Both the chair of the former AVCAL, Andrew Major, and chief executive, Yasser El-Ansary, emphasised that the process behind the change of name signalled a new beginning for the organisation. Just as well. The process took 18 months.
The new name was announced at the annual dinner last week, held in conjunction with the Australasian AVCJ private equity and venture capital conference in Sydney.
Along with the change to Australian Investment Council, the organisation announced a new ‘knowledge’ and professional development program and has engaged in a more comprehensive digital presence under the umbrella of the new website: www.aic.co
El-Ansary said: “We are building a bigger and bolder future for private capital. That’s what it’s all about.” The board and staff analysed 17 different projects in the process, which was first disclosed to the membership at last year’s conference.
Later last week, the Council announced it was strengthening its commitment to greater diversity within the private capital industry through a new ‘Champions of Change’ program.
El-Ansary said: “Increasing gender diversity within private capital is one of our top priorities as an industry, and this new program will help us to accelerate the pace of change that is taking place.”
The program would start mid-year and involve 12 senior leaders from PE firms, as well as key institutional investors such as super and sovereign wealth funds, he said.
“When we looked at the gender balance numbers across our industry late last year, we identified that around 20 per cent* all investment professionals were female, representing a significant improvement on where we were a few years ago – but we still have considerable work to do…
“Over the past four years, we’re really proud of the progress we have made in driving meaningful change across the industry through our emerging female leaders mentoring program, collaboration with leading recruitment firms and tertiary institutions, and the development of industry-specific toolkits to help small firms improve their diversity scorecard.”