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Two new fund managers announced for $130M Innovation Investment Fund.

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Minister for Industry, Science and Resources


6 November 1998



Two new fund managers announced for $130M Innovation Investment Fund


Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin, today ann ounced the final two fund managers to be licensed under the first round of the Coalition’s Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) program — Momentum Funds Management Pty Ltd, from Melbourne, and Coates Myer and Company, from Brisbane.


The IIF is a unique program aimed at encouraging investment in the commercialisation of Australian research and development, by matching every dollar raised by industry, with a two dollar Federal Government contribution.


Five fund managers have been licensed under round one of the program, to raise capital to supplement the $130 million Federal Government contribution.


Fund managers were chosen by the Industry Research & Development Board. Coates Myer & Company and Momentum Funds Management join the three existing funds, Allen & Buckeridge Investment Management Pty Ltd, Rothschild Bioscience Managers Ltd and AMWIN Management Pty Ltd.


These firms have already begun committing early-stage funding for small start-up firms in a number of key areas including information technology, mining and bioscience.


“The IIF Program forms a major plank to the Government’s commitment to innovation and investment,” Senator Minchin said. “Through this unique initiative, we are providing much-needed leverage to bolster private investment in the high-risk early-stage firms.


“The IIF will help create jobs, increase Australia’s commercialisation of R&D and boost our international competitiveness.


Companies interested in investing in commercialising R&D through the IIF should contact the fund managers directly.


A further $100 million has been committed by the Government for a second round of the IIF, which will become available in the 1999-2000 financial year. Applications for fund managers will be called for in the first half of 1999.


Further information on all the IIF fund managers is attached.


Contact: Kate McShane Andrew Bain

Senator Minchin’s Office Head of Division 

 08 8396 2610 (bh Fri) AusIndustry

08 8369 1991 (ah Fri) 02 6213 7300; 018 630 858





Allen & Buckeridge


(A&B Investme nt Management Pty Ltd)


Allen & Buckeridge (A&B Investment Management Pty Ltd) is a venture capital fund manager whose licensed IIF fund specialises in the information industries including electronics, information technology, telecommunications, electronic commerce and entertainment services.


The management team of Roger Allen, Roger Buckeridge and Bob Christiansen has years of experience in venture capital and the information industries.


Roger Allen has qualifications in economics and philosophy. He has considerable experience in the information technology and telecommunications industry including 25 years as the chief executive of Computer Power Group Ltd and six years as deputy chairman of Austrade. In addition, Roger Allen has extensive experience in venture capital in Australia. He has over 25 years experience marketing Australian software in the USA.


Roger Buckendge holds qualifications in science and administration. He has experience in consulting to Australian businesses and governments in the information industry on policy, strategic development and financing issues. In addition, Roger Buckeridge has extensive experience in venture capital, having previously been chief executive of a major Australian venture capital fund.


Bob Christiansen has qualifications in economics and information processing. He has over 25 years of experience in computer services, software and technology with an emphasis on technology application, business management and operations, system design and development. This experience has been obtained in both large international and small entrepreneurial companies in the USA, Europe and Australia. After living and working abroad for the past 22 years, Bob returned to Australia in December 1997.


A&B Investment Management Pty Ltd’s licensed IIF fund has $41.25 million to invest in Australian early-stage companies. A&B Investment Management currently operates out of Sydney, but also has an extensive network throughout Australia.


A&B Investment Management was selected on the basis of its strong venture capital experience, international links and understanding of information industries.


For further information, please contact:


Roger Allen


A&B Investment Management Pty Lt d

18 Bulletin Place



Telephone: (02) 9252 3600

Facsimile: (02) 9251 9808





AMWIN Management Pty Ltd


AMWIN Management Pty Ltd is an entity formed jointly between Australian Mezzanine Investments Pty Ltd and Walden Internationa l Investment Group specifically to operate an Innovation Investment Fund.


Their licensed IIF fund is $41.25m in size with a general focus. However it has significant expertise in IT&T, industrial engineering and multi-media. It is based in Sydney, has a regional office in Adelaide and caters to investment opportunities throughout Australia.


Australian Mezzanine Investments Pty Ltd was formed in 1987 and operates domestically in the venture capital industry focussing predominantly on development capital. Its existing networks and experience in the Australian venture capital industry brings strong relevant expertise to this fund.


Walden International Investment Group is headquartered in the US, was formed in 1974 and operates world-wide but predominantly fo cuses on innovation in the Asian region. Countries within which it operates include: US, Hong Kong, Philippines, Taiwan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Israel.


The considerable reputation, technology expertise and well established international linkages which Walden International Investment Group bring to this IIF fund should greatly assist Australian small technology-based firms supported by this fund to internationalise their research and market development efforts.


The management team comprises Michael Hilsden, Malcolm Donnell and two senior Walden officers - Hock-Voon Loo and John Hsin. Mr Hilsden brings strong commercial operational skills to the team and Mr Donnell has considerable experience in the Australian venture capital Industry. The Walden offices provide market access, development and international partnerships in Singapore and San Fransisco.


For further information please contact:


Mr Michael Hilsden

AMWIN Management Pty Ltd

Level 4, 19-31 Pitt Street

Syd ney NSW 2000


Telephone (02) 9251 9655







Rotlischild Bioscience Managers Limited has $42.5 million for investment in the Australian bioscience sector.


Rothschild has been selected on the basis of its s trong international links, specialised technological expertise and established core management team.


Rothschild Bioscience Managers Limited is a subsidiary of Rothschild Asset Management Limited. The management team will comprise Geoff Brooke, Brigitte Smith and Julian Northover.


Geoff Brooke was president of Medvest Inc, a US-based early-stage venture capital group founded by Johnson & Johnson. He is currently a Director of the Rothschild Bioscience Unit and is responsible for Rottischild’s bioscience venture investments in Australia. His strengths include general management experience in bioscience companies, including company formation, investment in early-stage companies, acquisitions and public listings.


Brigitte Smith is a chemical engineer who has spent all of her career in commercialising bioscience technologies, particularly in environmental management. Julian Northover has considerable experience in analysing new business opportunities in the bioscience industry and is an associate of the Rothschild Bioscience Unit.


Rothschild is an established player in the global bioscience investment market. Coupled with an established global network of alliances and expertise, it provides the management team with a strong international presence.


For further information, please contact:


Dr Geoffrey Brooke

Executive Director

Rothschild Bioscience Managers Limited

Level 10

1 Collins Street

Melbourne VIC 3000


Tel No: (03) 9254 4900

Fax No: (03) 9254 4940







Queensland's Coate s Myer & Company has funds totalling $41.25 million for investment in leading edge Australian companies, in particular those in the fields of IT&T, software, environmental technology, biotechnology and life sciences.


The fund has strong US links, proven investment strategy and clearly demonstrated commitment to early-stage investment. The presence of an office in San Francisco is seen as a key element of its proven growth and migration strategy.


Cullen Coates and Mic hael Myer founded Coates Myer & Company Pty Ltd in 1992 to assist Australian entrepreneurs build and finance their companies and expand globally. The management team comprises the four principals Michael Myer, Cullen Coates, Michael Begun and Dr Carmel Hillyard.


Michael Myer has more than 20 years experience in venture capital and general management in both Australia and the United States. He has been the founder and chief executive of many start-up and established companies in a variety of industries. Cullen Coates also has more then 20 years' of general management experience with a particular background in finance, electronic technology, product development and marketing.


The management team has a proven track record in realising gains from early stage investments. In particular, this has involved the raising of follow-on funding rounds, joint ventures with multinationals, direct sales to large public and private companies, public floats in Australia and the United States.


For further information, please contact:


Mr Michael Myer

Coates Myer & Company Pty Ltd

3rd Floor

20 Park Road

Milton QLD 4064


Tel No: (07) 3367 1611

Fax No: (07) 3367 1218





Momentum Funds Management Pty Ltd


Momentum Funds Management Pty Ltd (“MFM”) is a newly-formed ve nture capital group that will invest in a wide range of technologies.


MFM will manage the Momentum Ventures Fund, which will invest $30 million in early-stage companies that are commercialising Australian R&D. MFM has its headquarters in Melbourne, with an additional presence in Launceston, Tasmania.


The management team of Ron Finkel, Ergad Gold and Peter Marks has many years of experience in venture capital, R&D, commercialisation of technologies, capital raising, merchant banking etc.


The Directors of the Fund's trustee, John Thompson, Martha Cleary, Ken Jones and Peter Williams, also bring a wealth of experience in growing technology-based businesses in Australia and overseas.


Ron Finkel has experience in the venture capital industry and in the provision of corporate advice. He was previously a director of a venture capital company and has had experience across the full cycle of venture capital. Ron Finkel is a law and commerce graduate from the University of Melbourne.


Ergad Gold is a technologist with many years' experience in R&D across a wide range of technologies. He has worked extensively in industry, Government and academia and for six years operated a successful consulting business in technology management. Ergad Gold was also a senior lecturer in Applied Physics at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.


Peter Marks has extensive experience in corporate advisory roles particularly in the regulatory and finance sectors. Peter Marks has held senior positions with the ASX and major stockbroking firms.


Babcock & Brown is the major investor in the Fund. They are well known in international and Australian investment banking and have global resources, which are highly relevant to venture capital. These include experienced finance executives, information resources including a vast database of information on companies, industries, technologies etc, an extensive network of contacts in the US and other countries and a network of international offices.


For further information, please contact:

Ron Fin kel


Momentum Funds Management Pty Ltd

Level 1

417 Collins Street



Telephone: (03) 9614 4211

Facsimile: (03) 9614 4511