INVESTMENT TEAM

Neil Stanford, Managing Director
Brighid Pappin, Investment Manager

The investment team consists of Brighid Pappin and Neil Stanford, who have demonstrated that outsized returns that can flow from a well-constructed and diversified venture program. Under their leadership the Hostplus private equity and venture capital asset class had returns for the 2021 calendar year in the fifties and returns per annum over the last five years in the low twenties. The direct co-investment program, a subset of the asset class, did even better, despite still being very early in its investment life.

Neil and Brighid are passionate about innovation and technology. Neil introduced venture investing to the Hostplus portfolio in 2014 and the team have backed most of the well-known Venture Managers in Australia – Artesian, Blackbird, Brandon Capital, Carthona, IP Group, Main Sequence, Square Peg, and Telstra Ventures. This has afforded the team tremendous insights into the Australian venture ecosystem, which they are leveraging for the benefit of the VSCF.
 

OUR APPROACH

Neil and Brighid both have complementary technical backgrounds and as a result have always approached investments from a bottom-up, fundamental perspective. They like to understand ‘the DNA’ of founders and fund managers and what drives them. They like to see clear connections between the area of focus, the team’s skill set, and the industry environment, so that there is a coherent and compelling investment case. This approach has allowed the team to have conviction to cornerstone new funds and back many new venture managers with little or no hard track record data. It is fair to say that much of the Australian venture ecosystem would not be as developed today, without their catalysing efforts.

Blue Smoke

We know what works and what doesn’t and how ‘ponying up’ long term patient capital with new innovative companies can create tremendous value.

We are providing investors a much lower risk pathway to access early stage venture investments. Due to the high levels of investment transparency that the team are committed to, investors are effectively expanding the breadth and depth of their own investment team, without bearing the additional overhead.

INVESTMENT COMMITTEE

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BRIGHID PAPPIN

Melbourne

IM, V-Ignite

(Hostplus, UniSeed, Glycomics)

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ARIANE BARKER

Melbourne

Member 

(Scale Investors, JB Were, HSBC,

Goldman Sachs)

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NEIL STANFORD

Melbourne

MD, V-Ignite

(Hostplus, JANA Investment Advisers, Russell Investments

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BRONTE ADAMS

Melbourne

Member, 

(Rhodes Scholar, McKinsey)

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STEPHEN THOMPSON

Sydney

MD Brandon

(Terra Rossa, Apax Partners, Cantab Pharmaceuticals 

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MELISSA MCBURNIE

Adelaide 

IV Brandon

(Terra Rossa, Bio Innovation SA)

OPERATIONS TEAM 

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AMY PERKIN

Melbourne

Chief Financial Officer 

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ANNABELLE DICK

Melbourne

Communications & Engagement

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KATE GROOMBRIDGE

Melbourne

Legal Council

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SEAN CREEDON

Melbourne

Senior Fund Accountant 

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DIANNE CLIMENT

Melbourne

Office Manager 

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Nikki Williams

Melbourne

Team Assistant

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DEEPALI DHAWAN

Melbourne

Corporate Accountant

Blue Smoke

FOR INVESTORS

The VSCF provides investors a simplified way to access a broad set of early stage venture investments, than would otherwise be possible. Together with full ESVCLP tax flow through benefits and a preferential return structure, it makes a compelling investment case.

FOR VC FUNDS

The VSCF is looking for early stage focused venture funds, targeting seed and series A rounds. The Fund is industry and technology agnostic. We are looking for both mature and new fund managers. Funds need to be highly differentiated, with a focus on a particular niche which aligns with the teams’ skill set and strategy.