AVCAL appoints new CEO

Tax specialist Yasser El-Ansary will head up the Australian industry body from late November, following the loss of seven-year CEO Katherine Woodthorpe  

The Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association appointed Yasser El-Ansary as its new chief executive officer, according to a company statement. The appointment is effective from 20 November 2013. 

El-Ansary is currently a senior executive at the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia, where he has worked since 2009. He is responsible for public policy and advocacy work with the government. 

Prior to that, El-Ansary spent 20 years in business advisory, working at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Rio Tinto and Australand Property Group. He has also been a policy advisor to the Australian Federal Department of the Treasury. 

“Yasser’s front-line experience in working constructively with the government on business policy issues and, at the same time, representing the diverse interests of a large membership body like the Institute of Chartered Accountants in the media equips him well for the leadership role at AVCAL,” AVCAL chairman John White said in the statement. 

“His professional background in tax and policy gives him a head-start on some of the key policy issues facing Australia’s private equity and venture capital industries, particularly in areas such as the on-going reforms to the managed investment trust regime and the need to support innovation and technology through the research and development tax incentive and industry innovation funds.”

Recent reforms in Australia’s manage investment trust regime offer qualifying foreign funds exemption from Australian tax if they establish or manage foreign domiciled funds.

El-Ansary replaces Katherine Woodthorpe, who announced her departure from the firm in September after seven years at the organization. Woodthorpe was instrumental in securing up to $350 million from the government’s Innovation Investment Fund programme to support the venture capital industry. 

“I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity to lead AVCAL through the next exciting phase of its evolution as a strong voice for its members, and in continuing to work with the government to develop good policies that support the growth and expansion of the private equity and venture capital industries in Australia,” El-Ansary said in a statement.