About Us

Gerard Pontier (Founder of APAO)gerard

Gerard has an international perspective having lived and worked in Europe, Africa and Asia. He was the programme leader for the MBA degree at the Doncaster University Centre in association with the University of Cumbria. 

Gerard is a:

  • Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
  • Academic Associate of the CIPD
  • Certified Type-Mapping Sytem.
  • Accredited BELBIN Team Role Consultant
  • Fellow of the Higher Academy Association

Gerard has worked in a range of organisations, in both the profit and non-profit sectors, from highly successful to struggling businesses, and understands the problems and pressures that organisations and executives face. 

Gerard has an MA degree in HR Management Development, and degrees in Commerce (Hons.) and Theology. In his spare time he enjoys running, reading, the countryside and travelling.

He has worked collaboratively with individuals and other organisations such as:

  • Renuma Consulting

Tim Young and his colleagues are world leaders in placing relationships at the centre of competitive advantage. More information can be found at www.renumaconsulting.com

  • Ian Mayer (Innovative Technical Entrepreneur)


Ian’s key focus is to understand people, how they behave in groups and providing solutions through technology. He runs several IT companies. He combines his business experience with church leadership and community transformation to successfully manage a number of Internet based projects that range from business development to community and social networking to e-learning software platforms. Ian started his career as trained teacher and graduate in technology, a Fellow of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning (ITOL).

Richard Thorby (Executive Coaching)Richard Thorby

Richard specialises in executive coaching and one-to-one consulting to professionals within professional service firms. He has over a decade of experience in leading professional service firms in the accountancy, actuarial and legal services sectors and is also the Director of  the London Steering Committee of the Managing Partners’ Forum. Prior to this, he had a 20-year international career within Richemont, the global luxury goods group, where he held a number of senior financial and general management positions. Richard qualified as a Chartered Accountant and subsequently gained an MBA from IMD in Switzerland. He is an Advanced Practitioner in Executive Coaching and is accredited by the International Coaching Federation.