Our Directors


A legacy carried forward

Today Johnsons Corporate is under the leadership of its two driven and professional Directors – Adrian Ness and Benn Oppy. Adrian and Benn acquired the Business in 2012, following a rigorous 3 year hand-over period designed to ensure a seamless transition of systems, knowledge and experience.

For the previous owners, Noel Johnson (son of Johnsons’ founder, Lynn Johnson) and his business partner of 20 years Gerry De Kievit, Adrian and Benn presented an ideal handover scenario as they contemplated their succession. Noel and Gerry had discovered two like-minded businessmen with the expertise and drive to carry Lynn’s legacy into the future.

Adrian and Benn fully embraced Johnsons’ underlying principles of always striving to identify multiple strategic buyers and acquisition targets for every client and to proactively drive each campaign via a hands-on, director-led approach. They also shared Lynn’s conviction that the sale and acquisition of mid-market businesses warranted a systematic approach to cast the net over a broader pool of prospects in more commercial and geographic markets than others would even contemplate.

The parties first met via Noel’s bankers. Having previously dealt with numerous brokers and advisors, Adrian and Benn straight away realised that the approach of this M&A firm was different.

“Here finally was a business that truly understood the mid-market space. The approach Johnsons took was not only targeted and proactive in identifying prospects, it went further to incorporate less obvious buyers, ones from complimentary and adjacent industry segments as well as international markets. Their methodical analysis and proven processes had clearly been refined over many decades of experience.”

Many years on from that first meeting and Adrian and Benn remain convinced of the effectiveness of Johnsons’ approach, believing “every business should be using these methodical research, marketing and sales and negotiations processes for divestments and acquisitions.”

Today because of that energy and enthusiasm, Adrian and Benn’s clients benefit from an offer that reflects all the expertise and professionalism they have brought to already successful strategies.

Director back-stories

From their previous careers, Adrian and Benn each brought a complimentary skill-set to Johnsons Corporate, together with a common zeal for doing deals. Their prior experience spans MBO facilitation, corporate advisory, and business banking services along with the buying, restructuring and financing of mid-size, private businesses.

At the time of acquiring Johnsons Corporate, Adrian was a Director at Succession Capital, a private investment company established to acquire businesses with EBIT of between $1 million to $5 million, and Benn was a Director at B Capital, a company set up to facilitate Management Buyouts (MBOs) of private businesses.

For both, their work regularly involved dealing with various Business Brokers and Corporate Advisors. It was this experience that led each of them to identify that neither business brokers nor corporate advisors were an ideal fit for mid-sized private businesses.

Today Adrian and Benn continue to gain great satisfaction from working with business owners across a variety of industries, assisting them either with finding strategic owners for their businesses or in making bolt-on acquisitions to further advance and grow their businesses.