Happy New Year. I hope you had an enjoyable, restful break and are ready for a great 2014.
As I said in my last note to you in December, I am really optimistic about 2014. The last few weeks has continued to see significant activity in the PE industry and there are strong signs that this will continue throughout 2014. From an economic perspective, an increase in PE activity is important because it indicates that the outlook for the Australian economy is positive which will also help to drive an increase in consumer and business confidence. Independent research by Deloitte Access Economics last year showed that PE-backed companies contribute $59 billion p.a. to Australia’s GDP each year, and generate more revenue than either the coal mining or general insurance industries. This reinforces the role played by PE in supporting private business, across economic sectors that are currently not widely represented on the ASX.
Although fundraising conditions remain challenging for VC, the deal pipeline is looking strong. As an industry body supported by its members, AVCAL will continue its advocacy efforts with the Government to reinforce the importance of a long-term approach to innovation policies. Maintaining our engagement with the VC community is very important to us and at the moment my executive team and I are collaborating with the entrepreneurial and start-up community on some joint initiatives to develop more interesting engagement platforms. I’ll also be speaking at the BioMelbourne Network Breakfast next month.
We're looking forward to a busy year with more regular meetings with our Council members and our working groups and stakeholder committees have already begun their work. We have a number of new initiatives in development at the moment, including a series of AVCAL CEO industry lunches with members and a half day AVCAL Focus program on IPOs – which is clearly very topical at the moment. Stay tuned in the following weeks for more information.
Our first networking event for 2014 is taking place next month, so be sure to register for AVCAL Connect if you haven’t already. All the details are below. And last but not least, the program for our 21st annual alpha conference is taking shape and the AVCAL team is very excited about the refreshed look and feel for alpha in 2014. Registrations open from 18 March so be sure to secure your spot. Invitations will be dispatched early next month. I hope you can join us on the journey to Melbourne this September.
I’m looking forward to an exciting and busy year ahead!