March 24, 2014
Investors sought to help grow iwi assets
The woman behind a new Maori venture capital fund says it will need to operate with a longer term focus than other funds.
June McCabe, a former Westpac executive who has also worked in investment banking, is working with eight as yet unnamed iwi groups to put together the fund.
She says it is looking to raise between $50 million and $70 million to invest in young high-growth Iwi Maori businesses working in sectors like primary industries, tourism and energy.
Ms McCabe says it will be structured so it can raise funds from mainstream financial institutions and wealthy individuals, but create assets that Maori investors will want to hold long term.
"Venture capital operates on the basis that you exit ideally in relatively short time and those exits are what incentivise an investor. For Maori, the incentive is to stay in forever. In order to get investors to come in the way they are used to, that is a shorter term exit, the way we will set this up is so that Maori will enable them to exit and then we hold the business in perpetuity," she says.
Ms McCabe says the fund will target investments of $1 million to $3 million in early-stage and expanding businesses and management buyouts.
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