The Federal Government has announced that Ian Power has been appointed as the inaugural permanent chief executive officer of the National Reconstruction Fund Corporation (NRFC), replacing acting CEO Rebecca Manen.
The NRFC was established by the government in late 2023 to invest $15 billion to diversify and transform Australia’s industry and economy by providing finance in the form of debt, equity and guarantees on a commercial basis across seven priority areas of the Australian economy and, where possible, deliver a financial return to the government.
These priority areas include renewables and low-emission technologies; medical science; transport; value-adding in agriculture, forestry and fisheries; value-adding in resources; defence capabilities and enabling technologies.
The fund aims to have an impact across the economy, through investments that attract private sector finance into the priority areas and build Australia’s competitiveness.
A 1 February statement from Minister for Finance Katy Gallagher and Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic said Mr Power had more than 25 years’ experience in global investment and held considerable experience working with early-stage companies and social ventures.
He spent more than 20 years at Macquarie Group and is also a board member of Generation Australia and a former board member of Lifesavers with Pride and The Westmead Institute for Medical Research.
Senator Gallagher and Mr Husic’s statement said Mr Power’s appointment was a major milestone for the NRFC that would enable it to deliver on this important government initiative.
Senator Gallagher welcomed Mr Power’s appointment to help manage the $15b NRF.
“Mr Power brings 25 years of experience to the NRFC and will help deliver a future made here in Australia,” she said.
”The NRFC is getting on with the job of rebuilding Australian manufacturing and creating jobs.”
Mr Husic added: “The NRF board has made an outstanding choice in Ivan Power as the inaugural National Reconstruction Fund Corporation CEO, and I congratulate him on his appointment.
“Our plan for a future made in Australia demands high-calibre stewardship of the $15b investment the NRF will make into growing our industrial muscle, and that is what Ivan’s extensive experience in financial markets and global investment brings.
“His appointment is another key step in scaling up the NRFC to begin delivering on our commitment to build a strong and prosperous industrial base in this country.”
In a separate statement, NRFC chair Martijn Wilder said he was delighted to have secured a CEO of Mr Power’s calibre.
“Ivan has extensive experience in global investment and significant standing in the technology and financial markets in Australia,” he said.
“Ivan’s experience working with a broad range of companies, from start-ups to multinationals, and working with government gives [him] a unique perspective on the ingenuity that exists within our industry base and how we might harness the opportunities on offer to benefit Australia.
“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the NFRC team, led by acting CEO Rebecca Manen, who have worked tirelessly to establish the NRFC so quickly.”
Mr Power said he was humbled and excited to be asked to lead the NRFC.
“I thank the board and the government for the opportunity, and for the trust they are placing in me in this important role,” he said.
“Australia is blessed with incredible human, financial and natural resources that create abundant opportunities at this moment of significant technological, economic and geopolitical change.
“It’s a great time for the public and private sectors to work together to support the growth and development of industries in Australia and capitalise upon these opportunities.
“I am looking forward to meeting with businesses, entrepreneurs, agencies, financiers and investors all over Australia to learn more about the opportunities and challenges they face and to understand where and how the NRFC can help make Australia the natural home of industry and innovation.”
Original Article published by Andrew McLaughlin on Riotact.