The Board

Ikigai’s Directors and key advisers have significant management expertise and extensive experience completing acquisitions in multiple jurisdictions around the world.

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Kane Black

Kane Black
Chief Executive Officer

Kane is a seasoned technology entrepreneur with a diverse international background in senior and executive leadership roles across the technology, biotechnology, medical device, and healthcare investment sectors worldwide.

Having resided in Asia for nearly two decades, Kane is a fluent Japanese speaker and a Singapore Permanent Resident. He began his professional journey with Adtec Corporation K.K., a semiconductor trading company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Jasdaq), now known as AKIBA Holdings  (6840:Tokyo). During his tenure, he served as Director for the UK & Europe, based in London, and played a pivotal role in the acquisition of Adtec Corporation by Shinden Hightex Corporation (3131:Tokyo) in 2005, continuing as a Director in London thereafter.

Transitioning to a private family office in Hong Kong in 2009, Kane specialized in healthcare investments, focusing on identifying groundbreaking innovators and disruptors in medical technology across various sectors, including devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, and natural health products.

In 2012, he co-founded Nova Satra Health Sdn. Bhd. to capitalize on opportunities in medical technology advancements, leading to the establishment of Nova Satra Dx Pte Ltd., a molecular diagnostic developer based in Singapore, in 2014, which was later backed by Malaysian conglomerate Genting Berhad.

The significant merger of Nova Satra Dx with INEX Innovations Exchange in August 2019, valued at US$72 million, resulted in the creation of INEX Innovate. During Kane’s tenure as Chief Executive of the merged entity, the team expanded from 10 members to over 50, introducing numerous cutting-edge medical diagnostic technologies and earning multiple awards, including being ranked the second fastest-growing healthcare company in Singapore and 7th in the Asia Pacific by the Financial Times.

In 2020, Kane was honored with an invitation to join the National University of Singapore’s NUS Medicine International Council as a Council Member. Furthermore, in 2022, his contributions were recognized with the Ernst & Young Singapore Entrepreneur of The Year award in the Biotechnology category.

Kane holds degrees from Bond University and Griffith University, Australia.

Ashley Charles Paxton

Ashley Paxton
Non-Executive Director

Ashley has worked in the financial services sector for nearly 30 years. He trained as a Chartered Accountant with McIntyre & Co in London, before moving to KPMG’s financial services sector upon qualification in 1996. Ashley moved to Guernsey in 2002 and in 2008 developed a Channel Islands advisory practice for KPMG, growing it into a full taxonomy of services across transactions, restructuring, management and risk consulting.

He has provided transactions and valuation support to clients on buy and sell sides across the regulated finance sectors, including as lead advisor to Heritage’s funds and fiduciary businesses, disposed in 2017 to Estera (backed by Bridgepoint), and to Ardel, which was disposed to Equiom in 2015 (backed by LDC). Ashley has also led a number of high profile and innovative transaction related engagements for government.

Ashley has gained deep sectoral specialism supporting the London listed fund sector throughout his 23 years with KPMG, as audit partner, as lead partner on capital market transactions, and various formal restructuring appointments. He retired from the firm in 2019. During his KPMG career, Ashley worked on various advisory assignments with a strong ESG focus, including leading KPMG’s Guernsey Green Fund certification for Bluefield Solar Fund Limited, the first company to adopt Guernsey Green Fund Rules and be certified.

Ashley is currently a non-executive director of three London listed entities, Downing Renewables & Infrastructure Trust plc (an Article 9 fund pursuant to the EU taxonomy and the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulations) and Twenty Four Select Monthly Income Fund Limited (he acts as chair of the audit and risk committee for both), and JZ Capital Partners Limited. Ashley also plays an important role in the local third sector as chairman of the Youth Commission for Guernsey & Alderney.

Ashley is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a full-time resident of Guernsey. He holds an Economics degree from the University of Warwick.

Meriel Catherine Lenfestey

Meriel Catherine Lenfestey
Non-Executive Director

Meriel brings over 25 years of customer-centred strategic and design consultancy from a wide range of private organisations, government bodies and listed corporations. She began her career as a Product Designer with Microsoft Corporation in Seattle before returning to the UK to work for BBC Worldwide as Development Producer.
In 1997, she founded her own company, Flow Interactive Ltd, which became a global pioneer in the usability and user experience design consultancy market at that time with clients from the third sector as well as from the private and public sector. In 2010, with a client list of multinational corporations, including 14 of the FTSE 100, Flow Interactive merged with Foolproof Limited to become a highly-respected provider of digital customer experience strategy, design and research. In 2010 she also cofounded a social enterprise called Ecomodo which was one of the earliest entrants in the sharing economy.
She is currently non-executive director and a member of the ESG committee of International Public Partnerships Ltd., a FTSE 250 Investment Company, focused on responsible investment in public infrastructure assets around the world and is also a non-executive director and chair of the ESG committee of Bluefield Solar Income Fund, a London Stock Exchange listed renewables fund focussed entirely on the generation of renewable energy and the energy transition (solar, wind and battery). Meriel also acts as ESG representative for Jersey Telecom, which has a strong social remit and is currently looking at the potential telecoms connectivity has for delivering ESG impact, and for Aurigny Air Services which provides lifeline air connectivity for Guernsey and Alderney. She is also a non-executive director (chair) of Gemserv, the professional services firm which has a strong “profit with a purpose” mission, operating across energy, low-carbon and health sectors.

Meriel is a committee member of the Guernsey Branch of the Institute of Directors and also plays an important role in the local third sector as a director of Art for Guernsey, a Guernsey based charity which aims to bring societal impact through the application of creative skills.
Meriel graduated from the University of Westminster, has an MA from the Royal College of Art and holds the Financial Times NED Diploma.