A specialist private capital partnership delivering commercial opportunities for investors and founders across Australia and New Zealand.
Advising scalable, sustainable businesses to accelerate growth.
Second Sphere Partners is a specialist private capital partnership, working at the intersection of businesses and investors. We guide founders to long term success whilst guarding and growing investor capital.
Second Sphere operates at the intersection of scalable businesses, investment partners and a comprehensive suite of functional experts to drive growth and commercial strength, enabling company structures that work to the benefit of businesses and their investors.
Matching a curated pool of investment partners with exceptional founders and companies, Second Sphere’s advisory services often work as an extension of its portfolio companies’ executive teams to achieve clearly-defined commercial goals.
With Second Sphere Partners, James is realising his vision of creating a true investment, growth and advisory partnership where all parties involved win through a focus on what he calls “doing the right things, right.”
James has over 25 years of experience driving growth, transformation and commercialisation across a range of industries including financial services, travel, transport, retail and property, from start-ups to global blue-chip companies. He has a strong technology and digital platform background and understands how to build and execute commercial partnerships based on mutual trust and benefit.
Prior to founding Second Sphere Partners with Chris Flavell, James gained a wealth of global exposure to diverse business models and technology innovations, time in Silicon Valley with venture capital and private equity advisors to IBM, and partnering via Microsoft with many start-ups.
As part of his time at IBM, James was based on Wall Street, servicing the Americas in 2008. James did not cause the GFC.
In 2019 James established Hungry Joe Productions – a digital, commercial and corporate advisory firm – leading deals spanning capital raises, trade sales, commercial expansion and digital acceleration for a range of organisations. Hungry Joe Productions merged with AraCapital in 2022 to form Second Sphere Partners.
The last two decades have created an ideal space for James to make a positive impact with Second Sphere Partners. James marries the zest and drive of fast-growing, scalable companies with the sustainable long-term view of industry leaders and James’ own view that founders, investors and advisory partners should be working in each other’s best interests.
James has a BSc in Information Systems, a Grad Dip in Maritime Management and has completed Executive Development programs at Harvard, INSEAD, University of Hong Kong and Boston University. Starting his professional career as a ten-year Naval Officer, successfully navigating away from reefs and towards bars, James gravitated back to water (and occasionally bars) by settling in North Bondi.
As an engaged member of his community, he is also a Trustee at the North Bondi RSL sub-Branch, patrols at North Bondi SLSC, and is a full member of Bondi Icebergs – the winter drinking club that swims.
Chris believes all parties involved in capital partnerships, investments and advisory relationships should be aligned and incentivised, fairly and equitably.
This view was borne of his investment banking background during the New Zealand Government Asset Corporatisation and Privatisation programme and the Treaty of Waitangi. Chris played a pivotal role in the settlement and repatriation of land to the Ngai Tahu tribe in New Zealand – Chris’ tribe – including the establishment and governance of structures to manage tribal assets.
As a Managing Partner of Second Sphere Partners, Chris brings this passion and commitment to his focus on accelerating the uptake of renewables, sustainable development initiatives, healthtech and growth companies in the energy transition space.
Initially studying physiology and biochemistry in his homeland of Aotearoa, Chris pivoted into business, where he now gets to combine his personal passions with professional acumen. Even though Chris has held key investment, banking, merger and acquisition and advisory roles for JPMorgan and Ord Minnett, don’t call him a banker or an accountant!
Chris understands the growing pains of founders and needs of investors, courtesy of growing AraCapital, a private capital investment and management vehicle, which now has in excess of $100 million in assets under management. Chris has also played a key role in the establishment of companies across Asia in sectors such as investment banking and hydro and geothermal power.
Chris’ transaction experience includes: over $4 billion of M&A transactions; over $7 billion of debt and hybrid transactions; and over $2 billion of equity raising.
His strategy experience includes: industry restructuring; M&A and divestments; capital raising; project development; and project and structured finance. Sector experience spans energy, power, exploration, resources, infrastructure, manufacturing, distribution and retailing.
Chris’ guiding principle for Second Sphere Partners is that the team is not in this business merely for a transaction. It is on-board for the full expedition, working alongside founders and investors in the businesses Second Sphere engages with for the entirety of the relationship.
Our industry and functional focus is driven by two core themes.
Improve and Advance
Industry Disruptors, Web 3.0 and
Distributed Ledger Technologies
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