Elana Rubin AM has been appointed as the new Chair of the Australian Business Growth Fund (ABGF). The ABGF provides growth capital to Australian SMEs through a unique public-private partnership investment model aimed at filling the gap between late-stage venture capital and larger buyout funds. The fund was founded with an initial capital of $540 million as a collaboration between the Federal Government and six leading banks in Australia.
Elana Rubin is a highly respected chair and non-executive director with extensive experience across various industries, including superannuation, investment, professional services, technology, telecommunications, insurance, government, and financial services. Her past and present NED roles span across different sectors, including listed and unlisted companies such as Dexus, Telstra, and Slater & Gordon. She is currently the Chair of the Victorian Managed Insurance Agency and was also the past Chair of AustralianSuper and Afterpay.
Elana’s passion for bringing diverse people together to grow businesses that have a positive impact on the communities they operate in made her the perfect candidate for the ABGF. She was attracted to the unique public-private partnership model of ABGF and its purpose to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the SME sector. Elana believes that "Providing these businesses with the capital to grow is vital to support innovation, technology, and skills."
Anthony Healy, CEO and Managing Director of ABGF, welcomed Elana as the new Board Chair, stating that "She brings extensive experience across a range of organisations, including public-private partnerships and is driven by the same values as the fund – to back ambitious businesses to help them grow and thrive." Healy also mentioned that under Mike Baird's leadership, the Fund established strong momentum, opened its offices in Sydney and Melbourne, built a diverse and experienced team, and made its first eight investments.
Elana’s appointment as Chair of ABGF is significant as the fund plays a vital role in supporting SMEs to scale and in turn create jobs, economic growth and support Australian entrepreneurship. The fund's primary purpose is to connect SMEs to capital, expertise, and wider local and international networks. It takes a minority stake in the business (up to 49%) during opportune times of growth, while ensuring the original founders retain control of the business. The ABGF is building an investment pipeline of companies with potential for growth and is open to small-medium enterprise businesses with over $2 million in revenue and a proven business model.
In conclusion, Elana Rubin's appointment as the Chair of the ABGF is a testament to her vast experience and expertise in various sectors. Her passion for growing businesses that have a positive impact on the communities they operate in aligns with the fund's purpose. With the ABGF's unique public-private partnership investment model, it is poised to fill the gap between late-stage venture capital and larger buyout funds and provide long-term patient growth capital for SMEs to scale and succeed.