The Legal Dealmaker-Turned-Investment Banker Silvana Schenone Makes 2023 Power List

Silvana Schenone enters the LawFuel Power List of new Zealand's most powerful lawyers

Former MinterEllisonRuddWatts partner Silvana Schenone may no longer be at the legal coal face, but her role with leading New Zealand-owned investment banking group and wealth managers Jardens sees her play a key role in the company’s development in both the New Zealand and Australian markets and to enter the 2023 Power List of New Zealand’s most powerful lawyers.

Although she resigned her role at MinterEllisonRuddWatts last year, Silvana Schenone remains a major power player on the business scene. 

The former New Zealand Deal Maker of the Year in 2021 at the Australasian Law Awards joined Jardens to co-head their investment banking with Sam Ricketts, (both pictured, below) boosting the company’s plans to become one of Australasia’s leading investment and advisory banks.

She is a board member of the New Zealand Takeover Panel, a recently retired board member of SKY City and has frequently liaised with regulatory authorities including the Financial Markets Authority, the New Zealand Stock Exchange, and the Overseas Investment Office.

Her international background has seen her practice law in New York, Chile, and New Zealand.

Married to MinterEllisonRuddWatts partner Lloyd Kavanagh (left) who met in Chile when Kavanagh worked as a senior executive at Fonterra.

Lloyd Kavanagh is himself a prominent financial services and corporate lawyer having set up MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ Financial Services Team and is also a former Chair of the firm.  

Global Women

She has also played a prominent role as a diversity champion and is a member of Global Women and a founding member of On Being Bold, an online collective for empowering women. 

A Harvard graduate who had been offered scholarships at Oxford and Cambridge as well as the US Ivy League law school, she moved to New Zealand with her husband-to-be in 2007. She previously worked in New York for leading firm Sullivan & Cromwell.

She had also previously worked in a male-dominated Chilean law firm, which shaped her views on women working in a tough, competitive environment like M&A work.

In an interview with The NZ Herald she said:

”Growing up in that environment, I never wanted to be like the men, but a lot of women, particularly one generation older than me, the way they saw their success as an M&A corporate lawyer was to pretend to be a man – to wear a black suit, to be tough as a man, not to show your feminine side, that you care about people because they wanted to be a man.

”I look at it and I am thinking, well, I have a massive competitive advantage because I am so different because I can think from different perspectives, I can look at things differently.”

2023 Power List Out Soon

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