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New chair for Venture Investment Fund announced

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister for Economic Development

2 October 2006 Media Statement

New chair for Venture Investment Fund announced

Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard today announced the appointment of Chris de Boer as the new Chair of the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF).

Mr de Boer begins work next week, with a tenure until 30 June 2009.

Trevor Mallard said Mr de Boer would bring to the role extensive skills and experience, particularly in the early stage investment and private equity sector.

"He is a senior practitioner in the New Zealand venture capital markets with over 30 years’ experience in investment banking, takeover regulation, private equity and corporate finance in London, Hong Kong and Australasia. His previous roles include Chair of the Hong Kong Takeovers Panel, Managing Director of Prudential Asia, and Director of Optus Communications," Trevor Mallard said.

The appointment follows the retirement of John Grant, who chaired the Venture Investment Fund since its formation in 2001.

"I'd like to thank John for his hard work - he has been central to the growth of a nascent early stage venture capital industry in New Zealand. Chris has the right mix of skills to help the fund build on this significant progress made to date. He understands and appreciates that an active venture capital market plays a crucial role in helping New Zealand’s innovative ideas to be commercialised and that this will help drive future economic transformation. This pivotal appointment is evidence of the government’s commitment to developing a vibrant self-sustaining venture capital market."

NZVIF manages the VIF programme which invests with co-investors in a series of privately managed venture capital investment funds. To date, the programme has invested $101 million in 35 local companies in a range of sectors including the biotechnology, software, telecommunications and creative sectors. It has also played a significant role in catalysing the local venture capital market. The government demonstrated its confidence in the VIF programme through the allocation of an additional $60 million of capital funding in this years Budget.

Since July 2005, NZVIF has also successfully launched and managed the $40 million Seed Co-investment Fund programme, aimed at small- to medium-sized businesses with strong growth potential at the seed and start-up stage of development. The first four co-investment partners to this have recently signed up and it is likely that the first investments through this new programme will be made soon.

ENDS

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