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Meet our executive team.



Founder & Chairman


Bally Singh is a successful British-born businessman and entrepreneur. He is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Rich List Management.

Amongst his many businesses and brands, Bally is the founder of the famous Rich List Group and Hoko Agency which commands the attention of an international following. Running his multi-million-pound businesses with offices in the UAE, London and Marbella, Bally has been developing and staging large-scale entertainment events and experiential marketing campaigns around the world for the past 25 years.

​Bally’s high profile events include the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations with Queen Elizabeth II and the MTV Music Video Awards. Bally has worked with brands such as  McLaren, Esquire, Dom Perignon, Crystal, Armand de Brignac, Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz, Aston Martin, Michael Kors, F1, Etihad, The Marriott Group amongst many others. 

Bally has handled all U.K. brand management and presented artists in concert including David Guetta, Busta Rhymes, Tiesto, Pharrell Williams, Rick Ross, DMX, Sting, 50 Cent, The Game, Craig David, Trey Songz and Tyrese Gibson.

​As an entrepreneur, Bally has started, grown and sold several businesses and also held senior management positions at companies including Zero Mobile, Tiger Telematics and Rockstar Marketing. He has negotiated and orchestrated deals with brands such as Verizon, Microsoft, Nike and MTV. 

​Bally continues to launch new brands and works with clients to develop and produce compelling, one-of-a-kind events, branding and marketing campaigns that attract international attention.



Founder & CEO


Dubai based Max Alexander Palethorpe is the Founder & CEO of Hoko Agency as well as Managing Director of the Rich List Group.

​Max has over 25 years’ experience in the sport and entertainment industries having worked in the Middle East, Asia Pacific and USA. Before Max set up his own agency he had worked for major global agencies for over a decade including World Sport Group and Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

​With Max’s business acumen, he expanded and commercialized the Rich List F1 events into new international markets. He has been instrumental in creating and taking equity stakes in various projects that include The International Influencer Convention (TICC), The Rich List, Urban Polo and various F&B brands.

​With his commercial expertise, Max has concluded multi-million dollar deals with Emirates Airlines, Marriott Group, Pernod Ricard, Moet Hennessy, McLaren, Red Bull, Samsung, Tag Heuer and Heineken to name a few.  Max is the lead on the globally retained client MoneyGram, for their International Cricket Council (ICC) platform that includes running all their programmes at ICC World Cups and talent acquisition for their marketing campaigns globally. He was also instrumental in creating and delivering their grassroots football programme “MoneyGram Goal” in varying Asian markets.

​Max is experienced in developing and establishing sponsorship strategies and leveraging their investments into sport and entertainment. He has a wide range of knowledge around broadcast having completed deals with BeIN Sports, OSN, Dubai Sports, Star Sports and MBC over his career. 

Max is an accomplished commercial leader in the sports and entertainment industries and Hoko has won Awards for various initiatives which he created and delivered.



Founder & General Manager


Ana Santos Matas is an international fashion model turned serial eco-entrepreneur. Ana is a successful self-made businesswoman, a graduate in Psychology with a master’s degree in HR.

With her business acumen, Ana became the co-owner of the HOKO Agency and Creative Director of The Rich List Groups international events arm.  Being business savvy, Ana was able to propel the global VIP events company to become a multi-million-pound business with international prominence and success.  While working for the Hoko Agency Ana has conceptualized numerous brands for international clients in over 8 countries worldwide. 

​In 2018, Ana founded the famous Rosas Café in Marbella, voted the “most Instagrammable Café in the world”. The cafe is frequently visited by numerous international movie stars, Michelin starred chefs, content creators and fashionistas. The boutique cafe is renowned for its bespoke cakes leading to numerous haute couture brands including Dior, Channel, and La Perla booking Rosas Cafe for product launches and official collaborations. Rosas cafe combines elegance with modern luxury which reflects Ana’s passion for style. The uniqueness of Rosa’s cafe includes the first-ever menu for dogs in Spain following the mantra “A family that eats together, stays together” with dogs being considered very much a member of the family. The menu helps fundraise and donate money to animal sanctuaries around Spain.

​Ana is a highly sought after and successful model who began her modelling career at nineteen. Travelling the globe and gracing the covers of glossy magazines, Ana has modelled for some of the most prestigious international fashion brands including Dolce & Gabbana, Maybelline, Sephora and Chopard.



Chief Commercial Officer


James served for 5 years as a commissioned infantry officer in the British Army before transitioning into commercial aviation as an A380 pilot.


James worked for 10 years with Etihad as a commercial pilot, project managing commercial aircraft into service, undertaking evidenced-based project management, managing training strategy and ultimately heading the Business Development team for Etihad Aviation Training where he increased revenue by 2,000 % in just under 3 years. 

The airline industry is dynamic and this provided James with the opportunity to build, lead and manage a team of 20+ pax which effectively grew the company and ensured its financial strength and operating efficiency whilst giving James the opportunity to enhance his strategic thinking, decision-making, strategic partner relationship, and influencing skills.

James has now turned his attention to non-aviation-related matters as well as fulfilling a number of consultancy roles within the aviation training theatre.  As a partner and managing director of Optimal, a successful physiotherapy and fitness center of excellence in Dubai, he is now expanding on the existing business starting with award of the Creekside Golf Club and Hyatt Gym operational contracts.



Director of Operations


Johnny Ashenhurst is our Head of Operations across our business. Johnny is a 15-year experienced events manager and operations expert.

He started his career in London running corporate events within Deloitte’s global team, especially focusing on client hospitality at Wimbledon & Rugby Internationals at Twickenham.

From London he moved to Asia where he has been pivotal to the launch of the best loved events in Singapore including the Singapore Comedy Festival, the Singapore Urban Polo and the global expansion of The Rich List F1 Events in Singapore & Vietnam, as well as delivering a host of other global events for our client MoneyGram International ranging from grassroots sports tournaments around Asia to the ICC World Cup’s across the Globe. 



Head of Legal


With more than 20 years’ experience working on high profile deals in both private practice and in-house on PFI projects such as the £311m Home Office, the £151m HM Treasury PFI (west) and a variety of health and education deals in central London.

Melanie has a wealth of real estate, facilities management, construction and general in-house legal experience acting for all departments in the businesses that she worked for.  She has provided construction, real estate and outsourcing legal advice as an in-house lawyer on numerous legal issues relating to projects in the UK, Qatar and the UAE on behalf of Bouygues UK projects, the London 2012 Olympic project, the Lusail Development, as Head of Legal for Dubai Properties and Head of Legal for District 2020 (the Expo 2020 legacy project).  Melanie was also a partner at GLS for more than 3 years heading up their real estate and construction teams in the UAE and sitting on their Executive Management Committee.


Included in the Legal Business GC Power List Rising Stars for 2014 and described as, “calm, methodical, very good technically and with an engaging personality and good sense of humour”.

Included in the Legal 500 Corporate Counsel 100:  Middle East for 2015 and described as “proactive, positive and extremely professional” and “one smart lawyer”.



Urban Polo Founder & Director

As the founder of the Urban Polo series Simon has been instrumental in creating the most successful polo events throughout New Zealand, combing sport and music in an urban setting.


He has held roles as the Executive Director of the New Zealand Open. Simon built up the Clevedon Event and spent over 9 years rebuilding the Club’s brand for the future of the sport. Simon is a successful business entrepreneur with experience in national and international business ventures, having completed a successful capital raise for Urban Events in 2018 commenced the expansion internationally with the first successful Singapore Event in 2019. We are looking to expand this across multiple markets from 2021 as this successful brand grows globally.

Simon has a strong background in both Corporate and Private enterprise with successful high growth business.

Simon is currently leading our F&B Sector at Hoko with his in depth knowledge and connections throughout New Zealand as we take the quality products that they create onto a global stage through our distribution channels. 

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