NZVIF appoints Dellabarca as CEO

Richard Dellabarca is the new CEO of New Zealand Venture Investment Fund as of May 30.

New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF), the investment arm of the New Zealand government, has appointed Richard Dellabarca as its new chief, according to Stuff.co.nz.

Dellabarca, who began his role on May 30, replaces Franceska Banga, who stepped down in March 2016. Banga had led NZVIF for 15 years since its inception in 2001.

Dellabarca joins the fund at a time when it is aiming to restructure into a self-sustaining commercial model. He previously worked in the investment banking sector and is serving on the board of sports organisation New Zealand Rugby Union and government-owned postal service NZ Post.

NZVIF was created to invest in New Zealand-originated technology companies.

The government has been holding a review into the running organisation to look at its performance and assess its structure. Murray Gribben, chairman of the organisation, pre-empted the findings from by announcing that the organisation was to transition to a self-sustaining commercial model.

To date the organisation has invested NZ$162m ($108m) in 213 companies through privately-run venture capital funds.

However, due to the global financial crisis and a government directive to invest in funds with favourable terms to the funds' investors, NZVIF has seen its investment value decline is facing the possibility of losing out on any profit.

A clause inserted in NZVIF’s agreements with its VC partners funds that gives those funds the right to buy out co-investments after five years have further limited NZVIF’s performance. When factoring in the clause, NZVIF has achieved only a NZ$0.93 return for every NZ$1 invested. The clause was removed last year.

See more from this Government Report: New Zealand

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