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Roland Stephens

Senior Fellow

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Roland Stephens is a Senior Fellow at ASPI. He also leads the client function for a government backed asset manager and central borrowing authority. Before that he established and led Austrade’s defence team and spent over a decade as a natural resources investment banker.

After a career in natural resources investment banking, Roland’s joined Austrade in 2017, and then the NSW Government to lead its industry development function. He is now at NSW Treasury Corporation (TCorp), managing its relationship with government.

For over a decade Roland advised on over 30 financings, mergers and acquisitions in the global natural resources industry. This included some of the largest financial transactions in that period, such as raising over $9bn in project financing to finance various elements of the Qatari LNG value chain across 2008-09, raising $15bn in a rescue rights issue for Rio Tinto in the wake of the global financial crisis, advising BHP on the sale of a $500ml uranium asset to a Canadian mining company in January 2013, and advising Royal Dutch Shell on its acquisition of BG for $65bn in December 2015. 

At Austrade Roland founded the Defence, Advanced Manufacturing and Space team, building a team of export promotion and investment attraction specialists in Australia and at multiple international posts. Led by Roland, this team dedicated itself to the development and delivery of the Government’s Defence Export Strategy by supporting exporters at over 20 defence and security trade shows per year. Roland built Austrade’s close relationship with defence primes and SMEs, the Department of Defence, the Australian Space Agency and state based defence investment attraction agencies. Roland leveraged his financial markets experience to advise senior Defence personnel on the role of financial investors in developing defence industry capability.

Roland then joined NSW Treasury to lead the government’s Industry Development function, focused on defence and aerospace (Defence NSW), emerging technologies (digitech, quantum computing, cyber security), and advanced manufacturing (space, medical devices and nutrition). Under his leadership this team developed and launched the NSW Government Cyber Security industry strategy and secured funding for key elements of the NSW Defence and Industry Strategy. 

In 2021 Roland joined TCorp, which is a top five Australian asset manager and the central borrowing agency of the State of the NSW. 

Roland has a Masters of Public Policy and a Masters of Business Administration, both from Georgetown University in Washington DC.