top of page
Board of Directors

Board of Directors

The Board of ArborGen Holdings consists of six directors:

  • David Knott Jr - Chairman (who has a 28.28% relevant ownership interest in ArborGen Holdings) (appointed 19 August 2021)

  • George Adams (appointed 12 August 2019)

  • Thomas Avery (appointed 18 July 2018)

  • Ozey Horton (appointed 11 July 2018) 

  • Paul Smart (appointed 21 August 2018)

Directors' biographies

David Knott Jr - appointed 19 August 2021

BA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


David is the CEO and Chief Investment Manager and Executive Managing Member of Knott Partners who, with associated entities, is ArborGen’s largest shareholder. He has served as Co-Chief Investment Manager of Knott Partners since March 2017. David is a board member of DRS Holdings LLC, on the Advisory Board of The HiGro Group, LLC and the Tenon Clearwood Limited Partnership Advisory Board.

George Adams - appointed 12 August 2019
Independent Director
FCA (Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland), CMInstD (Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors), Diploma in Company Direction, 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, Finance Director of British Telecom Northern Ireland and Group Finance Director of Molino Beverages based in Dublin. 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 executive 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). George also chaired the Independent Forestry Safety Review in 2014.

Thomas Avery - appointed 18 July 2018
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 CRA International Inc and KIPP Metro Atlanta.


Ozey Horton Jr - appointed 11 July 2018 
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 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.

Paul Smart - appointed 21 August 2018
Independent Director
BBS, Finance Massey University; Chartered Accountant (CA); Chartered Member Institute of Directors (CMinstD)

Paul brings more than 30 years’ experience as a senior financial executive and professional director in local and international markets, including listings on the NZX, ASX and NASDAQ.

As an executive, Paul’s key experiences were as CFO of NZ’s largest energy company, Meridian Energy and prior to that, founding CFO of Sky Television which during his tenure went on to become a top 10 listed company on the NZX.  As a professional director Paul has variously acted as a director, audit and finance chair and board chair for a broad range of companies including listed, venture capital, high-net-worth family, and large private companies. These roles have included businesses in the energy, manufacturing, venture capital, transport and tourism and automation sectors in NZ, USA, Australia, Thailand, India, and Spain. He is currently a non-executive director of Geo40, Mercer Group, Argus Fire Systems Service and SolarCity.

bottom of page