Our Leadership Team

Rail First Asset Management > Our Leadership Team

Beata Lipman

Chief Executive Officer

Beata Lipman joined as Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer of Rail First in July 2023.

Beata joins Rail First equipped with a wealth of knowledge and expertise, having held senior leadership roles at Pacific National, Asciano, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Her most recent position as Head of Property and Strategy at Pacific National included responsibility for managing over $1B in commercial investments nationally.

Prior to this, she was the Chief of Staff at Pacific National and prior to that, the Chief Financial Officer for the National Intermodal (Containerised Freight) business.

Beata is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance) from the University of Sydney.

Neil Favager

Chief Financial Officer

Neil Favager joined the business in mid-2021 and has over 20 years' experience in senior finance roles across a wide range of industries including, telecommunications, vehicle leasing, products manufacturing, and FMCG - both in the UK and Australia.

Prior to joining Rail First Asset Management, Neil was CFO Australia at Inghams Group Limited, and was a key member of the team that took the business from Private Equity ownership through to a listing on the ASX in November 2016.

Prior to Inghams, Neil was CFO at FleetPlus Pty Limited, a privately owned car leasing business which became part of Eclipx Group Limited. Neil holds a BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance from Nottingham Trent University and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales.

Peter Lanyi

Chief Operations Officer

Peter Lanyi joined Rail First Asset Management in March 2021. He has 28 years of rail industry experience including 25 years with Canada’s second largest Class-1 railway, Canadian Pacific.

During his time with CP he gained extensive experience in Engineering, Marketing and Sales, Mechanical, Asset Planning and Procurement. He held several senior leadership roles through the company’s successful implementation of Precision Scheduled Railroading, including Senior Director Asset Strategy, Senior Director Mechanical Procurement and General Manager Locomotive & Fuel. In early 2019, Peter made the move to Australia and joined Pacific National as Head of Asset Management, leading multiple engineering and maintenance related transformation initiatives.

Having spent over half his career in asset management related roles, Peter led the development and execution of multiple strategies resulting in dramatic improvements in asset productivity and fuel efficiency.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from McGill University in Montreal.

Deborah Banwell

Head of Legal

Deborah Banwell has served as Head of Legal at Rail First Asset Management since April 2020. She has over 25 years’ experience practising as a lawyer across a broad range of industries, including commercial, property, litigation and industrial.

Prior to joining Rail First, Deborah held senior in-house legal roles in the rail and mining industries at Weir, and Voith Turbo, as well as various legal consulting roles. Deborah previously practiced for more than 10 years as a Barrister, in mostly commercial matters.

Deborah holds Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Science degrees, holds an unrestricted NSW Corporate Practising Certificate, and is an active member of the Association of Corporate Counsel.