Cartesius Advisory Network (CAN) is an advisory partnership with a twist. We offer Clients what can’t be found elsewhere – dedicated Partners with a proven entrepreneurial mindset, extraordinary cross-border networks, centuries of combined international experience and individual track records of true exception at the most senior level.


Drawn from a range of professional backgrounds as diverse as investment banking, asset management, government, the law and the service and information industries, the CAN international Partnership provides bespoke advice and end-to-end support to Clients over the long-term on:

  • Strategy, competitors, governance, security
  • Transformative restructuring
  • Identification of deal opportunities; high-level introductions
  • Corporate Finance and M&A; structuring and arranging of equity and debt finance
Cartesius (31.03.1596 – 11.02.1650):
Rigorously analytical. Original, open and unconventional, challenging orthodoxy. Dedicated and dependable. As comfortable with numbers as with concepts and words. These were some of the qualities that made up the genius of Cartesius (Rene Descartes), the 17th century French mathematician, philosopher and scientist whose monumental legacy includes the Cartesian coordinate system and the rationalist keystone "I think, therefore I exist.". It is those qualities that inspire us at Cartesius Advisory Network. They’re the ones we aim to put at the service of our clients.

Partners and Client Services

Our Partners bring breadth of knowledge, experience and judgement:

  • Synthesis and clarity
  • A wide range of competencies
  • Global reach
  • An entrepreneurial approach

Partners come to CAN for its unique attributes:

  • Relevance, scope and international reach
  • Peers they respect, elect and trust
  • Serving clients as they would wish
  • The physical and intellectual environment
  • Liberation from big firm bureaucracy

Luqman Arnold


Luqman has held leadership roles in a number of internationally admired banks and has worked across Asia Pacific and Europe (including Russia and CEU). He has experience across a wide range of sectors from media to natural resources and across product segments including corporate finance and project advisory, sovereign issues and privatisations, debt and equity capital markets, and wealth management.

Luqman’s experience as an executive was primarily in strategy, transformation, M&A and business development; at Abbey National and UBS, he was responsible for the then largest European and global cross border financial services deals, in both cases with simultaneous listings of the acquirers’ stock in the target’s home market.

Luqman was formerly with CSFB, as Head of Investment Banking new business; Banque Paribas, as Global Head of Business Development on the Executive Committee and Board; UBS AG as Chair of the Group Executive Board; Abbey National, as CEO; Co-Founder of Olivant and Cartesius SA, and NED of MDM Bank. He has been Chair of the Design Museum since 2005.

Lord John Hutton


John has exceptional experience in policy making with a political career spanning nearly three decades. John has held a number of cabinet positions including Defence Secretary and Business Secretary and has also served as Minister of State, Department of Health. John counsels clients on a range of issues including public policy, regulatory reform and pensions and advises across a range of sectors including energy, healthcare and defence.

John has been a Member of the House of Lords since 2010. Prior to that he held a number of ministerial positions in the UK Government including Secretary of State for Defence, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Previously, he was Minister of State for the Department of Health for six years. John began his political career as the Labour Member of Parliament for Barrow and Furness. Before joining politics, John was a Senior Law lecturer at Newcastle Polytechnic.

John is currently chair of the Nuclear Industries Association, the Royal United Services Institute, the Independent Public Service Pensions Commission and the Cuba Initiative. He is also an adviser to Redington, Lockheed Martin, Bechtel Corporation and a special adviser to PwC. He is NED of Sirius Minerals, HMS Victory Preservation Company, Circle Holdings Plc and Arthurian Life Sciences and trustee of the RAF Museum and the International Air Cadet Training.

Mitchel Lenson


Mitchel’s career has centred on operations and technology and providing senior counsel to clients on related projects, particularly transformation, efficiency and change management. He brings senior expertise in operations and technology with over three decades of experience in the field.

Mitchel’s previous roles include Group Chief Information Officer of Deutsche Bank AG; Global Head of Operations of SBC Warburg/UBS AG. Mitchel is a co-founder of Cartesius SA; a NED of Nationwide Building Society; he combines non-executive roles in the UK and USA with work in the Private Equity sector and charitable work.

Simon Murray


Simon has a wealth of international business experience as an entrepreneur, banker and CEO/Chair of major multinational companies. He has long-standing business relationships particularly in Asia but also throughout Europe.

Simon is currently the Executive Chairman of GEMS; Vice Chairman of Essar Energy plc and a Board member of Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd., Orient Overseas (International) Ltd., Wing Tai Properties Ltd., Greenheart Group Limited, IRC Limited, and Spring Asset Management Limited, manager of Spring Real Estate Investment Trust, the listed company.

Simon was previously Chairman of Glencore and has held advisory and Board positions in a number of other companies such as Richemont SA, Gulf Keystone Petroleum, Vodafone, Tommy Hilfiger Corporation, Vivendi Universal, Usinor SA, Hermes, General Electric (USA), China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), Macquarie Bank, N.M. Rothschild, and Bain. He continues to serve on the advisory board of Lightbridge Corporation (USA), SouthWest Energy (BVI) Ltd., and is a Senior Advisor on the International Advisory Council of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., PRC.

Simon has been awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by H.M. The Queen, and the Order of Merit of the French Republic and is a “Chevalier de La Legion d’Honneur”.

Paolo Tanoni


Paolo is an entrepreneurial and experienced lawyer with over twenty five years of practice in Italy and internationally. He has extensive experience in Business and Industrial Law, Company Contracts and International Private-Business Law. His particular business areas of focus are commercial law, M&A, restructuring and litigation. He has extensive networks and experience in the areas of luxury goods, fashion, financial institutions, infrastructure and power.

Paolo is Founder and Chairman of Milan-based H.N.F. Law, which has been advising some of the biggest names in fashion and luxury. Paolo’s previous roles include Chairman, Ernst & Young M&A Law, globally and Partner at Lovells Italy. He is currently a Board member of Milan-listed Maire Technimont, ASPESI and Ariston Thermo Group. He is founder and Chair of FCM, now ECHIDNA, which controls TECHNO and VIRIDIS ENERGIA (bio gas and photovoltaic). He is statutory auditor of BATA and Furla and co-founder of “Fondazione Marche”, Ancona, a charity foundation.

Previously, Paolo’s entrepreneurial instincts led him to found two companies in the automotive trade before he went on to establish his own law firm ‘Recanati’ in 1985. This was where he first developed expertise in the areas of luxury and fashion goods and financial institutions. Paolo graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Macerata.

Vittorio Volpi


Vittorio has broad experience across financial services in Asia and Europe with particular depth and networks in Japan, Italy, Switzerland and strategic wealth advisory. He has held senior positions in global firms and also been an independent adviser.

Vittorio’s current positions are Chair and co-founder of Cartesius SA; Chair of Banca Esperia Fiduciaria and Chair of Finter Bank. Vittorio’s previous roles include First National City Bank, as COO Italy; Banca Commerciale Italiana, as Head of Far East; Parallels, as founder of this consulting firm in Japan; NED of Zegna Japan; UBS AG, as a Member of the Management Board, Country Head Japan, and Head of Italy (Wealth Management and Investment Banking); Olivant, Partner; Parallels SA, founder; Advisory Board member of NTT Data as the only foreigner.

Vittorio holds the prestigious post of Academic of Accademia Ambrosiana in Milan in Far East Cultures. He is an author and has been published in six languages. He is fluent in Japanese, French, English and Italian.

Marino Eugenio Cucca


Marino is one of Italy’s most experienced corporate and investment bankers, with an extensive network of clients and a track record of more than twenty five years serving Italian businesses and government agencies across both Italy and London. He has been a key dealmaker in many of the most important corporate and investment banking transactions in Italy over the course of the last two decades, focusing on Energy, Infrastructures, Food and Food Processing, Fashion, Packaging, and High-end Manufacturing sectors.

Marino was previously Head of Structured Finance-Italy with BNP Paribas and Head of Investment Banking with BNL, and prior to that he held roles with BNL, Morgan Grenfell and Centrobanca. He has served on the Board of Directors of major Italian corporate and institutional entities including Ariston Thermo, Energia Italiana, Neip, Creaimpresa, SIT, Eutimm, Adim Group, and was a permanent member of the Advisory Committee on Corporate & Project Finance with IIF – Institute of International Finance – in Washington DC. He co-founded and served as a board and executive committee member of the MAC-Mercato Alternativo dei Capitali, the Italian AIM-Alternative Investment Market dedicated to SMEs.

Marino is committed to promoting the enlargement of Italian mid-sized companies through external growth, internationalisation and improved access to equity and debt capital markets. He has published multiple articles and essays on the subject and regularly speaks at seminars with Italian entrepreneurs and at conferences organised by the Confederation of Italian Industry. Marino holds an MBA and a Master in Advanced Management at INSEAD and served as a lieutenant platoon commander in the parachuting Regiment of the Carabinieri Police Corp.

Rodolfo Errore


Rodolfo has vast experience in Banking, Industry and International Project Finance Law. He has held senior partnership roles within several prestigious international Law firms, including Simmons & Simmons and DLA Piper.

Rodolfo has advised banks, institutional counterparties and corporate multinationals in structuring large projects in the infrastructure, energy and oil and gas sectors in countries such as Turkey, South Africa, the Balkan States, former CSI countries, India and the US. He is the author of several publications relating to structured and corporate finance and to project and infrastructures financing, on which he is often invited to speak to a number of seminars.

Rodolfo has been on the Board of the Sofipa fund and of Arena, as well as honorary member of the American Studies Centre and member of the Millennium foundation. He was a professor of commercial law at the University Kore of Enna and is mentioned by The Legal 500 EMEA among the most reputable banking and finance lawyers in Italy.

Ayesha Malhotra


Ayesha has fifteen years financial experience primarily as an investment banker. She has worked across Asia, New York and London on buy-side, sell-side, capital raising and restructuring transactions. Ayesha has worked across a range of industries, with a particular focus in the leisure and hospitality, consumer and healthcare sectors.

Ayesha grew up in India and has lived and worked in New York, London, Hong Kong and Mumbai. Her previous roles were: McKinsey & Co., India; Rothschild corporate finance in Asia, NY and London.

Piroon Wacharamontri


Piroon has more than fifteen years experience in legal consultant services including high-profile acquisition financing, asset financing, project financing, aircraft financing, debt restructuring, capital markets and M&A transactions. His clients included major and domestic international banks and financial institutions and also major corporates and listed companies. Piroon supports CAN’s business and clients in Asia. Piroon was formerly a senior lawyer at leading international law firms including Linklaters and Norton Rose Fulbright, in London and Bangkok.

Piroon graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok and Master of Laws degrees in International Business Law from Washington College of Law, in International Banking and Finance Law from Boston University School of Law and in the International Legal Studies Program from Harvard Law School.

Piroon co-founded and is a director of Taste of Success Company Limited, which operates leading restaurants in Thailand, including 4Garcons and Marie Guimar and is a co-founder of Bagatelle and Container, the renowned lifestyle products and accessories, which are found in major department stores in Asia.

David Kwan

Director of CAN HK

David has over fifteen years investment experience as an investment and equities research analyst and advisor, in fund and wealth management, direct investments and on the sell-side.  With generalist responsibilities, he is experienced in covering a wide range of industry sectors largely spanning Asia and China. David supports the CAN team and works with clients globally, with a particular focus on Asia mandates.

David is also experienced in working with entrepreneurs, particularly with building and starting businesses in the consumer sector. He has held investment roles with Baring Asset Management, Bank Julius Baer, BNP Paribas, and CLSA and is a founding team member of CAN’s Hong Kong practice.

I-An Chen


I-An is actively involved in supporting partners on applied intelligence and corporate finance mandates. She has extensive experience in research across a range of industries with a focus on technology and a special interest in China.

I-An has a diverse background spanning financial services, research and insight, as well as an interest in behavioural economics. With experience in market analysis, brand positioning, product innovation, growth, communication and media strategy, she has worked with clients across technology, media, telecoms, automotive, retail and financial services sectors during her time at Morgan Stanley and several research consultancies. Born in Taiwan, I-An speaks fluent English and Mandarin, and has advised a range of clients on China strategy.

Board and CAN Administration Services

Our Board:

  • Global in outlook and top-level experience
  • Multi-disciplinary & multi-industry
  • Wholly dedicated to CAN and all its stakeholders

Our Administrative Support:

  • Passionate and committed, around the clock
  • Multi-lingual and international
  • Dedicated to excellence and efficiency
  • Driven to achieve the extraordinary

Luqman Arnold

Chairman of the Board

See also under Partners and Client Services

Michael Baer

Board Director of CAN AG

Michael is an experienced banker and entrepreneur and is audit lead on the CAN board.
He has extensive experience in private banking having held multiple leadership roles at Julius Baer Holding AG including Head of Private Banking, Head of Trading (Treasury, FICC and Equity) and Head of IT.

He is Chair of Baer Capital Partners; Chair of Charlemagne Capital; NED of FinOps AG, which provides operational, reporting and compliance services to financial services firms, family offices and asset managers. Michael is active in the Middle East and as an investor in projects in India.

Michael is an active member of the YPO, which is strongly represented amongst major entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Geert Linnebank

Board Director of CAN AG

Geert has exceptional experience in the news and information industries spanning over three decades.

Geert’s previous roles include Editor in Chief and Global Head of Content, Reuters Group Plc; NED Breaking Views; NED Factiva. He is currently NED at Salini Impregilo SA and NED at Independent Television News Ltd (having also been acting CEO).

Geert was Chairman of the Reuters Foundation from 2004 to 2008, and joint founder in 2006 of the Reuters Institute for Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, where he continues to serve on the Steering and Editorial Committees.

Born in the Hague, the Netherlands, he grew up in Brussels where he started his career as a journalist with Agence Europe before joining AP-Dow Jones, and later Reuters, as EU correspondent.

Peter Rigg

Board Director of CAN AG

Peter has broad experience as an investment banker, and board director of listed and unlisted companies, in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He leads risk on the CAN board.

Chair of Polarcus, the Dubai based, Oslo listed marine seismic survey company, since its start up; Chair of MXC Capital Plc, an AIM listed specialist TMT investment fund; NED of the LSE listed Schroders Oriental Income Fund; Investment committee of China Car Parking Investment Fund, an international fund managed by Limetree Capital Management; Advisory Board member of South West Energy.

Previous roles include Worldwide MD and Head of Asian Equity Capital Markets at CS First Boston and MD and Head of Investment Banking for North Asia for Credit Suisse First Boston; NED of GEMS Private Equity Funds; MD of Manufacturers Hanover (Asia) Limited HK and Senior Legal Advisor of Manufacturers Hanover Limited London; Chair of Cardona Lloyd.

Peter has been a member of the Investment Committee of the Ghurkha Welfare Trust since 2000.

Frank Sreesangkom

Board Member of CAN Thailand and Senior Adviser

Frank brings his experience and networks to bear for CAN Thailand and to support Partners on Asia related business. Frank has over twenty years experience primarily as an investment banker and as a senior executive in the energy sector.

Frank’s previous roles include: Nikko Securities, Tokyo (Investment Research & Strategy Analyst); Credit Suisse, Investment Banking and Project Finance, New York, Singapore and Bangkok; UBS & SBC Warburg, Investment Banking, Hong Kong and Bangkok; Electricity Generating Public Company Limited, Thailand (CFO and responsible for its IPO); Northern Gulf Oil (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (Senior Advisor). Frank is fluent in Japanese, Thai and English.

Frank co-founded and is the director of the Education for Development Foundation (EDF), which supports underprivileged Thai children to pursue secondary school education and has expanded to include income-generating projects to aid children in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Tobias Straessle

Board Director of CAN UK and Senior Advisor

Tobias led the development of CAN’s proprietary, cutting edge technology platform. He provides advice to Partners and their clients based on over thirty years experience as CIO, COO and Management Consultant primarily in the financial services sector.

Tobias’ experience covers all aspects of information technology such as IT strategy and management, post-merger integration and development of technology-based business platforms with particular expertise in exchange and capital markets trading and clearing systems.

Tobias is non-executive Chair of Saxo Bank Switzerland AG and holds a MSc in Mathematics from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) and a MBA from Northwestern University, Chicago. His previous senior roles as executive or consultant include UBS investment Bank, Saxo Bank S.A., Andersen Consulting, GMO AG, Compagnie de Banque et d’Investissements (CBI) and Credit Suisse. He also advises technology start-ups.

Mélanie Chopard

Group Finance, HR, Legal and Administration Officer

Mélanie’s experience includes setting-up, operating and managing the financial and administrative functions of newly created companies on an international scale.

Mélanie has a broad background spanning media and consulting services industries, as well as government and international organisations. She most recently worked for an online collaboration startup company and supported its global expansion with particular focus on financial, human resources and legal matters. Melanie speaks fluent English, German, Italian and French.

Jackie Miles

Business Manager

Jackie oversees CAN’s business operations. She has a Masters in Business Administration from the Open University and broad experience in supporting both corporate and private organisations spanning over twenty five years.

Sarah Miller

Intelligence Contributor

Sarah contributes Life activities and content for CAN’s Intelligence platform. She has a remarkable career in journalism spanning thirty years.

Sarah is founder of Sarah Miller and Partners (‘SMP’). Her career in journalism spans helping to found Blueprint, editing arts and design for Elle, being Assistant Editor of The Sunday Times (launching Style magazine) and Associate Editor and Arts Editor of the Daily Telegraph.

In 1997 she launched Conde Nast Traveller UK, which she edited for 15 years; Sarah was also involved in the Indian and Chinese launches. She has won Editor of the year 7 times. Her decades of senior editorial and advisory experience provide her an influential network across the arts, film, design and lifestyle fields. Sarah is a governor of the Royal College of Art.



CAN is a new-style partnership blending the best of the old and the new.

Undivided Client dedication and timeless values of professionalism, trust, integrity and discretion are essential. But they aren’t enough in our global, connected world.

Can's unique scope

CAN serves clients — entrepreneurs, companies, government agencies, financial sponsors, family offices, private banks — in developed and emerging economies alike. Clients have access to:

  • Multi-disciplinary strategic advice and intelligence
  • Support, 24/7, from accomplished professionals
  • Purpose-built and highly efficient technology and communications systems

CAN Partners’ have first-hand experience of clients’ constraints

Stakeholder, strategic, regulatory and governance constraints faced by company CEOs/Chairs:

  • Entrepreneurs’ need for speed of response and recognition of their linked personal and business interests
  • Political and societal challenges faced by policy makers almost anywhere in the world
  • Fiduciary responsibility of wealth managers when seeking independent advice for their clients

CAN exists solely for the benefit
of clients

Expect expertise, depth and breadth of experience and an integrated approach.

Unexpected angles and creative answers.

Real knowledge. Prepared to defy conventional wisdom.

Complete discretion.

Client offer

CAN empowers the strongest possible Client‑Partner relationship. How?

Clients and CAN

  • Client’s agenda not CAN’s.
  • Client works directly with its chosen Partner—long term.
  • A one-to-one relationship: simple, effective, and highly responsive.
  • Dealing with CAN Partners, not with the management.
  • Service that is personal and integrated in ways large firms with cumbersome, complex organisations simply cannot match.

Partners are discreet, unconflicted and undistracted

  • No sales targets, no management interference and bureaucracy.
  • No proprietary conflicts of interest.
  • No underwriting, trading or other principal business.
  • No asset or money management.
  • Utmost discretion. Underpinned by one-to-one Partner-Client relationship and CAN’s secure technology.

CAN’S advice is deep, bespoke and integrated

  • Strategy, competition, governance, security.
  • Restructuring, transformation, regulatory.
  • Corporate finance and M&A.
  • Structuring and arrangement of equity and debt finance.
  • Whole wealth strategic advice and introductions to private banks and family offices.
  • Introductions to business partners and deal opportunities around the world, personally and privately.
  • Our responses will be bespoke and unique. Expect no recycled PowerPoint presentations at CAN.

World-class intelligence

  • Intelligence that is curated and relevant. Insightful. Useful.
  • Introductions to independent thought leaders who will give you perspectives, angles, insights, one-to-one.

Agility, not bureaucracy

CAN’s proprietary platform allows it to work to the same scale and scope as large firms. More cost effectively.

And thanks to CAN’s compact size, it can focus intensely on individual clients’ needs to work faster, respond better and achieve effective solutions to real challenges.


CAN’s unique platform is based on proprietary, integrated technology delivered through the CAN app and designed for security, confidentiality and accessibility. Whether on desktops or mobile devices, CAN is available anytime, anywhere, in any way.

CAN’s platform enables our Partners to communicate, network and execute effectively in an international environment.



Where is the life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

T.S. Eliot

The issue

Real intelligence is difficult to distil from the ever-increasing flood of information available through the Internet.

Most people default to the same standard sources, because they don’t have the time to look beyond.

CAN’s differentiation

CAN provides Intelligence curated individually to the interests of our Clients and Partners, with an emphasis on bespoke commissioned research.



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