Woodthorpe Resigns as Head of Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Assoc.

Dr. Katherine Woodthorpe has resigned as Chief Executive of The Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. She will remain in the role until Oct. 31, according to a statement. AVCAL’s Council has appointed Heidrick & Struggles to find a successor.


Dr Katherine Woodthorpe, the Chief Executive of The Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCAL) has announced her resignation.   Dr Woodthorpe said that after seven years in the role, the time was right for her to pursue fresh challenges.

AVCAL’s Chairman, John White, thanked Dr Woodthorpe for her contribution to the Association and said that under her leadership AVCAL had done much to enhance the reputation and understanding of private equity and had helped secure vital funding for the venture capital sector.

“Shortly after Katherine joined AVCAL as CEO, private equity was in the regulatory spotlight in the US, UK and Australia.  Katherine was instrumental in assembling the evidence to show that PE had an overwhelmingly positive impact on the Australian economy.  Since that time, Dr Woodthorpe and her team have done much to build a better understanding of how we go about our business.  That has included building AVCAL’s research function so that we have the data to show the fundamental value-add that PE brings is in transforming investee firms by increasing revenue and expanding their workforces.

“Katherine has also helped to reduce significantly the knowledge and transparency gap between what PE communicates and what key business and government stakeholders need to know and understand.  The introduction of AVCAL’s Code of Private Equity Governance was another significant milestone for our industry.  Katherine’s successor will inherit a strong secretariat and on behalf of the AVCAL Council and membership I sincerely thank Katherine for her valuable contribution,” said Mr. White.

Dr Woodthorpe said she had very much enjoyed her time at AVCAL and was confident that the industry would continue to make significant progress.

“During my seven years with AVCAL I have enjoyed the support and friendship of some of the finest and smartest business leaders in the country.  It is now one of the country’s largest employers, with more people working in private equity- owned firms than in the mining sector.

“I have long been passionate about the vital role that venture capital plays so I was particularly proud that we were able to assemble the evidence to show that VC-backed firms spend much more on research and development than their industry peers.  Securing $350 million from the Government’s Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) programme will help ensure venture capital continues to deliver returns for the nation in terms of innovation and new, sustainable jobs.

“I am now keen to make a more hands on contribution to innovation and commercialisation which will include my role as the Chair of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre,” said Dr Woodthorpe.

AVCAL’s Council has appointed international search firm Heidrick & Struggles to find a successor.  Dr Woodthorpe will remain in the role until 31 October.

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