Our Team


Emilio Ferrer – Director

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Since joining Sphere in 2009, Emilio has established a quantitative analysis practice in public policy specialising in health, age care and housing. Emilio has a background in public policy and mathematics; and over two decades experience in the public and private sectors in social policy, finance and economics.

He has worked for 18 years in the public sector including over a decade in the health sector. His past work within the NSW health system included services planning, supply/demand projections, input data for the Resource Allocation Formula (which guided the allocation of the health budget to Area Health Services) and the development a 10-year health infrastructure model bringing together the recurrent and capital needs of the NSW Health system. For almost a decade, he was also involved in the annual planning cycle leading to NSW Health’s funding submission to NSW Treasury.

Between 2004 and 2008 he worked as a Senior Manager in the property division of the Macquarie Bank where he was part of the bidding team for the Bonnyrigg social housing Public Private Partnership.

Areas of expertise:

  • Public policy
  • Financial modelling
  • Data analysis
  • Business Cases
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Building models to perform scenario planning
  • Social and Affordable Housing
  • Public Private Partnerships
  • Property Development

Dr Philip Nott – Director

Phil’s qualifications include an MBA from Harvard University under a Harkness Fellowship awarded by the Commonwealth Fund of New York. He has extensive business experience in a wide range of industries including healthcare, banking and finance, oil and gas, construction and property. Phil’s experience ranges from the initial business case to project delivery.

Phil specialises in helping corporations, government agencies and non-government agencies determine the most prudent way of managing their assets and delivering their project.

  • Modelling with EstateMaster and Argus Developer
  • Financial feasibilities and modelling
  • Commercial/risk appraisals and simulation
  • Cost  benefit/effectiveness analyses
  • Business cases and gateway reviews
  • Due diligence studies
  • Capital structure advice
  • Access to equity and debt markets
  • Land owner negotiations
  • Tender advice and management
  • Project control group participation and chairing
  • Complex negotiations, especially where financial issues need to be incorporated in legal agreements
  • Debt and equity fund raising
  • Strategic advice involving tenders, property and construction issues

Clare Crawford – Senior Associate

Clare is a specialist in evaluation, service model review, and change management in the human services sector. She has a background in policy analysis and development here and in the UK, and strong understanding of the community services environment from previous work in the non-government sector.

Clare’s recent work has focused on strategic planning and service model development in the health and aged care sectors. She has conducted evaluations of programs in terms of their efficiency and effectiveness, as well as their social justice objectives, and has assisted organisations to achieve practical improvements in their service delivery. Clare has a particular interest in the development and implementation of flexible, person-centred models of care.

Clare is also an experienced researcher and communications consultant, a trained mediator, and a facilitation expert.Areas of expertise:

  • Policy analysis and development
  • Evaluation and service model review
  • Social research and social issues consulting
  • Customer and stakeholder analysis
  • Strategic communications
  • Stakeholder and community engagement
  • Training and capacity development

Jordan Rastrick – Senior Analyst

Jordan has a background in mathematics, statistics and computer programming.  He is highly experienced in analytics involving large data sets, and in the construction of financial models.  As a computer programmer, Jordan is able to develop highly sophisticated tool for quantitative analysis and simulation.

  • Excel modelling
  • Computer programming
  • Database analysis
  • Statistical analysis
  • Data mapping
  • Simulations

George Porter – Senior Associate

George Porter is a widely experienced social planner and social researcher. He has worked successfully with a large number of clients in the private, not-for-profit and government sectors. Since the 1990s he has delivered practical advice and assistance to projects in the fields of housing, planning, aged care and tourism.

George’s services include:

  • Social impact assessment,
  • Social and community planning,
  • Social research studies,
  • Demographic analysis and needs assessments,
  • Program and service evaluations, and
  • Community and stakeholder consultation

Dr Kim Houghton – Senior Associate

Kim Houghton is an economist with a passion for small business and is an accomplished communicator. Kim has a deep interest in small businesses and small communities, having written about the importance of small businesses in regional economies in a book called ‘Jobs in Our Regions: Building on the Small Business Base’.

Kim has expertise in creating and running programs that support the growth of micro and home-based businesses and is particularly passionate about the new growth areas in the economy – business services, personal services and ‘the experience economy’.

Prior to establishing Strategic Economic Solutions in 1997, Kim worked at the Australian National University in Pacific economic relations, and in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Kim is well known for presentations and workshops which are entertaining as well as informative, drawing on Kim’s experience as a researcher with a PhD in Economics, his own entrepreneurial experiments, his background in community mediation and his reputation as a performance poet.

  • Economic analysis and strategic planning
  • Small business development strategy
  • Social enterprise feasibility studies and business planning
  • Employment growth initiatives
  • Facilitation
  • Conflict resolution

Dr Tony Gilmour – Senior Associate

Dr Tony Gilmour is an affordable housing specialist, financier and urban planner. Following completion of his PhD in 2009, which contrasted international approaches to building community housing capacity, Tony has provided advice to many leading housing providers, local councils, state agencies and the Commonwealth.

He is a member of the NSW Registrar of Community Housing’s Advisory Forum, and NSW branch committee member of the Australasian Housing Institute.

Tony originally pursued an investment banking career in England and Australia, latterly as Financial Controller of N M Rothschilds’ banking businesses. He is a leading publisher of academic and trade journal articles and presenter at national and international conferences. Tony is the author of three books: ‘Sustaining heritage: giving the past a future’ (2007), lead editor of ‘Dialogues in urban planning: towards sustainable regions’ (2008) and co-author of ‘After council housing: Britain’s new social landlords’ (2010).

  • Affordable housing policy and practice
  • Public housing transformation
  • Finance, risk management and PPPs
  • Organisational strategy and design
  • Heritage conservation