Search begins for inaugural NRF chief executive

The Albanese government has begun its search for an inaugural chief executive to take charge of the new entity overseeing its landmark $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund.

Executive search firm Johnson Partners has been appointed to find a leader with investment experience to join the newly created National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) Corporation.

The position was advertised on Tuesday. A chief executive must be appointed to the NRF Corporation by mid-March 2024, as per legislation that passed through Parliament earlier this year.

Canberra Parliament House
Parliament House Canberra

The NRF Corporation was formally established last week – on the same day that the eight-member board of directors, who have been tasked with making investment decisions, held its first meeting.

The formation of the entity also means that the special account that will deliver loans, guarantees and equity to companies across the fund’s seven priority areas has been created with its first $5 billion.

The remaining $10 billion will be credited to the account from the Consolidated Revenue Fund in instalments over the next six years at the government’s discretion.

With the first funds released to the corporation, the government is searching for a chief executive with “proven experience and extensive success” as either a CEO or senior leader in a multi-stakeholder organisation.

The successful candidate is expected to “play a pivotal strategic role” defining and implementing the structure, strategy, and objectives of the NRF Corporation, according to the job ad.

The future CEO will ideally have direct expertise with investments, such as venture capital or equity, or be an industry leader in manufacturing (or another of the priority areas) with some experience in investing.

As the CEO will report directly to the board, the candidate will also need to have prior experience working closely with directors, who will ultimately make NRF investment decisions.

The government appointed the board, led by former Clean Energy Finance Corporation director Martijn Wilder, last month. It is yet to decide on the investment mandate, which will specify the rate of return for the $15 billion industry fund.

“It is critical that the individual is an accomplished and highly regarded C-suite executive at a national, if not global scale, with the ability to effectively lead and represent an organisation with such a critical mandate for the future development of Australia,” the job ad reads.

“This is a high-profile appointment with a wide range of significant stakeholders, including at the highest levels of government.”

Applications for the role close on 11 October 2023.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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