7  December, 2020

Australian Investment Council announces 2020 Investing for Growth Award winners


SYDNEY: The Australian Investment Council has announced the winners of its 2020 Investing for Growth Awards for their outstanding contribution to growing great Australian businesses and to supporting their local communities during the course of a very difficult year.

Yasser El-Ansary, Chief Executive of the Council said: “In a year of unprecedented challenges, we have seen positive results for private capital investors who have backed a wide range of businesses driving strong economic activity and job creation across all industry sectors.

“These awards recognise the significant role that Australia’s $33 billion private capital industry plays in creating new jobs and new industries, which contributes in a major way towards building a more innovative Australian economy for the future.

“The Council received a large number of very competitive award nominations and we thank all firms that took the time to participate in this year’s awards,” Mr El-Ansary said.

Deal award winners for 2020, listed from early stage to buyout, are set out below.



Investment Deal

Venture Capital Investment

BioScience Managers

Avita Medical

Small-Cap Investment Under $100MN

Fortitude Investment Partners


Mid-Cap Investment $100-$250MN

Anchorage Capital Partners

Contract Resources

Upper Mid-Cap Investment $250- $500MN

Quadrant Private Equity

Advanced Personnel Management (APM)

Click here for more information on the award winners and their investment deal entries.

Quotes from this year’s Investing for Growth Award winners

BioScience Managers – Jeremy Curnock Cook, Dr. Mike Perry, Bruce McHarrie, and Victoria Durrans

At Avita Medical, our biggest achievement was the reset of the company’s approach to the regulatory pathway that eventually led to the US FDA approval − the first treatment to be approved for severe thermal burns in over 20 years. The positioning of the company for a successful commercial launch also depended on significant commitment to training the clinicians, and their medical staff, in the use of the new ReCell product. The overnight success took seven years in the making, requiring patience and persistence from the Board, the management, and loyal shareholders.

Fortitude Investment Partners

Sunfresh’s structural and innovative approach to new product development, combined with its strong reputation for food safety and quality, gave the business a competitive advantage to adapt in a rapidly changing consumer demand environment. The successful exit process during the COVID-19 environment was an attribute to the alignment between each of the founders, management, Houston’s Farm and Fortitude. The merger which established the new entity – HS Fresh Food – combines the strengths of the two businesses and creates a third major competitor in the Australian salad market.

Anchorage Capital Partners – Callen O’Brien

Operational improvements and major capital investment programs to further improve the quality of the Contract Resources business were implemented under the ownership of Anchorage Capital Partners (ACP). This included the construction of the southern hemisphere’s largest mercury waste treatment plant, commissioned in July 2018, mid-way through ACP’s ownership. Located in the regional community of Karratha, Western Australia, the facility can handle all mercury-contaminated waste produced by the Australian oil and gas sector, now and into the foreseeable future. The facility sets the international benchmark for best practice in safe and efficient mercury waste management and recycling of all elements for alternate use, avoiding the need for mercury contaminated landfill or further processing, as required by other technologies. The facility also eliminates the need to export mercury-contaminated waste from Australia, fulfilling the nation’s obligations under the Basel Convention, an international treaty designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between countries.

Construction and commissioning of the facility demonstrated Contract Resources’ commitment to developing new solutions to challenges faced by the Australian oil and gas industry, utilising private capital investment from ACP.

Quadrant Private Equity – Chris Hadley & Alex Eady

Quadrant was attracted to an investment in APM due to its market leading position in the Australian employment services market, including being the largest and highest performing participant in the Disability Employment Services program and a leading participant in the JobActive Employment Services program. The opportunity to partner with APM founder Megan Wynne to continue to grow the strong base in Australia as well as leverage this base to grow into international markets was an attractive investment thesis for Quadrant.

Editors’ Note: The Australian Investment Council will announce the winners of the annual Firm of the Year, Michael Hirshorn and Diversity Awards on Wednesday, 9 December 2020.


For an interview with Yasser El-Ansary please contact:

Robyn Tolhurst
Public Affairs Manager
M: 0436 388 919

About the Australian Investment Council

The Australian Investment Council is the voice of private capital in Australia. Private capital investment has played a central role in the growth and expansion of thousands of businesses, which when combined represents a multi-billion-dollar contribution to the Australian economy. Our members are the standard-bearers of professional investment and include: private equity, venture capital and private credit funds, alongside institutional investors such as superannuation and sovereign wealth funds, as well as leading financial, legal and operational advisers.

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