James was born and raised in Australia, graduating as class valedictorian from Bond University with joint degrees in law and commerce before starting his career in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs in Sydney.
James moved to the United States in 2015 to start his MBA at HBS, where he was an avid member of the HBS’s golf and rugby clubs, and during which time his passion for consumer brands and investing flourished. While at HBS, James worked in operating roles at &pizza and Healthy Spot, two growth equity backed multi-unit retail chains in DC and LA respectively. After graduating in 2017, James joined Alex as a Principal at The Production Board in San Francisco, spending time exploring investment opportunities across the spectrum of the food and agriculture supply chain – from in-field production, to consumer products.
When Alex left The Production Board in 2019 to start Amberstone, James joined him as a founding partner. As well as acting as a full investment partner, James also runs investor relations and fund operations for the firm.
Bond University, LLB BCom (H Dist.)
Harvard Business School, MBA (Dist.)
How did you get interested in entrepreneurship?
I grew up surrounded by entrepreneurs – my Godfather grew up in Australia as the son of immigrants who fled Hungary during WWII. While he started his career as an accountant, he still regales me about how much he hated the monotony of it all and was itching to do something different. Then one fortuitous day at a farmers’ market in Adelaide, he met the woman who ran a flower stall. A few years later they were married, and flash forward another 30 years and they’d built the largest retailer and distributor of fresh flowers in the State.
They took risk at a time and in a culture where “risk” was taboo! And in doing so they built something that has, for decades now, brought joy to peoples’ lives.
I don’t think there’s anything more fulfilling that sitting around a table with friends and family and enjoying a meal together. Now every day we get to work with entrepreneurs who feel that same way – founders who can take that special spark, package it up, and a create brand and products that touch people in the same way.