AVCAL CEO Woodthorpe quits

Katherine Woodthorpe has given her resignation after seven years at the Australian PE organisation to pursue new challenges.

The chief executive of the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Katherine Woodthorpe, has resigned from the institution, according to an AVCAL statement. 

Woodthorpe has been in her role at the industry body for seven years, but according to the statement she felt it was the right time to leave and pursue fresh challenges, including her role as chair for the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre.

“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,” AVCAL chairman John White said in the statement.

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.

Katherine Woodthorpe, CEO, AVCAL

Woodthorpe helped build AVCAL’s research and data function, as well as reduce the knowledge and transparency gap between private equity, businesses and the government, the organisation said.

In the statement, Woodthorpe said, “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 programme will help ensure venture capital continues to deliver returns for the nation in terms of innovation and new, sustainable jobs.”

In February, the Treasury Department of the Australian government said it would invest A$350 million (€271 million; $362 million) through the Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) into Australian venture capital funds, according to an earlier government statement. Woodthorpe said the capital would need to be matched by an equal amount of private capital. 

Last year, AVCAL had another high level departure. The organisation’s chairman, David Brown, left in September 2012 after seven months in the post. Brown subsequently filed legal action against AVCAL over his separation pay and the terms of his departure, local media reported, citing court records. The organisation settled the case earlier this year.