The people behind LJ Sports Group
Our carefully selected team consists of experienced in-house specialists covering all areas of management, sponsorship and consulting.
Ivan’s experience both on and off the court is impressive.
As a professional tennis player for 15 years his highlights to name a few are: Highest ranking of world No. 3; Olympic bronze medal in 2004; Davis Cup title 2005; Semifinalist in Roland Garros 2006; Indian Wells title in 2010. Ivan also served as the ATP Players' Council president and in 2008 became one of the few active players to serve on the ATP Board of Directors.
In 2007 he was named ATP Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of Year for his off-court work with Special Olympics and in 2011 presented with the ATP Aces for Charity grant for his work with the Special Olympics Monaco in 2011.
After retiring in 2012, Ivan has worked as a coach and manager for several top 5 players and founded his first management agency.
As co-founder and the driving force behind LJ Sports Group, Ivan sets the example and benchmark of excellence defining the culture of the company.
David has over 30 years of experience in the financial services world.
He is a Chartered Accountant, and the former CEO of Lombard International Assurance, where he led this successful high growth international business for over 10 years. He holds multiple directorships and Chairman roles in both the business and NGO sectors. One of his main focuses today is as Chairman of the Verona International Group, and he is also leading their drive to establish a global family office. In addition, he mentors young people, working to inspire them to achieve their full potential He believes that everyone is capable of much more than they think, and that attitude, efforts and focus are keys to success.
Sanna NokkaCo-Founder, Senior Advisor
LL.M. Sanna Nokka is the CEO in Verona Tax & Legal Oy and the CEO of Talent Vectia Oy.
Sanna has more than 20 years of experience in domestic and international taxation and in corporate advisory.
Sanna specialises in company structure arrangements, tax audit, tax returns and in the planning of transferring corporations to the next generation.
In addition, Sanna oversees Human Resources within Verona group.
Marko NokkaCo-founder, Board Member
Marko has more than 25 years of experience in domestic and international taxation and is the founder and CEO of Verona International Oy.
He has previously led the Owner Managed Business Service Group in PricewaterhouseCoopers Oy.
Marko has been in charge of the complete concern for hundreds of Finnish and international companies and corporates in such issues as tax return, company structure arrangements and withdrawal of entrepreneurship.
Marko also specialises in the planning of effective tax per GNP for consolidated corporations, acquisitions and transfers to the next generation.
Richard EvansChief Marketing Officer
Richard has a wealth of experience from various sport sponsorship, PR, and marketing roles.
The most recent of which was Senior Director, for the ATP Tour (men’s professional tennis tour). In addition to working with some of the most high-profile athletes on the planet, Richard has negotiated and secured some of the largest sponsorship deals in sport, most recently securing the first ever Asian title partner for the largest indoor tennis tournament in the world.
As well as selling sponsorship, Richard has worked with many of the world’s leading brands, helping them fine tune their global sponsorship strategies and activations.
Kim Béal-RoseChief Operating Officer
Kim has over 14 years of experience in the Luxembourg financial sector with a special focus on international wealth planning solutions.
She has expertise in various fields ranging from Product Development, Marketing, and Operations, whilst having held various global management positions within one of the leading cross-border life insurance companies in Luxembourg.
Kalle SalminenSenior Advisor
Kalle’s background includes 15 years of working within the Asian markets in cooperation with the western world.
Since moving to Beijing in 2006 Kalle has helped create partnerships, investment & acquisition deals, and market representation to a vast network of international clientele in multiple markets.
Through his network, Kalle has also facilitated a lieu of successful collaborative brand launches and vast media coverage for new brands entering the marketplace, securing features that have appeared in top media publications.
Luka KutanjacTennis Head Coach
Luka has 20 years of coaching experience, during which he has worked in the USA, Asia and Europe with players from junior level all the way up to top ATP and WTA professionals.
Whilst on the ATP and WTA Tours Luka continues to seek new information allowing him to grow and develop further his coaching methods. Luka also has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kinesiology in Zagreb, Croatia.
Recently, Luka has been the captain of the Croatian team at inaugural ATP Cup 2020. He has been part of Ivan Ljubicic's team since 2015. He loves tennis, developing and mentoring people and ultimately his job.
John MorrisSenior, Client Relations
John has a wealth of experience in the sports management industry and has secured sponsorship revenues for his clients well in excess of eight figures during the course of his career.
John has been able to use the experience of his promotions and creative marketing background to help further the careers of his clients, having a very hands on approach in all PR, media and marketing related endeavours to ensure his clients are marketed in the most impactful way.
Thanks to John’s experience of working with some of the world’s biggest sports and entertainment agencies, he has a vast network and reach far beyond sport, which in turn can lead to very exciting and varied commercial opportunities.
In addition to John’s sport management expertise, John is an experienced tennis coach and advisor having worked with many top 100 ATP/WTA players and understands the needs and requirements of professional athletes in achieving and obtaining peak performance.
Fadi ShalabiAgent, Project Manager
Fadi has extensive experience in a variety of different roles within sport.
Over the last 14 years, Fadi has worked as an agent to some of the world's top tennis players. In addition, Fadi has organised tennis tournaments and worked as a tournament director for professional tennis events.
His experience prior to joining the professional tennis scene included running a marketing agency and working as a project manager.
These different roles have enabled Fadi to understand the needs of athletes as well as the needs of other sports stakeholders, giving him an out of the box mindset in helping understand the complexities around every facet of professional sports and how to navigate and pull them together successfully.
Dino MarcanPlayer Agent, Sponsors Relations
Dino is a former professional tennis player with 10-years of experience in competing on the ATP Tour.
Among Dino's many strengths are communication, organization skills and his attention to detail. Dino’s experience as a professional athlete has given him an understanding of what athletes need to achieve peak performance.
Dino regularly works with governing entities and organisations in sport liaising with them to get the best for his clients.
He also communicates regularly with sponsors to make sure all partnerships are cohesive, and that processes, feedback and assignments are fulfilled and delivered to a high and professional standard.
Dino has a love for PR and media and takes great pride in growing his client’s profiles.
Carlo Alberto RomitiClient Relations
Carlo Alberto (Charly) is highly experienced in the field of marketing & communications.
In previous roles at Babolat Italy and a leading communications agency, Carlo was responsible for trade marketing & promotion of the brand, with a particular focus on aligning athletes, coaches, and clubs to the company’s brand identity.
Charly believes this connection is key to successful brand and sport property partnerships.
Charly’s experience in another previous role at Tennis Club Milano Alberto Bonacossa in Italy, also allowed him to develop and gain an understanding of the service requirements and revenue streams of players, clubs and tournaments.
Guillaume DucruetClient Relations
Guillaume is a sports marketing expert and has dedicated his career to football, tennis, and squash, helping clubs and manufacturers improve their vision, promotion, and ambassador programmes.
Before joining LJ Sports Group, Guillaume worked as Senior Global Sports Marketing Director for Tecnifibre, where he focused on the brand’s development within the performance fields.
Guillaume secured the services of many world class athletes and continued supporting them in their success to the top.
Guillaume also partnered with top sponsors such as the ATP World tour and various ATP events and has developed unrivalled global knowledge of player development plans and global marketing strategies.
Darko KlaicTennis coach
Darko has a diploma from the University of Zagreb in Kinesiology and exercise science, and has been head coach at the tennis club Chromos for the last 15 years.
Over the last 15 years, Darko has amassed experience in working with young, developing players climbing up the ladder of professional tennis.
Some of his achievements include coaching a player to the Orange Bowl U12 title in 2014. Darko lead the Croatian National Team to the European Championship title (U12, boys) in 2016 and again in 2017.
Darko has been coaching Dino Prizmic since 2019, together they have already won titles at the European U14 Master in 2019 and the Croatian U18 Championships in 2020.
Julia MoldovanPerformance Coach
Julia is an experienced physiotherapist within the tennis world, helping players improve their performances and athletic ability.
Julia has been involved in tennis for the past 15 years, first as a player and then as a physiotherapist for several top WTA/ATP players. In addition, Julia had collaborated with the number of athletes and is the Slovenian Davis Cup Team official physiotherapist.
By being a former tennis player herself, Julia perfectly understands the steps and the mindset needed to achieve great performances.
Mate DelicTennis coach
Mate Delic is a former Croatian Davis Cup player, he started playing tennis at the age of 6 and competed at all four grand slams as a junior, achieving a career high ranking of number 15 in the ITF junior world rankings.
Mate was a solid professional who posted impressive wins on his way to achieving an ATP singles ranking of 150. As a player he worked with coaches such as Ivan Ljubicic and others as well as trained with top ATP players.
The experience gained from working with these legends has really helped shape Mate as a coach to the benefit his players.
Since 2018 Mate has been a member of the coaching support staff of the Croatian Davis Cup team, he has also been a member of Borna Coric’s team. Mate is currently working as a coach with Duje Ajdukovic.
Vivi-Anne ViitalaLegal Advisor
Vivi-Ann advises clients on matters related to corporate and asset restructuring and contract law as well as different M&A assignments.
As a Finland-based lawyer, Vivi-Ann has vast experience in international restructuring projects, creating effective and functional ownership structures around the globe.
Working with wealthy families and business owners in Finland and in Europe has provided Vivi-Ann great insight in asset restructuring and corporate governance.