Rayo Withanage is a prominent serial entrepreneur from New Zealand. He was named by The Financial News and Euromoney as one of the most influential young business leaders in Asia. Mr Withanage is a founder of businesses in clean energy, technology and investment management. He is the Founder & Chairman of Borneos, the Founder & CEO of Uprize and a Director & Vice Chairman of the Sovereign Council.

Trained as a M&A lawyer and strategist, Mr Withanage became an accomplished founder early on in his career. He established BMB in 2006 which grew into a significant multi-billion dollar investment platform. BMB is one of the first investment vehicles to unify ruling families from the Middle East & Asia across diversified holdings. BMB delivered exceptional returns for its shareholders and is presently chaired by HH Prince Abdul Ali Yil Kabier of Brunei. As a subsidiary project, Mr Withanage cofounded Scepter Partners in 2014 as a merchant bank in partnership with Blackstone ’s Asia Advisory business to advise BMB and a select group of sovereign investors and Forbes 100 industrialists. Scepter was spun out in 2018 and is now owned and run by its management.

In 2020, Mr Withanage was elected as a Director of The Sovereign Council which is a direct investment corporation in Brunei dedicated to taking active control positions in new global champions that can be transformational in the respective industries. Mr Withanage’s role in the council is to drive the development of key portfolio companies. www.scc.llc

Mr Withanage is the Founder & CEO of Borneos which was established to be the preeminent new energy company for the Asia Pacific region and a global leader in sustainable industrialization. Borneos consolidates some of the lowest cost clean energy resources in the world and vertically integrates them with large scale energy intensive industries. The company focusses on areas where disruptive technology and low energy costs can be harnessed to achieve global positions of market leadership that accelerate the world's transition to clean energy. www.borneos.com

Mr Withanage is also the Founder & CEO of Uprize which is a pioneer in mobile gaming and machine learning. Uprize leads a powerful new genre in technology that disrupts both mobile gaming and charitable giving. Mr Withanage is passionate about philanthropy and the role that gamification can play to dramatically increase fund raising efficacy for charities, NGOs and multilateral organizations. He is actively involved in initiatives to support the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations. www.uprize.app

He is of Sri Lankan and Portuguese decent and is resident between Bermuda and Singapore. He was born in the Fiji Islands before spending his childhood between Bermuda and the United States. He then moved to New Zealand, Brazil, Brunei and the United Kingdom. Mr Withanage is a keen student of politics, philosophy and religion and is proficient in six languages. He has a daughter named Estella and his hobbies include music, polo, martial arts, sailing and aviation.

Mr. Withanage earned an LLB & BA from The University of Auckland and an MSc from the London School of Economics.


Advocacy & Activism

Mr Withanage trained as a lawyer and political scientist with a focus on predictive regime dynamics between authoritarianism and democracy. His postgraduate study in the field was particularly focused on counterhegemonics and democratization. He established BMB Islamic in 2006 as a leading think tank on Shariah compliant finance which was responsible for significant innovation and reformation of Shariah Law. BMB Islamic advised the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office and the Organization of Islamic Countries on the development of charitable initiatives for socioeconomic equality. Mr Withanage has been a proactive advocate with religious, intergovernmental and world leaders for inclusion and equality on the basis of race, gender and sexual orientation.



Sustainable Development

Withanage supports a number of philanthropic and development orientated initiatives. Withanage is engaged in the development of environmental reserves for the preservation of delicate environments such as mangroves and primary rain forest. Withanage works with local communities to develop sustainable businesses to promote livelihoods in a manner that preserves delicate culture and indigenous beliefs. We also sponsor healthcare initiatives in Asia where the Withanage foundation sponsors lifesaving operations on a daily basis.


Research & Exploration

Withanage is a sponsor of expedition work. With members and fellows of the Royal Society of the United Kingdom, Withanage sponsors navigation work by land and sea to cover a number of fields of study. Fellows work with prominent universities and foundations to advance research for approved post graduate work and raise money for worthy causes. Withanage works for the advancement in the fields of earth sciences, oceanography, geography and archaeology. Mr Withanage is particularly passionate about the exploration & preservation of Borneo which is home to the world’s oldest rainforest and incredible cultural and biological diversity.


Comparative Religion

Withanage supports scholars and religious leaders in promoting the study of comparative religion, which is the branch of the study concerned with the systematic comparison of the doctrines and practices of the world's religions. The comparative study of religion yields a deeper understanding of the fundamental philosophical concerns of religion such as ethics, metaphysics and the nature and form of salvation. The goal is a richer and more sophisticated understanding of human beliefs and practices regarding the sacred, numinous, spiritual and divine. Mr Withanage is a partner with Faith in the Commonwealth which is a global citizenship education program for young Commonwealth citizens of all faiths and none.


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France
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