Founder, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Previously, Mr. Melka was the Co-Founder, Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive Officer of Asian Plantations Limited, a plantation company quoted on AIM. Asian Plantations Limited was admitted to AIM in November 2009 at 75 pence per share and was subsequently purchased by a strategic acquirer for 220 pence per share in October 2014; during this time period, the market capitalization grew from £22 million (at Admission) to £110 million at the time of acquisition. Since 2006, Mr. Melka has co-founded and launched companies in Asia and Latin America involved in agriculture, consumer finance, hotels and mobile telecommunications. He is also the Founder and Chairman of privately held United Oils Limited SEZC, a large-scale agricultural enterprise in Peru with over 10,000 planted hectares. Mr. Melka started his career as an investment banker with Credit Suisse First Boston in 1995 where he remained until 2005 during which time he was based in New York, London, Prague, Singapore and Bangkok. Mr. Melka graduated magna cum laude from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He is a Czech citizen and resident in the Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
Mr. Kozuch was born and raised in Mexico City and is a native Spanish speaker. Over the last 13 years, Mr. Kozuch has been the Chief Financial Officer of Communiqué Conferencing, Inc., an international conferencing services company he co-founded in 2001. Prior to Communiqué, Mr. Kozuch served in various channel marketing, program management, and business development roles with voice and data providers in the U.S. and Latin America including Winstar Communications, Concert and Avantel (MCI’s joint venture in Mexico). Mr. Kozuch travels frequently to Central and South America and is an Executive Director of United Oils Limited SEZC, a developer of palm oil plantation estates with a land bank in excess of 30,000 hectares. Mr. Kozuch graduated from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University in Washington DC. He is a U.S. citizen and resides in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Gonticas has been a Senior Advisor to the Blackstone Group since 2012. He is also an active investor through Green Square Capital Limited, his personal investment vehicle. Previously, from 2004 to 2011, Mr. Gonticas was the Managing Partner of Novator LLP, an investment company specializing in Central & Eastern Europe. Whilst at Novator, Mr. Gonticas sourced a number of investments, including PLAY (a Polish mobile telephony company which is one of the largest ever start-ups in the region), Netia (Polish fixed line telephony) and Forthnet (fixed line telephony in Greece). He has served as Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of PLAY and was also Vice Chairman of the Boards of Netia and Forthnet. Before Novator, Mr. Gonticas was Head of Investment Banking for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa for Merrill Lynch and prior to that spent 12 years at Credit Suisse First Boston. Mr Gonticas has a law degree from Oxford University. He is a UK citizen and resident in London.
Mr. Tello is the principal legal counsel for the Company’s wholly owned operating subsidiary, Cacao Del Peru Norte SAC, in Iquitos, Peru. As the founding partner of Estudio Juridico Tello Pereyra Abogados in Iquitos, Mr. Tello advises corporate clients and municipalities throughout the Peruvian region of Loreto. Mr. Tello is a frequent lecturer for legal forums and congresses throughout Latin America with a specialization in administrative law. In Peru, Mr. Tello is at the forefront of Peru’s newly instituted legal procedural code and has organized training seminars for government appointed superior justices and prosecutors. He earned his law degree from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and is the President of the Council of Arbitration for the Loreto Chamber of Commerce. Mr Tello is a Peruvian citizen and resides in Iquitos, Peru.
Mr. Lee was previously with Asian Plantations Limited in corporate development; he has, since 2010 developed detailed budgeting and forecasting plantation models. He started his career in investment banking with Deutsche Bank in New York and Merrill Lynch in Singapore where he performed M&A, capital raising and financial advisory work. He is a US citizen and graduated with honours from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He resides in Lima, Peru.