The Australian Business Growth Fund™ is for growth-ready Australian businesses looking for a capital partner.

ABGF is Australia’s only purpose-built growth capital fund dedicated to investing in entrepreneurs and disruptors across the SME sector. Our unique public-private partnership model is facilitated by a powerful alliance between the Federal Government and six leading banks.

Founded with an initial capital of $540 million, we fill a critical gap in the market for flexible growth capital that’s tailored to each individual business. Our investment can facilitate expansion into new markets, new product development, mergers and acquisitions and succession planning.

Our team is carefully selected with individuals who are purpose-led and have a passion for SMEs, each dedicated to supporting our investee companies to thrive. With ABGF, you’re getting more than financial investment – you’re getting true backing.

Our people

Our team is made up of experienced business leaders, strategists and finance professionals with a purpose-led approach to what they do and a passion for backing innovation.
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Leadership
Investment
Business Development
Talent Network
Operations
Board
Anthony Healy
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Anthony Healy
CEO & Managing Director
Anthony Healy
CEO & Managing Director
Anthony joined ABGF as its inaugural CEO in October 2020 after twenty-eight years in banking and financial services, including CEO, C-suite and board-level roles across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Middle East. He is a member of ABGF’s board and chairs the investment committee.

Anthony’s career covers a broad range of financial services sectors, predominantly serving SME businesses, financial markets, wealth management, investment, and funds management. He graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Science and Graduate Diplomas in Economics and Finance.

Sought out as a change agent, he has led start-ups, growth businesses and turnaround situations, with a strong focus on growth, innovation, and cultural transformation.

Anthony lives in Melbourne with his wife Kate, a lawyer, and their two children, Patrick and Caroline. When he is not driving his children from one sporting event to the next, he finds time for cycling, the occasional game of golf or tennis, and sharing a nice bottle of wine with friends.

“I have worked with, supported and served SME businesses for most of my career, including serving on the board of the Icehouse, New Zealand’s leading growth fund and business accelerator. I love working with entrepreneurs and family-owned businesses, helping them grow and innovate – they are the heart and soul of the Australian economy. That’s why, in my previous role as Chief Customer Officer for NAB, I led the initiative to establish ABGF and why I was so excited to take on the role as founding CEO, to build Australia’s leading mid-market growth fund, and fill the gap in the market for long-term, patient (minority) growth capital for Australian SMEs.”

Ghazaleh Lyari
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Ghazaleh Lyari
Co-Head of Investments
Ghazaleh Lyari
Co-Head of Investments
Ghazaleh joined ABGF in March 2021 from CHAMP Ventures. With a career spanning almost three decades, she has a diverse set of experiences across the technology industry, investment banking on Wall Street and Silicon Valley, and founding and running her own business. Ghazaleh has a track record of supporting and investing in SMEs across a broad range of sectors in Australia, and building strong relationships with SME founders as a dependable partner through their growth journey. She is a member of ABGF’s investment committee.

Ghazaleh grew up in Tehran, living through war and revolution, and moved to Australia as a teenager. She graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of Science (double majors in Physics and Computer Science) and subsequently obtained an MBA from The Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago. She now lives in Sydney with her husband and son.

Ghazaleh is a strong advocate for diversity and equity in the workplace, dedicating her spare time to mentoring female entrepreneurs as well as young women interested in business and finance. She also enjoys travelling and exploring the world, reading, and entertaining friends and family.

“ABGF is uniquely positioned to be a true change agent, fueling growth in the SME sector, while leaving control in the hands of the business founders and owners. The fund is built on a purposeful foundation and allows me, as the co-head of the investment team, to do what I love professionally while doing good for the country.”

Patrick Verlaine
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Patrick Verlaine
Co-Head of Investments
Patrick Verlaine
Co-Head of Investments
Patrick was previously a partner with Crescent Capital Partners and started his career as a corporate strategist with LEK Consulting in London. He is a member of ABGF’s investment committee.

Having led multiple Investments and chaired numerous SME boards over his career, Patrick has extensive experience across a broad range of industries with particular expertise in building products, industrials, mining technology and consumer goods. He graduated from Imperial College London, with first class honours in a Master of Aeronautical Engineering.

A citizen of the world with Belgian heritage, Patrick grew up in South Africa and Spain passing by France and the UK on his way to Sydney where he sought to combine his passion for surfing with investing in SMEs. His childhood abroad enabled him to become truly tri-lingual and is a native English, Spanish and French speaker. Married with three children, he spends most of his spare time trying to selfishly force his young family to indulge in his own passions of Real Madrid, surfing and mountain biking – in that order.

“I joined ABGF because the opportunity to co-lead the investment team of a newly created, for-purpose fund that enables Australian SMEs to execute their growth aspirations whilst always retaining control was too good and unique an opportunity to turn down. I feel truly privileged to be able to share this journey with all these incredibly gifted entrepreneurs and hope to assist them in achieving their goals with my own experience and perspective along the way.”

Frederick Charette
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Frederick Charette
Head of Portfolio & Talent
Frederick Charette
Head of Portfolio & Talent
Fred joined ABGF after building the global direct private equity investing arm of CDPQ, Canada’s second largest asset manager. A former McKinsey consultant, he was also a founding shareholder and COO of Daisee, an artificial intelligence startup. He is a member of ABGF’s investment committee.

Fred’s functional expertise centers around organisational performance, business culture, talent and leadership. His background covers a variety of sectors including retail, higher education, healthcare, manufacturing and technology. Fred completed a post-doctorate in Law and Economics at UC Berkeley.

Fred lives in Sydney with his wife Coleen, a diversity consultant, and their two children, Alicia and River. A native French speaker, he grew up near Université de Montréal among a family of psychologists, while managing the operations of a 9-hole country town golf course during the summers.

“Aside from capital, what small businesses need most is access to expertise and talent. The thread that connects my professional journey is a constant curiosity about human behaviour, how it impacts the health of an organisation and ultimately, its performance. That’s why I joined ABGF: to provide SMEs with capable board members and advisors, and to assist small business owners in making decisions about their people and organisation in a way that will most effectively use our capital injection to support their growth.”

Stefanie Allen
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Stefanie Allen
General Counsel
Stefanie Allen
General Counsel
Stefanie joined ABGF from Lazard where she was responsible for the legal and compliance functions of its financial advisory and private equity businesses in Australia, Singapore and Japan. Prior to Lazard she worked as an M&A lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills in Melbourne and Freshfield in London. Stefanie is a co-company secretary of ABGF.

Stefanie has worked with a wide variety of businesses spanning multiple sizes and sectors during her time with Lazard and her time in private practice. Stefanie has a Bachelor of Commerce and Laws (Honours) from the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment (FINSIA) and has completed the AFMA/International Compliance Association AML/CTF Management Program.

Stefanie lives in Melbourne with her husband Neil, and their children. Stefanie and her family love to travel and enjoy the spectrum of experiences it brings.

“I really enjoy working as a lawyer and I feel strongly that organisations need to create legal and compliance frameworks that are fit for purpose. In joining ABGF from the early stages I have the opportunity to apply that to the fund itself as well as share my knowledge and experience in this area with SMEs.”

Trisca Scott-Branagan
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Trisca Scott-Branagan
Chief Marketing Officer
Trisca Scott-Branagan
Chief Marketing Officer
Trisca joined ABGF from ANZ Bank where she held senior positions as Head of Personalisation and Institutional Marketing. Prior to this she worked in higher education and ten years at Deloitte. Trisca is a member of the Australian Business Growth Fund Executive.

Trisca has over 25-years’ experience working across financial and professional services in business and consumer marketing. She is an Industry Advisor to the Australian Data-Driven Marketing Association (ADMA), the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA), and Deakin University School of Marketing.

Trisca was awarded #5 most innovative Chief Marketing Officer in Australia by the CMO Council and Marketing Executive of the year by CEO Magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Industrial Relations, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Marketing, with Distinction.

Trisca lives in Melbourne with her husband, three children and Cavoodle. She finds her serenity hiking the mountains. Her greatest accomplishment was surviving 10-days exploring the Kokoda Trail in Papa New Guinea.

“SME’s play a critical role in Australia’s future to drive innovation and growth. Their success is dependent on their ability to engage meaningfully with customers. I am honoured to work directly with the businesses we invest in, advising on how they can maximise their marketing efforts to drive business outcomes.”

Rayna Toman
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Rayna Toman
Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer
Rayna Toman
Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer
Rayna joined ABGF after 10 years with private equity firm Next Capital where she was responsible for the finance, company secretarial, compliance and investor relation functions. Prior to this she worked in finance roles at Macquarie Bank and Schroders Australia. Rayna is a co-company secretary of ABGF.

Rayna has worked in private equity and financial services for most of her career and has had exposure to a wide variety of investment structures, investees and investors, from both a finance and an operational view. Rayna is a Chartered Accountant (CA ANZ), has a Bachelor of Business from the University of Technology Sydney, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment (FINSIA) and has completed an Executive MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Rayna lives in Sydney with her husband and children. They have shared many interesting holidays both in Australia and abroad and are always planning their next adventure. When not out bushwalking in the local national parks, Rayna loves to read.

“There comes a time when you realise that there is more to work than just doing what you have always done. The opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself in a business as unique as ABGF is very attractive. It is very rewarding to be part of the leadership team and leverage my experience in private equity to shape a business that will assist SMEs.”

Tim Haden
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Tim Haden
Origination Director
Tim Haden
Origination Director

Tim joined ABGF from Barclays Investment Bank, where he worked on numerous high-profile sponsor backed Australian buy out transactions. Prior to this he worked in various banking roles in the UK and New Zealand, and started his career as an Officer in the New Zealand Army. Tim leads the ABGF Origination Team.

Tim has experience in all aspects of M&A transactions, including origination, structuring and transaction execution. For the last eight years he has advised and provided underwritten financing solutions to global private equity firms on M&A transactions. He graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) and Bachelor of Arts (Politics and Philosophy)

Tim lives in Sydney with his wife Aditi and dog. Having hung up his Rugby boots a while back, Tim can be found surfing on the weekends (and sometimes before work) or playing competitive Basketball for “Sweat Equity” – a team whose hard work is often not reflected on the score board!

“I’ve spent my career structuring financings for large buy-out transactions, often finding the success of these businesses traces back to an entrepreneur or family-owned business. The best companies I’ve worked with maintain a family business mindset, prioritising customers, employees and local communities while taking a long-term approach to strategic decisions. At ABGF we provide patient (minority) capital to SMEs, empowering businesses to achieve their goals, and offering a unique alternative to traditional private equity solutions. I joined ABGF because I see a significant opportunity in this model to unlock value in Australian businesses and support high growth companies”

Lucinda Bradshaw
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Lucinda Bradshaw
Investment Manager
Lucinda Bradshaw
Investment Manager

Lucy joined ABGF from BBRC Private Equity, an Australian mid-market private equity fund focused on consumer, healthcare and technology investments. Lucy originally trained as a commercial lawyer and worked in capital markets and M&A at law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. Lucy is a member of the ABGF investment team.

During her three years investing at BBRC Private Equity, Lucy partnered with founders and management teams to help them scale their businesses locally and overseas. In her previous career as a commercial lawyer, Lucy specialised in capital raisings and saw first-hand the transformative potential of investment capital on a business’s growth trajectory. Lucy has a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) from the University of Sydney.

Lucy lives in Sydney, where she spends her free time catching up with family, running in Centennial Park and visiting local wine bars with her husband Alex.

“I joined ABGF because I truly believe it offers a unique form of investment. As a minority, for-purpose investor, ABGF allows shareholders to maintain control of their business while providing them significant support, capability and experience to help them scale. For me, working alongside entrepreneurs and learning about their business is a privilege that makes every day an exciting experience. I’m really looking forward to working with Australian SMEs to help them achieve their goals.”

Lori Broner
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Lori Broner
Investment Associate
Lori Broner
Investment Associate
Lori joined ABGF from an Australian mid-market PE fund, Anacacia Capital. Prior to this, Lori was a management consultant at L.E.K. Consulting, where she worked with leading corporates and private equity firms across a wide range of sectors on transactional due diligence, growth strategies, implementation and operational improvement. Lori is a member of ABGF’s investment team.

Lori’s prior investment and consulting experience has allowed her to work with exceptional founders and management teams to successfully grow and exit their businesses. Lori graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Psychology and Biochemistry. While at university, Lori trained and practiced as an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapist focusing on targeted behavioural outcomes for children diagnosed with Autism.

Lori lives in Sydney with her husband Dovi and their rescue cat Oliver. In her spare time, Lori enjoys being with family, soaking up Sydney’s natural beauty, cooking, dance classes and reading.

“ABGF not only provides the opportunity to work with leading founders and management teams to achieve their goals, is does this through an industry leading framework. ABGF is truly unique in its patient equity, minority investment and partnership approach which puts as much focus on doing good for society and businesses as it does for investors. I’m truly excited to be a part of this journey.”

Alex Collivas
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Alex Collivas
Investment Manager
Alex Collivas
Investment Manager

Alex joined ABGF from OwnHome, an Australian property technology company where he led the capital and finance divisions. Prior to that, he spent over three years as a growth investor in Australian SMEs. Alex is a member of the ABGF investment team.

As OwnHome’s second founding employee, Alex launched and scaled the business, providing invaluable experience in building a great business in Australia. As an investor, Alex helped founders and management teams grow their businesses as well as plan and execute on successful exits. Alex has a Bachelor of Laws and Commerce, majoring in finance from the University of Queensland.

Alex moved to Melbourne to help grow ABGFs physical presence and to be within the foodie capital of Australia. In his spare time, Alex and his partner Yasmin are avid travellers with a particular interest in Mediterranean islands.

“I joined ABGF because its investment mandate helps plug an important gap in equity capital funding for SMEs, that is, growth capital that allows owners to remain in control of their business. With passion and experience for helping to grow businesses, I look forward to partnering with entrepreneurs to realise their growth aspirations whilst developing lifelong relationships.“

Chintan Doshi
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Chintan Doshi
Head of Portfolio Finance
Chintan Doshi
Head of Portfolio Finance

Chintan joined ABGF from a single-family office, Audant Investments, where he was responsible for investments across the private capital portfolio. Prior to Audant Investments, he worked in the strategy team for WooliesX (Part of the Woolworths Group) and held various senior finance roles at HelloFresh. He is a member of ABGF’s portfolio team.  

During his four years investing at Audant Investments, Chintan was responsible for deal origination, due diligence and execution of investments along with portfolio management. Chintan partnered with founders and private equity funds to facilitate these investments. In his previous career at HelloFresh, he was the first finance hire, and was responsible for establishing the finance team for the Australian Operations and completed the first acquisition for the HelloFresh Group out of Berlin, Germany.

Chintan is a Chartered Accountant (CA ANZ), Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA UK) and has received his Master’s in Financial Analysis from the University of New South Wales along with his Bachelors of Honours in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University.

Chintan who has an Indian heritage, grew up in Oman and has lived across the UK and Germany, making him an avid traveller. Chintan is passionate about fitness and in his spare time enjoys running, bouldering, yoga and hiking.

“My Career has focused on scaling and investing in small businesses. I am fascinated by ABGF’s purpose-driven mission to empower SMEs in Australia by not only providing capital, but also the expertise and strategic support required to execute their growth aspirations.”

Moyan Du
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Moyan Du
Investment Manager
Moyan Du
Investment Manager

Moyan joined ABGF from News Corp’s M&A and Ventures team and previously worked at Federation Asset Management, a private equity fund investing across alternative asset classes in growth private equity and sustainable infrastructure. She started her career in PwC’s M&A team, advising mid-market companies across sales, acquisitions and capital raisings. Moyan is a member of ABGFs investment team.

During Moyan’s three years at Federation Asset Management, she worked with founder-led businesses in technology, renewable energy and healthcare to grow their business both organically and inorganically. Moyan has a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws from the Australian National University.

Moyan grew up in Melbourne and spent some of this time living in Shanghai. Whilst her tertiary education was completed in Canberra, she spent most of her career in Sydney prior to joining ABGF. Moyan’s journey returns to Melbourne where you will find her exploring different restaurants, exercising at a Pilates class or simply being amongst the company of her family and friends.

“Growing up in an immigrant family, I witnessed how small businesses were the very livelihood of those around me. I joined ABGF because I am passionate about the mission to support Australian SMEs grow and I believe our team is uniquely placed to help founders because it is reflective of the diversity in Australian society today.”

Elliot Foote
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Elliot Foote
Investment Associate
Elliot Foote
Investment Associate

Elliot joins ABGF from L.E.K. Consulting, a management consultancy firm. As a trained Economist, he has also worked at the United Nations and The Brooks Institute in New Dehli, India. Elliot is a member of ABGF’s investment team. 

Elliot has worked with private equity firms on transactional due diligence across a wide array of industries. He has also worked with organisations of all sizes to develop and implement growth strategies and operational improvements. Elliot received his Masters of Economics from Monash University, and his Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Finance) from the University of Melbourne.

“The most exciting and rewarding experiences in my career have come from collaborating with growing companies to assist them in realising their goals and ambitions. ABGF’s investment mandate allows us to provide the growth capital these businesses need while leaving the business in control, with a commitment to offering ongoing support as needed. It is a unique model in the Australian market, and I am excited to be involved.”

Chris Greenhow
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Chris Greenhow
Business Development Manager - ANZ Secondee
Chris Greenhow
Business Development Manager - ANZ Secondee

Chris has joined ABGF from ANZ where he held the role of Relationship Manager in the Commercial Banking team. Chris is a member of ABGF’s business development team.

Chris has 14 years banking experience working with ANZ in the Business Banking and Emerging Corporate divisions. Based in regional Australia, Chris has assisted a diverse portfolio of customers across the Transport, hospitality, manufacturing, health and professional services sectors. Chris holds a Bachelor of Business (Finance/Accounting) from Charles Sturt University, which included a micro finance semester in Mumbai.

Chris has a keen interest in beekeeping, operating three hives from a small property north of Albury, NSW, where he also lives with his wife, one daughter left at home, dogs and chickens.

“I have a passion for regional Australia and have seen the impact a great business can make on the community. I became passionate about ABGF when I witnessed an investment that matched the capital requirements of the business, with the direct growth in the business allowing for wider community impacts in employment and future development. I see ABGF’s patient capital investment as a great way to assist businesses across Australia in their growth journeys”

Martin Houdek
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Martin Houdek
Communications Specialist
Martin Houdek
Communications Specialist

Martin joined ABGF from Outcast, a San Francisco-based integrated marketing and communications agency. Before that, he worked in credit derivatives trading at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Martin is a member of ABGF’s marketing team

At Outcast, Martin supported entrepreneurs in shaping and elevating their stories. He also provided strategic marketing and communications counsel to venture capital firms such as Accel, supporting its portfolio companies and the brand itself.

Martin’s perspective was shaped by an international education and upbringing. Now in Melbourne but originally from Sydney, Martin also lived in the UK for 13 years where he obtained a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Defence, Development and Diplomacy, both from Durham University. While Martin likes to keep active through ice skating and weightlifting, he would not turn down an opportunity to spend an evening reading a novel on the sofa.

“Having worked with industry-leading startups, I was consistently humbled by the focus and determination of entrepreneurs to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems. I also witnessed firsthand how partnerships with engaged and empathetic investors could accelerate the growth of ambitious entrepreneurs. It is a pleasure to be joining a team that is so deeply committed to helping Australian businesses thrive with strategic long-term capital and expertise.”

Isabella Jones
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Isabella Jones
Digital Marketing Manager
Isabella Jones
Digital Marketing Manager

Isabella joined ABGF from Amber Electric, where she worked as a Growth Marketing Manager. Prior to this, she led the Marketing department at Halaxy, a SaaS platform in the healthcare industry. Isabella is a member of the Australian Business Growth Fund marketing team.  

Isabella has extensive experience supporting early growth businesses, having spent over 10 years working with start-ups, advertising agencies and global businesses working across the customer journey, from organic acquisition to onboarding, retention and loyalty.

Isabella holds a Bachelor of Communications and Advertising, a Post Graduate Certificate in Marketing Management, and is currently completing an MBA at Melbourne Business School. She is passionate about diversity and gender equity, and volunteers as the President of the Women in Management Club, part of the MBA program.

Isabella was living in Sao Paulo, Brazil, before moving to Melbourne in 2014 to be with her husband, Scott. She loves to learn new things through studying, travelling, long lunches with friends, family stories, podcasts, books, and wandering the streets of Melbourne.

“I witnessed first-hand how SMEs have the power to drive innovation and accessibility when my dad founded the first ISP in my home estate 25 years ago. I believe that, by investing in SMEs, we’re investing in a stronger economy with more jobs and a better standard of living for everyone. I love to use my skills and experience to support purpose-driven organisations, where I can see the impact of my work in transforming people’s lives and building a better place for all.”  

Jason Knott
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Jason Knott
Risk and Compliance Associate
Jason Knott
Risk and Compliance Associate

Jason joined ABGF from Cape Town based Digital Outsource Services where he gained extensive experience in online transactional risk, fraud management and regulatory compliance, specialising in AML/CFT. Jason has joined the legal team at ABGF as Risk and Compliance Associate.

Jason grew up in Johannesburg where he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce in Business management through the University of Pretoria and Honours in Strategic Management through the University of South Africa.

Jason moved to Melbourne with his partner in April 2022, where he has discovered incredible locations to hike, play golf and enjoy a coffee.

“There is an ever-growing need for businesses to stay abreast of regulation. I am excited to be joining ABGF, where I can utilise and enhance my expertise to strengthen the risk and compliance framework of the fund through its growth phase. It is a privilege to be part of an initiative that aims to reward and nurture innovation and increase the prosperity of the community it serves”.

Helen Li
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Helen Li
Accountant
Helen Li
Accountant

Helen joined ABGF after 6 years with an ASX listed SME merchants payment service provider – Tyro Payments, where she held various finance roles from operations, reporting and APRA regulatory compliance. Helen is a certificated public accountant (CPA Australia) who has a Bachelor of Material and Science Engineering from the Beijing Forestry University and a Master of Professional Accounting from the University of New South Wales. She is a member of ABGF’s finance team.

Helen grew up in a tropical island (Hainan province) in China and moved to Sydney to further her study. She still lives in Sydney, now with her husband, and enjoys coastal walks with friends over the weekends. In her spare time, you can also find her exploring restaurants and bubble tea shops or playing badminton at the NBC badminton club social sessions.

“I was fascinated by ABGF’s mission and its unique value proposition to help SME businesses grow with patient capital and other resources required for their development in return for a minority interest – so unlike other traditional banks or private equity. This will have a positive economic and social impact on the wider community. I am thrilled to be part of this journey by sharing my experiences and knowledge to make it happen.”

Jack Lin
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Jack Lin
Investment Director
Jack Lin
Investment Director

Jack Lin joined ABGF from AUA Private Equity Partners, an operationally-focused lower-middle market private equity firm backed by one of the most successful Hispanic-owned family businesses in the United States. He previously worked within investment banking, management consulting and corporate law environments in Australia. Jack is a member of the ABGF investment team.

During his ten year tenure at AUA Private Equity Partners, Jack specialised in investing in founder and family-owned SMEs across the United States, partnering with entrepreneurs to accelerate growth in their businesses. Jack has a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from University of Sydney and studied at Cornell Law School.

Jack recently returned to Sydney from New York with his wife Susie, having grown up on the Northern Beaches. He regularly plays in weekend soccer leagues, likes to uncover new audiobooks, and enjoys learning about new technology innovations around the world and thinking about how they can be applied locally.

“Purpose, passion, impact, and a drive to make our lives better – SME entrepreneurs are the unsung heroes of our society. The past ten years in New York taught me an incredible amount about scaling SMEs and the meaning of true partnership with entrepreneurs. I am incredibly excited to share these lessons and my experiences with Australian entrepreneurs in supporting them to realise their visions.”

Ashley March
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Ashley March
Executive Assistant to the CEO
Ashley March
Executive Assistant to the CEO
Ashley joined ABGF team from Yarra Valley Grammar as Executive Assistant to our CEO, to support the leadership team and to assist with office management. Ashley held EA roles among C-Suite executives in multiple industries including financial, retail, hospitality and academic organisations in Sydney and Melbourne. This has provided her with an invaluable opportunity to operate under different structures and management styles, being the critical point of contact between senior internal and external stakeholders.

Ashley lives in Melbourne with her partner Ilan, her three boys, Eamon, Jack and Hugh and two Newfoundland dogs, Vida and Georgie. Ashley and Ilan share a passion for travel, shopping for fresh produce in the market, cooking, and nature walks. Ashley grew up in Sydney where her family continues to run a small upholstery business in Lane Cove. Ashley spent much of her teenage years in Coolangatta, QLD as well as a couple of years in Fremantle, WA where she enjoyed the beautiful Australian beach lifestyle.

“I am so thrilled to be part of ABGF, a company that will make a difference to many Australian SMEs which I am incredibly passionate about. It is amazing to be able to work alongside a dedicated team and in a company with a strong culture of integrity and ethical behaviour, delivering outstanding business results to all those inspiring entrepreneurs out there. For me, this is the dream job.”

Mark Massara
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Mark Massara
Portfolio Finance Manager
Mark Massara
Portfolio Finance Manager
Mark joined ABGF from Australian Unity to assist the working group shareholders to establish and incorporate the fund. He previously held senior management roles in the agribusiness sector and a start-up fund. Prior to this, Mark spent 10 years in London working at hedge fund GLG Partners on their flagship credit and convertible bond funds. He is a member of ABGF’s Finance Team.

Having worked in both financial services and commercial businesses, Mark brings a broad range of experience including valuations, risk and operations. Mark is a Chartered Accountant (CA ANZ) and graduated with a Bachelor of Business in Accounting & Information Systems from Edith Cowan University.

Mark lives in Melbourne with his wife and they both enjoy travelling and dining out with friends. Mark grew up in Western Australia where he enjoyed the perks of being part of a family fishing business – eating good seafood!

“I joined ABGF because I’m inspired by entrepreneurs who take a leap of faith to start their own business. I wanted to be part of a unique fund that not only offers entrepreneurs long-term patient capital, but also a network of strategic advisors to help achieve their growth objectives. I’m looking forward to working with the ABGF team to build a fund that has a positive impact on SMEs and the broader community.”

Amy McLaughlin
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Amy McLaughlin
Business Support Officer
Amy McLaughlin
Business Support Officer
Amy joined ABGF from a background in creative agencies to maintain the operations of the Sydney office and assist in general office organisation. Amy is a member of ABGF’s Portfolio and Talent team.

Amy has previously held office management and PA roles across a variety of creative agencies and large businesses, including 5-star hospitality, advertising, strategy and packaging.

By working in these organisations with varying degrees of stakeholders and executives, she communicates and manages the environment and office around her with confidence and ease, and takes pride in providing the best experience not only for clients, but ABGF’s team at large. She also attended The University of New England in Armidale where she graduated with a degree in Communications.

Amy lives in Sydney with her husband and dog. They enjoy exploring new venues in Sydney, going to the cinema and entertaining at home.

‘It is a delight to work with the team at ABGF and support them in achieving their best work. The team have a true passion and drive for what they do which makes the office a wonderful place to be.’

Bonnie Powell
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Bonnie Powell
Head of People & Capabilities
Bonnie Powell
Head of People & Capabilities

Bonnie joined ABGF as former executive from venture backed Vancouver-based fintech start-up, Bench Accounting. Prior to the last half decade in fintech, she worked in mining, management consulting and the Winter Olympic Organising Committee in Vancouver, Canada. She is a member of ABGF’s Talent & Capability Team. 

As Vice President of People at Bench Accounting, Bonnie was a key member of the executive team, scaling the business by over 500 people through Series B and C fundraises. Bonnie has over 18 years of global experience in the People & Culture space with a deep passion for creating workplaces where people can show up as their true and authentic best selves. She’s dedicated to creating high performing, diverse, inclusive and cohesive teams, by cultivating psychologically safe workspaces.

Bonnie lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland with her husband, two children and Cavoodle. She loves playing at the beach with her children and enjoying the warm year-round sunshine after spending over a decade in Vancouver’s cooler-climate.

“I joined ABGF because I love the generative impact of entrepreneurship both as a force for change and as a driver of economic growth and job creation. I’m thrilled to be partnering directly with the businesses we invest in, supporting their culture to thrive while taking their scale and growth to the next level.”

Jay Prabakaran
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Jay Prabakaran
Business Development Manager - CBA Secondee
Jay Prabakaran
Business Development Manager - CBA Secondee

Jay joins ABGF after 11 years at Commonwealth Bank, recently working as a Director Corporate Origination for Asset Finance covering SA, WA & NT. Jay is a member of the Australian Business Growth Fund business development team as the CBA Secondee.

With over 21 years’ experience in banking, Jay has worked in multiple roles across various markets in Australia. He has supported customers in the Major Client Group, Specialised Agribusiness Solutions, Commercial Banking and Regional Agri Business Banking segments by providing structured solutions tailored to their business needs.

Jay holds a dual master’s degree in business administration and professional accounting (Victoria University).

Jay lives in Brisbane QLD with his wife, two children and their pet dog. On weekends he can be found coaching young rowers on the Brisbane River or rowing with his clubs master’s team. He enjoys trail walking/running, an avid sports fan, loves travel, music, movies, and, more importantly, spending time with the family.

“I’m privileged with this unique opportunity to help partner and support passionate business owners on their journey towards growth, innovation and help unlock their true potential. With a career that started with working in my own family business and a few attempts at entrepreneurship along the way. I truly understand and respect the passion and hard work that every business owner aspires to grow and succeed.

At ABGF we provide business owners with access to growth capital that comes with advisory support around strategic insights and access to network connections with a view to take their business to the next level.”

 

Sarah Roughead
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Sarah Roughead
Senior Lawyer
Sarah Roughead
Senior Lawyer

Sarah joined ABGF from Baker McKenzie, where she worked as an M&A lawyer in Melbourne and Chicago.  She has worked with businesses ranging from SMEs to global businesses across a wide range of sectors.  Her legal experience spans all kinds of corporate transactions, including investment, integration, and commercial contracting. Sarah is a member of the Australian Business Growth Fund legal team.

Sarah has a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University.

Sarah lives in Melbourne with her husband, their child and their beagle, Billy.  As a family, they love to travel and all of the adventures and challenges it brings.

“When the opportunity came up to join ABGF, I jumped!  Having grown up on a farm in regional Victoria, being exposed to a broad range of SMEs, I have seen first-hand the essential role that SME’s play in our communities and their potential for substantial growth and success. The Australian Business Growth Fund provides a unique opportunity to support SMEs with patient capital whilst leaving management in control.  In my role, I’m excited to work alongside SMEs and implement reasonable and fit for purpose legal arrangements around investments.”  

Omar Saleem
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Omar Saleem
Digital Marketing Manager
Omar Saleem
Digital Marketing Manager

Omar joined ABGF from Esri in Australia where he set up a project management framework for their marketing operations. Prior to this, Omar worked with Centr and The Guardian in Australia, as well as IDC, Etisalat and Huawei in the Middle East. Omar is a member of ABGF’s marketing team.

Omar has extensive experience working with telecom, media and technology firms in areas of marketing, strategy, market and customer intelligence, analyst relations, marketing operations and customer lifecycle management to drive subscriber engagement and growth.

Omar holds a Bachelor of Computer Sciences, a Master of International Business & Entrepreneurship and an MBA from Sweden. He has also completed a certificate in developing digital partnerships and ecosystems from INSEAD and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Omar also volunteers with professional organizations such as the Project Management Institute (PMI) to support their DEI, member growth and retention initiatives.

Omar moved to Melbourne in 2020 from Dubai where he spent a decade working in consulting and marketing across the MEA region. He is always curious to explore cultures, enjoys travel and developing new skills, is a film enthusiast and loves to build complex Lego sets with his son.

‘I’ve always been fascinated by the how entrepreneurs and SMEs come up with unique solutions to complex problems. However, they can often struggle with growing their ventures. ABGF offers these companies a unique platform to help them scale their operations. I am excited to work with a collaborative team that help drive this growth in the Australian SME sector to positively impact the economy’.

Munpreet Soomal
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Munpreet Soomal
Investment Associate
Munpreet Soomal
Investment Associate
Munpreet joined ABGF from Luminis Partners (in affiliation with Evercore), an independent corporate advisory firm. Prior to Luminis Partners, she worked as a corporate lawyer at Clifford Chance in Sydney and in Hong Kong. She is a member of ABGF’s investment team.

Munpreet’s expertise includes advising businesses on legal and commercial matters across a variety of sectors. Munpreet has a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Finance, and a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) from Bond University; and also spent time studying abroad at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

Munpreet lives in Sydney with her husband and dog. On weekends she enjoys exercising, dining out or planning her next getaway.

“I enjoy working with a wide variety of businesses, helping them manage significant commercial transactions. My work at ABGF allows me to use the skills I’ve gained in my career to not only help businesses on their growth journey but also help support Australia’s SME community, economic growth and employment. Our minority ownership model allows for true partnership with businesses as we support them to succeed.”

Tim Stevenson
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Tim Stevenson
Business Development Manager - Westpac Secondee
Tim Stevenson
Business Development Manager - Westpac Secondee

Tim has joined ABGF from Westpac where he held the role of Senior Relationship Manager in the Commercial Banking and Emerging Corporate team. Tim is a member of ABGF’s business development team.

Tim has more than 15 years’ experience in finance across multiple institutions. Over his career, Tim has supported businesses to grow their organisations both organically and through acquisitions, navigating complex structures and requirements in the process. These businesses have spanned a range of sectors including Retail, Manufacturing, Waste and Labour Hire sectors.

Tim holds an MBA from the University of Melbourne, which included a semester at Duke University in North Carolina.

Tim has a passion for long-distance endurance events having completed 2 Ironman events. Recently, with his fiancé, he has built a van to travel across Australia with their Kelpie X Retriever.

“Having had the privilege to work with many successful businesses, I have seen the direct benefit these businesses have gained when transitioning from a pure family-owned business to bringing on an external investor. ABGF provides a framework to develop governance structures and strategic support, enabling businesses to move faster along their growth journey.”

Tom White
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Tom White
Investment Associate
Tom White
Investment Associate

Tom joined the ABGF in November 2022 after co-founding the technology company, Maxwell Plus, where he led sales and operations. Prior to Maxwell Plus, he was an Associate with McKinsey & Company, working across corporate strategy, private equity and company turnarounds. Tom is a member of ABGF’s Investment Team.

Tom holds a Bachelor in both Mechanical Engineering and Commerce and has worked on a variety of large infrastructure projects across gas, power and mining.

In his spare time you’ll find Tom in the surf, out on a trail somewhere or watching a Broncos game.

“I’m here for the founders. I want to help great founders get the capital they need so they can keep doing what they do best. It is inspiring to work with them and to even be a small part of their company’s story is a privilege.”

Heath Woodbury
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Heath Woodbury
Business Development Manager - NAB Secondee
Heath Woodbury
Business Development Manager - NAB Secondee

Heath joined ABGF from National Australia Bank where he held the position of Associate Director in the High Growth and Emerging Corporate sector. Heath is a member of the Australian Business Growth Fund business development team

Heath has over a decade of experience helping Australian business’ achieve their goals through comprehensive banking and finance solutions, across multiple industries. Heath has supported business’ transitioning through organisational change via fast organic growth, acquisitions, new market expansion or maturing management structures. His passion for business and innovation drove him to complete his MBA (Exec) with the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM).

Heath has a passion for cycling and enjoys solo sunrise rides on the weekends to recharge the batteries. You may see him needing some extra afternoon coffee during July each year as he adapts to the French time zone to follow the Tour de France each night.

“Inspiring business’ are born out of visionary founders who grasp a solution to a problem that we may not yet know we have. The unwavering passion and enthusiasm for their solution is infectious and inspiring. ABGF is an ideal capital partner to enable these solutions to be successful and grow in the market”.

 

Elana Rubin, AM
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Elana Rubin, AM
Chairperson
Elana Rubin, AM
Chairperson

Ms Elana Rubin is currently the chair of the Victorian Managed Insurance Agency and a non-executive director of Dexus, Telstra and Slater & Gordon, and several unlisted companies. She is past Chair of AustralianSuper and Afterpay.

As an experienced chair and non-executive director, Elana’s director roles have spanned superannuation, investment, professional services, technology, telecommunications, insurance, government and financial services. She works with companies that have a clear purpose, a desire to grow, strong values and an ability to deliver a positive impact on the communities they operate in.

In 2021, Elana received a Member of the Order of Australia for services to corporate governance and community and was granted a Life Fellow by the AICD in 2022. She is also a Senior Fellow of Financial Services Institute of Australasia and a member of Chief Executive Woman.

Ms Rubin said: “ABGF is based on a unique public-private partnership model, with a strong purpose to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the SME sector. There is a clear gap in the market for long term patient (minority) growth capital at scale to support small-medium businesses to grow and thrive. Providing these businesses with the capital to grow is vital to support innovation, technology, and skills.”

Grant Cairns
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Grant Cairns
CBA Representative
Grant Cairns
CBA Representative

Grant Cairns is Commonwealth Bank’s Executive General Manager for Regional and Agribusiness Banking, responsible for serving the financial services needs of the bank’s rural commercial and agribusiness customers. A strong believer in the resilience and innovative capacity of Australian SME’s businesses, Grant joined the Commonwealth Bank in 2005 and the Australian Business Growth Fund board at its inception in 2020.

He has broad experience across Business Banking, including senior leadership roles in Commercial Lending, Transaction Banking, Asset Finance serving key sectors of the Australian economy in metropolitan and regional areas. Grant has completed AsiaLink’s Leaders Program and holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting and Finance, as well as a Master of Applied Finance. He is also a Chartered Accountant and Vice President of FINSIA.

“Australian SME’s contribute over 50% of Australia’s GDP and are critical to Australia’s economic growth and recovery. To help grow, SME’s need capital and the ABGF is an ideal growth capital provider and partner to help successful and fast growing businesses employ more Australian’s, invest in expanding operations and open new markets”.

Ms Roxanne Kelley PSM GAICD
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Ms Roxanne Kelley PSM GAICD
The Commonwealth
Ms Roxanne Kelley PSM GAICD
The Commonwealth

Ms Roxanne Kelley joined the ABGF board as the Commonwealth Government representative.

Ms Kelley is the Deputy Secretary Corporate and Foreign Investment Group in the Department of The Treasury. She is a career public servant with over 30 years experience working at State and Commonwealth government levels, in social welfare, national security and central policy agencies with responsibilities that have covered service delivery, cross-government policy development, regulatory compliance and enforcement, organisational re-design, change management, corporate governance and HR.

Ms Kelley said “the ABGF as a public-private partnership between the Federal Government and six major banks is helping Australian small and medium-sized businesses access capital to create jobs and accelerate economic growth.”

Brett Moore
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Brett Moore
NAB Representative
Brett Moore
NAB Representative

Brett Moore is the Executive, Specialised Industries in the Business and Private Bank and has over 15 years’ experience in financial services.

Previously, Brett was the Executive, Execution responsible for NAB’s capital investment slate and governing the execution of NAB’s strategy. Brett has also held board roles as Chair of State Sports Centres Trust, Vice Chair Equestrian Australia and Director of Athletics Victoria.

“I am delighted to be able to support Australian small and medium enterprises who truly are the lifeblood of our economy and communities. ABGF is uniquely placed to partner with entrepreneurial Australian businesses to help them realise their potential”.

Jenefer Stewart
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Jenefer Stewart
ANZ Representative
Jenefer Stewart
ANZ Representative

Jenefer Stewart is the General Manager, Business Banking at ANZ, responsible for 16,000 small and medium business customers across Australia. Business Banking supports a broad range of business customers across diverse range of industries with specialisations in health and agribusiness.

Jenefer has broad experience within the industry across retail banking, product management, as well as dispute resolution.  She is currently a director on the board of ANZ Lenders Mortgage Insurance.

Jenefer holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Masters of Business Administration.

“I am passionate about supporting Australian businesses to grow and thrive.  ABGF provides an important option for them to access capital in a unique way and so I am proud to be a part of the organisation and help to spread the understanding of what can be offered.”

Duncan Woods
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Duncan Woods
Westpac Representative
Duncan Woods
Westpac Representative

Duncan Woods is Chief Strategy Officer at Westpac Group.  Prior to joining Westpac, Duncan has spent the past 20 years in banking and consulting predominantly across Asia and Africa.  Much of his work has involved developing and executing strategies to support SMEs by understanding how banks’ solutions and service models need to adapt to meet their unique needs. 

He previously worked for McKinsey, Oliver Wyman, Standard Chartered, Deutsche Bank and Asia Commercial Bank (Vietnam) in a range of advisory, strategy, transformation and business line roles predominantly in Consumer and SME Banking.  He brings experience from working with local banks, global banks and public sector institutions across multiple countries on key issues facing SMEs and the solutions they need across payments, funding and day-to-day operation of their businesses.

He has Bachelor and Master Degrees of Economics from Cambridge University and University College London, respectively, and was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University.

“I am excited to play a part in supporting the development of small businesses which are key drivers of GDP growth and employment in Australia.  Segments of SMEs continue to find access to finance from banks a challenge despite strong business plans and potential, and therefore I am very supportive of ABGF’s mission to partner with growth businesses to provide the valuable combination of both finance and deep expertise.”

Why we exist

We exist to back the ambition of Australian SMEs.

Today, we are one of the leading investors of growth capital in Australia. We invest in Australian entrepreneurs, disruptors and growth oriented businesses to unlock economic benefits for all Australians. Our mission goes beyond financial investment. We bring together capital, capability, and connections, acting as a catalyst for growth in the Australian SME sector.

Find out if your business is eligible for growth capital.