Government-backed angel investor appoints acting chief executive after interim boss moves on

The Government’s own angel investment fund is looking for another chief executive after the interim head brought in around the time the board resigned en mass has also left.

New Zealand Growth Capital Partners, the fund previously known as the Venture Investment Fund, confirmed to the Herald that James Fletcher had resigned as its interim chief executive “to take up another opportunity”.

A spokesman added that NZGCP investment director James Pinner had become acting chief executive while the board “completes the process which is under way for appointing a permanent [chief executive]”.

The spokesman did not say when the process to appoint a replacement was expected to be completed.

Fletcher, a director at WorkSafe and a board member at King’s School, was appointed to the fund in January on a six-month contract. The role appeared to have continued beyond June after the venture fund did not complete the recruitment of a permanent replacement.

NZGCP has had a lengthy period of temporary heads. Its former chief executive Richard Dellabarca quit abruptly in August 2020.

At the time the organisation said the move was to return to the private sector, however weeks later it emerged that the board had called in former Employment Court Judge Graeme Colgan to undertake a review into its culture.

The review, released in March found low level instances of bullying and perceptions of gender discrimination.

Around six weeks after Dellabarca’s departure was revealed, the board of NZGCP announced that Daria Murray, who worked at Kiwibank and previously had stints at the NZ Super Fund, was to become its new chief executive in October.

However, Murray never took up the role. “Unfortunately Daria has decided not to take up the role of CEO of NZGCP,” a spokesman said on December 3, refusing to provide details.

Around the same time the entire board of NZGCP resigned, aside from former MBIE chief executive David Smol, who had only recently been added to the board.

In the 2019 Budget, the NZ Super Fund was directed to provide $260 million toward a new Elevate investment fund, with NZGCP providing another $40m.

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