The former chair of AustralianSuper and Afterpay, Elana Rubin, has been named the new chair of the Australian Business Growth Fund (ABGF) - a growth capital fund established by six leading banks and the Federal Government.
With significant experience as a well-respected chair and non-executive director, Rubin will take up the new appointment to helm the fund which has invested in the likes of e-waste recycling company Scipher and last-mile-delivery platform HUBBED.
Rubin is currently also chair of the Victorian Managed Insurance Agency and is a non-executive director of listed companies including Dexus (ASX: DXS), Telstra (ASX: TLS) and Slater & Gordon (ASX: SGH).
The newly appointed chair said she was attracted to the unique private-public partnership model of ABGF and its purpose to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the SME sector.
“There is a clear gap in the market for long term patient (minority) growth capital at scale to support small-medium businesses to grow and thrive,” said Rubin, who received a Member of the Order of Australia for services to corporate governance and community in 2021.
“Providing these businesses with the capital to grow is vital to support innovation, technology and skills.”
ABGF CEO Anthony Healy said he was excited to welcome Rubin as chair of the organisation.
“She brings extensive experience across a range of organisations including public-private partnerships, and is driven by the same values as the fund – to back ambitious businesses to help them grow and thrive,” Healy said.
“ABGF was set up as a unique public-private partnership to address a market failure - the lack of depth in the market for long term patient growth capital for SME’s.
“Leveraging government and private sector capital, the fund’s purpose is to support SME’s to scale and in turn create jobs, economic growth and support Australian entrepreneurship.”
Rubin replaces former chair Mike Baird, who oversaw the establishment of ABGF offices in Sydney and Melbourne during his tenure and resigned in May 2022. ABGF also made its first eight investments while Baird was in the top role.
The group’s first investment was a $15 million injection of capital into 3ME Technology Holdings - a heavy-vehicle battery manufacturer.
Since then, the Fund has made investments in the likes of HMC Group, Derwent Industries, DIY Blinds and Capsifi - the latter of which recently announced the appointment of former IDP Education CEO Andrew Barkla as chair.
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