Richard J. Smith

Founder and Principal

Richard J. Smith, is the founder and principal of Innovant Capital. He has lived and worked in Asia since 1988, spending most of his career consulting in the areas of investment, finance, mergers and acquisitions, business and venture development, and strategic planning.

Richard has and continues to work across a range of industries with a particular focus on cross-border transactions and bridging the gap between owner-entrepreneurs and corporate/financial/institutional investors. Mr. Smith works on both the buy and sell side of deals and most of his recent M&A projects involve family-run or owner-operated businesses.

Prior to returning to Innovant Capital in 2022, Mr. Smith spent 11 years as Head of Corporate Finance for Tractus Asia, a regional management consulting firm with 12 offices in Asia and the US.  

Mr. Smith also served as CFO of dwp International, a multinational architecture and interior design firm with over 400 employees in 9 countries across Asia, Australia, and the Middle East where he had both operational responsibilities as well as mandate of growing the business through acquisition. He has subsequently held multiple roles for the company’s Board of Directors including Chairman  and Head of the Audit Committee.  

Richard has worked in corporate finance roles with small, medium, and large international firms. He has extensive experience in M&A, fundraising, pre-IPO preparation and planning, project development, corporate governance and debt restructuring projects; having worked previously for Citibank, a Thai-based boutique investment bank, as well as founding and running his own corporate financial advisory services business.

In addition to his roles at dwp, Mr. Smith has served in several other board positions over the years including representing Texas Instruments as a member of the Board of Directors of two joint ventures; Alpha Memory Company Limited, Alpha-TI Semiconductor Company Limited as well as serving on the board of EQHO Communications and on the advisory board of PWS Consulting Company Limited (formerly BEA Systems (Thailand) Company Limited).

Richard holds an MBA (with distinction) and an MA in Asian Studies from the University of Michigan and received a BA in Economics from the College of Wooster.

Mr. Smith has been a guest lecturer at the Sasin School of Management, a regular guest lecturer at the Master’s in Marketing Program at Thammasat University and an advisor for the Asian Moot Corps Competition, a graduate new venture business plan competition at the Sasin Institute of Graduate Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University.

Richard is married to a Thai wife and has two adult children. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Bangkok South and, for many years, served as both commissioner and coach of the Bangkok Junior Basketball League (BJBL). In his spare time, Mr. Smith enjoys cycling, fly-fishing, reading, and music.

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