Meet the Team

John O’Brien

Managing Director

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John is the main founder of CMS back in late 2003. He has more than 25 years of working on climate change, with climate finance and in global carbon markets working both in the private sector and with international organizations. He holds a Masters.

John has worked in the carbon markets in New York, London, and Moscow and has travelled to over 70 countries working on climate finance projects.

John was instrumental in helping broker 3 of the first 4 ever carbon credit deals from New Zealand. John has extensive experience with carbon brokerage, carbon trading and in developing emission reduction projects. Outside of work, John enjoys travel, reading, and football.

John is based in Wellington, New Zealand. He speaks English, French, Spanish and some Russian.

Daniel O’Brien

Chairman

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Daniel is a CMS shareholder and early investor. Daniel has more than 20 years of experience working with large corporates in the area of fintech, climate tech, venture capital, start ups, web based solutions to assist with business expansion. Prior to his leadership roles in the area of fintech, Daniel was a software programmer. He has held senior roles in large tech companies in both Europe and New Zealand working in business development.

Daniel holds an MBA from INSEAS in France. He returned to live in New Zealand from France in 2011. Outside of work, Daniel enjoys running, working out, and spending time with his family.

Daniel is based in Wellington, New Zealand. He speaks English and French.

Michael Devoe

Head of Carbon Sales

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Michael joined CMS in 2019. Michael has more than 30 years working first as a geologist and later in banking, finance, and then carbon markets in both Europe and in New Zealand. Michael’s previous experience has been as a banker in the metals and mining sector for a large German bank based first in Germany and later in Kiev, Ukraine. Michael built and then successfully sold his own mining business in Ukraine.

Michael holds a BsC in Geology from the University of Auckland and an MBA from Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands.

Outside of work, Michael enjoys long walks and sampling different types of beer. Based in Europe and in Auckland, New Zealand, he speaks English, Dutch, German, and Russian.

Lote Raikabula

Senior Advisor

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Lota Raikabula represented New Zealand as an international rugby player for 10 years from 2006-2016 and since then he has worked as a sevens rugby coach in Sri Lanka and Thailand. Lote is a conservationist with extensive experience in planting mangroves.

In his spare time, Lote enjoys working out, playing touch rugby, and spending time with his family.

Simon Smith

Carbon Broker

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Simon joined the CMS team in October 2021 and is currently in his fourth year at the University of Canterbury studying a Bachelor of Forest Engineering (Hons). Through his studies Simon has gained familiarity with the forestry side of the carbon sector (specifically NZU’s) and is excited at the prospect of obtaining further experience in the carbon industry.

Outside of university his interests include a love for the outdoors as well as a developing interest in commerce and business.

Simon is originally from Rotorua, and is currently based in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Steve Drapaka

Research Analyst

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Steve joined the CMS team in March 2023. Steve is a qualified social studies teacher with a Masters Degree in History from the University of Alberta in Canada. He has over eight years of experience as a qualified history and languages teacher working in the Middle East, Mexico, and Canada.

Steve is passionate about the carbon market as a means of reducing emissions and protecting the environment. In his free time, Steve enjoys hiking, golfing, playing piano, traveling, and studying languages.

Based in Fairview Alberta in Canada, Steve speaks English, French, Polish, German, Spanish as well as having studied Hungarian and Persian.

Sean Rota

Projects Manager

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Sean Rota has over 30 years experience working in government relations and in the private sector as a project manager of construction projects. In addition, he has extensive experience working in the alcohol and beverages sector.

In his spare time he enjoys working out, watching rugby, and spending time with his family. Sean is based in Auckland, New Zealand.