The Albanese government’s signature business investment vehicle, the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund, has its first boss, with veteran Macquarie Group executive Ivan Power named as CEO.
Power has worked in global investment for more than 25 years alongside a strong track record in working with early-stage startups and social ventures..
UNSW director of entrepreneurship David Burt praised the government’s choice, having collaborated with Power last year to set up the university’s new defence accelerator program.
“In 2023 I worked closely with Ivan as he was an investor and mentor key to the success of our 2023 Defence 10x Accelerator,” he said.
“Ivan has a compelling vision for an Australian economy that is both prosperous and resilient – his appointment sets the exact type of leadership and culture that NRF needs in order for it successfully to deliver benefit to Australia.”
The fund already has startup experience with Airtree founding partner Daniel Petre appointed to the NRF board last year. Climate investor Martijn Wilder, founder and CEO of Pollination, is the chair.
The board makes the NRF’s investment decisions. They are guided by seven priority areas that include next-generation materials development, value-adding and advanced manufacturing, from clean energy and mining science to medtech and agriculture and food.
An election promise by Labor, the government is hoping the fund will supercharge high-value manufacturing and jobs nationally. It’s modelled on the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which has invested in a range of climate tech startups.
The new CEO spent two decades at Macquarie, and was head of head of group development and analysis. More recently he spent 15 months as a special advisor to Treasury during the Morrison government’s reign, and in early 2020, became at investor and advisor at Lykaios Ventures, which backed startups such as
Power is on the board of Generation Australia. He has also worked with several governments and agencies, and gained experience creating productive links between government, business and non-government organisations.