Managing Director, Red Door Research
Senior Consultant - Commodities Strategy, Macquarie Capital (Europe)
Jim has 41 years of experience in researching the international metals and mining industries.
Jim worked at Macquarie from 1994 to 2013, leaving in June 2013 to set up his own consulting company, Red Door Research Ltd. The consulting company specialises in the economic analysis of commodity markets. Jim remains a part-time consultant to Macquarie.
Until June 2013, he was Chairman of Commodities at Macquarie. Jim joined Macquarie in May 1994 and worked full-time for Macquarie for 19 years. He founded and headed up a 10-person research team in London, Singapore and Shanghai which serviced the equity, LME trading and corporate advisory divisions of the bank with steel, coal, metals and minerals research and market intelligence.
Jim and his team at Macquarie were regularly ranked number one in various surveys of commodities research among equity investors for over a decade.
Prior to Macquarie, Jim worked at CRU International, where he headed up a team specialising in special steels (including stainless steel) and steelmaking alloys (mainly manganese, silicon, chrome, nickel and molybdenum). While at CRU, Jim also undertook major studies on metallurgical coal and iron ore.
Jim's current major specialisations are the main base metals and steel industries and their raw materials including nickel, chrome, molybdenum, iron ore and coking coal.
Before joining CRU, Jim worked as a marketing analyst at New Zealand Steel. He has also worked as an Associate Director of Metals and Mining Research at Shearson Lehman Hutton Securities.
Jim has a Masters degree in economics from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He has a strong interest in development economics.
Director, Market Development
Richard has worked in the nickel and stainless steel industries since 1987. His career began in Queensland Nickel with him later consulting on many of the new nickel projects of the era. Richard undertook the principal research into the establishment of the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association (ASSDA) and has worked with the organisation for the past 30 years, mainly as Executive Director. During his tenure the market for stainless steel more than doubled in Australia.
Richard has extensive knowledge of nickel and its applications and has helped establish and grow markets for nickel-containing products in diverse sectors, including concrete reinforcement, plumbing and civil engineering.
Richard began with the Nickel Institute in 2007. Today he leads the global Market Development team of the Institute to promote the use of nickel in appropriate applications which includes leading the Institute's batteries project.
Managing Director, Watkins Steel
Executive Board Member, Queensland Manufacturing Institute
Des Watkins, Owner and Managing Director or Watkins Steel, has over 30 years of experience within the steel manufacturing industry. He is a strong advocate for the Australian steel industry and an active member of the Australian Steel Institute, AI Group and Chapter Chair of YPO Gold. Des Watkins is also a member of the Queensland Manufacturing Institute.
Responsible for spearheading multiple initiatives over the years, Des has successfully adopted and implemented digital transformation practices at Watkins Steel to achieve operational excellence for his steel fabrication company. He has also led the development of the "Watkins Steel Four Step Process", an end-to-end digital workflow for steel fabrication and installation that enables Watkins Steel to successfully compete in local and international markets.
Passionate about innovation, Des established Holovision in 2018, a technology business that offers clients 3D laser scanning, survey and drone services. His continued drive for innovation today has also led to the commissioning of an R&D Innovation Centre where students and researchers collaborate and apply advanced robotics and mixed reality technologies, to solve client problems within construction and the steel fabrication industry.
Des' innovative outlook has led Watkins Steel to win several awards, including the 2016 YPO Tommy Award for "Out of the Box" Innovation, the 2016 AFR & PwC's Private Clients Aspire Awards in the category of Private Business Growth and Transformation ($10m-$50m), 2017 Lord Mayor's Business Award for Digital Adoption Strategy and 2018 Endeavour Awards for Most Innovative Manufacturing Company.
Chief Analyst, Beijing Antaike Information Co., Ltd.
Secretary-General, CNIA Nickel Branch
Since 1993, Mrs. Xu has been working at Antaike, mainly engaged in non-ferrous metal industry consulting, market research, and large-scale conference organisation. She is a veteran in the minor metals sector, actively involved in the nickel, cobalt and stainless steel raw material fields stage worldwide. In recent years, Mrs. Xu has covered battery metals (nickel, cobalt, lithium) market research.
Since April 2010, Mrs. Xu holds the post of Secretary-General of CNCB (CNIA Cobalt Branch, and since November 2020, also holds the post of Secretary-General of CNNB (CNIA Nickel Branch).
Since August 2016, Mrs. Xu has acted as the independent director of Ganzhou Tengyuan Cobalt New Material Co., Ltd.
From 1986-1990, Mrs. Xu spent her undergraduate study in the Metal Forming Department, Beijing University of Science and Technology, receiving a Bachelor degree.
From 1990-1993, Ms. Xu spent her postgraduate study in the Metal Forming Department, Beijing University of Science and Technology, receiving a Masters degree.