Former NAB business head to lead government growth fund

  • By AB+F Editorial

Former head of National Australia Bank’s business banking Anthony Healy has been hired as the CEO of the government’s Australia Business Growth Fund. 

The fund was set up to help tackle the critical funding gap. 

Similar models also operate in the UK and Canada. 

Australian businesses will be eligible to apply for long-term equity capital investments between $5 million and $15 million, where they have generated annual revenue between $2 million and $100 million and can demonstrate three years of revenue growth and profitability, allowing for the impact of COVID-19 on recent business performance.

On Friday, ANZ, NAB and the Commonwealth Bank announced support for the program, ploughing $100 million each into the fund. 

HSBC and Macquarie have also committed $20 million each in support of the fund. 

The four major bank CEOs made their usual comments about small businesses being the backbone of the economy. 

Healy was part of a spate of executive departures at NAB that also included the resignation of the high-profile Mike Baird.

He had been with the bank for two years, having worked at NAB’s subsidiary, as CEO of Bank of New Zealand for eight years. 

NAB group executive for business and private banking Andrew Irvine congratulated Healy on the appointment. 

“Anthony has been one of the strongest supporters of the Business Growth Fund’s establishment,” Irvine said. 

“We are pleased that someone with Anthony’s extensive experience will be leading the Fund and we look forward to working with him to support entrepreneurs right across Australia.”

Following the appointment of the CEO, the Federal Treasurer’s office said that the BGF will shortly engage with SMEs that are seeking patient equity investment in their business to enable them to grow and expand.