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Ric Kayne celebrated as 2019 Kea Friend of New Zealand

US private equity investor and business leader Ric Kayne celebrated as 2019 Kea Friend of New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand: Friday 21st June, 2019

Business leader and investment specialist Ric Kayne has been named as the 2019 Kea Friend of New Zealand, at the World Class New Zealand (WCNZ) Awards held last night at SKYCITY’s Auckland Convention Centre.

The sell-out gala dinner saw Kayne celebrated for his significant contribution to New Zealand’s people, economy and tourism sector - via his work to establish Aotearoa as a world-class golfing destination, and his ongoing partnerships with Northland iwi.

Kayne is responsible for the development of world-class Tara Iti golf course in Mangawhai – currently ranked sixth globally outside of the US.

Via this (and other courses planned for the future) Ric has forged strong links with local iwi Ngāti Manuhiru and Te Uri o Hau, as well as the broader community - creating significant education and employment opportunities and driving tourism growth in the region.

Kea Global CEO Craig Donaldson says the WCNZ Awards recognise exceptional Kiwis and friends of New Zealand whose outstanding achievements are enhancing New Zealand’s reputation on a global scale.

“Ric Kayne has contributed considerably to the growth of Auckland, Northland and New Zealand. His various initiatives, in particular the development of the Tara Iti course have provided significant tourism, employment and investment opportunities in New Zealand. Ric has helped to define New Zealand as a worldwide tourist destination and we are delighted to recognise him as a Kea Friend of NZ,” says Donaldson.

Ric Kayne says, “I’m pleased to be able to contribute, and the appreciation is truly heart-warming.”

In addition to Ric, last night’s ceremony also named its Supreme Award winner – internationally celebrated chef and restaurateur, Peter Gordon.

Often credited as a key pioneer of fusion food, Peter was recognised for his ongoing philanthropic efforts – specifically his creation of annual culinary events, here and in the UK, which have raised more than NZD$16million to support Leukaemia research.

Other World Class New Zealanders acknowledged on the night were Allbirds’ entrepreneur Tim Brown; business leader Rachel Taulelei; scientist and entrepreneur Doctor Elizabeth Iorns; technology innovator and entrepreneur Fady Mishriki; globally recognised HR professional Kirsten Nevill-Manning; and professor and neuroscientist Christopher Shaw.

Each World Class New Zealand Award winner received a Tall Poppy statuette, designed by Weta Workshop co-founder and 2009 Supreme Award winner Sir Richard Taylor.

Established in 2003, the WCNZ Awards provide a platform that recognise inspirational, world Kiwis and friends who are making outstanding contributions to New Zealand’s international reputation.

For more information about the recipients, see below:

Ric Kayne
• Fifty-year career in investing and managing investments. Founded two major investment firms, Kayne Anderson Rudnick and Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors.
• Chairman of Kayne Capital, an alternative investment strategy manager with funds under management of over US$25 billion.
• Developed the Tara Iti golf course, ranked #6 in the world outside of the US. Tara Iti provides a significant source of tourism earnings and employment to Northland, Auckland and New Zealand. Subject to gaining the necessary regulatory consents, his future investment plans include the development of two further world glass golf courses.
• Developed strong relationships with local iwi, assisting them to realise the opportunity from their Treaty settlements.
• General partner of the New Zealand Land Fund 2 which, in addition to Te Arai, has major property holdings in Queenstown and Wanaka.
• Established Auckland-based private equity and venture fund bringing US skills and practices to Australasia.
• Established and supports education centric philanthropy through a variety of initiatives both in the US and New Zealand including U.C.L.A., The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Kayne Eras.

Peter Gordon
• Founding chef of iconic restaurant brand The Sugar Club (with locations previously in Wellington and London, and the current incarnation in Auckland).
• Co-owner and co-founder of multiple restaurants including The Providores & Tapa Room in London and Bellota in Auckland.
• Co-founder of London's rapidly growing sour-dough based Crosstown doughnuts, which makes over 7,000 artisan treats daily.
• Author of eight highly successful cookbooks.
• First recipient of the New Zealander of the Year Award, in 1999, from the New Zealand Society in London.
• In 2009, he was awarded the O.N.Z.M. (Office of the New Zealand Order of Merit) by HM the Queen for his services to the food industry.
• Widely recognised for his philanthropic work, including his involvement in coordinating annual culinary events to support Leukaemia research, which have raised NZ$16m across NZ and the UK.
• In 2018, Peter designed and cooked a Gala dinner for 900 in Auckland, honouring former President Obama's inaugural visit to New Zealand. In 2019, he also cooked lunch for two Prime Ministers, Jacinda Ardern and Theresa May at No.10 Downing Street.

Tim Brown
• Co-founder and co-CEO of sustainable material innovation company Allbirds, launched in 2016.
• Allbirds' Wool Runner shoe has been dubbed “the world’s most comfortable” by TIME Magazine.
• Raised US$50 million in a Series C funding round in October 2018.
• Allbirds has attracted a huge celebrity following, including Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jessica Alba, Cindy Crawford and Matthew McConaughey.
• Former Vice Captain of the New Zealand All Whites.

Rachel Taulelei

• CEO of Kono NZ, a Māori-owned New Zealand food and beverage company employing over 450 staff, farming more than 1000ha of land and sea, and exporting to over 25 countries.
• Founder of Yellow Brick Road, a sustainable seafood company.
• Former NZ Trade Commissioner in Los Angeles.
• Received the Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award, and is a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to food and hospitality.
• Named as Māori Woman Business Leader for 2018.
• Member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council.

Dr Elizabeth Iorns
• Co-founder and CEO of Science Exchange.
• Raised $60M in venture capital funding from top US investment firms (Union Square Ventures, Maverick Capital, Norwest Venture Partners).
• Co-founder and board director of Perception Therapeutics.
• Director of the Reproducibility Initiative, Co-lead of the Reproducibility Project Cancer Biology.
• Mentor at Y Combinator.
• Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from the Institute of Cancer Research (UK).Assistant Professor at the University of Miami’s Miller School of MedicineOver 60 peer-reviewed publications in top-tier scientific journals.

Fady Mishriki
• Founder, former CEO and former CTO of New Zealand wireless charging technology company, PowerbyProxi.
• Current Managing Director of Apple’s Auckland Technology Centre.
• Board Member of Wireless Power Consortium.
• Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland.
• University of Auckland Distinguished Alumnus (2015).
• University of Auckland Spark (now Velocity) Entrepreneur of the Decade (2013).
• Supported the University of Auckland Dean’s Leadership Program (Engineering) and the Velocity Challenge (Business).
• Recently inducted into the University of Auckland’s Chancellor’s Circle.

Kirsten Nevill-Manning
• Former Director of International Human Resources for Facebook, supporting their global expansion with the recruitment of over 1,400 employees.
• Former Manager of International Staffing at Google, helping to drive the organisation's expansion into Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.
• Vice President of People Operations, IT and Facilities at Teachers Pay Teacher, a New York-based online educational marketplace, connecting teachers to enable them to share original educational resources.
• Kirsten is married to computer engineer and former Kea World Class New Zealand recipient, Craig Nevill-Manning. Together, the couple have made significant philanthropic contributions to a variety of organisations, including the Robin Hood Foundation.
• Board member of Acumen.
• Co-owner of Happy Bones, a New Zealand café in New York.

Christopher Shaw
• MBChB, MD, FRACP, FRCP (Hon), FMedSci, FANA, FK.
• Professor of Neurology and Neurogenetics, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College, London.
• Director, Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute.
• Associate Director, UK Dementia Research Institute.
• Led an initiative to build equip and staff a new Neuroscience research facility, the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute.
• His team discovered more genes for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) than any other laboratory.
• Launched a spin-out company to develop novel gene therapies for ALS and FTD.


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