Since immigrating to Australia in late 2000 Keith, together with Ron Mulder, established WA Sandalwood Plantations (WASP) and is a co-founder of WISPER.
Keith has been involved with the development and management of each commercial Western Australian sandalwood plantation the WISPER group manages on behalf of its sophisticated investors and institutional clients. Keith has experience in client liaison, company management, management accounting, finance and sales. Keith has particularly focused on the marketing, distribution and sales of sustainable plantation sandalwood products into India, China and Taiwan.
Keith graduated in Chemistry from University College, London in 1986. He then joined what is now ICAP Plc, the world’s largest inter dealer-broker, in their currency options division. During a career of 14 years with the company Keith worked initially as a broker in London before opening currency option divisions in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sydney in the late 1980s. After managing the London division from 1991 – 1998 he then moved to New York where he managed the product globally, until leaving ICAP in June 2000.
Ron Mulder established New Forest WA Pty Ltd in 1995 to specialise in the propagation and supply of Western Australian sandalwood trees as a combatant to the growing problems of salinity in rural Western Australia. Research on the species and the successful establishment of thousands of sandalwood trees put New Forest in an ideal position to capitalise on the deregulation of commercial farming of sandalwood in the mid 1990’s. Building on these early projects aimed at revegetation and land care Ron, together with Keith Drage, established WA Sandalwood Plantations (WASP) in 2001.
WASP are the dedicated forestry manager for all of the WISPER groups investor plantations. Ron is a co-founder of WISPER which was established in 2009.
Ross began working in financial markets in 1986 and over the next 20 years ran derivative trading businesses at Chase Manhattan, Standard Chartered Bank and as co-head global derivatives trading at the Bank of New York.
Ross graduated with a Masters degree in Financial Management from Edinburgh Business School. He has experience in business development, team building and corporate finance having lived and worked in three continents and overseen several joint venture partnerships and private businesses.
Ross has 14 years experience in Australian sandalwood initially through investments in plantations and from 2009 onwards as a co-founder of WISPER.