Karl Reckziegel, Alison Nankivell step up in BDC’s changing VC operation

Karl Reckziegel, senior vice president, venture capital, BDC Capital, photo courtesy of the firm

BDC Capital’s Karl Reckziegel and Alison Nankivell have assumed new leadership positions as the organization evolves its $3 billion venture capital strategy.

Reckziegel was recently promoted to senior vice president, venture capital, giving him oversight of the direct VC investment team.

That puts the veteran BDC investment pro in charge of a $1.6 billion deal platform, one of the largest and most active in Canada, especially in underserved market segments.

In an interview, Reckziegel said the new role will help regroup investment teams and coordinate activity that “touches almost everything” in the domestic market.

Reckziegel’s appointment comes as important changes are taking place in BDC’s direct VC operations.

They include the current efforts of BDC’s Healthcare Venture Fund and IT Venture Fund to raise capital from third-party investors.

Additionally, BDC is intensifying its focus on key in-house teams, such as the recently launched Women in Technology Venture Fund, led by Managing Director Michelle Scarborough, its co-investments arm, and Industrial, Clean and Energy Technology Venture Fund.

Reckziegel says attention will also be paid to fresh initiatives, such as a new fund targeting the unmet and undermet financing needs of select tech sectors in Canada.

“We’re looking at where we should be going next, where we’re needed most,” he said.

Alison Nankivell, vice president, fund investments and global scaling, BDC Capital

Reckziegel is partnering in this work with Nankivell, who was recently promoted to vice president, fund investments and global scaling.

Nankivell took the job after returning to Canada from Hong Kong, where she led BDC’s global scaling program, which supports Asian growth and financing opportunities for portfolio companies.

She will now run the indirect VC investment team, giving her responsibility for nearly $1 billion in capital commitments to more than 60 VC funds.

BDC has traditionally assumed an outsized role as a limited partner to Canadian funds, often as an anchor investor, particularly for emerging vehicles.

Nankivell joined BDC in 2013. Before then, she was a director of funds in Asia for Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and head of funds and Asia at Export Development Canada.

Canada’s VC market, which has seen major growth over the past six-plus years, reportedly slowed in Q3 2018.

Data released this week by the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association showed $652 million invested in 127 rounds in the third quarter, a little more than half the $1.2 billion that went to 154 rounds in the year-earlier period.

CVCA said, however, it expects 2018’s final investment totals to approximate levels reached in 2017.

BDC invested in a number of this year’s top deals, including the $128 million financing of travel-booking app Hopper, the $127 million financing of smart-Wi-Fi-thermostat maker Ecobee and the $72 million financing of restaurant POS-software provider TouchBistro.