Investment fund closer to GM appointment

The government has moved a step nearer to appoint a general manager for the $100 million Venture Investment Fund, with the passing of the August 1 deadline for applications.

The government has moved a step nearer to appoint a general manager for the $100 million Venture Investment Fund, with the passing of the August 1 deadline for applications.

Wellington recruitment consultant Cargill McKenzie declined to say how many applications were received or where they came from, saying he was bound by a confidentiality agreement. He did say an appointment should be made a month from now.

Venture Investment Fund spokesperson Liam Sculley added that he wasn't sure of these details and also declined to comment further. "I don't think that information is appropriate. What purpose does it serve?"

The $100 million fund aims to provide seed and start-up capital for knowledge-industry and high-technology enterprises in conjunction with local and international investors over the next two or three years. Up to 10 funds will be created, each managed by professional fund managers contracted by the board.

The general manager will work with the board, implement and negotiate investment terms with fund managers, and promote the fund on and offshore. The fixed-term, performance-related post reports to the chief executive of the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology.

The successful candidate is expected to have general manager experience, knowledge of value-added products, venture capital knowledge, top-level leadership, relationship-management skills and deal-making aptitude.

Last week the government announced the fund will be chaired by John Grant, current executive chairman of Australian investment company Granthan Capital, who has 20 years of experience in private equity investment.

Other board members include company director Peter Taylor, Auckland City Council treasurer John Hindmarsh, WestpacTrust chief manager June McCabe, Industrial Research chief executive Geoff Page, NBCi New Zealand general manager Grant Ryan and Ministry of Research, Science and Technology chief executive James Buwalda.

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