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William Ardrey

A self-described former Wall Street executive Dr William "Bill" Ardrey was best known for his involvement in Perth's biotechnology sector but also had senior roles in a variety of other business around the country and offshore before becoming embroiled in criminal proceedings through which he was convicted of fraud in 2015. He first gained mainstream attention in 2003, a year when he won a Business News 40under40 Award, as president of CustomVis, a laser eye treatment business which raised $82m in 2003 and listed on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market under his guidance. It struggled to deliver on profits promised in its prospectus. He held various roles in similar businesses, with bases in Brisbane and the US, including eye treatment commercialisation group Regenera which floated in 2004 with Ardrey as CEO until late 2005 when it purchased US tech company Advanced Ocular Systems for $31m and was renamed (and, after Ardrey's time, it became IFS Construction Services). Another ASX-listed company was Avantogen which already had a 54% owned US subsidiary Advantagen Oncology and major stake (representing 50% of the common stock) in another US company, privately held Hawaiian Biotech when he was appointed to the board in August 2006 and was soon made CEO. In October 2008, Ardrey became a board member of Hawaiian Biotech, the US state’s oldest and biggest biotech company. Avantogen changed name to Acuvax at the end of 2008 and, in 2009, it sought to spill the board of Hawaiian Biotech seeking a more aggressive approach to its commercialisation of vaccine technology. The US company sought the protection of chapter 11 bankruptcy laws and the asset was lost to Acuvax. Ardrey left Acuvax in early 2011. He was also made chairman of listed group Solbec Pharmaceuticals in March 2008, becoming executive chair later that year, heralded by the company as a corporate turnaround specialist, remaining as a director until May 2009. He was employed by the Phoenix Eagle board in 2005 where he was later accused of committing fraud. In 2011, he was extradited from Queensland to face 19 counts of gaining benefit through fraud. The allegations were that he used his position to pocket $400,000 in fees he claimed had been paid to consultants. On March 3 2015, after a jury trial in the Perth District Court before Judge Laurie Levy, he was found guilty on 18 of those charges. He was sentenced to four years in prison on May 28, and released on bail pending an appeal after serving 13 months on June 15 2016.
Bio last updated 15 Dec 2018

Article Timeline

Positions - Previous

PositionCompanyYearCompany's current rankWA staff
Director and Chairman
Default
FYI Resources
2008 - 2009303
Chief Executive Officer
Default
Advanced Ocular Systems
2004 - 2006

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