Our People

John M. M. Willamson



Prior to founding Generations in 2018, John was the Senior Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of Search Investment Group, the private investment company of Robert W. Miller and his family, which he joined in 2007. He was a member of the Group’s Investment and Audit Committees and acted as CEO of SAIL Advisors, the Group’s fund of hedge funds business. 

Before joining Search Investment Group, John was Managing Director and Head of Infrastructure at Morgan Stanley Asia. His responsibilities included infrastructure support for the firm's business activities in Asia. He was Chairman of Morgan Stanley's Asia Operational Risk Committee and a member of its Asia Executive Committee. 

Before taking up his role at Morgan Stanley in 1998, John was Chief Operating Officer of NatWest Securities Asia Holdings Limited, a position he had held since 1994. He began his career in the securities industry in Edinburgh at stockbrokers Wood MacKenzie & Co. Ltd. in 1983. 

John is an Independent Non-Executive Director of the London Metal Exchange and Pacific Basin Shipping Limited. He is the Chairman and Director of the UK Tote Group and serves on the board of Provident Acquisition LLC.

John was an Independent Non-Executive Director of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited from 2008 until 2021. He was Chairman of the Board Risk Committee and sat on its Executive, Risk Management, Audit, Remuneration, Corporate & Social Governance and Listing Appeals Committees. John was appointed as a Senior Adviser to the HKEX board from 2021 until 2022. 

John has served on several industry committees and was a director of the Hong Kong Securities Institute from 2006 to 2009. He is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Fellow of the Securities Institute, Senior Fellow of the Hong Kong Securities Institute, and a member of mental health charity MIND HK’s Advisory Board.


John graduated with a degree in accounting and computer science from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, a Fellow of both the Hong Kong Securities Institute and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (UK) and a member of the Hong Kong Management Association.

Atifa Shah

Partner, Middle East


Experienced operating at board level in both the public and private sectors, and a trusted adviser to multinational corporations, governments and NGOs in Europe, USA, Asia and the Middle East.

With more than a decade’s experience working in management consultancy, Atifa has worked with large public and private sector clients to embed complex governance structures to drive forward strategic change and transformation programmes across regions. Managing budgets in excess of £200 million and delivering hundreds of millions of pounds in benefits, her consulting clients have included Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, Santander, RSA and Telefonica.

In addition to her high-profile consulting work, Atifa remains an engaged and trusted public figure, having been elected as Youth MP for Rochdale, where she grew up, in 2005, and Parliamentary Candidate in 2019, she continues to contribute to key UK government initiatives and policies across International Trade , Defence and other central Government departments. She has been North West Vice Chairman of The Prince’s Trust’s Mosaic initiative, for over a decade, supports other global royal initiatives such as the British Asian Trust and she was recognised for her contributions to HRH Prince of Wales’s Pakistan Recovery Fund. She has directly and indirectly raised in excess of £1.4 million for charities since 2010, has helped a number of family offices consolidate their charitable giving and impact investment strategies and is known for contributing to transformational philanthropy projects around the world

Atifa was the youngest Sixth Form Governor in the UK when she was appointed Governor of Rochdale Sixth Form College in 2008, and she has also served as Chair and Board Member for a number of Boards since 2007. She began her private sector career with Accenture as a Management Consultant in 2010, and was Non-Executive Director of Hakim Group, one of the largest groups of independent opticians, until 2014.


Atifa graduated with Honors for her Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Management and Information Technology from the University of Manchester and is an Agile Certified Practitioner from the Project Management Institute. She is also a fellow at the IFT (Initiative for Free Trade).

Sam Whistlecroft

Partner, London


Sam is a highly accomplished consultant having a strong track record of over 30 years of experience in high profile roles in the finance, consulting, and media sectors. She has been engaged in a variety of consulting, business, line management and skill-based roles.

Sam is a co- founder of VYCS, a bespoke consulting business established in 2003, helping corporations optimise the delivery of technology into their organisations, digital transformations and remote Agile projects. VYCS supports suppliers and end users across most of the major IT services suppliers. The company has major relationships with several publishers including Reach (Trinity Mirror) and McClatchy and advertising groups such as Dentsu Aegis.

Sam also established SC Services in 2013 whilst continuing with VYCS, a business designed originally to focus on education, career planning and personal growth sectors. It has broadened its service offering to include the provision of mentoring services to small family run businesses who have reached a critical point in their growth and are looking for strategic input and the next level of investment required to meet this. Further current areas of operation include the provision of back office administration services, activity in the residential property investment sector and the hospitality sector.

Prior to establishing VYCS and SC Services, Sam worked in a number of key financial institutions including the Bank of England, National Westminster Bank Group, Barclays and HSBC, gaining experience in trading and credit risk management, finance and accounting, strategy, internal consultancy and regulatory control. She has also undertaken independent roles with a range of small businesses as project manager and financial, change management and business consultant.

Sam is engaged in several charitable roles including service on school governing bodies in the UK and the provision of management accounting consultancy services to a major UK based equine charity.


Sam holds a first class honours degree in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Sheffield; she is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of bankers and AAT qualified.

Joanne Choy

Managing Director, Hong Kong


Joanne has over 25 years of experience in asset management, hedge funds and finance. Prior to joining Generations, she was the Chief Financial Officer and an Executive Director of SAIL Advisors, the alternative investment arm of Search Investment Group, established by Robert Miller, the co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers. SAIL is ranked among the world’s biggest hedge fund investors, managing around US$2 billion in global and Asia-focused funds.

Joanne was also a member of SAIL’s Management and Audit Committees and worked closely with the company’s stakeholders, clients and service providers. During her 15-year tenure, Joanne’s responsibilities included management of SAIL’s finance, funds control and investment operations. She played a major role in the company’s business development projects and in the implementation of new investment products.

Prior to joining Search Investment Group in 2003, Joanne worked at Morgan Stanley Asia where she held various positions in the Finance department. Her experience included key roles in financial control and reporting within the Investment Banking, Equity Research and Firm Management divisions of the company.

Joanne began her career in the finance industry as an audit accountant with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu in Hong Kong.


Joanne has a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Computer Science and Accounting from Monash University, Australia, and is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) of CPA Australia

Nanette Ng

Managing Director, Hong Kong


Nanette has over 30 years' experience working in dynamic business environments including listed companies, investment banking, financial institutions, and family offices. She has a sharp and analytical mind, a keen commercial sense, and solid technical knowledge in many disciplines.

A consummate finance professional with broad and in-depth experience across a wide range of finance functions, Nanette has considerable taxation, treasury, financial and risk management knowledge in different geographical areas. In addition, Nanette has a sound understanding of the principles of trust and estate planning, corporate governance and compliance. She is an effective and efficient problem-solver with excellent planning, project management and execution skills.

Nanette has had invaluable experience from working in different industries and with multi-generation clients in diverse cultures. With foresight and focus on integrity, Nanette is a trusted advisor to many individuals and businesses.


Nanette holds an MBA from the Chinese University in Hong Kong, having graduated on the Dean’s list. She is a Fellow Member of the Association of the Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

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