital, valuation and mergers and acquisitions. The work has included expert testimonies, submissions to regulatory agencies and reports to Boards of Directors. A substantial part of this work has been with regulated industries. He has also conducted numerous executive seminars in each of these areas.
Jerry´s consulting work has included advising on WACC issues to infrastructure providers in Australia and New Zealand in the energy, rail, telecommunications and airports sectors, including acting as an expert witness.
Chris Harvey is an experienced regulatory and strategic commercial and technical advisor in the gas and pipelines industries. He commenced his career in engineering roles and moved through commercial and general management into economic regulatory roles. His corporate regulatory experience includes a decade in key regulatory manager roles at AGL and subsequently Alinta/Jemena. Leaving the corporate world in 2008 he has worked as a consultant providing regulatory, strategic commercial and technical advice to the gas and pipelines industry and government. At the same time he also pioneered a comprehensive competency system for pipeline engineers for the Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA). This competency system is recognised by the Australian pipeline industry as the basis for training, development and formal recognition by Engineers Australia and is now receiving recognition internationally
Steve Meyrick is an experienced transport economist with over thirty years experience who has established a national and international reputation for his work across the transport sector, particularly on freight transport issues. He was formerly CEO of Meyrick Consulting Group, a leading boutique consultancy specialising in transport policy and economics and is currently a member of the Department of Infrastructure and Transport´s Major Infrastructure Investment Board.
Steve has worked extensively throughout all Australian states and territories and internationally. His portfolio includes projects undertaken for a wide range of participants in the transport sector, including transport service providers, cargo interests and shipper organisations, port companies and providers of port services, regulatory agencies, government departments, Commissions of Inquiry and a range of international organisations.
Skills and capabilities
• Transport policy analysis and development
• Market definition and competition analysis
• Regulation of transport industries
• Pricing policy and strategy
• Demand analysis and market assessment
• Infrastructure pricing and costing
• Strategic planning of transport systems
Mucha Mkono is an ARC DECRA Fellow at the University of Queensland. Mucha’s acclaimed research focuses on tourist sociology, particularly netnography (which applies the in-person participant observation techniques of anthropology to the study of interactions and experiences manifesting through digital communications). Her insights are particularly important to understanding the customer experiences tourists seek and in identifying the emerging industry trends in the tourism industry.
Rajeev is a Senior Lecturer in Business at CDU. He holds Doctor of Business Administration and Masters qualifications in Commerce and Business Economics. Rajeev co-coordinates the MBA program at CDU and is a former Associate Dean CDU which required he develop strategic initiatives to enhance university’s international profile and generate revenue. Rajeev remains heavily involved in the university’s student recruitment campaign and is currently working on strategies to attract investment into infrastructure in the NT, particularly through his strong connections with India. He is a former President of the Indian Cultural Society of NT and a former Member of the Northern Territory Consumer Affairs Council. His research focus is on social media.
Michael is an experienced regulatory economist, having formerly spent over 20 years at IPART as Program Manager. In this role he managed a team of analysts examining various industry sectors including: public transport, metropolitan and bulk water pricing, water licensing, electricity and local government. He provided senior level economic, strategic and policy advice to the Tribunal and liaised with senior officers from central agencies (eg Treasury, Premiers Department), transport, water and electricity agencies, local councils and community groups.
In 2007 Michael managed IPART’s review of the NSW Taxation System and, in 2009, he managed the review of the Revenue Framework for Local Government in NSW. Michael has recently co-authored a case study on the reform of the water industry in New South Wales for the World Bank.
Gayle advises on a broad range of commercial and economic regulatory matters in relation to the rail and port sectors. Her responsibilities have been widespread, including developing access regulation frameworks, tariff setting, and commercial negotiation of infrastructure access agreements.
Prior to joining Synergies in 2010, Gayle worked extensively in the rail sector, focusing on the commercial and regulatory management of rail networks. She is a leading expert in rail regulatory issues, having guided the development of rail access regimes in Queensland for over ten years. Gayle also has extensive experience in leading complex projects from inception to implementation.
Skills and capabilities
• Economic regulation of transport infrastructure
• Design od regulatory frameworks
• Tariff setting
• Commercial access to transport infrastructure
• Strategic policy advice
Matt has consulted extensively on a wide range of economic regulation issues, with a particular focus on access to energy and transport infrastructure. Most recently, Matt has been working closely with clients contributing to the development of the Australian Energy Regulator’s approach papers and preparing for determinations under the new National Electricity Rules framework. He has also recently assisted a number of clients in relation to the development of access arrangements for heavy haul rail and bulk port infrastructure in Queensland, Western Australia and NSW.
Prior to joining Synergies in 2006, Matt worked as a Team Leader at the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) where he supervised a number of regulatory processes in the transport and energy sectors. This work included the QCA’s 2005 draft and final revenue determinations for Queensland electricity distributors, the 2002 standard access agreement for QR’s coal carrying services, as well as QR’s 2001 undertaking and reviews with respect to pricing, ring-fencing, service quality and metrology.
Matt also has prior lengthy experience in public sector policy development. He worked in the Commonwealth Treasury between 1987 and 1998 where he held roles relating to the development of national competition policy and structural reform, macroeconomic analysis and forecasting of national accounts and general economic data.
Skills and capabilities:
• Extensive knowledge of Australian economic regulatory frameworks
• Regulatory design advice
• Regulatory compliance advice
• Competition and microeconomic policy advice
Martin is a leading economist with fifteen years consulting experience in Australia and overseas. He has an extensive record of project experience in a wide range of industry sectors, including water services, mining, energy, infrastructure, ports, and agriculture. Martin’s core competencies include water policy and management, regulatory economics, pricing, cost-benefit analysis and strategic program reviews. He has specialist expertise in the valuation of environmental and social impacts through choice modelling and other techniques. Martin’s technical skills are complemented by his strong managerial and leadership expertise. He has managed many high-profile assignments and coordinated inter-disciplinary teams.
Martin was formerly a Director in the economics group at PwC and prior to that he held senior positions at the Allen Consulting Group and the Centre for International Economics.
Skills and capabilities
• Pricing and cost allocation
• Industry structure and competition
• Regulatory economics
• Cost-benefit analysis
• Natural resources economics and policy
• Strategic program and efficiency reviews
• R&D impact evaluation
• Choice modelling
Daniel has considerable experience in research and data analysis. He has applied these skills in regulatory and infrastructure economics, utilities and social policy analysis. Daniel has considerable experience in undertaking economic impact and cost benefit analysis studies across several sectors of the economy for both government and private clients.
Daniel has worked with Synergies since 2006.
Gary has over fifteen years’ experience in the economic regulation of monopoly services, working for the regulator, government agencies and regulated businesses. His responsibilities have included developing and assessing regulatory determinations in the energy and water industries, retail tariff setting and pricing, and the development of cost allocation and regulatory reporting frameworks. Prior to joining Synergies, Gary worked as a Regulatory and Pricing Manager at Allconnex Water and as a former Team Leader in the Energy Division of the Queensland Competition Authority.
Manish is an industrial organisation economist with experience in access regulation and competition economics matters.
Prior to joining Synergies in March 2019, Manish worked as a Principal Analyst at the Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) where he worked on a range of regulatory matters associated with third party access to rail and port infrastructure in Queensland. This work included competition analysis of markets dependent on infrastructure services, analysis of infrastructure expansion pricing framework and user funding option for infrastructure expansion, reference tariff analysis based on building blocks method, analysis of access negotiation arrangements, and assessment of operating and capital costs.
Manish also has prior experience of competition analysis in harbour towage and accounting services markets.
Manish has published peer review articles on issues relating to competition policy and economic regulation.
Ross has significant experience in quantitative analysis of economic and financial issues in the regulatory environment. Ross joined Synergies in early 2006 from Energex where he was responsible for determining network charges for all contestable and franchise customers. He previously worked for the Queensland Competition Authority where he was responsible for the financial modelling and reference tariff determination for QR’s Central Queensland below rail coal services.
Ross also has nearly fifteen years experience as an agricultural economist where he developed significant expertise in benefit-cost analysis, research evaluation and statistical analysis and survey design.
Skills and Capabilities
• Financial and economic modelling
• Cost benefit analysis
• Regulatory economics
• Development of pricing strategies
• Electricity distribution pricing
Debbie joined Synergies in March 2017 and brings almost 2 decades of government policy experience specialising in commonwealth-state financial relations and national competition regulation. Debbie has extensive experience in financial and budgetary analysis having worked on annual budget preparation and coordination across the commonwealth and state (Vic) jurisdictions. As a former senior analyst at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Debbie has considerable experience in administering and advising on the design of price monitoring regimes involving Australian ports. She managed several successful stakeholder engagement strategies over more than 7 years which involved, in part, reporting to the Federal Government on prices, costs and profits of the container stevedoring industry.
Mike has extensive experience working on electricity and gas issues as an analyst and project manager for the Public Utilities Office and the Economic Regulation Authority. Mike led the development of a modified network service contracting framework and the establishment of a new framework for operating customer transfers and data in the retail electricity market. An experienced energy analyst and modeller, Mike is also experienced in cost benefit analysis and the application of economics to public policy problems. Other achievements include developing a detailed assessment of electricity cost drivers, modelling the distributional impacts of tariff policies and estimating the financial value of solar export for rate-setting purposes
Simon is an applied economist with over ten years experience in consulting and finance in Australia and overseas. He has extensive experience in agriculture, resources, transport and real estate economics with a focus on quantitative analysis. Simon’s key practice areas include forecasting, applied microeconomics and spatial analytics deployed for cost benefit analysis, real options analysis, economic impact assessments and project reviews.
Simon was formerly a Senior Consultant at ACIL Allen Consulting and prior to that held positions at a real estate market research firm and in credit risk management at DGHyp both in Hamburg, Germany.
Skills and capabilities
• Benefit cost analysis
• Demand forecasting
• Spatial analysis
• Transport economics
• Real options
• Economic impact assessment
Dominic joined Synergies in 2017 after graduating from the University of Queensland in 2016 with a Bachelor of Economics, a Bachelor of Commerce, and placement on the Dean’s Honour Roll. Since joining Synergies, he has been involved in a range of projects, including WACC analyses, benchmarking and industry reviews. Dominic has a background in economic research with work published in Energy Economics. He also teaches classes in econometrics and cost-benefit analysis at the University of Queensland. Previously he completed an internship at Deloitte Access Economics.
Leona joined Synergies as a Senior Consultant in 2018. Prior to joining Synergies, Leona worked for three years in the Queensland Department of the Premier and Cabinet. During her time in government Leona worked in both Intergovernmental Relations and Economic Policy, providing strategic advice and economic analysis on a range of economic policy areas. Leona is a qualified policy professional with a Master of International Economics and Finance, School of Business, Economics, and Law from The University of Queensland.
Lewis joined Synergies as a consultant early in 2018. He holds a Masters degree in International Economics and Finance from the University of Queensland and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of New South Wales. Ever since joining Synergies, he has been involved in WACC analyses and gained project experience in ports and rail transport. He also teaches classes in microeconomics at the University of Queensland.
Hasham joined Synergies as a consultant at the start of 2017. He holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Queensland and a Bachelor’s degree in International Business (Major in Economics) from Griffith University. Since joining Synergies, Hasham has gained project experience in a variety of industry sectors, including water services, agriculture, ports, energy and rail transport. Prior to joining Synergies, Hasham worked at RACQ as an Intern, where he was able to publish an article in the Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, and Griffith University as a Research Assistant.